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An Overview of Multimedia Defining a Multimedia Multimedia is defined as a computer-based, interactive experience that incorporates text, graphics, sound, animation,

video, and virtual reality. Multimedia Elements include text, graphics, sound, video, animation, and virtual reality. A fundamental feature of multimedia is interactivity-that is, the ability of the user to interact with an application. Multimedia allows the content to be presented in a nonlinear way, which allows the user to be active rather than passive. Fundamental to the development and delivery of multimedia is a computer system capable of incorporating multimedia elements such as sound and animation. A typical computer playback system should be capable of delivering multimedia. Today most computer systems are e uipped with the hardware and software needed to deliver multimedia. The typical configuration includes !"-#$M or "%" drives, audio cards, video cards, speakers, and sufficient processing power to deliver multimedia. Most computer playback systems include an &nternet connection, a browser, and a modem that allows the user to access multimedia applications from the 'eb. Multimedia applications is a broad term that covers all uses of multimedia. (xamples of multimedia include an online college course web site that uses )-" animation to explain how earth uakes occur or an e-commerce 'eb site that shows video clip demonstrations of its products. Multimedia Titles refer to specific products, including !"-#$M based games and educational !"s. Exploring Multimedia on the Web The Internet is a vast communications system linking computers around the world. First developed several decades ago by the *.+. government and research institutions, the &nternet became widely popular after the development of browsers A browser is a visual interface that interprets 'eb documents and allows for the display of graphics. ,rowsers, such as &nternet (xplorer, enable graphics, sound, movies and animation to be delivered to the user. The development of browsers helped spawn the 'orld 'ide 'eb, which supports delivery of multimedia, and provides for hyper linking of content over the &nternet. The fastest-growing area for multimedia delivery is online, including delivery via telecommunications and the &nternet. $ne of the most compelling features of the 'eb is its immediacy. (vents such as rock concerts, ball games, and conference keynote speeches can be Webcast-that is broadcast, in real time over the 'eb. Animations, as simple as rotating text or a sophisticated as )-" settings, are an exciting part of multimedia on the 'eb. They have proved useful for attracting attention and creating virtual learning environments. Animations can be created using simple -TM. tags, animation software such as Macromedia Flash, or programming languages such as %irtual #eality Modeling .anguage. The /coding language0 for the 'eb documents is called !ypertext Mar"up #anguage $!TM#% Multimedia developers know that as long as their programs are written using -TM., the user should be able to run the application on the 'eb. -TM. allows 'eb page developers to include hyperlin"s, which consist of text or graphics that are coded to /1ump0 to another location. -yperlinks give users the ability to /navigate0 from place in a document or across documents. &tudying the 'rowth of Multimedia Multimedia seems to be everywhere. There are entertainment sites on the 'eb, children2s computer games, training materials with video clips, and educational material such as books, which has both !"-#$M and 'eb site with multimedia applications. (actors )ontributing to the 'rowth of Multimedia 3. The number of households that own multimedia computer playback systems. 4. 5rowth in the use of multimedia technologies used on the 'eb.

). 6rograms that allow audio and video to be delivered over the 'eb. 7. A dramatic decrease in price also contributed to the widespread distribution of multimedia !"-#$M titles. 8. Marketing by computer companies was another for the growth in multimedia applications. 9. Adding value to an existing product is another reason for the growth of multimedia. Examining Educational Applications %arious ways exist to classify multimedia titles. They can be classified by market :such as home, business, government, and school;, or by user :such as child, adult, teacher, and student;, or by other categories :such as education, entertainment, and reference;. A goal of the educator is to facilitate learning so as to help the student gain a body of knowledge, ac uire specific skills, and function successfully in society. A ma1or challenge to any educator is the diversity of ways in which students learn. +ome people learn better through association, others by experimentation< some respond to visual stimulation, others to sound. Multimedia can accommodate a variety of learning styles. Multimedia, with its hyper linking capabilities, can present the content in a way that allows the learner to 1ump from idea to idea in 1ust such a nonlinear way. ,ecause multimedia applications are user controlled, students can proceed at their own pace and focus on those areas that are most interesting or helpful to them. $nline courses and online enhancements to the traditional courses are rapidly growing part of higher education. 'ith the use of multimedia, students can easily access pertinent information in shorter timeframes. (dutainment, as the name suggests, is the combination of education and entertainment. Examining Entertainment Applications 5ame developers were pioneers in the use of multimedia. From large-style arcade video games to hand-held =intendo 5ame boys, the focus in this area has been on action and graphics. The developer of multimedia games needs to attract, engage, captivate, and challenge the user. +uch developers have shifted the emphasis from pure action to action plus story-telling< from games to entertainment< and from the physical >hand-eye coordination; to the mental :solving the mystery, overcoming evil, outwitting the opponent;. Multimedia incorporates all of the elements-fast action, vivid colors, )-" animations, and elaborate sound effects-that are essential to entertainment. &t can also be used to provide rewards, recognition, and a sense of accomplishment ? components that are popular features in entertainment titles. Examining *usiness Applications ,usiness and organi@ations have embraced the use of multimedia in marketing, training, and presentations. All of these areas share one thing-the need to communicate. For the marketer, the goal is to inform and to persuade the potential buyer as a way to sell a product, service, or idea. For the corporate trainer, the goal is to maintain a well-informed and productive work force. For the presenter, the goal is to inform and perhaps to motivate the audience. *sing multimedia can help businesses and organi@ations achieve these goals. +nderstanding Multimedia )omputer ,laybac" &ystems 'hen studying computer systems with multimedia capabilities, it is useful to draw a distinction between those systems used for development and those used for playback. "evelopment systems need to be fastest and most powerful, and they should have the largest storage capacity that a company or individual can afford. The development process is people-intensive- and people2s time costs money. The better tools developers have, the more uickly they can work. $n the other hand, the type of computer system used for playback is related to the installed mar"etthat is, the computers in use. )omponents of a Multimedia )omputer ,laybac" &ystem

3. 6rocessor- the type of processor determines, among other things, how uickly data is processed and transferred. 4. Two basic types of memoryA temporary :#AM; random access memory and permanent. ). !omputer2s hard drive is used to permanently store program instructions that are needed each time the program is run. 7. The monitor is critical to playback system because it provides the primary communication with the user. +tandards have established regarding screen resolution and number of colors. +creen resolution is measured in terms of number of dots, called pixels :picture elements; displayed on the monitor. 6ixels are the smallest units that a monitor can display. 8. To display graphics, a computer must have a video graphics card. The video graphics card and its memory capacity determine the number of pixels presented on screen. 9. +ound is an important element in a multimedia title. To incorporate sound, the computer needs an audio card and speakers. +nderstanding Multimedia )omputer Development &ystems "evelopers reali@e that to produce commercial- uality titles that will keep up with the competition in terms of high-end graphics sound, and video, they must invest in the best- uality e uipment they can afford. =ot only does high-end e uipment provide the necessary development uality, but it also holds down production costs by reducing the time programmers, graphic artists, animators, and others spend in creating their part of the title. )omponents of a Multimedia )omputer Development &ystem 3. 4. ). 7. 8. 9. B. C. 6rocessor Memory %ideo capture card Monitors +canners (xternal storage devices "igital camera Microphone Multimedia Elements +sing Text in Multimedia Applications Text is perhaps the easiest of all multimedia elements to manipulate. Most computer users have experience with word processing and are therefore familiar with the processes of entering and editing text and working with fonts and font si@es. +ome !onsiderations and 5uidelines to keep in mind when working with textA 3. *e concise. #eading volumes of text on a computer screen is difficult and tiring. Moreover, it may not be the best way to communicate an idea, concept, or even a fact. From a design stand-point, text should fill less than half of the screen. 4. +se appropriate fonts. Text can be boring unless you enliven it by selecting fonts :which are analogous to typefaces in a print environment; and type si@es that are appropriate for the audience. Fonts help focus attention on certain text on the screen, enhance readability, set a tone, and pro1ect an image. Fonts can be characteri@ed as serif- sans serif and decorative &erif is a line or curve extension from the end of a letter. +erif fonts are best used for body text. &ans &erif ? the French word sans means /without0, so a sans serif font is one with-out extensions. +ans serif fonts are used for titles. Decorative ?fonts such as script type, are more stylish and formal. They are best used for emphasis.

). Ma"e the text readable. 6erhaps the overriding concern with text is readability. 7. (onts are measured in point si.es. *se 6oint +i@e -eadings 37-7C +ubheadings half the heading si@e, with a minimum that is not smaller than the text block Text ,lock 3D-34 8. )onsider using font formats and font colors. There common font formats are bold- italic, and underline. These formats are often use for emphasis in print materials. 9. +se restraint and be consistent. 'hile it may be tempting and certainly easy to use a variety of fonts, si@es, and styles, it is most important to exercise restraint. Avoid too many font si@es and styles on one screen. &n addition, try to maintain consistency. +sing 'raphics in Multimedia Applications *sing a muse and a desktop metaphor on our computers, we use graphical images such as icons, drop-down menus, folders, and windows. 'e are accustomed to interacting with graphical images on the screen, and in fact we now expect to see them. %isuali@ation can be an important part of the communication process, and graphical images can be used to add emphasis, direct attention, illustrate concepts, and provide a background for the content. Eust as graphical images are important in our day-to-day encounters with computers, graphics-such as illustrations and photographs- are integral to multimedia titles. Two types of graphics are used in multimedia titlesA draw-type and bitmap. Draw/type graphics :also called vector graphics; represent an image as geometric shape made up of straight lines, ovals, and arcs. 'hen you draw a line, a set of instructions is written to describe its si@e, position, and shape. &f more than one line is drawn, it has a precise relationship to other parts. Advantages 3. The ability to resi@e and rotate a graphic without distortion, 4. +maller file si@e Disadvantages 3. The more complex the graphic, is the larger the file si@e and the longer it takes to appear on the screen. 4. "raw type graphics cannot be displayed in photo uality. *itmap graphic represents the graphic image as an array of dots, called pixels. The screen is made up of grid, and each part of the grid is a pixel. !olor information, called color depth, is recorded for each pixel. *nlike a draw-type graphic, which keeps the same relationship :relative position and relative si@e; among its parts when its si@e or placement is changed, a bitmap graphic becomes distorted under those same circumstances. +nderstanding graphic image file si.es 5raphic image file si@es can become unproductively large depending on the complexity of the images and the way the images are developed. The multimedia designer must balance the need for uality images with the need to keep file si@es small. An understanding of graphic image file si@es can help the developer reduce the time it takes to download images and display them on the computer screen. &creen resolutions- are measured in hori@ontal and vertical pixels with 97Dx 7CD being the lowest standard. The larger the pixel count and the smaller the pixel diameter are the higher the image resolution. A screen resolution of 3D47 x B9C will display a much better- uality image than a screen resolution of 97D x 7CD.

Image si.e 0 it is determined by the number of pixels making up the image. The screen resolution and the image si@e determine how much of the screen is occupied by the image. )olor depth 0each pixel can display from one color to millions of colors. The number of color is determined by information associated with the pixel. %arious numbers of colors can be associated with each pixel, depending on the number of bits specified :C-bit for 489 colors, 39-bit for 98,DDD colors, and 47-bit for 39.B million colors;. The range of colors available for pixels is called color depth. (ile si.e/the file si@e of a bitmap graphic is related to the image si@e and color depth. &t can be estimated using the formulaA Image si.e in pixels x color depth in bits12 Fou divide by C because the file si@e is measured in bytes and there are C bits per byte. (ile (ormats 5raphic images can be saved in a variety of file formats. The more popular file formats include TI(( $Tagged &mage File Format;, *M, $,itmap;, ,)3 :'indows 6aint;, and ,I)T:Macintosh picture format;, which are the standard file formats for multimedia development< 4,E':Eoint 6hotographer (xperts 5roup, 'I( :5raphics &nterchange File Format;, and ,5' :6ortable =etwork 5raphics;, are the standard file formats for the 'orld 'ide 'eb. The file formats determines how the file will be displayed.