capsule review

MovieWorks Deluxe 5.0

Want to test the waters of multimedia authoring? Check out Interactive Solutions' MovieWorks Deluxe 5.0, a suite of five integrated programs that handle all aspects of the multimedia-development process. None of the five break new ground-indeed, some are significantly limited compared with costlier programs. But together they are a multimedia-authoring system that's affordable, capable, and particularly well suited to home and school environments.

The Somewhat Fab Five

MovieWorks Deluxe's components include Paint, for image editing; Animator, for creating simple, flipbook-style animations; Sound, for recording and editing audio; and Video, for capturing analog video or DV. You combine media and add clickable buttons and text using a fifth program called, confusingly, MovieWorks Deluxe. (Interactive Solutions sells a basic version of MovieWorks, without interactive authoring features or support for Apple's QuickTime VR, for $80.)

Each program works like its counterpart in the major leagues, but with far fewer features: Paint has a passing resemblance to Adobe Photoshop, for example, but can't export images in a variety of formats. And Paint and Sound open documents entirely in RAM, limiting the size of images and sounds you can work with.

Getting Interactive

Still, these programs are ideal for learning basic content-creation techniques. You create screen designs by positioning media elements and adding backgrounds, text, and buttons. You can control when elements appear and add transitions, and a slick autosequencing feature makes short work of creating simple slide shows.

To build interactive projects, you create multiple scenes and then create buttons that take you to specific scenes when clicked on. An individual scene can be exported as a QuickTime movie playable on Mac or Windows computers. You distribute an interactive project as a special player document accompanied by a player application included in the suite. The MovieWorks Deluxe bundle includes Mac and Windows versions.

MovieWorks at Work: MovieWorks Deluxe lets you arrange media elements on a timeline.
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