updated 08:50 am EST, Wed November 12, 2003
AlphaMania 2+Effector Sets
Media Lab today announced ($200) for Mac OS X: "AlphaMania 2 adds an entirely new kind of cast member to Director that can create delightful and dramatic interactive visual effects with surprising ease. AlphaMania 2 + Effector Sets are the only tools that allow Director authors to include video-style special effects that render and composite live on stage as their project is playing. This means that the effects can react to what the end user of the Director movie does, enabling a uniquely memorable interactive experience."
Other features include high-quality interpolated scaling and rotation, flying masks, live drop-shadows and glows, an intuitive "Set FX" interface for non-programmers, and batch import. The effects are optimized for both speed and quality and allow the user to
prioritize one over the other when necessary. AlphaMania 2 has the ability to
scale and rotate graphics using a smoothing technology known as interpolation.
This provides a higher quality result than Director's built-in bitmap cast
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 cast or sprite level, or to arbitrary parts of the stage which can contain any number of sprites. The application can also create platform-native popup menus for use in Director-based graphical user interfaces. Media Lab says it added this the feature to AlphaMania to assist with its own GUI needs
and has now made easy popup menu generation available to its customers.
Media Lab's AlphaMania 2 + Effector Sets is available as a
downloadable demo; it includes several example projects, including new demonstrations playable in a web browser which include a colorizable car, an alien autopsy with "x-ray" functionality, a magnifying glass, and more. It runs on Mac OS 8/9/X for $200. The cross-platform package is $350 and upgrades are $50 for a limited time.