Microsoft Releases DirectAnimation

NEW YORK, Dec. 10, 1997 — At Fall Internet World ’97 today, Microsoft Corp. debuted the Microsoft® DirectAnimation
™API – the animation component of the DirectX® Media 5.1 Software Development Kit (SDK), designed for Intel Architecture. DirectAnimation is an advanced media integration and run-time API that enables software developers to energize their Web pages and applications with dynamic 2-D and 3-D animation, rich user interactivity and seamless integration of text, video and audio media types.

DirectAnimation is included in the minimal installation of Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 and is available today for the Windows® 95 and Windows NT® 4.0 operating systems. With DirectAnimation, users no longer need to download additional software to view DirectAnimation-based content on the Web.

“Nowhere else can application and content developers combine such things as audio-synchronized 2-D and 3-D animations on top of Dynamic HTML,” said Eric Engstrom, general manager, Internet client and collaboration division at Microsoft. “DirectAnimation is the first API to deliver such a high level of integration and performance that is both easy to implement and automatically accessible to end users. The release of DirectAnimation gives application and content developers a launch pad for media innovation today and into the future.”

Innovative, One-of-a-Kind API

Advancing the technology curve, DirectAnimation offers the only solution of its kind in the industry, with features that include the following:

  • Consistent interface for dealing with 2-D vector graphics and sprites, 3-D geometry, text, video and audio media types.

  • Versatile run time with a breadth of multimedia playback services that are easily incorporated into tools and applications. Integration into Internet Explorer 4.0 helps ensure a broad target audience of Web users with DirectAnimation playback capability.

  • Uniform time/event model that enables highly coordinated interaction among various media types, along with rich user interactivity.

  • Highly scalable solution for developers with various levels of programming expertise using a variety of programming and scripting languages, including HTML, the Microsoft Visual Basic® development system, Scripting Edition, JScript
    ™development software, Java and the Visual C++® development system.

  • High-level multimedia controls for setting motion paths, sequencing, sprite controls and low-bandwidth vector graphics.

  • Integration with Dynamic HTML and Windowless Control support, making DirectAnimation ideal for applying scripted animation anywhere on a Web page.

DirectAnimation will also ship with the upcoming Windows 98 and Windows NT 5.0 operating systems. This widespread distribution on all Windows-based platforms will enable developers to focus on product innovation rather than designing and distributing their own run-time engines.


The DirectAnimation SDK is now available on the DirectX Media 5.1 SDK via CD-ROM or from Microsoft’s Web site at .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, DirectAnimation, DirectX, Windows, Windows NT, Visual Basic, JScript and Visual C++ are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

Early Adopters Applaud DirectAnimation

Application developers and content creators on the cutting edge of the Web praise the innovative functionality of DirectAnimation:

“We first used DirectAnimation to create our Internet Explorer 4.0 channel introduction page. We wanted to make an active and exciting first impression for our channel. DirectAnimation went beyond my expectations in making it easy to create Web pages filled with synchronized sound and motion. Microsoft has a killer combination in DirectAnimation and Dynamic HTML – one we plan to exploit in the months ahead.”

– Kurt Hoyt

Senior Developer

CNN/SI Interactive (

“Developing Web sites is our business, so we pride ourselves on being up on the latest APIs and tools. DirectAnimation is a very powerful addition to the arsenal of Web technologies that we can offer to our clients, and the integration of DirectAnimation in Internet Explorer 4.0 means that end users don’t have to download a plug-in just to view our Web pages. Among our various Web sites, our Raveworld site in particular ( attracts a young, techno-literate audience, and it has very high expectations in terms of interactivity and rich multimedia, which DirectAnimation delivers. We also plan to incorporate DirectAnimation features into the O Channel site, which pushes the boundaries of the Web to offer a TV-like experience. We’re very pleased to see Microsoft contributing advanced technology for the creative community.”

– Mark Lacey

Creative Director

Gloss Media

“DirectAnimation is excellent technology for integrating graphics and animations into Internet Explorer Web pages, and it complements Intervista’s strategy to provide a line of standards-based, value-added applications for networked interactive business visualization.”

– Tony Parisi

President and CEO

Intervista Software Inc.

“DirectAnimation provides us with a unique rendering platform. Our behavioral animation technology uses it to manage graphic and audio resources for human-like 3-D characters in a Web environment. In combination with Internet Explorer 4.0, Dynamic HTML and COM, DirectAnimation gives us a Microsoft-supported interactive platform for our unique character applications.”

– David Handelman, Ph.D.

Chief Technical Officer

Katrix Inc.

“We’re totally jazzed about DirectAnimation and plan to increasingly support it in mBED Interactor, our Web multimedia authoring tool. DirectAnimation multiple interfaces for C++, Java and JavaScript are a great benefit for us. The ability to offer rich animation and multimedia capabilities, yet still have a high-level interface for JavaScript developers, is definitely unique and very powerful. The DirectAnimation controls are also extremely flexible and provide a high-level, declarative interface that our developers find natural. It completely jibes with how we think multimedia Web creation should work.”

– Evan Goldberg



“Microsoft DirectAnimation provides an exciting opportunity for developers to take new approaches in user interface and application design integrating the Internet. Our new generation flagship software, MGI PhotoSuite II, is organized into an innovative Dynamic HTML framework where Microsoft DirectAnimation is used to present all the essential tools for working and communicating with photos through an animated, three-dimensional experience.”

– Thomas Nielsen

Director of Development

MGI Software Corp.

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