Media Lab has released AlphaMania and the Effector Sets for Mac OS X. They’re tools that let Director authors include video-style special effects that render and composite live on stage as their project is playing.
AlphaMania 2 + Effector Sets include such features as: interpolated scaling and rotation; flying masks for tasks such as magnifying glasses or x-ray lenses; live drop-shadows and glows; a “Set FX” interface for non-programmers; batch importing of PICT/TGA files; effects such as dynamic embossing; automatic download for Director Shockwave for Mac OS X, Mac OS 8.1-9.x and Windows; and more. The tools sport 8-bit alpha channel-only cast members for use as invisible masks for effects and 256 levels of transparency.
The dynamic effects available are HSB/RGB Colorize, Interpolated Rotate, Interpolated Scale, Ripple, Roil, Blur, Magnify, Drop Shadow, Bevel, Seurat, Snow, Mosaic and Line-Skip. Effects can be applied at the cast or sprite level, or to arbitrary parts of the stage that can contain any number of sprites.
Additionally, with the Mac OS X version, Media Lab has documented AlphaMania’s ability to create platform-native popup menus for use in Director-based graphical user interfaces. The company says it did this, for the first time, “to assist with its own GUI [graphical user interface] needs and has now made easy popup menu generation available to its customers.”
AlphaMania 2 + Effector Sets are sold as a single product; the price for the electronic version is US$199. Cross-platform AlphaMania 2 + Effector Sets includes both Mac and Windows versions and cost $349. Current owners of AlphaMania 2 + Effector Sets for Mac OS Classic can upgrade for $49. A demo of the products is available from Media Lab.