Macromedia, Inc. announced on April 24, 2001, the immediate availability of Macromedia Director 8.5 Shockwave Studio, which will enable developers to bring 3D-enhanced Shockwave content to the Internet. The program features a new version of the Shockwave Multiuser Server, Havok physics engine for 3D game behaviors, support for Flash 5 and the ability to stream RealMedia content. 3D support in Director and Shockwave Player was jointly developed with Intel Corporation and is built on the Intel Internet 3D Graphics software. The program provides developers with a robust 3D content creation and publishing solution, by working with leading 3D vendors to ensure developers can make use of their existing 3D authoring expertise. "Macromedia Director 8.5 Shockwave Studio enables Director users to create real world applications that deliver immersive 3D, while existing 3D developers can reach a new Web audience," said Peter Ryce, senior director of product marketing, Macromedia. "With the authoring prowess of Director and the power and penetration of Macromedia Shockwave Player, the platform for delivering high-impact 3D Web experiences is now here." Users will benefit not only from the new 3D functionality, but also from such features as Flash 5 integration. With built-in support for RealAudio and RealVideo, Director will let developers deliver audio and video content using the leading streaming format on the Web. With Shockwave Multiuser Server 3, developers can now utilize server-side scripting capabilities, UDP networking and have 2000 users simultaneously view their Shockwave multiuser content. Macromedia Director 8.5 Shockwave Studio is immediately available for both Macintosh and Windows platforms. The studio is priced at $1199 for new users, $199 for users upgrading from Director 8 and $399 for users upgrading from Director versions 5 through 7. French, German, Japanese and Korean versions of the studio are expected to ship in June. The free, 3D-enhanced Shockwave Player is also available for immediate download from www.macromedia.com/software/shockwaveplayer/.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.