Director movies have many options for packaging, these options are outlined in Packaging Director movies (TechNote 15769). This TechNote discusses Director fast-start projectors and how to create them.
A standard projector is a projector created using the "Standard" option in the projector options dialogue box. Xtras are packaged within a standard projector rather than externally. A standard projector contains all or much of the content in a project including Director movies, casts, and media.
A fast-start projector is a projector created using the"Shockwave" option in the projector options dialog box. Xtras are packaged externally to the projector in a folder named "Xtras". A"fast-start" projector only contains a stub movie. Because the media and Xtras are packaged externally and Shockwave compression is used, a fast-start projector is very small in size.
There can be performance advantages to using a fast-start projector instead of a standard projector. A standard projector requires a system TEMP directory to unpack and copy the Xtras into, at launch-time, before the movie plays. A fast-start projector does not require a TEMP directory and can launch on playback systems that do not have a properly-configured TEMP directory. Because a fast-start projector does not have to unpack Xtras, it will most often launch more quickly than a standard projector.
A Director fast-start stub projector consists of six elements:
- A Director projector created using the "Player: Shockwave" option
- Within the projector: A simple, small "stub" movie
- All other movies, cast libraries, and linked media
- A folder named "Xtras" which must be located in the same directory level as the projector
- The Xtras required to play your movies (in the folder named"Xtras")
- Director projector application resource files (in the folder named "Xtras")
To speed projector launching, rather than including Xtras within the projector itself, distribute the Xtras separately by putting a copy of the Xtras required to play your movies in the projector's Xtras folder. In order to create a working fast-start projector, it is important to understand what Xtras are and how they work. For information about Xtras and how they function, see Using Xtras in Director: An overview (TechNote 14888).
Director projector application resource files consist of dirapi.dll, iml32.dll,proj.dll and msvcrt.dll. These files enable projectors to take advantage of Shockwave compression which results in a smaller projector. These files are distributed externally to a fast-start projector.
A stub movie is typically a very minimal Director movie in terms of file size and complexity, that launches other Director movies (DIR, DXR, DCR files). A stub movie should not contain any media. To create a stub movie, make a new movie that navigates to your main Director movie. To navigate, use Lingo such as 'go to movie"myMovie".
To create a fast-start projector, follow the steps below. This is essentially the same procedure as described in Director's Help, except that it also includes information concerning stub movies and Xtras. For related information, refer to Director's Help menu> Director Help > Contents > Packaging movies for distribution > Creating projectors > "To create a fast-start projector".
Create a new folder on the desktop
This folder will contain several files and a sub-folder that together comprise a fast-start projector installation.
Note: This folder is not actually required when making a fast-start projector, but for purposes of this discussion it will simplify organizing the files. The name and location of the folder is not significant.
- Uncheck the "Include in Projector" box for each Xtra
Disable the "Include in projector" option for all Xtras that appear on the list in the Movie Xtras dialog. To do this, select the name of each Xtra individually and uncheck the "Include in projector" option.
This step can be omitted in Director MX 2004 because of the new"Exclude all xtras" option in the publish settings. Selecting this option will override the settings specified in the "Movie Xtas" dialogue box and will strip out all Xtras in the movie before packaging.
Note: Do not use the "Remove" button to remove Xtras from the list. Director will add the default Xtras back to the list automatically.
- For Director MX and below only:
Add movies to projector list
In the Create Projector dialog select the movies you want the projector to play and select 'Add' to add them to the File List. A fast-start projector typically only contains a stub movie.
Click on "Options"
In the "Create Projector" dialog box, select Options to open the Projector Options dialog box.
- For Director MX 2004:
Click on "Publish"
The projector will be automatically be created in the same location as the source file.
For Director MX and below:
Click on "Create"
In the Create Projector dialog, click Create to open the "Save projector as" dialog box. Enter a name for the projector and navigate to the folder you created in step 1. Select Save to save the projector into the folder.
- Create an Xtras folder
Open the folder created in step 1. This folder should now contain your projector. Create a new sub-folder within this folder and name it "Xtras". The Xtras folder must be at the same directory level as the projector created in step 12.
Note: Third party Xtra vendors may provide Xtras as two separate files (an authoring Xtra and a runtime Xtra), or they may provide one, dual-purpose Xtra.For more information about Xtras, see Using Xtras in Director: An overview (TechNote 14888).
- Copy Xtras to the Xtras folder
Copy all Xtras that are required into the projector's Xtras folder. To find out which Xtras are required, open each movie that will be in your project in Director and go to the Movie Xtras dialogue box (mentioned in step 4). Make a list of the Xtras in the list and use this list when copying the Xtras from the program folder to the projectors Xtras folder.
For Director MX 2004, the Macromedia Xtras installed by Director are located in the Xtras folder within the Configuration folder of the Director application folder.
For Director MX and below, the Xtras are located in the Xtras folder within Director application folder.
Note: Xtras are platform-specific files. Windows projectors only load and use Windows Xtras, and Macintosh projectors only load and use Macintosh Xtras. A projector is not affected by the presence of an Xtra designed for use on the "other" platform, so it is okay to put Xtras for both platforms into a single Xtras folder.
If your movie requires a 3rd party Xtra to play, you will need to put a copy of the appropriate 3rd party Xtra into your projector's Xtras folder.
Copy the Director application resource files next to the projector.
Copy the following Director application resource files and place them either next to the projector, or in your projector's Xtras folder. These files are located in the Director application folder.
Windows Macintosh dirapi.dll DPLLib iml32.dll IMLLib proj.dll (not required for Director 7) ProjLib (not required for Director 7) msvcrt.dll (not required for Director 7) MacromediaRuntimeLib (not required for Director 7)
Remember to distribute all external content with the projector, including movies, castLibs and linked media. It is recommended to keep all media at the same level in order to reduce linking issues. Other file configurations are also possible, as described inAuthoring tips on how to effectively use linked media (TechNote 14070).
If your projector takes a long time to launch before it begins to play, or if an error message appears, retrace the steps above. If the problem persists, troubleshoot for movie design, data, projector file and system configuration issues to determine the cause. Using a barebones testing movie when learning a new technique will greatly simplify your troubleshooting if unexpected results occur.
If an Xtra that is required to play your movie is not included in the projectors' Xtras folder, an error may appear when the projector is launched. To troubleshoot this error, see What can cause a missing Xtras alert? (TechNote 12140). For information about Xtras and how they function, see Using Xtras in Director: An overview (TechNote 14888).