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Intel, Macromedia team for effects

Macromedia's Director 7 animation authoring software and the corresponding Shockwave 7 player will feature Intel's Web Design Effects software, the firms say.

Macromedia and Intel are getting back to nature with a new software collaboration.

The companies today will announce that Macromedia's Director 7 animation authoring software and the corresponding Shockwave 7 player will feature Intel's Web Design Effects software.

Intel's animation software is best suited to natural effects such as the motion of fire, water, and vapor. It also works well with distortion effects. Shockwave technology is geared to animating more boldly defined movement.

Both companies are touting the software's bandwidth-friendly ability to assemble animations on the client, rather than send bulky bitmaps over the Internet.

Intel's technology follows a procedural datatype model. That means the client computer receives instructions on how to create the images that comprise the animation, rather than receiving preassembled images. In this case, those instructions manipulate the red, green, and blue (RGB) values for individual pixels to create effects. For example, the client would shift yellows, oranges, and reds to render a flickering flame.

Developed at the Intel Architecture Labs in 1997, the software has seen limited use, though it has native support in Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser, Version 4.0, and a plug-in for Netscape Communications' Navigator browser.

Intel's software efforts, along with its investments in software firms, have always been geared toward stimulating demand for its processors; the collaboration with Macromedia is no exception. In announcing the software collaboration, the firms made a point of contrasting the Internet's "bandwidth barriers" with "today's fast processor speeds."

Macromedia also announced the availability of the Shockwave 7 player for consumer download from the Macromedia Web site. Director 7, which Macromedia announced in November, shipped with a copy of Shockwave 7 last month.