Summer 1996

Waiting for the total toolset

Macromedia Director 5 is much improved, but still not quite the ultimate all-in-one toolset

In its eleven-year history, Macromedia’s Director has gone from a simple animation tool (when it was known as VideoWorks) to an indispensable and multi-featured authoring program for digital artists and designers. In the late 1980s, VideoWorks was the most popular animation software for the Macintosh. Director continues that tradition, still outselling all its competitors, and it is known as the standard for creating, integrating and distributing interactive media through multi-platform hardware, and more recently the World Wide Web.

For designers, however, the program has sometimes been as much a source of frustration as a solution to new media creation. Director has always lacked many features that a designer would consider standard, such as anti-aliased text and comprehensive typographic control. Consequently, it has been only one part of a suite of tools that includes Photoshop and Illustrator, not an all-in-one answer. Macromedia has been soliciting input from designers and multimedia producers for the past couple of years in order to address these shortcomings. Now, the most frequently requested features have been incorporated into the latest release, Director 5. The upgrade is substantial and the result is a far more robust and feature-rich product.


Brett Wickens, multimedia director, Los Angeles

Read the full version in Eye no. 21 vol. 6, 1996

Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues.