This chapter covers timers, delays, timeouts, dates, times, and time unit conversion. Although I would like to have covered cue points and tempos in this book, I felt that they were intimately tied to the Score and Director’s media elements (sound and digital video), which are the purview of Director in a Nutshell. Therefore, synchronization and cue points are covered in Chapter 3, The Score and Animation, Chapter 15, Sound and Cue Points, and Chapter 16, Digital Video, of that book.
Timers are useful for adding fixed delays to your presentation. They are more reliable than waiting for the playback head to reach a given frame because Director’s frame rate varies. Refer to Chapter 1, How Director Works, and Chapter 3 in Director in a Nutshell for details on how Director’s frame-based paradigm compares with time-based media, such as digital video.
Many, but not all, Director commands measure time in ticks. There are 60 ticks per second. See “Lingo!” by Tab Julius (published by New Riders) for a detailed discussion of timer resolutions on various platforms. The resolution of Director timers is not very accurate (it is accurate only to about 4 ticks under Windows 3.1). Use a QuickTime sprite with a long silent soundtrack and
the movieTime property for highly accurate timing.
Each movie and MIAW has a single stopwatch-style timer (
the timer), but Director has a perpetual timer from which you can construct additional timers.