Interactive Authoring for Multimedia

MULTM 120-8370

Location: BFL-205

Course Syllabus

Fall Semester 2002

Instructor:  John Sappington <-- email link                 415.577.0807

Class Schedule: Lecture/Lab – Monday - 5:00-9:50 PM

The instructor will be available to assist MULTM 120 students in the lab (A-303), from 5:30 to 6:30 pm on class days.  For additional assistance or consultation please arrange to meet with the instructor during office hours.  

Office Hours: In the lab (BFL-205) at the following times:

Monday 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Appointments are preferred though not required.


Students will learn methods of presenting information on the web independent of the restrictions of HTML and web authoring.  Using Director 8.5 as our primary entry point into the discussion of Multimedia Computer Presentations, we will explore the many ways that Director allows users to integrate a variety of media into a single consolidated presentation. In their final assignments, students will be expected to design their own presentations utilizing animation, audio video and interactivity.  In order to more fully understand the specific concerns addressed by these interactive computer presentations, students will spend class time discussing  theories of interface design, information architecture, and animation.


Foundation Director 8.5  Friends of Ed, 2001, Dean Utian, Sam Humphries, Charles Parcell, Jose Rodriguez, Chuck Wainman, II, Luke Wigley.


Students are required to obtain a 250MB Zip disk formatted for either the Macintosh or PC to store small project files.

Students should also purchase several blank recordable CDs to store larger movie files.  Ideally the student will have a minimum of 4 CD’s to last the length of the semester.  Some students may need significantly more, others significantly less.  Recordable CD’s are especially recommended for students who intend to work on assignments at home.

Students are also required to have an e-mail account.  This can be accessed through the lab and may be a free account like those available from Hotmail, Yahoo, Freemail, Excite, etc.  The instructor will assist students in obtaining an e-mail account if necessary only on the first day of class.  Students will be expected to check this e-mail account at least once a week.  Assignment grades, class progress, and general class announcements will be reported via e-mail.


50% of student grades will be based on class participation.  Students must attend class in order to effectively participate.

30% of student grades will be based on the completion of weekly exercises.  These exercises will not be graded for skill or content, but will be checked only for completion.  Incomplete assignments will be considered undone.   Grades will correspond to the percentage of weekly exercises completed as follows.

20% of student grades will be determined by averaging grades on three evaluative class assignments and one final exam.


Students are expected to attend all of every class meeting unless they have received prior permission from the instructor. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class meeting. Anyone absent when attendance is taken will be assumed absent from the class.   If you are late to class it is your responsibility to make sure your attendance is acknowledged by talking to the instructor. 

If a student misses two weeks of class without being excused, it can be assumed that the student is intending to drop the class.  Because this class meets only once a week that means two absences will be grounds for the instructor to drop you from the class. 

If you are intending to drop the class, it is your responsibility to drop the class.  You should not assume that the instructor will automatically drop you because of absences.  If you stop attending classes, you do  not drop the class, and the instructor has not dropped you from the class; the instructor may be required to give you a grade of F for the class.

Interactive Authoring for Multimedia

MULTM 120-2375

Course Schedule

(subject to change)

Fall Semester 2002

Class web site:  http://www.basearts.com/director.htm

Week 1
(8/19) – Introductions and Exploring the Authoring Environment  

Week 2
(9.23) – Bitmap, Vector Graphics and Text Animation Techniques Assignment :
Submit the infamous eightball animation.

Week 3
(9.30) Bitmap, Vector Graphics and Text Animation Techniques - Continued - Assignments: 9.30.02:

Read Chapters 1-4 - Animation through Beginning Scripting (interactivity)

Submit Bitmap/Vector + Text Animation ( eightball will do)

- animation must exhibit the use of 3 of the following:

stage position change
size change
color change
- a film loop
- 1 transition (exit or entry)

This file should be named as follows: firstinital, lastname.1.(dir) –
( jsappington.1.doc )

Week 4
(10.07) Beginning Scripting / Interactivity
Project Management - Continued

Assignments 10.7.02:

Working with your project file from last weeks assignments and utilizing existing markers create a graphical menu scripted to access the various animation(s)/transition examples.

A graphical menu should contain:
- bitmap background
- instructional text
- active buttons
Lingo Requirements
-go to marker
-go next / previous
- go to the frame

Read Chapter 5, 9 - Foundation Director 8.5

Week 5

Media - Audio, Video

Text Book Switch to:

Director 8 Demystified, Phil Gross and Jason Roberts, PeachPit Press 2000

Assignment 10.14.02:

Indentify Director's built in help system and read through the chapter "Writing Scripts with Lingo".

Submit final ver. of the Menu Assignment from last week.
Submit 1st Draft Final Project Descriptions

Week 6

Interactivity and Scripting - Continued


Assignment 10.22.02:

Project Outline to Project Menu/Interface
Integrating Bitmap, Audio and/or Video.

Week 7
(10.28) Elements of Lingo and Advanced Submit Final Project Descriptions

Week 8
(11.04) Lingo Continues - A Palette of Scripts  

Week 9
(11.18) Lingo Continues - A Palette of Scripts and Review  

Week 10

Optimization and Distribution

Projector - Shockwave - Combo

Assignment 12.02

Present project in progress and review.

Week 11
(12.09) Review and Troubleshooting  

Week 12 
(12.16) Debug and Present

Assignment 12.16

DEMO Final Projects for in Class Critique


Interactive Authoring for Multimedia

MULTM 120-2375


Technical / Supporting



Macromedia – User Forums


Macromedia - Tutorials and Samples


Macromedia – Support Center


Webmonkey – Developer Resources for Director and Flash



KillerSound Tech Center


friendsofed Resources/Links



Artists / Designers Resources

Meta-Music for a Future Age
In 1995, an interviewer asked ambient music godfather Brian Eno, 'If you could make anything, what would it be?' Eno answered, 'an Eno box that would create its own music in my style.' Technology has finally caught up with Eno's theories, enabling him to created 'Generative Music 1.' Also termed 'unfinished music,' each piece plays out differently every time, but always within the same artist-defined paramemters. Tired of the way a particular iteration is going? Just hit refresh -- each composition is infinitely long, and infinitely varied. How will they copyright this? - Curt Cloninger



Viva La Lo-Tek!
Lfoundation.org is a collection of old Shockwave engines created by the off-the-wall pranksters at crtrlaltdel.org. Unlike the lush, intricate Shockwave environments at turux.org and submeta.free.fr, these experiments are decidedly old school (which is still cool). Big, chunky, primary color blocks, audio that sounds like it came from an analog Moog synth, ultra-thin file sizes, and lots of blinking are all par for the course. Proof positive that interesting audio-visual aesthetics are still achievable at dial-up speeds. - Curt Cloninger

















Project Management