Macromedia is shipping Director 8.5 Shockwave Studio, the company is also shipping non-Mac compatible versions of FreeHand 10 today, with the Mac OS X compliant version expected in May.

Director 8.5 is a Web-site development and authoring application. It integrates Tron, a "powerful" Shockwave 3D engine developed in collaboration with Macromedia and Intel. This brings full-motion, scalable, cross-platform 3D animation to the Web.

Director has become a standard for creating interactive, rich-media content for the Web, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM.

Flash 5 The Studio also includes an improved 3D-physics engine, Flash 5 support, and can stream RealMedia content. The Director 8.5 Shockwave Studio is available now in the UK, it costs £949. An upgrade from version 8 costs £149, while an upgrade from versions 5 through 7 costs £299.

Peter Ryce, senior director of product marketing for Macromedia, said: "Macromedia Director 8.5 Shockwave Studio enables Director users to create real-world applications that deliver immersive 3D, while existing 3D developers can reach a new Web audience."