What's the difference between shockwave and flash?

what’s the difference between shockwave and flash? Someone asked me this question and I couldnt answer them…

Shockwave is made in Director I believe … beyond that (?)

yeah shockwave is like flash player but for director and flash is flash. or so i am lead to believe

I believe Shockwave is more geared to 3D.

>>>Here’s the MacMedia scoop on it<<<

snipFrom there::

What’s the difference between the Macromedia Flash and Shockwave Players?::
"Flash and Shockwave Players are both free web Players from Macromedia. Together, they bring you the best rich media content on the Internet. Each has a distinct purpose. Flash Player delivers fast loading front-end web applications, high-impact web site user interaction, interactive online advertising, and short to medium form animation.

Shockwave Player displays destination web content such as interactive multimedia product demos and training, e-merchandising applications, and rich-media multi-user games. Through Xtras, Shockwave Player is also extendable to playback custom-built applications. When you download Shockwave Player, it automatically includes Macromedia Flash Player"

cool, thanks.

Yeah theres all that fluff :wink: Then theres the low-down (well at least some key differences in my conception of the two as I work with these apps both exclusively at work)

  • Macromedia Director makes Shockwave movies *.dcr

  • Macromedia Flash makes Flash movies *.swf

  • Director does more (for the most part) is faster and heftier in terms of price and filesize (5-10 times or so larger than the Flash player)

  • Flash is more web-based in terms of filesize and now with Flash comm server etc., not to mention has a larger impression in distribution.

  • Director is used often in CD authoring (though not exclusively)

  • Flash is more web-based in its application

  • Director is more adept to handling raster images

  • Flash is primarily geared towards vector images

  • Director as of 8.5 directly supports 3D

  • Flash has no native support for 3D

  • Director can play Flash movies within its own movies using Xtras (Flash assets) - as well as other media such as Quicktime movies and other such things

  • Flash cant play Director movies within it, though can IMPORT movies now - played as a native Flash movie format of types.

  • Director uses the scripting language called Lingo - verbose and fairly straight-forward.

  • Flash uses ActionScript which is more like Javascript and easier to code in :wink:

  • Director can only play one movie at a time in any window, though can create an play seperate movies in seperate windows (MIAWs or Movies in a Window)

  • Flash has the ability to play multiple movies at once in a single Flash player in seperate levels or as seperate movieclips each timeline independant of each other.


For the most part, Director is the BigBoy and Flash is the LittleMan. Director has a bit more power, but its hefty and doesnt get around much. Flash is out there, and makes it to all the stops. Flash is easier to code in (that can be debatable) but Director has a bit more control and capability. Flash, though, does have those nested movieclips with their own timeline which makes many things much easier and friendlier to ‘make happen.’ That combined with its small pluggin size, cheaper price tag, and vector graphics which allow it to make smaller more easily distributable web creations is why its currently the web king. With more hard-core web games, though, you’ll see Director used over Flash as it allows greater speed and more control over game sprites and things of the such.

cool… can you make flash files in director?

no, you cant make Flash files in director. They are two completely different programs, but director can include Flash files within a director movie just as say, Flash can include an illustrator file within one of its movies, only director can play the Flash movie and not just import it as an static image as an AI file would appear in Flash.

Director does this through, as I mentioned above Xtras, which are like pluggins for Director. They add functionality like the ability to play flash movies or things like animated gifs. These extras arent automatically included in a director movie because there are so many, that would make the movie itself fairly unmanageable (and this is not specifically for the web but CD projects again) so each of these feature sets or Xtra pluggins are seperate and only added in a movie if needed. The shockwave player has the Flash feature set within it already so its ready to go right off the bat. If, however, you wanted to play a quicktime movie within a director shockwave file, you would first need to actually download the quicktime Xtra from the internet before the movie is able to play because that functionality is not built in and needed to operation correctly… almost like components in a way I suppose - thats probably the closest thing Flash has in terms of Xtras, though Xtras are usually written in like C or C++ and are more like actual pluggins, not a collection of scripts adding to functionality.

Before Director 8.5, there were 3rd party Xtras that did handle 3D in Director, and pretty well too. They werent seen often, but it was nice too see, and icing on the cake when MM worked with intel to get the native support in 8.5

Totally difforent. I don’t even think they can be compared.