Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
Multimedia technology
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.


Saving this for later?

Get the SlideShare app to save on your phone or tablet. Read anywhere, anytime - even offline.

Text the download link to your phone

Standard text messaging rates apply

Multimedia technology


Published on

Published in: Technology, Business

  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

No notes for slide


  • 1. INTRODUCTION 3 LEARNING OBJECTIVES At the end of this unit, you should be able to: 1. define the concept of multimedia, its usage and importance in society; 2. identify the various multimedia technology applications in our everyday lives; 3. name the basic elements including input and output devices, and the storage devices that exist in a multimedia computer; and 4. explain the developments, and research on multimedia technology as well as its current and future challenges. INTRODUCTIONSince entering the era of information technology during the 1990Ês, computertechnology has advanced rapidly. Currently, the use of computer has not onlyfocused on completing human tasks, in fact it has provided tremendouscontributions in the fields of education, entertainment and advertising. These arethe results of the rapid developments in multimedia technology in the computerindustry.In this unit, you will be introduced to multimedia and its environment. Thecontents of this unit are divided into four chapters. Chapter 1 is an introductionto the concept of multimedia, which we will discuss the fundamentals ofmultimedia: its purposes, functions and the types of media.The applications of multimedia technology in various industries will beexplained in chapter two so that you can gain deeper insights regardingmultimedia technology which has become a part of our everyday lives.Chapter three will provide you with the comprehension on the basic needs of amultimedia computer including input, output and storage devices that areavailable in the market.Lastly chapter four will provide insights on current multimedia developmentsand its challenges.
  • 2. Chapter 1 Introduction to Multimedia Technology OBJECTIVES At the end of this chapter, you should be able to: 1. give a brief definition and history of multimedia 2. list four features or functions of multimedia that have made this technology very popular and 3. name the five main components of multimedia and its functions. INTRODUCTIONWelcome to Chapter 1. I hope you are excited to begin this subject - Introductionto Multimedia Technology. Multimedia is a dynamic and interesting field tostudy. Lately, the rapid development of multimedia technology has played animportant role in the fields of education, film, advertising, fashion and manyothers.In chapter 1, you will be introduced briefly to the history and the generalknowledge of multimedia technology. You will also learn about the variousfeatures and functions of multimedia that have caused it to gain popularity. Atthe end of this chapter, we will also discuss the main components and types ofmultimedia. Therefore, I hope you are ready to begin your lesson. HappyLearning.
  • 3. CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY 5 1.1 DEFINITION OF MULTIMEDIAWhat is the meaning of multimedia? Generally, multimedia means the use ofvarious types of media to create a presentation or an application which can beused for the purpose of broadcasting, entertainment, education and many others.By using these various types of media, a presentation of information that usesmultimedia technology will be livelier, more dynamic and able to attract theattention of many users. Multimedia is also said to be a positive and effectivemedium of communication because text, audio, video and animation of variouscolours and patterns can be displayed simultaneously on the screen. THINK What do you understand by „multimedia‰?The word „multimedia‰ can be split into „multi‰ and „media‰. „Multi‰ meansmany; whereas „media‰ means, the tools used as the medium of communication,such as newspapers, radio and television. In brief, „multimedia‰ can be definedas many media. In other words, multimedia is the simultaneous use of data frommultiple sources of elements of media.In view of the fact that multimedia is fast gaining popularity, many parties havecome forward with their own definitions of multimedia, according to theirrespective interests, expertise, research and view points. The following are a fewdefinitions of multimedia;According to Tay VaughnÊs definition (2001, pg 4): „Multimedia is any combination of text, graphics, sound, animation and video delivered to you by computer or other electronic or digitally manipulated means.‰Whereas HofstetterÊs definition (2001) pg 2: „Multimedia is the use of computers to present and integrate text, audio and video with hyperlinks and devices which enable the users to navigate, interact, create and communicate.‰According to ShumanÊs definition (1998) pg 5: „Multimedia refers to a computer based interactive communication process that incorporates text, graphics, audio, video, and animation.‰
  • 4. 6 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENTWhile Halimah Badioze ZamanÊs definition (1996) states that: „Multimedia is acknowledged as a seamless integration of various types of media: text, numerics, graphics, images, video, animation and sound in a digital environment besides its interactive ability to enable users to obtain information in a non-linear way.‰As there are so many different definitions of multimedia, it could confuse you.The most important thing that you need to remember is that a good definition ofmultimedia should contain the following features: Multimedia is any combination of texts, graphics, animation, audio and video which is a result of computer based technology or other electronic media. Multimedia becomes interactive when the end-user is able to control the elements of media that are required, and subsequently obtains the required information in a non-linear way. 1.2 HISTORY AND CONCEPTS OF MULTIMEDIABefore you proceed further regarding multimedia, let us briefly take a look at theinteresting history of multimedia. Do you know why computers become obsoleteso quickly? It is because each year in a life of a human can be seen as at leastseven years in the life cycle of a computer and often more. They simply growolder sooner.In the context of „computer age‰, the history of multimedia dates back to the year1972, when the first video game, ATARI was launched. The response it receivedwas beyond the expectations of its users.Computers with multimedia features were introduced in the 1990Ês. Before that,there was no technology capable of providing informative multimedia at anaffordable cost. In its early days, multimedia technology was not very wellreceived by the masses especially among sceptical members of the academia.Multimedia technology was considered to be an invention gimmick of thecomputer industry. Nowadays, the view towards the importance of multimediais very different. For the past decade, this technology has been studied andexplored and now, multimedia is one of the main components of convergenttechnology. The following table shows the development stages of computertechnology.
  • 5. CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY 7 Table 1.1: The Development Stages of Computer Technology Year Development 1975 The first personal computer was marketed. It had a low processing power and was used mainly for accounting and inventory. 1980 The storage capacity of the hard-disk was increased. Computers could display simple graphics and were used for statistics and forecasting. 1987 Computers were capable of displaying colours, more sophisticated graphics, animation and sound. They were used in word processing and desktop publishing. 1995 Computers at this stage were capable of integrating digital Present video, audio, animation and text in a digital environment. As a result, it increases the emphasis on communication and sharing of information through networks such as the Internet. THE CONCEPTMore than half a century ago, Vannevar Bush, director of the ÂOffice ofScientific Research and DevelopmentÊ and an advisor to the US president,Roosevelt, described a hypothetical machine that would allow users to browsethrough a media rich environment making associative links between varioustypes of information. He envisaged a device called ÂmemexÊ in which an: ÂIndividual stores his books, records and communications and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory.Ê (Bush, 1945)This simple and yet interesting and innovative proposition forms thefundamental theoretical background upon which present-day interactivemultimedia systems are based. The question that immediately comes to mindis why has it taken more than half a century for BushÊs idea to be realised? Inorder to find a satisfactory answer to our question the reader must note thatfifty years ago the computer technology was in its infancy. Therefore itfollows that the history of the development of Interactive Multimedia Systemsis directly and closely linked to the history of the development of the personalcomputers.
  • 6. 8 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENT(Reference: Designing Interactive Multimedia Systems, Mohammad Dastbaz,2002: pg3) REFERENCES To know more about history of multimedia, refer to Chapter 1 of the book, „Multimedia: Concepts and Practice‰ by Stephen McGloughlin, 2001).The caption below is about how multimedia technology is used during theOlympic Games in Atlanta, United States. Olympic Fly-OverThe Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games told its convincing story aboutthe cityÊs commitment to the Centennial Olympic Games through creative use ofsight, sound, and animation. The International Olympic Organizing Committee(IOC) was able to visit each venue for the games, even though some had not yetbeen constructed, via a multimedia system the first ever used in an Olympicbid. This system, which ran on an ordinary desktop microcomputer, offeredviewers the opportunity to fly over the city, seeing virtually every building, road,and tree from a vantage point several thousand feet in the air. Rotating thetrackball pointing device to the right turned the viewerÊs line of sight to the right;rotating it further permitted the viewer to see the sights just passed.This presentation of Atlanta from the air began with a crew filming the city froman aircraft. Segments of the video footage were edited to include many differentviews of the cityÊs downtown and midtown areas, as well as its villages andlandmarks. Multimedia technology supplied the venues that had not beenconstructed. After capturing architectsÊ drawings and models in computerstorage and animating them, the creators of AtlantaÊs Olympic presentationsuperimposed these images on the areas of the city where they would beconstructed. The cityÊs Olympic appearance was real and altogether visible on aviewer controlled fly-over.This visual fly-over was only the beginning of the Atlanta CommitteeÊsmultimedia campaign. The technology gave viewers the capability to zoom in ona specific sporting venue to check out the exterior of the site and the surroundingareas. A click of the button put the viewer inside the venue, in a position to scan
  • 7. CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY 9the stadium and zoom in on a particular seat or visit a certain concession. Tocomplete the illusion, the roar of the crowd and the waving of national flagsaccompanied the running, jumping, diving, and swinging of the athletes allenjoyed on a desktop computer.The Atlanta Committee gambled that drawing heavily on multimedia technologyto communicate the cityÊs commitment and capability to the world and to theInternational Olympic Committee would pay off. And it did. This innovativepresentation was highly instrumental in the IOCÊs decision to award theCentennial Games to Atlanta.Multimedia also played a special part in running the Centennial Olympic Games.Point-of-service systems around the city dispensed tickets, provided narratedmaps of the area, and showed highlights of events with complete audio andvisual information captured during the games. A network interconnecting allmultimedia kiosks more than 2,000 were stationed around the Olympic festivalarea ensured that each service point would provide the most up-to-date andcomplete information ever assembled for attendees at the Games.Such reliable and innovative communication for the athletes, the media, and thehost cityÊs many visitors made the Centennial Olympics memorable. Of course,the GamesÊ real thrill was supplied by the athletes who assembled in Atlanta.(Reference: A. Senn, 1998: 339 340). 1.3 FEATURES OF MULTIMEDIAMultimedia technology is vastly used in many fields, especially in the designingand development of web sites. Many web sites today are equipped with elementsof animation, graphics, sound effects, special video effects and interestingmusic. Figure 1.1 shown below, depicts the various features or functions ofmultimedia that have made it popular.
  • 8. 10 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENT Figure 1.1: Features of Multimedia1.3.1 InteractivityEach multimedia application involves interactivity with end-users. Interactivitycan be simple, such as a student choosing a right or wrong answer in a computer-based test; or complex, like a user flying a jet fighter in a simulated computerwarfare. In fact, when you visit a web site and press a button or an icon on it,you have done a brief interactivity.This feature has made multimedia more popular than other components of mediasuch as television. Users can take part actively in the multimedia applications andnot passively as in the conventional components of media. This is because theusers have total control over the applications.For example, a foreign student who is learning Bahasa Malaysia can determinethe phase that he wishes to review, and he can revise it as many times as hewishes. Besides that, the student can also choose the types of instructions such aslistening to intonations of words, reading words displayed on-screen, watchingan animation and doing exercises on oral skills.1.3.2 NavigationNavigation is one of the important features in the development of multimediaapplication. Navigation is closely linked to interactivity. With navigation, a useris able to use the interactive multimedia applications more effectively. If you haveheard someone say, „this interface is excellent,‰ it probably means that theapplication is easy to navigate.These easy to use navigation features of an interface not only make it easy tonavigate but also provide guidance to the users about the situation or position oftheir web pages more effectively. The correct use of the navigation tools willenable the users to control the sequence of concepts that they wish to present.The uses of navigation tools such as hyperlinks, buttons (refer to Figure 1.2),
  • 9. CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY 11icons and pull-down menus will enable the user to explore and navigate fromone web page to another. Figure 1.2: Example of the use of buttons as navigation tools1.3.3 HyperlinkFilms and books are linear forms of multimedia applications. It has a beginningstage, an intermediate stage and an ending. For example, when you read thismodule „Introduction to Multimedia Technology‰, starting from Chapter 1 asshown in Figure 1.3, you are reading the module in a linear way. Figure 1.3: Linear readingEven though the linear method is normally used, it is not necessarily the best wayof learning. When we process information, our brains usually „jump‰ from oneidea to another. This is because we need to store information in the context thatwe are able to understand. We can also „jump‰ to another topic or chapter if wealready have prior knowledge about the information contained in that topic, asillustrated by Figure 1.4. Thus, it is totally reasonable that computer applicationsallow users to „jump‰ from one section to another. For example, after you haveread the introduction topic in this module, you can „jump‰ to the topic on audioby clicking on its word with the hyperlink feature.
  • 10. 12 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENT Figure 1.4: Non-Linear reading1.3.4 Easy to Understand, Easy to UseThe main objective of most multimedia applications is regarding its ease ofunderstanding and ease of use. For example, you may not comprehend certaininstructions if you only refer to the given text, but when the instructions are aidedwith pictures, animation or video clips, it is more easily understood.Features of multimedia explained earlier such as interactivity, hyperlink andnavigation, contribute towards making multimedia applications easy to use andeasy to understand. In fact, one of the main reasons why multimediaapplications are favoured by many is because of its ease of use. For example, youonly need to click on the „play‰ button to play a song or video, or „drag anddrop‰ interesting video chapters to view them. You can do all these even if youdo not have any knowledge in computer programming. In addition, users whodo not know how to use multimedia applications can always refer to the „Help‰section which contains information on its usage.
  • 11. CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY 13 Figure 1.5: An example of a multimedia presentation Exercise 1.1 What is hypertext and why is it used in the interactive multimedia presentation? 1.4 TYPES OF MEDIABased on the definitions of multimedia which were discussed earlier in thischapter, it was found that, apart from interactive communication process, thereare five elements or main media in a complete multimedia system. Can you stillremember the five elements? They are text, graphics, animation, audio andvideo. Each media has its own role in the formation of an attractive and effectiveinformation presentation. These media also interact among each other in a digitalenvironment.
  • 12. 14 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENTYou need to have a better understanding of these media if you wish to develop amultimedia system or a multimedia presentation. The following are briefexplanations regarding the five main media in multimedia. We will study eachmedia in greater detail in the next four chapters. Figure 1.6: Types of media1.4.1 TextText is an important media in multimedia. It directly informs the user about theinformation that it wishes to convey. It cannot be neglected no matter howadvanced multimedia technology is. When you surf any web site on the Internet,you will notice that almost all of them contain text media.Text plays an important role in the communication of multimedia applications.The uses of text in multimedia applications tend to differ depending on its fieldsand objectives such as for education, entertainment or commerce. For example; Microsoft Encarta which is aimed at providing knowledge to the masses is made up of interfaces that are text intensive. Electronic commercial advertisements on the Internet favour graphics when compared to the use of text, which is fairly minimal.You can compare the contents of text in Microsoft Encarta and electronicadvertisements through Figure 1.7 below.
  • 13. CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY 15 Figure 1.7: a) Microsoft Encarta, (b) An Electronic Advertisement on the Internet Source: (b) is widely used in the world of mass communication specifically as a mediumfor the print media such as newspapers, magazines, books, journals andadvertisements. Text is also the basic element for all multimedia applications.Without text, information that needs to be conveyed may be lost when youinterpret other media elements such as graphics, sound and video. In view of thefact that there are various cultural norms that are followed, text is the safest wayto convey messages.Currently, there are many software applications in the market for writing andediting text such as Microsoft Word, FrontPage, WordPad and others. Besidesthat, we can also create text using special effects such as Shadow or Emboss usingMacromedia Freehand, Fireworks, ResEdit and Cascading Style Sheet. Exercise 1.2 Texts can be used for conveying information but it also has some limitations. In your opinion, what are the limitations of using text in web sites?1.4.2 GraphicsPictures as visuals are more effective compared to the sole use of text. Graphicsplay an important role in multimedia presentations and is one of the popularelements used in the development of a multimedia application.In actual fact, we are used to being exposed to images and graphics throughtelevision programmes, web sites, newspapers and also advertising billboards
  • 14. 16 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENTlocated alongside roads. In other words, we use images and graphics to obtaininformation, explanations and entertainment.In general, graphics can be categorised into two main groups that is bitmap andvector. It is important for you to understand both types of graphics because itinfluences the quality, the size of the file and the time needed to display thegraphics on the computer screen. Bitmap Graphics Graphics or bitmap images are also known as image raster. Bitmap images are produced by dots arranged in specific ways in matrix form. These dots are known as pixels. These pixel images are known as bitmap images. Figure 1.8 shows an example of a graphic bitmap. Vector Graphics Vector graphics refer to any image produced by the use of specific software and computer technology. Vector graphics are made up of lines that follow the mathematical equations called vector. Figure 1.9 shows an example of a vector graphic. Figure 1.8: Enlarged Bitmap Graphic Figure 1.9: Enlarged Vector GraphicLots of graphics software are available in the market. Among the most popularand most widely used are Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw, Painter 3D andMacromedia Freehand. Each graphics software has its own function and use. You can surf any websites on the Internet and are bound to come across various types of graphics and images in the websites. Take note of the Open University website (OUM) ( such as the one shown in Figure 1.10. In your opinion, how are graphic elements used in this web page.
  • 15. CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY 17 Figure 1.10: OUM website Source : Adobe Systems Inc is one of the leaders in the development of powerful graphic programmes. To learn more, visit its website at AnimationAnimation plays an important role in various fields such as films,advertisements, commerce, medicine and education. A presentation will belivelier with the presence of animation. Besides that, a complex concept can bepresented more briefly and easily.From a multimedia aspect, animation is one of the elements that increase theattraction of a multimedia software or programme. In fact, animation inmultimedia began to receive more widespread attention from the massesespecially after animated movies like Mulan and Toy Soldier.In brief, animation refers to the process of adding movements to static imagesthrough various methods. Animated movements can be measured in frame persecond (fps). The higher the fps, the smoother the transition between frames.
  • 16. 18 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENTCurrently, the development of computer animation is becoming more rapid. Withcheaper computers and software, and more powerful computer systems,animation technology is becoming more sophisticated. Various methods are usedto produce computer animation, from the very simple animation to amazinglycomplex two and three dimensional animation.There are many animation software in the market that one can choose from toproduce various types of animation, be it two or three dimensional or even toproduce animation with special effects. Among them are MacromediaAuthorware, Macromedia Director and Macromedia Flash, Ray Dream 3D, 3DStudio Max, Lightwave 3D and many others. 1. You can visit any website on the Internet such as or to view how animation is used. What is your opinion on these two websites? 2. Macromedia Inc. is one of the leaders in the development of multimedia software composition. To know more details, visit its website at Exercise 1.3 Name THREE types of graphic software, and THREE types of 3D animation software, that are available in the market.1.4.4 AudioAudio or sound is one of the most effective ways of attracting the attention ofusers. Audio plays an important role in the development of multimedia whichhas been quite static all these while. The entry of audio into multimedia is one ofthe most important features that have escalated the use of multimedia tomaximum level.
  • 17. CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY 19When you wish to include audio or sound in a multimedia system, there aresome important areas that require attention. Among them are the soundproductions, the storage, the sound manipulation and the display or presentationof sound. All these aspects require careful handling in order to ensure that thequality of audio in the multimedia system is of a high level.Do you know that sound used in multimedia is in digital form? Digital soundmay be recorded directly or maybe pre-recorded in an analog form and then beconverted to digital form.Sound used in multimedia applications must be in digital form.If there are specific software for text, graphics and animation, then there are alsovariety of software available in the market for audio recording or audioproduction such as the Sonic FoundryÊs Sound Forge and Macromedia SoundEditsoftware. Exercise 1.4 Give TWO uses of audio in multimedia.1.4.5 VideoWe often come across certain applications or multimedia program that includesvideo elements in its development. Video is an essential element because it cancarries meaning or information which needs to be conveyed within a short periodof time.Video has been in existence for more than 50 years. During its initial stage of use,it was only played on projectors in cinemas or televisions. Today, this scenariohas changed. Digital video can be viewed and displayed through the use ofmultimedia computers.Digital video became popular after multimedia technology was introduced anddeveloped. The element of video in multimedia has brought about tremendouschange in the method of information disseminations. Most videos are able topresent real-life situations and capable of attracting the attention and emotions ofusers.
  • 18. 20 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENTVideo that is displayed through computers must be in digital form. Video capturecard is an additional card which is required for the production of digitalvideo. This card is usually required to be purchased separately and is notavailable in your computer. Video capture card changes analog video into digitalvideo and acts as an interface between the video source and the computer.Currently, Intel Indeo and Radius Cinepak are among the most popular brands ofvideo capture cards.Adobe Premiere, Video Fusion and Ulead Media Studio Pro are among the mostsophisticated and highest quality video software that are available in the market.These software are rather costly and require a long period of time to master themfully. However, what is certain is that, these software are capable of producinghigh quality digital video. Figure 1.11 shows an example of a video clip that isavailable on the Internet. Figure 1.11: A video Clip on the Internet Source : YOUR IDEA Try to surf the website and open the video clip to view. Is it different from television? State the differences.
  • 19. CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY 21 Exercise 1.5 1. You have studied the various definitions of multimedia. Choose ONE definition and state the reason WHY you have chosen the definition. 2. Explain briefly the differences between multimedia, hypermedia and hypertext. 3. Give FIVE media components that are important in multimedia and their functions. SUMMARYWe have reached the end of Chapter 1. It is hoped that you have obtained a clearpicture regarding multimedia. Before we proceed to the next chapter, do yourealise that multimedia technology has changed the way we think, work, learn,socialise and many others? Even though this technology has brought manybenefits into our everyday lives, we should be wary that this technology does nottake total control of human lives.
  • 20. Chapter 2 Multimedia Technology Applications OBJECTIVES At the end of this chapter, you should be able to: 1. State the ways multimedia technology applies in our daily lives; and 2. Name each element and application in the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC). INTRODUCTIONIn this chapter you will be introduced to the various types of multimediatechnology applications. You have learnt in chapter one that multimedia has longbeen in existence and used in our daily lives. Whether you realise it or not,multimedia has influenced and designed many aspects of our daily lives.Multimedia technology has many applications in various fields such aseducation, medicine, industrial and social. In this chapter, we will discuss severalimportant multimedia applications which have become a part of our daily lives. 2.1 MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONSA few years ago, multimedia technology was considered a new technology andmost of its applications were used in education to assist in the teaching process.Currently, this scenario has changed. Technology has grown rapidly and its uses
  • 21. CHAPTER 2 MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS 23are increasingly widespread. Multimedia is capable of designing our thoughtsand actions and shaping how a person thinks, works, learns, socialises andothers. Followings are discussions on several major multimedia applications inour daily lives2.1.1 Video TeleconferencingVideo teleconferencing involves the transmission of video and audio in real-timethrough computer networks and this transmission can include two or moremultipoint. Examples of video teleconferencing are shown in Figure 2.1.(a) (b) Figure 2.1: Video Teleconferencing Source: (a)⁄/module7/task6.htm (b) teleconferencing is tele-consulting that broadcasts video pictures ofparticipants who are separated by locations. Each participant is usually locatedin a special room that is equipped with a table, microphone, camera, televisionand a television screen. Each participant then sits at a round table so that it caneasily be recorded by a television camera. Participants from other locations willalso be in specially equipped rooms. During the teleconferencing, other visualslike graphics, charts and other materials can be displayed as required. All theparticipants involved will be able to view the interviews or communication thattakes place among each other.Some of the advantages of video teleconferencing are: Reduces travelling cost and saves time; Increases productivity and improves the quality of teaching and learning; Make quick and spontaneous decisions; Increases satisfaction in teaching or at the workplace; and Facilitates interaction and fosters closer relationships between the lecturers and the students especially in distance learning programmes.
  • 22. 24 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENTApart from the advantages stated above, video teleconferencing technology hasalso successfully found solutions for tackling several of its disadvantages such asthose listed in table 2.1 Table 2.1: Disadvantages of Video Teleconferencing and its Solutions Disadvantages Solution Video requires more bandwidth With the use of compression and than audio. Therefore, Video decompression, videos are more teleconferencing is expensive than sophisticated. normal telephone charges. Video teleconferencing requires a By using optimum multimedia network to support the constant network. delay because audio and video are asynchronous mediums, and both of these media need to be synchronised with one another. Video teleconferencing requires a By using fibre optic networks or the network for the preparation of the ISDN (Integrated Services Digital short delay because it is a real-time Network) application. If there is a long delay, the quality of video teleconferencing will decrease. Exercise 2.1 In your opinion, what are the disadvantages of video teleconferencing compared to face-to-face communication?2.1.2 Multimedia Store and Forward MailThe applications in multimedia store and forward mail allow users to generate,modify and receive documents that contain multimedia.Nowadays, people are able to write electronic mails that not only contain text butalso images, audio, video and hypermedia links.
  • 23. CHAPTER 2 MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS 25Currently, there are many free electronic mail service providers on the Internetsuch as Yahoo, Hotmail, Mailcity and others. All these service providers enablethe sending of multimedia mail containing pictures, songs and animation.However, most of these service providers have specific conditions. For example,Hotmail has determined that the size of mail to be sent through it must not bemore than 1MB. This is to prevent network congestion and to reduce delay.Figure 2.2 below, depicts an example of a multimedia mail which is commonlyused. Besides text, it can also send voice mail. Figure 2.2: Multimedia Mail Source: Reference SourceHas it ever crossed your mind that multimedia can be used as a reference sourcefor obtaining the latest information? In actual fact, we can use multimedia toobtain information that we require. Among them are encyclopaedias, directories,electronic books and dictionaries.In 1990, which was the beginning of the last decade of the 20th century, two ofthe first multimedia encyclopaedias emerged. Namely Comptons InteractiveEncyclopaedia and its competitor, Groliers Multimedia Encyclopaedia. Otherearly popular encyclopaedias titles were the Canadian Encyclopaedia, Guinness
  • 24. 26 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENTBook of Records, Colliers and HutchinsonÊs Encyclopaedia (StephenMcGloughlin, 2001).In the early years, encyclopaedias were merely text elements. Gradually, otherimportant elements such as animation, audio and video were integrated. Thus, amethod of disseminating information based on the hypermedia concept wasborn. An example of this is, Microsoft Encarta. Microsoft Encarta from MicrosoftCorporation was first marketed in 1993 and was an interactive encyclopaediawhich could be played on Windows-based computers.The Electronic Yellow Pages which is directory-based and PC Magazine whichis electronic book-based are among other multimedia reference sources which arecurrently available. THINK What do you understand by Electronic Yellow Pages? Try browsing web sites on the Internet to obtain additional information about Electronic Yellow Pages. Compare the information you obtained with those of your friends.2.1.4 Edutainment and InfotainmentAll of you are definitely familiar with the word entertainment but edutainmentand infotainment are most probably words that are foreign to some students.Before the development of multimedia, we have never heard of these words butnowadays we often hear them both. Edutainment The inclusion of multimedia in the field of education gave birth to edutainment. It is a new learning approach which combines education and entertainment. Hence, it has led to the emergence of many multimedia applications based on edutainment such as MathBlaster and Fun Maths with Arti. These software teach children Mathematics using fun elements. Multimedia-based compact-discs or web pages are effectively used to present educational contents with relative ease. Infotainment Infotainment on the other hand, is a combination of information and entertainment. Currently there are many service providers under this category such as Prodigy, America Online, Microsoft, IBM and CompuServe.
  • 25. CHAPTER 2 MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS 27Figure 2.3 below shows edutainment and infotainment applications that usemultimedia technology. Figure 2.3: (a) Edutainment and (b) Infotainment2.1.5 Advertising and PurchasingAdvertising on the Internet is not a new phenomenon. Most of the web sitesvisited have many advertisements with multimedia features with the objective ofmarketing merchandise or offering services online. Normally, users can use thisapplication at home or at kiosk centres.These two categories of advertising and purchasing involve two-way interaction.This application benefits both parties. For example: Users will use this application to obtain information on products or services that they are interested in. They can also ask for public opinion about the products through online forums while the advertisers can use this application to inform users about the products and services being offered. Users have the opportunity to ask the advertisers questions while the advertisers also have the opportunity to answer the questions more specifically and clearly. Both parties can use the application for transactions involving ordering and payment. An example of this application is shown in Figure 2.4.
  • 26. 28 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENT Figure 2.4: Advertising and Purchasing Source: NEWS DELIVERY, BROADCASTING AND ADVERTISINGBroadcasting and advertising has been one of the main beneficiaries of interactivemultimedia systems. As early as 1992 Liebman recognized that there is increasingdemand for broadcasting and advertising agencies to move towards the use ofinteractive multimedia. Intelligent electronic catalogues, disk-based advertising,desktop presentation systems and the MM advertising approach are among theareas that have benefited from the emergence of multimedia.The launch of interactive TV and the ever-increasing capability of the WWW(including Web TV and Web casting) to present media rich information haveadded new interesting and exciting dimensions to traditional approaches. Eventraditional means of delivering news like newspapers have undergone majorchanges trying to embrace the new technology.Browsing through the Web one could find thousands of newspapers in tens ofdifferent languages bringing up-to-date news to millions of Web surfers. Theinteractive nature of the Web also allows for news providers to enrich theirtraditional mainly text-based content by adding live reports and video clips aswell as offering their customers sophisticated search facilities and ÂpushÊtechnology to send users specific news on demand.
  • 27. CHAPTER 2 MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS 29Even traditional news broadcasting corporations like the BBC and CNN areallocating enormous budgets in developing Web-based news delivery andInternet channel that offers 24 hours a day, seven days a week news to userswhen and where they required it.(References : Designing Interactive Multimedia Systems, Mohammad Dastbaz,2002: ms 14 - 15)2.1.6 Digital LibraryDo you know that nowadays, you no longer need to go to the library to borrowbooks? This is because of the existence of a digital library on the Internet.With the existence of the digital or virtual library, students no longer need to goto libraries but can search and obtain information that they require through theInternet. Computers can access distant libraries for the contents of theirservices and other available resources. Information services are available to usersfrom various libraries all around the world.In Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) has set up a UKM HospitalLibrary which is the first digital and most sophisticated medical library in thisregion (Health Ministry Bulletin, April 2001). This library offers electronicmaterials encompassing books, journals and theses. Researchers can borrow,return and book items completely online. This library is a one-stop search whichallows users to search for books and journals electronically and it is supported bya client/server web-based and multimedia-based integrated system.Presently, there are more than 10,000 libraries reachable through the Internet. Forexample; National libraries those are available worldwide for example; the National Congress Library of the United States of America, the National Library of Canada (, and the National Library of Australia ( The Library of Britain which is popularly known as the British Library is one of the oldest and most famous libraries in the world. This library can be reached at are some features which allow users easy access to the digital library.Among them are:
  • 28. 30 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENT(a) National and international telephone networks with speed and bandwidth which can transfer big and complex text files and graphic digital images.(b) Protocol and standards which facilitates ease of connection among computers and from one database to another.(c) Automated digital instruments such as scanners and faxes which can transfer data and information in real-time.Figure 2.5 shows the digital library which is available on the OUM web site. Figure 2.5: OUM Digital Library Source: Browse the OUM web site at the address stated above. Try to get information on books that you are interested in. List the information that you have successfully obtained.2.1.7 Education and Health ApplicationsDevelopment in multimedia technology has brought about tremendous changesin the fields of education and health. Multimedia computers are used as support
  • 29. CHAPTER 2 MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS 31tools in education and health. Figure 2.6 shows the flow of multimediaapplication in the field of education and health. Figure 2.6: Multimedia application flow in the fields of education and healthIn this modern world, traditional education such as classroom lectures might notbe able to fulfil the current needs of the students and not to mention its expensivecost. Distance learning or online learning is becoming more popular due to itsflexibility and ease of operation. Although, most of the online education todayonly uses text media, it may change to complete multimedia in the near future.Therefore, the quality of learning can be enhanced with learning materialsequipped with media such as text, video, audio and animation.In reality, school teachers in Malaysia have begun to use interactive multimediain teaching. Many multimedia development companies are also utilising theseopportunities by developing their multimedia training products. They are alsopersuading parents to purchase multimedia computers for their children. Inother words, multimedia training has become the most successful commercialmultimedia application.Health care is receiving more attention throughout the world including Malaysia.Multimedia application is important in health care because information shownusing various media such as pictures, video and audio will definitely make itmore meaningful. Realising its importance, the Malaysian Government hasintroduced tele-medicine as one of Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) mainapplications. Its objective is to enable the public to receive online information andadvice pertaining to healthcare.
  • 30. 32 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENTMultimedia technology has been successfully used in the health care industry inthe United States of America such as in radiology, pathology, cardiology, patientrecords information services from medical libraries and education of hospitalstaff. REFERENCES To improve your knowledge on multimedia technological application in various fields, refer to the book, “Multimedia Literacy” by Fred T. Hofstetter, 2001.2.1.8 Other ApplicationsApart from the applications already mentioned above, there are many othermultimedia applications which have become a part our daily lives. Can youthink of such applications? Among them are video-on-demand (VOD), kiosks,hybrid applications, applications for recreation, communication, commerce,training and others.Figure 2.7 shows an example of video-on-demand (VOD) which is availableoverseas. Figure 2.7: Video-on-Demand (VOD) Source:
  • 31. CHAPTER 2 MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS 33 You can browse the web site to view the video-on-demand (VOD) application. What information did you get? Exercise 2.2 1. State TWO advantages of digital library. 2. Give TWO uses of multimedia technology in the health care industry.You are encouraged to take a break before continuing the lesson. 2.2 MULTIMEDIA SUPER CORRIDOR (MSC)The Multimedia Super Corridor project (MSC) was announced by Datuk Seri Dr.Mahathir during the official opening of Multimedia Asia Conference andExhibition on 1st August 1996. This announcement indirectly showed thatMalaysia, at that point of time, was heading towards the multimedia world andcurrently, we are already in this sophisticated era of information.The Multimedia Super Corridor is a 15km wide by 50km long corridor. It startsfrom the Kuala Lumpur City Center (KLCC) in the north, to the Kuala LumpurInternational Airport (KLIA) in the south. The two new intelligent cities that arecovered in the MSC plan are Cyberjaya and Putrajaya. If you are interested to know more about the location of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC), browse the Multimedia Super Corridor web site at
  • 32. 34 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENTPutrajaya is the head office of the Malaysian Government and is known as theIntelligent City. This Intelligent City is equipped with all thesophisticated technological facilities. The government strives to modernisethe countryÊs administration in order to achieve the status of an electronicgovernment.Cyberjaya is the investment site and creative centre for some of the giantcompanies which are directly involved in innovative multimedia and havesuccessfully formed their own creative centres. Therefore, these companies usesophisticated multimedia technology to produce and supply their products andservices to the world market. On top of that, Cyberjaya is also the site foruniversities, intelligent homes and smart schools.The Multimedia Development Corporation (MDC) was formed to manage andmarket the Multimedia Super Corridor. Its main mission is to create the bestenvironment in the world for private companies to lead and develop the useof multimedia. MDC also acts as a One-Stop Center to fulfill the 10 Bills ofGuarantee which is specifically aimed at speeding up the processing of visas,licenses and permits. If you are curious to learn more about MDC, browse the Multimedia Development Corporation web site at 2.3 APPLICATION FOR MSC STATUSThe MSC status will be accorded to product-development or multimedia serviceand information technology companies. A company needs to fulfill certaincriteria in order to be eligible for the MSC status which then will be allowed toreceive the MSC incentives. The required criteria are: Be provider or heavy user of multimedia products and services. Employs a large number of knowledge workers. States how it is going to transfer its technology and expertise to Malaysia and subsequently contributes to the development and economy of Malaysia.
  • 33. CHAPTER 2 MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS 35 YOUR IDEA Name 3 overseas MSC companies that have a subsidiary or a research center in Cyberjaya. What are the services or research conducted by these companies?2.4 MSC FLAGSHIP APPLICATIONSWhen the Multimedia Super Corridor was launched, seven major applicationswere identified. Figure 2.8: MSC Flagship Applications2.4.1 Electronic GovernmentThe Malaysian government introduced the electronic government in its effort tobe more efficient and to provide faster services to its people. For example, thepublic can renew driving licenses or pay their bills without having to leave theirhomes or by just going to the nearest kiosk.The electronic government was introduced to fulfill the following objectives: to offer efficient and high quality online services and administration to the public. to increase the involvement of the public in governmental issues.
  • 34. 36 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENT to strengthen the protection and security of data. to improve the internal processes of the government so that quality of service can be improved, cost reduced and productivity increased. You can visit web sites such as,, to view examples of an electronic government. List the types of electronic government services provided.An example of an electronic government is shown in Figure 2.9 where the publiccan deal with the government through this site. Figure 2.9: Example of an Electronic Government in Malaysia Source: Public Services Department,
  • 35. CHAPTER 2 MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS 372.4.2 Multipurpose CardThis electronic card can store a lot of information and is used specifically fortransactions or for information retrieval. This multipurpose card acts as anidentity card, driving license, health card, electronic cash card and ATM card forany Malaysian citizen who owns it.Figure 2.10 shows an example of the multipurpose card. It helps the publicespecially when dealing with government agencies and private companies. Thismultipurpose card also contains sophisticated safety features to curb fraud. Figure 2.10: Multipurpose Card Source: Smart SchoolsSmart schools are schools equipped with computers and multimedia equipmentsfor new approaches to learning. Currently, these smart schools use the newschool curriculum for Bahasa Melayu, English, Mathematics and Science.The objectives of smart schools are to improve the quality of education, training, the organisation of schools and students presentations. It is also aimed ataccelerating the development of critical thinking, learning and creativity.An example of a smart school, Seri Bintang in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur is shown inFigure 2.11
  • 36. 38 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENT Figure 2.11: Smart School Source: Tele-medicineThe use of technology and multimedia equipments on a broader aspect is a newapproach in healthcare. The public can enjoy more healthcare services throughthe use of this tele-medicine system. The public or patients can access thehealthcare system directly or via tele-consulting with medical doctors atcommunity centres or at home.The objectives of tele-medicine are: to provide medical services for the benefits of the rural population reduce delivery time save costs to be the regional centre for the development of tele-medicineDuring the 7th Malaysian Plan, tele-medicine was implemented in 42 healthcentres and 42 tele-consulting centres which are mostly located in rural areas.Figure 2.12 below shows an example of tele-medicine.
  • 37. CHAPTER 2 MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS 39 Figure 2.12: Tele-medicine Source: Satellite Networks and Architectures Branch Research and Development ClusterThe main objective of the government is to set up the best research andmultimedia development centre in the world. Therefore, universities, colleges,private companies and research institutes are encouraged to work together todevelop multimedia technology. A special grant has been prepared and would begranted to eligible institutes and companies. For example, computer engineersfrom Malaysia can collaborate with renowned scientists to create IT applicationsand technology to benefit the citizens of the world.In general, the research and development cluster (R&D Cluster) is aimed atencouraging the transfer of multimedia technology to Malaysia, motivate thebeginning of local sophisticated technology and increase local development andresearch activities so that more local products and services, that are morecompetitive, can be developed.2.4.6 World Wide Manufacturing WebsAll companies and organisations are invited to design and generate newproducts and multimedia services. World Wide Manufacturing Webs refers to agroup of manufacturing industries where these companies can receive andexchange their technological expertise in the fields of engineering, delivery,marketing, research and design.
  • 38. 40 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENTAny international companies can work together with local companies toundertake research and invent competitive multimedia products to be marketedto the world. In a nutshell, the objective of this network is to focus on researchand development, product-design, engineering support, distribution logistics andcontrol centre manufacturing.2.4.7 Borderless Marketing CentersCompanies that are located within the Multimedia Super Corridor are able tosupply high quality products at a reasonably low cost so that these products cancompete in the global market. Such products can be marketed through electronic-commerce, tele-marketing and digital broadcasting. A company that uses IT and multimedia application would be able tocommunicate and interact with its customers globally without being restricted bygeographical factors and time. Moreover, the company can also obtain morebusiness opportunities by just sending out product information and conductingits marketing electronically.With this main flagship application, Malaysians from all walks of life would beable to benefit greatly, be it students, teachers, community leaders, businessmenor politicians. They would find that multimedia technology and equipment veryuseful in their daily lives.The objectives can be summarised as: To make Malaysia as the information centre for products and services To increase the opportunities for local companies to sell their products in the global market To strengthen the position of Malaysians in the electronic trade which is growing rapidly REFERENCES Apart from the web sites stated, you can also refer to the Information Technology, Media and Society Module Open University Malaysia for further information regarding the MSC.
  • 39. CHAPTER 2 MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS 41 Exercise 2.3 1. Kiosk is one of the multimedia technology applications that are frequently found. Give a brief explanation about Kiosk. 2. Let say that you are going for a vacation but do not know of any travel agencies in Malaysia. You can find it on the Internet. Try to list THREE travel agencies in Malaysia that have advertised on the Internet. 3. State the 10 Bills of Guarantee that were prepared by the government to attract companies to operate in the MSC. 4. State THREE main objectives why the electronic government was introduced. SUMMARYDid you understand the contents of this chapter? This chapter explained themain multimedia applications and how the use of multimedia technologyhas influenced our daily life. Additionally, this chapter also discussed theMultimedia Super Corridor (MSC). If the MSC is successful in meeting itsobjectives, then the dream of vision 2020 will be successfully realized.
  • 40. Chapter 3 Multimedia Hardware OBJECTIVES At the end of this chapter, you should be able to: 1. state the importance of standardisation in the development of multimedia presentations; 2. name the basic hardware including the input and output devices and the existing storage mediums in a multimedia personal computer; and 3. list the specifications of multimedia computer that you wish to buy based on price, system performance and needs. INTRODUCTIONDo you know why it is important for us to know the hardware required for amultimedia computer system? This is because without the hardware, we will notbe able to enjoy interesting videos, animated graphics, texts or colourful picturesand etc. Besides that, knowledge about computer hardware is essential to enableus to work more confidently with multimedia elements. Therefore, this chapterwill explain about the basic hardware including input, output and storagedevices required by a multimedia computer. 3.1 MULTIMEDIA COMPUTER SYSTEM STANDARDSDo you know that standardisation is vital in a computer system? Perhaps youmay be wondering why this is necessary. Let us imagine that you area multimedia software developer and you are faced with the problem of how to
  • 41. CHAPTER 3 MULTIMEDIA HARDWARE 43determine a programs specifications that is being developed for the currentmarket. If there is standardisation for the multimedia computer system, then forsure your task will be much easier to be accomplished.To solve the above problem, in 1991, the Multimedia Marketing Councilannounced a standard of uniformity or guidelines for a personal computersystem. This standard was known as the Multimedia Personal Computer (MPC)specifications and targeted at personal computers operating on the Windowsoperating system. It was later known as Level l Specification. Personal computerhardware manufacturers who fulfilled the required specifications prescribed byMPC were allowed to use the MPC logo.In 1993, MPC Level 2 was introduced and two years later, in 1995, MPC Level 3was announced. This MPC Standards emphasised on speed and the systemscapacity, quality of the colour and resolution of the monitor, the speed of the CD-ROM and also the audio and video cards being used.The standard specifications became the main reference to avoid confusionamong manufacturers of hardware, software and also consumers. The followingdepicts a few minimum specification differences at each level. Table 3.1: Minimum Specifications of MPC Level 1, 2 and 3 Components MPC Level 1 MPC Level 2 MPC Level 3 Processor 386SX 16MHz 486SX 25 MHz Pentium 75 MHz Main memory 2 MB 4MB - 8MB 8MB - 16MB Hard-disk 30MB 160MB 540MB 150 Kbps rate of 300 Kbps rate of 600 Kbps rate of Hard-disk driver data transfer data transfer data transfer Audio 8 bit digital audio 640 X 480 pixel 16 bit quality CD 640 X 480 pixel 640 X 480 pixel 640 X 480 pixel Video display 6 colours 65,536 colours 16 million colours Exercise 3.1 In your opinion, why is uniformity or standardisation required in a personal computer system?
  • 42. 44 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENT3.2 BASIC HARDWARE OF A MULTIMEDIA COMPUTER SYSTEMDuring the 1980s, computers comprised of a few basic components or hardware,which were the central processing unit (CPU), input device such as the keyboardand mouse, and output device such as the monitor and printer. Since multimediatechnology was introduced a few years ago, computer hardware that displaymultimedia characteristics, have increased. Among the hardware that emergedafter the introduction of multimedia technology were the compact disc read-only-memory (CD-ROM), sound card, speakers and video card.The rapid development of multimedia technology has pushed multimediahardware to be faster and more sophisticated. For example, in the past we onlyneed 4MB of RAM (Random Access Memory) for a multimedia system but nowwe need at least 64MB for a multimedia computer system. It is the same withother multimedia equipment. Just imagine if you were to use a Level 1multimedia computer for a multimedia display such as watching MPEG (MotionPicture Experts Group) films, this system will definitely not work. Figure 3.1: Multimedia computerThe following contain brief discussions on several basic hardware that arerequired in a multimedia computer system. Further information about thishardware is available in the Basic Concepts of Information Technology Module,Open University Malaysia.
  • 43. CHAPTER 3 MULTIMEDIA HARDWARE 45 Figure 3.2: Basic Hardware of a Multimedia Computer System REFERENCES If you wish to increase your knowledge regarding the central processing unit, input, output and storage devices, you can refer to Unit 1: Chapter 2, 3 and 4 in the Basic Concepts of Information Technology Module, Open University Malaysia.3.2.1 MicroprocessorThe microprocessor is the most important hardware in a multimedia computersystem. It is the "heart" of a multimedia computer. Without it, all data processingcannot be done and there would not be an output display. As you know, thecurrent file size of a multimedia computer can be very large, to the extent ofreaching hundreds of megabytes. This situation requires a fast and effectiveprocessor for multimedia data so that users do not have to wait long for theoutput display.The need for high capacity processor is more apparent nowadays as mostmultimedia software today are more orientated towards graphics and video thatrequire a powerful high speed processor. The increasingly powerfulmicroprocessor will enable you to view video displays, listen to MP3 songs andto play three dimensional video games on the computer. Figure 3.3 (a) and (b)shows the Intel and Motorola microprocessors.
  • 44. 46 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENT Figure 3.3: (a) Intel chip and (b) Motorola chip Source: (a) (b) Intel is the main manufacturer of microprocessors. To know about this company, visit its website at Main MemoryThe size of the main memory is one of the significant factors that determine thepotential of a computer. The higher the size of the main memory, the bigger thecapacity of the computer. The size of the main memory also affects the speed ofthe system and the capacity of the computer system to operate more than onetask simultaneously.The main memory is usually measured in megabyte (MB). Multimediaapplications require a high main memory. Therefore, 16MB of main memory isconsidered as the minimum level, while 32MB, 64MB, 128MB and 256MB RAMare encouraged.3.2.3 Compact Disk-Read Only Memory (CD-ROM)CD-ROM (Compact Disk Read-Only-Memory) is the basic hardware of amultimedia computer system. Compact disc technology has successfullyincreased the capacity of the computer for storing and retrieving data. Not toolong ago, floppy-disk was the main medium for the distribution of mediasoftware; now this has been replaced by the CD-ROM.
  • 45. CHAPTER 3 MULTIMEDIA HARDWARE 47CD-ROMs main advantage, besides its speed, is its ability to store more data.Usually a CD-ROM can store 650 megabytes of data on its single side. This makesit the main choice for software developing companies because of its ability totransfer a big amount of video, audio, graphics and animation data into theirsoftware. For example, the majority of multimedia files such as animation, audioand video exceed 3MB and thus, the 1.44MB floppy-disk are not capable ofstoring such data. Figure 3.4: ATAPI CD-ROM Source: e/MMSA20600.jpgThe CD-ROM drive is also measured in terms of speed. The rotational speed isimportant to determine the speed of the data being transferred from disk to thecomputer system.The speed of the CD-ROM drive is measured in "X" unit. An "X" (1X) means thespeed of data transfer is 150KB per second which is the basic speed of a CD-ROMdrive. CD-ROM drives with this basic speed are also known as Single Speed. Thesubsequent technology was known as Double Speed. CD-ROM drives at thisstage were able to transfer data at 300KB per second which was twice the speedof the basic CD-ROM drive. Today, the latest CD-ROM drive is 56X and is able totransfer data at 8.4MB per second. This is one of the main reasons why theinstallation of programs, especially multimedia software can be done quicklytoday. 1X 150KB per second 2X 300KB per second Figure 3.5: Calculations of CD-ROM speed 56X 8.4MB per second CD TECHNOLOGYCD Technology has advanced beyond read only and now there are CD read,write and re-write device. There are different CD standards available whichrelate to the type of data that could be recorded on the CD. These are: Red Bookused for audio CDs as well as data CDs, Orange Book format which is a formatrecordable CDs and White Book a format for video CDs. CD devices are often
  • 46. 48 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENTreferred to as either single or multi session. A session on a CD includes a lead-inarea, a program area (data or audio tracks) and a lead-out area therefore a multisession disk is one, which has multiple sessions on one disk. Each session has itsown lead-in, content and lead-out area, and is linked with other sessions.(Source: Designing Interactive Multimedia Systems, Mohammad Dastbaz,2002:pg 46)3.2.4 Digital Versatile Disk (DVD)Digital Versatile Disk or DVD is relatively new and its format still evolving. Inthe beginning it was known as Digital Video Disk. However, since its technologywas not just focused on video but was more versatile and capable of storing datain various form, it was later known as Digital Versatile Disk.DVD drive was introduced in 1996 and started to become popular at the end of1997. DVD technology was said to be the successor of the CD-ROM technology. ADVD drive can store 4.7 gigabyte of data on a single surface of a DVD disk, whichis seven times the capacity of a CD. Moreover, many DVD drives can store dataon both sides of a DVD disk which doubles its storage capacity. In addition, thetransfer speed of a DVD drive is much faster than a CD-ROM drive.3.2.5 Video Capture CardIf your computer does not have a video capture card, you will not be able towatch videos on your computer. This is because the video data stored in a drivecannot be converted to video signals which are sent through the cable to themonitor. Video Capture Card is the hardware used to support multimedia applications especially video and graphic displays.There are two important issues which you need to consider pertaining to VideoCapture Card which are resolution or colour, and memory. Today, most VideoCapture card can display 800 X 600 pixels of resolution. There are also videocapture card that can display 1024 X 768 pixel and 1152 X 1024 pixels ofresolution.The colour display of video capture card is influenced by bits. The higher the bit,the more colour can be displayed. For example, a 24-bit video capture card can
  • 47. CHAPTER 3 MULTIMEDIA HARDWARE 49display 16.7 million types of colour whereas an 8-bit video capture card candisplay 256 types of colour only.The memory in the video capture card is used to keep video data which has beenprocessed by the microprocessor. It aims to ensure the smooth display of thevideo or graphics on the screen. After the video data has been processed by themicroprocessor, the data would be sent via the bus before reaching the videocapture card. Here, the data will be converted into video signals and is kept inmemory before it is displayed on the monitor screen. The larger the memory ofthe video capture card, the better the quality of the video or graphics displayed.Technology is progressing rapidly. Now, there is a video capture card which isknown as the Accelerated Graphic Port (AGP) that can display videos or graphicsmore effectively and at a very high speed. The memory of this card is currently128MB. This AGP card is suitable for three dimensional (3D) video games.3.2.6 Sound Card and SpeakersIf you wish to listen to music or songs on a multimedia computer, your computermust have a sound card and speakers.High quality sound cards enable your computer to produce various interestingsounds for your computer games software. One of the most important aspects ofa sound card is the bit rate. In the market currently, there are 8-bit, 16-bit and 24-bit sound cards. A 24-bit sound card can produce higher quality sound comparedto an 8-bit sound card because more audio information can be sent through it.There are many different types of sound cards with differentspecifications currently available in the market. Among the companies that arewell known for quality sound cards are SoundBlaster, Audigy and Creative.Figure 3.6 (a) below shows an example of a PCI sound card. Figure 3.6: (a) Sound Card (b) Speakers Source: (a) (b)
  • 48. 50 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENTSpeakers used in a multimedia computer are more or less the same as otherspeakers. Figure 3.6 (b) shows an example of speakers normally found in themarket. Companies producing well known speakers are Klipsch and Altec-Lansing.The main function of speakers is to produce sounds such as music, voice andothers.Users will normally choose speakers based on their individual needs andtastes. If you only wish to listen to sounds or music then normal speakers aresufficient. However, to enjoy better quality sound, speakers that are equippedwith two front and two back satellite speakers and a subwoofer are required.3.2.7 Communication Device: ModemThe word modem is an abbreviation for modulation-demodulation. Modulationis the process of converting digital signals to analog. On the other hand, de-modulation is the process of converting analog signals to digital. Modems allowmicrocomputers (digital) to communicate with each other via telephonelines. Both voice and data communication can be conveyed through the sametelephone line.Modem is a hardware you need to have in order to access the Internet. Withoutthis hardware, multimedia technology would not have been able to progress sorapidly. This is because the information or multimedia data available on theInternet would not be able to be shared or referred to like today. THINK In your opinion, what is a modem? How does it work?Currently, modem speed is between 14.4kbps to 56kbps. Modems can bedivided into three categories which are internal modem, external modem andwireless modem.
  • 49. CHAPTER 3 MULTIMEDIA HARDWARE 51 Figure 3.7: (a) Internal Modem and (b) External Modem Source: (a) (b) from modem, Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), DigitalSubscribers Line (DSL), cable modem and satellite connections are othertechnologies that can be used for connection to the Internet. REFERENCES Refer to Chapter 9 of the book, "Discovering Computers 2003," by Shelly Cashman Vermaat, 2002 for further information regarding the latest communication technology. Exercise 3.2 1. Name FIVE basic hardware that is required in a multimedia computer and state ONE function of each hardware. 2. Name TWO main brands of sound cards that are available in the market currently. 3. Apart from modem, name two latest connection technologies and give a brief explanation about them.
  • 50. 52 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENT 3.3 INPUT AND OUTPUT DEVICESThe role of the input and output device are very important when you develop amultimedia presentation. Both devices are needed when you want to interactwith a computer. You require input devices such as keyboard, digital cameraand scanner to enter the multimedia elements such as sound, text, graphicdesigns and video, into the multimedia computer. This multimedia informationcan then be displayed at anytime using the output devices such as printer,monitor and speakers. 3.4 INPUT DEVICESInput devices collect data and programs that are readable or understandable byhumans and convert them into forms that can be processed by computers. Thereare many types of input devices such as keyboard, mouse, touch screen and voiceinput devices that can be used to develop and distribute a multimedia project.If you are developing a kiosk system, you are encouraged to use touch screen andkeyboard as the input devices so that users can interact with the system. On theother hand, if you are into computer graphics then you can use digitising tabletas the input device. Digitising tablet allows you to draw on the tablet using aspecial pen and the drawings will be displayed immediately on the computerscreen. (a) Joystick (b) Touch screen (c) Light pen Figure 3.8: Examples of Input Devices Source: (a) devices that will be discussed in the subsequent sections are digitisingtablet, digital camera, digital video camera and voice input devices.For more information on other input devices, you are advised to refer to BasicConcepts of Information Technology Module, Open University Malaysia.
  • 51. CHAPTER 3 MULTIMEDIA HARDWARE 533.4.1 Digitising TabletThis input device is frequently used in the field of computer graphics. Digitisingtablet is a device that can be used to trace or copy a picture or a painting. Thematerial that you wished to copy is positioned on top of the tablet of thedigitiser. Then, a special stylus pen that is attached to the computer is used totrace the material. While the stylus moves from one position to another, thecomputer records its position through the digitising tablet. After the material hasbeen traced, its image will then be displayed on-screen, printed on paper or keptin the computer system for future use. Digitising tablet also provides goodcontrol during graphics editing because the elements require precision. Thisfeature is immensely useful to graphic and interface designers.3.4.2 Digital CameraThe introduction of digital camera brings multimedia technology into a new era.This technology enables images or graphics to be transferred directly fromthe digital camera to a computer with just a cable extension.It is far simpler than the conventional method whereby you have to capture thepicture or image on the camera first. Then the film needs to be processed toobtain the pictures before it can be scanned by a scanner.A few years ago, storing digital pictures in a digital camera was a problem. Atthat time, the storage capacity was only a few megabytes and it was only capableof storing a few digital images. Now with the advent of new technology such as,the secure digital card with its capacity of up to 128MB, this problem has beensolved. As a result, digital cameras are now widely used. Figure 3.9 shows anexample of a digital camera which is available in the market. Figure 3.9: Digital Camera Source: 00%20Digital%Camera.jpgWhen choosing a digital camera, make sure you get a digital camera that iscapable of producing clear quality displays and with a high resolution. However,
  • 52. 54 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENTsuch high resolution digital cameras are far more expensive than low resolutiondigital cameras. YOUR IDEA In your opinion, is digital camera better than scanner in importing graphics or images? Why?3.4.3 Digital Video CameraDigital video cameras record movements digitally onto a disk or in the camerasmemory. Its image quality is far better but it is rather expensive compared to atraditional camera. A digital video camera can also be used as a digital camera totake still pictures. With the reduction in cost, the digital video camera isbecoming more popular for multimedia presentations.Digital cameras can also store data on digital video tapes which can then bedirectly read by the computer system with the help of digital video drive. Thistape is frequently known as Digital Video (DV).3.4.4 Voice Input DevicesThe voice input device converts human speeches to digital code. The most widelyused voice input device is the microphone. The microphone is thehardware needed to record sound or voice in a multimedia computer. It isusually used for online conversations or tele-consultations. Figure 3.10below shows two examples of ordinary microphones used by computer users. (a) (b) Figure 3.10: Microphone Source:
  • 53. CHAPTER 3 MULTIMEDIA HARDWARE 55When the microphone is combined with the sound card and suitable software, asystem of voice recognition is formed. This system enables users to operate themicrocomputer and constructs document through instructions that are voiceactivated. Exercise 3.3 1. What does a voice input device do? 2. The THREE devices that are similar to the mouse are _________, __________ and ______________. 3. Briefly state the differences between the digital camera and the conventional camera. 3.5 OUTPUT DEVICESOutput device converts information that can be read by machines to a form thatcan be read by humans. The data entered and subsequently processed by thecomputer would remain in machine readable form until the output deviceconverts it to a form that is readable by humans. Similarly, like input devices,output devices also play an important role in the development of multimediapresentations.Output devices that are frequently used with your multimedia computers are themonitor, printer, plotter, projector and voice output device. However, only twooutput devices: the monitor and the projector will be discussed here. To knowmore about other output devices, please refer to the Basic Concepts ofInformation Technology Module, Open University Malaysia.3.5.1 MonitorThe monitor is used for display. It is one of the most important hardware in amultimedia computer system. Imagine that you have successfully completedyour final animation project and are looking forward to showing the results ofyour work to your friends. Unfortunately your monitor broke down.Definitely, without the monitor, you will not be able to present the result of yourwork to your friends.
  • 54. 56 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENTThe monitor that is required to develop a multimedia project depends onthe nature of the multimedia application that you are developing and the type ofcomputer that you are using. Do you know that there are various kinds ofmonitors available in the market for both the PC computer and the Macintosh?Among them are the Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) monitor and the portable monitorcommonly known as the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) monitor. Figure 3.11shows the two types of monitors. (a) (b) Figure 3.11: (a) Cathode Ray Tube monitor (b) Liquid Crystal Display monitorThe two important features of a monitor are its size and clarity. Monitor size isdetermined by the diagonal length of the display area. Usually, monitors come inmany sizes. For example, 14, 15, 17 and 21 inches. The bigger the size of themonitor, the more expensive it is. However, a larger size is capable ofdisplaying more information at any one time.The clarity of the monitor is determined by its resolution which is measuredin pixels. Pixel is the dot or picture element that forms the image ona monitor. The resolution also indicates the density of the pixel on the monitorscreen. Generally speaking, the higher the density of the pixels or the larger thenumber of pixels, the better the quality and clarity of the image being displayed.Dot pitch is the empty space or the distance between each pixel. The lesser thevalue of the dot pitch, the sharper or clearer the quality of thepicture. Meanwhile, refresh rate represents the speed of the monitor to displayback or to refresh the image being displayed. The higher the value of refresh rate,the lower the disruption of the display on the screen.
  • 55. CHAPTER 3 MULTIMEDIA HARDWARE 57 NEC Technologies is the leading manufacturer of liquid crystal display monitors or flat screen monitors. To know more about this company, visit its website at ProjectorThe projector is a tool that enables a multimedia presentation to be displayed to alarge group of audience. Among the projectors available in the market are theLiquid Crystal Display Panel and the Three-Gun Video Projector. Liquid Crystal Display Panel projector has many interesting features such as a LCD panel, light source, computer and video input, and internal speakers that can operate computer signals and video. This type of portable projector is suitable for use because it is cheap and a high-quality. Three-Gun Video Projector is capable of displaying high-quality images and is usually used in large halls. However, such projectors are very expensive. Hewlett Packard is the leading manufacturer of printers and multi- functional devices that combine the printer, scanner and fax into a single product. To know more about this company, visit its website at Exercise 3.4 1. What is the special type of printer used for drawings and designs? 2. When do you need a plotter compared to a printer? 3.6 STORAGEAn important feature of every computer is its ability to store information.Computers can store information permanently even after the electrical supply is
  • 56. 58 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENTstopped. Therefore, your work can be saved to be used later, to share informationwith others or to modify existing information.Each data or instructions that you want the computer to perform would be kepttemporarily in the computers main memory which is known as the primarystorage. However, it is not permanent and will disappear when the computer isswitched off. Therefore, a secondary storage or second storage medium isrequired. Secondary storage enables data, instructions or computer programs tobe kept permanently.To estimate the memory required for a multimedia project, meaning the storagespace that is required for the hard-disk, floppy-disk or CD-ROM, and not therandom access memory (RAM), you would require prior knowledge of thecontent and scope of the project that you are going to develop. Integration ofcoloured images, text, sound elements, graphics, animation, video-clipsand programming codes, would require storage space. The more the integrationof multimedia elements, the more storage space isrequired. Therefore, efficient multimedia developers need to know thedifferent kinds of secondary storage mediums that are available. They need toknow the limits, the capacity and the use of each secondary storage mediumssuch as the floppy-disk, hard-disk, optical discs and the magnetic tape.3.6.1 Hard-DiskBefore the existence of multimedia technology, the majority of information filecomprised only of text and tables. Therefore, large storage mediums were notrequired. However, after the introduction of multimedia technology, the demandfor large storage mediums increased. This was caused by file sizes that containedmultimedia information such as graphics, audio and video that could reachhundreds of megabytes. Hence they could not be stored in floppy-disks even ifthey were compressed (.zip). Thus, hard-disks play an important role in thestorage of multimedia data.There are three types of hard-disks namely the internal hard-disk, hard-diskcartridge and hard-disk pack. Figure 3.12: Hard-disk Source: (a) rastar36zx.jpg (b)
  • 57. CHAPTER 3 MULTIMEDIA HARDWARE 59(a) Internal Hard-DiskThe internal hard-disk is also known as the permanent disk because it is placed inthe systems unit. It is usually used to store almost all the programs and data ofthe systems file. For example, almost all microcomputers used the internal hard-disk to store their operating systems and major applications such as Word andExcel. Hard-disks with a capacity of 10 gigabytes has faster access. Seagate is one of the leading manufacturers of high capacity internal hard disks. To know more about this company, visit its website at Hard-Disk CartridgeHard-disk Cartridge is easily removable just like retrieving a cassette from avideo recorder. However, the total storage of the computer system is limited bythe number of cartridges. This differentiates the hard-disk cartridge from theinternal hard-disk. However, even though the internal hard-disk provides fasteraccess, it has a fixed storage and is not easily removed. Therefore, the hard-diskcartridge is more suitably used as a backup copy to store multimedia files such asaudio, video, animation and other important data.The capacity of an ordinary hard-disk cartridge is two gigabytes. Normally, hard-disk cartridge is used for transferring large size files such as desktop publicationsfiles that have graphics, colours and others. Among the hard disks cartridge thatare available in the market currently are the Iomegas Jaz and SyQuestsSparQ. Some time ago, the SyQuests SparQ hard-disk cartridge was the mostpopular portable medium used by multimedia developers andprofessionals. However, currently its place has been taken over by Iomegas Jazwhich is not only cheaper but has better storage capacity and faster access.(c) Hard-Disk PackHard-disk Pack is a portable storage medium. It is used to keep large batches ofinformation. Its capacity far exceeds other types of hard-disks. Microcomputersthat have access to the Internet, minicomputers or mainframes usually haveaccess to external hard-disk pack through communication lines. Banks and creditcard companies use it to record financial information.
  • 58. 60 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENTIf you are interested to know more about secondary storage mediums such asfloppy-disks and optic disks, refer to the Basic Concepts of InformationTechnology Module, Open University Malaysia. (a) 3.5 inch floppy-disk (b) Zip disk (c) HiFD disk Figure 3.13: Examples of floppy disks Source: (a) (b) (c) Iomega and Imation are the leading developers of high capacity floppy disks. To know more about these companies, visit their websites at and Exercise 3.5 1. What is the difference between the internal hard-disk and the hard- disk cartridge? State the advantages and disadvantages. 2. List FOUR types of floppy-disks that are currently available.
  • 59. CHAPTER 3 MULTIMEDIA HARDWARE 613.7 GUIDELINES FOR CHOOSING A MULTIMEDIA COMPUTERHave you ever faced problems when planning to purchase a multimedia personalcomputer? Do you know the multimedia specifications that are compatible andsuitable for your needs?A normal situation that occurs is when you go to a computer store and thesalesperson proposes that you buy the most sophisticated and expensivecomputer available. The important issue here is, whether you need to own sucha sophisticated and expensive multimedia computer as proposed by thesalesperson?If you read a computer advertisement that explains the specifications of amultimedia computer as follows: THINK Processor Intel Pentium 4 1.8GHz 400MHz Bus speed Intel 845 chipset 256MB PC133up SDRAM 20.0GB Hard Drive 48xCD-ROM or 16xCD-RW 3.5", 1.44MB NVIDIA Vanta 16MB Graphics Card 56K ITU v.90 Modem PS/2 Standard Keyboard - 104-key (International) Do you know or understand the specifications given for the computer? What do the specifications mean?Could you answer the questions above? If not, read the descriptions in Table 3.2
  • 60. 62 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENT Table 3.2: Multimedia Computer Specifications Descriptions Specifications Description Processor Intel States the microprocessor, which is the Intel Pentium Pentium 4 1.8GHz 4 chip with a speed of 1.8GHz. 400MHz Bus speed The systems bus speed which is 400MHz. This speed is among the fastest. Intel 845 chipset Main motherboard used for this model is the Intel 845 chipset which is suitable for use with the Intel Pentium chip. 256MB PC133up Random Access Memory (RAM) used is the SDRAM SDRAM (Synchronous Dynamic RAM). It has a storage capacity of 256MB and speed of 133MHz. 20.0GB Hard Drive. The hard-disk capacity is 20.0GB. 48x CD-ROM or 16x CD-ROM device or CD-RW device with 48X and 16X CD-RW respectively. 3.5", 1.44MB States the standard floppy-disk drive NVIDIA Vanta 16MB The graphic card with a capacity of 16MB. It is Graphics Card suitable for 3-dimensional graphics and video display. 56K ITU v.90 Modem The modems specifications. It has a maximum data delivery speed (56kbps). ITU is an organisation that determines the communication standard that is the International Telegraphic Union. V.90 is the latest standard for the modem. PS/2 Standard The standard keyboard with 104 keys Keyboard - 104-key (International)Apart from the computers specifications as stated above, what are the othercriteria which need to be considered when you want to purchase a multimediacomputer? When you have decided to purchase a multimedia computer for yourdaily use, you need not follow the latest trend but on the other hand, youshould consider the following criteria:-
  • 61. CHAPTER 3 MULTIMEDIA HARDWARE 63 Price SystemÊs performance and Needs3.7.1 PricePrice is the foremost criteria when choosing a multimedia computer. If you wantto buy a computer, you must decide on the estimated amount of money to beused in the first place. If you require a sophisticated and modern computer suchas a 2.2GHz microprocessor and Intel ATX main-board, then you should set asidemore money because these products are quite expensive.The price of computer hardware will decline when more sophisticated and fasterhardware is marketed. The most obvious example is the Pentium 3microprocessor. When this chip was marketed, its price exceeded One ThousandRinggit; currently, you can purchase it for approximately five hundredsMalaysian Ringgit only. Therefore, if you are planning to purchase a multimediacomputer, you can get one at a reasonable price. You need not waste moneyunnecessarily by purchasing a sophisticated multimedia computer.3.7.2 System’s PerformanceYou might feel cheated if the multimedia computer that you purchased did notperform according to your satisfaction. For example a low quality videodisplays.A computerÊs system performance can be influenced by the hardware orsoftware but the core factor in determining its performance is the computerhardware. The systemÊs performance is very important for a multimedia computer,especially if you always use it to display video or online games. Therefore, youshould consider this criteria when you want to purchase a multimedia computer.The computer hardware that you select must be suitable with the systemperformance you require. For example, you can choose a random access memory(RAM) with a capacity of 128MB or 256MB, or an AGPs graphic card with ahigher speed for a better performance when processing multimedia applications.
  • 62. 64 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENT3.7.3 NeedsMost consumers do not consider their actual needs when buying a multimediacomputer. They always choose the most sophisticated and expensive computers.For example, there are consumers who buy sophisticated multimedia computersjust to type word documents, and there are also consumers who buy multimediacomputers that are equipped with the fastest modem even though he or she hasno intention of browsing the Internet.Remember! You should know your real needs when planning to purchase amultimedia computer so that you can get a computer that not only meet yourrequirements and taste, but also one with a reasonable price. YOUR IDEA After the above explanations, it is hoped that it has given you some ideas and guidelines when you need to purchase a multimedia computer. Now, try to list the computer’s specifications that you require based on your affordability and need of usage. Exercise 3.7 1. Name THREE hardware that you think can influence a systemÊs performance. 2. Name TWO types of microprocessors that are available in the market and their TWO distinguishing features. 3. List some examples where voice outputs are available. 4. State the importance of the internal communication modem in multimedia.
  • 63. CHAPTER 3 MULTIMEDIA HARDWARE 65 SUMMARYTo summarise, this chapter explains the importance of computer hardwareincluding input and output devices, and storage that is required for multimediadevelopment. Although there are many kinds of computer hardware in themarket, you as the multimedia developer, should choose the hardware thatcorresponds with the concept and scope of the multimedia project that you aredeveloping. Choosing the right input and output devices, and storage whichmeet the requirement of your project will help to contribute towards the successof your multimedia project. Finally, several guidelines are given at the end of thischapter to help you choose the most suitable multimedia computer. Do not forgetto use these guidelines when purchasing a multimedia computer.
  • 64. Chapter 4 Development and Future of Multimedia Technology OBJECTIVES At the end of this chapter, you should be able to: 1. explain the factors that contribute towards the technological development of multimedia; and 2. identify several areas of research, development and challenges of multimedia at the present moment and in the future. INTRODUCTIONIf in the previous chapters we learnt about the various multimedia applicationsthat are available in our daily lives, then in this chapter, we will discuss currentmultimedia technological developments. Besides that, we will also look into thechallenges faced by multimedia technology today. 4.1 DEVELOPMENT OF MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGYOne of the signs indicating the rapid development of multimedia technologytoday can be seen from the number of current household occupants who ownmultimedia computers that are equipped with CD-ROM drives, sound cards,
  • 65. CHAPTER 4 DEVELOPMENT AND FUTURE OF MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY 67speakers and video capture cards. Currently, the numbers of householdoccupants who own multimedia computers have increased tremendouslycompared to a decade ago.Other than that, the increase in the number of multimedia products andapplications tend to confirm the fact that multimedia technology is not onlyexperiencing a very rapid growth but has become a very important part of oureveryday lives. In fact, many local companies have developed and distributedmultimedia software that is suitable for local consumers especially in the fields ofeducation and training.The following sections will briefly discuss some of the factors that contributetowards the current development of multimedia technology.4.1.1 PriceEconomists have stated that if the price of a product drops, then demand for theproduct will increase. This statement is astoundingly accurate; as the price ofmultimedia computers drop, more Malaysians can afford to own one.If five years ago you need to fork out RM 5000 to own a multimedia computercomplete with compact-discs players and sophisticated audio and video, nowyou only need to pay about RM 2000 or cheaper to own a similar set.Do you know that in 1992, a courseware was sold at RM250? Today, softwareprices have dropped tremendously to the extent that one can purchase a softwarefor only RM 15-20 . The drop in the prices of multimedia components assures usthat multimedia technological development will be more rapid in the future.4.1.2 MMX TechnologiesNew generation microprocessor chips that can support multimedia ormultimedia extensions (MMX) have been developed by Intel to improve thevideo presentations, audio, communication and graphics of computers. Thistechnology enables the microprocessor to interact with different data elementssimultaneously and improve the overall work performance by the processor.Through this technology, brighter colours, clearer sounds, better animation andvideo can be produced. This microprocessor chip can accomplish various taskssuch as graphics acceleration, sound and decompression of video without havingto add additional cards.This micro-processing chip benefited from the technology of MicrosoftÊs Direct Xwhich includes DirectSound, DirectDraw, DirectInput, Direct 3D, Direct MIDI,
  • 66. 68 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENTDirect MPEG and DirectPlay. With this technology, multimedia presentationshave improved up to 400 percent. Besides that, the single multimedia standardwhich is backed by Intel and Microsoft also helps hardware manufacturers,software developers and multimedia consumers greatly. This situation is veryencouraging especially for applications that combine the advantages of highquality microprocessors and computer storage which has Internet capability toaccess the multimedia on the Web.4.1.3 Development of DVD TechnologyThe Digital Versatile Disk which is more commonly known as the DVD wasintroduced in 1996 and was considered as an important progress in thetechnology of compact discs. There are many DVD drives that can store data onboth sides of the disksÊ surfaces and this undoubtedly doubles the storagecapacity of the disk. The DVD disk drive can store 4.7 gigabytes of data on asingle side of the disk which is seven-times the capacity of a CD. In fact, there areDVDs that can store up to 17 gigabytes. This enables full-length movies withvarying audio tracks (to provide multilingual capabilities) and also differentversions of the same movies (PG, PG-13, R) to be loaded onto the same disk.Now, DVD technology has replaced VHS technology and laser disk in theproduction of digital videos or films because DVD pictures are clearer, faster,and of a higher quality. The lower the price of the DVD, the more numbers ofhousehold occupants that can afford to own one. In fact, the film industry andmultimedia games developers who require large disk capacity also benefit fromthe price drop.4.1.4 Erasable Compact-Discs (CD-E)Philips Electronics Company developed the erasable compact-discs (CD-E): adisc that can be erased, thus allowing the users to update existing information onthe discs and delete data that is not required. The CD-E drive can read, write andoverwrite on the erasable disc (CD-E). In addition, this driver is capable ofreading all existing CD format such as the CD-ROMs and Photo CDs. Thiserasable CD is very useful especially in the multimedia developmentenvironment because it enables us to change data, to archive large volumes ofdata and also to backup copies of data stored in the hard disk.4.1.5 Software DevelopmentMost software benefited from the MMX technology. MMX enables the computersystems to interact fully with the audio, video elements and compact-disc drive,more effectively. This new technology enables these elements to be absorbed as
  • 67. CHAPTER 4 DEVELOPMENT AND FUTURE OF MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY 69an additional object for use in multimedia applications such as words-processing,spreadsheets and others.Software applications for education, games and entertainment became easier touse with these various additional elements. Authoring and programminglanguage software technology based on a visual approach was also introduced.With this technology, multimedia software development became easier, fasterand increased rapidly.4.1.6 InternetWith the availability of Internet technology, multimedia software such asMacromedia Director, Authorware, Astound Dynamite, Macromedia Flash andothers, are capable of producing sophisticated and interesting Internet basedmultimedia software or applications.Websites have also experienced positive changes. In the early stages, websitesonly displayed information in text forms. Now, through Internet technology andsophisticated software, websites have changed and have full multimedia featuresand are also able to display graphics, audio, video, animation and others.Internet has brought dramatic changes in the distribution of multimediamaterials. In fact there are some parties who say that the Internet may cause theextinction of the CD-ROM. CD-ROM has limited storage capacity where else theInternet is able to provide unlimited virtual information which can be easily keptup-to-date. However, the main disadvantage of the Internet is its slow speedespecially in the distribution of large files such as animation, audio and video.Therefore, the CD-ROM shall remain as the main source of distribution ofmultimedia files for next few years.4.1.7 Increased in UsageIf you remember, some time ago, computers were used as just a word processingtools, thus, an extension of the typewriter. Time has changed and in line with thedevelopment of multimedia technology, computersÊ roles has diversified andnow act as the source for education, publication, entertainment, games and manyothers.The development of multimedia technology has added to the speciality ofcomputers where text is not the only main medium used to disseminateinformation but also graphics, audio, video, animation and interactivity. Thisincreases the use and capacity of the computer system to its maximum level.
  • 68. 70 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENTComputer is no longer regarded as a luxury item but instead, it has become animportant aspect of our daily lives. Exercise 4.1 Apart from the factors given above, state TWO other factors that have helped in the development of multimedia technology. 4.2 THE CHALLENGES AND THE FUTURE OF MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGYMultimedia technology has undergone rapid growth and is now at a veryencouraging stage. Nevertheless there are still some important areas that needfurther development. In the following sections, we will discuss some of thechallenges faced by multimedia technology.4.2.1 Computer EquipmentsIf the multimedia system or multimedia software can be developed successfully,but if there is no equivalent equipment to support it, then these efforts are all invain. Moreover, the mobility of multimedia applicationsÊ is restricted by thedisplay, the computer architecture, networks and others. Therefore, it is hopedthat there would be better development in terms of equipment. The equipmentissues that are the focus for research and development are the computerÊsperformance, mobility and speed.Do you still remember the type of coloured monitor that was first used? Thatwas the Visibility Graphic Analysis (VGA) monitor. This display deviceunderwent a very rapid evolution. Today, several standards have beendeveloped to determine the capacity of a computerÊs resolution. The fourstandards usually used at the moment are the SVGA, XGA, SXGA and UXGA.Nevertheless, this display device still requires research and development in orderto produce monitors that have high resolution, durable and economical inelectrical consumption.Besides the monitor, the computerÊs microprocessor also requires furtherresearch and development. For example, a high-powered processor is required todeal with real time video streaming. The two GHz (2GHz) microprocessor iscurrently the fastest and is able to process multimedia data at an acceptable rate.
  • 69. CHAPTER 4 DEVELOPMENT AND FUTURE OF MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY 71However, it is hoped that future development of microprocessors will be able toproduce microprocessors that are faster and cheaper, able to withstand heat andare smaller in size.Where networks are concerned, its future development challenge is to producehigh speed and high capacity networks that can support multimedia networking,which is currently receiving a lot of attention. If several of these technologies canbe developed successfully, then, this multimedia equipment could be used asmobile end points. THINK SVGA, XGA, SXGA and UXGA are monitor resolution standards. Do you know the differences between these four standards?4.2.2 Operating SystemsLately, development of operating systems has progressed rapidly and the mostpopular operating systems are the Windows Operating System, Linux, Unix andSolaris. The Windows XP operating system is an example of a system that cansupport multimedia applications. However, the development of operatingsystems still requires further research and progress. Efforts are being undertakenby several developers of operating systems so that consumers can receivesatisfactory service at reasonable prices. YOUR IDEA Name two world famous developers of operating systems.4.2.3 StorageCurrently, the main focus of computer developers is to obtain a faster way ofprocessing and a high capacity but smaller sized storage medium. Besides all thestorage mediums already discussed in the previous chapters, other storagemediums such as the electronic molecule and the hologram might be able toreplace the floppy disk, the compact discs or other forms of storage mediums ofthe future. Holograms and molecular magnets are two forms of storagemediums which may be researched and developed in the next few years.
  • 70. 72 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENT(a) Hologram When we mention holograms, most people would think of holograms as the three dimensional pictures created by laser rays. Sometimes it is also used as logos on credit cards. In fact holograms can also store a large batch of data. In the near future, holograms would not only take over the place of a hard drive but may even replace memory chips. However, the use of holograms as storage mediums still requires extensive and detailed technological research.(b) Molecular Magnet Recently, researchers successfully created a microscopic magnet. It is a molecule derived from the combination of substances such as manganese, oxygen, carbon and hydrogen. A system of data storage from this molecule magnet is expected to have very high density and is capable of storing millions of data compared to the system that exists today. In the near future, one may be able to use the molecule magnet, in the size of a pinhead, to keep hundreds of gigabytes of data. MOBILE MULTIMEDIA: A GLANCE INTO THE FUTUREThe emerging communications, electronics and computer technologies arecreating a new multimedia fabric for the decades to come. The nature of this newfabric is still evolving and the reality is that, at present, we have more searchingquestions than concrete answers.The buzzword being splashed around is Convergence and by it we mean theconvergence of multimedia technology with the telecommunications industry. If,for example, features of the telephone and television are combined, the resultantis a visually enriched communication tool that makes applications such as homeshopping, distance learning, remote collaboration with specialists, andinteractive access to live and stored video sources around the world possible.Many believe that the nature of the current technological changes is based onconsumerism, fuelled by mass advertising by large corporations such as Sonyand Nokia promoting Âlive styleÊ goods such as the latest phones and MP3players. According to a WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) forum report, therewill be more than 530 million wireless subscribers by the end of the year 2001.New estimates report that the number of wireless subscribers will break the onebillion mark by 2004, and a Âsubstantial portion of the phones sold this year willhave multimedia capabilities.ÊDespite the big advertising push by telecommunication companies, theintegration of multimedia with mobile computing presents many challenges to
  • 71. CHAPTER 4 DEVELOPMENT AND FUTURE OF MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY 73wireless service providers, application developers and manufacturers. There arefundamental issues which need to be considered, including problems withviewing information on very small screens, the dismal bandwidth available onthe first and second generation of mobile devices and so on. We are evenstruggling to find a common platform to define what mobile multimediatechnology is about and whether there are any realistic and worthwhileapplications for them.(Reference: Designing Interactive Multimedia Systems, Mohammad Dastbaz, 2002: ms183-184)4.2.4 Virtual EnvironmentVirtual environment is a new challenge in the multimedia system. If this virtualtechnology can be developed rapidly, you would no longer be required to forkout thousands of ringgit for overseas tours. You only have to sit at home andvisit the country that you like through virtual technology! Virtual environment ismostly used in flight training or in the military.Now, the Web3D Consortium is working hard to bring virtual environmenttechnology to the Web. This consortium is heading the VRML (Virtual RealityModelling Language) language development program which is an objectbased language that enables you to create a 3D navigational space on the Web.Among the main requirements of virtual environment technology, apart fromnavigation, are the interaction and visual communication domains. Besides that,modelling such as geometric, physical or behavioural should also beconsidered. These requirements provide the challenges for multimedia interfaces,hypermedia document and other related fields. To view examples of virtual environment technology on the Web, you can visit the website at
  • 72. 74 UNIT 1 MULTIMEDIA AND ITS ENVIRONMENT REFERENCES Are you interested to know more about current and future multimedia technological development or the impact of multimedia technology on current social issues? You may refer to "Multimedia Literacy" book by Fred T. Hofstetter, 2001, for a clearer picture on the interesting areas mentioned above. Exercise 4.2 1. Give THREE current uses of the virtual environment. 2. "Wireless communication is one of the fields which can assist in the development of multimedia in the future". Give your opinion. 3. "Multimedia equipment can be used as mobile end points." What do you understand by this statement? Give a brief explanation. SUMMARYThis chapter in general discussed the factors that caused multimediatechnology to develop rapidly. Apart from that, you were also exposed to severalareas of research and development in multimedia presently and in thefuture. What is certain is that technological development will continue with theadvent of new ideas which will push multimedia to a new height. This marks theend of Unit 1 and before we proceed to the next unit, why dont we review theimportant topics in this unit to strengthen your understanding.
  • 73. TUTORIAL QUESTION INTRODUCTIONThe objective of this tutorial question is to see how far multimedia technology isused in our country especially in the field of learning. You have already learnt inChapter 2 that Smart Schools is one of the seven main applications of theMultimedia Super Corridor (MSC); it is hoped that after doing this activity, youwill be able to see the differences between Smart Schools and conventionalschools and also the contribution of multimedia towards Smart Schools. PROBLEMCurrently, we are still practising the old conventional learning method: theteacher teaches and educates the students in school and provides exercises orhomework to the students to be completed at home. In your opinion, is thismethod of teaching and learning still effective? Does this method ensurethat all the students are able to understand and remember what he/she hasstudied?This method of teaching and learning might be effective for students who areclever but there are a group of students who will not be able to grasp allthe knowledge taught by the teacher. They will require a longer time period tounderstand the contents of the subject being taught and might feel shy to askquestions about topics that are confusing or which they do not understand.Therefore, Smart Schools provide a platform for students to learn through the useof computers. Learning modules, important notes, questions, discussions(bulletin board), tips and tutorials are available through this platform. Studentswho have Internet facility can access this information at any time. ASSIGNMENTKindly visit the website to connect to the MalaysianSmart School website. After exploring this website, you are required to makecomparisons between the Smart Schools and conventional schools. After that, tryto answer the following questions:
  • 74. 76 UNIT 1 AN INTRODUCTION TO MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY(i) What is the actual reason e-forum was formed? Name the groups of forum that are involved in this e-forum.(ii) State the kinds of e-service that are offered.(iii) Compare this website with Are these two websites similar? What are the differences?(iv) Name two advantages of smart school compared to conventional school.(v) What are the roles played by the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDC) in the implementation of smart school?
  • 75. Unit 2 MultimediaComponents 1: Text, Graphics and Animation
  • 76. INTRODUCTION 79 LEARNING OBJECTIVES At the end of this unit, you should be able to; 1. explain the importance of text, graphic and animation elements in a multimedia application; 2. list a few categories of text, graphics and animation; and 3. identify some of the principles, techniques and software formats for text, graphics and animation. INTRODUCTIONIn this unit, we will study 3 of the 5 main multimedia components which are text,graphics and animation. The text component is very important in multimediaapplication not only because it provides information to the audience but alsobecause its layout, font type and the typeface used, can reflect the theme ofthe application in its development.However the text element alone is not sufficient to convey the required meaning.Visual pictures have a better impact compared to the use of text. Graphics areable to present not only meanings but also situations, feelings, intonations andsensory messages with greater detail in any situation. Graphics and animationadd interesting dimensions which is the main attraction of multimediatechnology; in fact the success or failure of a multimedia application dependsupon the visuals produced.Chapters 5 and 6 of this unit will explain the importance of text and graphics inmultimedia. Besides learning the main categories of text and graphics, you willalso be guided on the correct use of text and graphics in developing a multimediapresentation.In Chapter 7, you will be introduced to animation and learn some of the basictechniques of traditional animation. You will also view the contributionsof animation technology in various aspects of life. Finally, in the final chapterof this unit, you will be introduced to computer animation which covers twodimensional and three dimensional animations. You will learn the variousmethods used to develop both these categories of computer animation.
  • 77. Chapter 5 Text OBJECTIVES At the end of this chapter, you should be able to: 1. explain the importance of using text in a multimedia application; 2. list the categories of text by giving suitable examples; and 3. state the guidelines for using text in a multimedia application. INTRODUCTIONMultimedia would not be complete without text. This is because text is one ofthe most important and main elements not only in multimedia developmentbut also in other fields. The combination of animation, audio, video and graphicscan be used to develop multimedia. However, consumers knowledge will begreatly enhanced when text is combined with other elements. Text is still neededto provide information and explanation for images, graphics and animation.Text is used extensively in the world of mass communication specifically asan intermediary for the print media such as the press, magazines, books, journalsand advertisements. Therefore, text or hypertexts are considered as the mainelement in multimedia development. Text plays on important role as thefundamental communication medium for effective information dissemination. 5.1 DEFINITION AND THE IMPORTANCE OF TEXTText and symbols have been used since 6000 years ago in the MediterraneanFertile Crescentin Mesopotamia, Egypt, Sumeria and Babylon where thefirst meaningful marks were scraped onto mud tablets and basked under the sun
  • 78. CHAPTER 5 TEXT 81to dry. During this period, only rulers and priests were allowed to read and writethe pictographic symbols and cuneiforms.Today, text and the ability to read is the gateway to knowledge andsuccess. Reading and writing are expected and become the necessary skills withinmost modern cultures.Text can be defined as a combination of letters that form words or sentences toexplain or discuss a topic which is known as text information.In Information Technology, text is a sequence of readable alphabets andconstructed words that can be encoded into a computer readable format such asASCII format.Text is the basic element for all multimedia applications. Without text,information that you wish to convey might be lost during your interpretationof other media elements such as graphics, sounds and video. Considering thatthere are various cultural norms to adhere to, text is considered the best andsafest form of communication medium to deliver messages effectively so thatmisunderstanding will not arise.When creating an application or a multimedia presentation, text is usually typedusing the texts tools found in authoring packages and presentations used.However, in packages such as Macromedia Director and Authorware, textdocument can be imported directly and edited into the final application.There are many formats for text and it depends on the wordprocessing document used. For example, when one uses the Write program inWindows, it will produce the file format -*.wri, whereas, the WordPerfectprogram will produce the file format -*.wpd.These file formats are not readable by many authoring packages andpresentations. Table 5.1 shows the file formats that can be imported into popularauthoring packages such as Macromedia Authorware and Director.
  • 79. 82 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS I: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION Table 5.1: Text Files that can be Imported File types Explanation Extensions Rich Text This is available as a „Save As" function .rtf in most popular word processing documents. It is a character formatting file that facilitates file sharing between applications and via the Internet With RTF file, all formatting done with text style (Bold, italics, underline), justification (left, right center and full) and typeface (typeface - size and type) are retained. In other words, when imported into different applications, RTF files will appear exactly like when it was first produced in the word processing document. ASCII(American This type of text is developed as the .txt Standard standard text on all computers. With Code for this type of text file, whatever format Information used will be lost when you "Save." Interchange) Texts files are normally saved as Text Format unformatted text and may be accessed through the ÂSave As option that is available in all word processing documents. It is also a native file format in the Windows Notepad program.5.2 TEXT AS A MULTIMEDIA ELEMENTSText is an important element in multimedia presentations because it provides alot of information. However, text should not be used exclusively, without thecombination of other multimedia elements. It has to be combined withother multimedia elements in order to produce high quality presentations. REFERENCES To improve your knowledge pertaining to text in multimedia, refer to Chapter 8: Text, in the book, "Multimedia: Making it Work" by Tay Vauhgan, 2001.
  • 80. CHAPTER 5 TEXT 83Text can be used as a visual image to enhance the aesthetics of a multimediapresentation. Factors or ways that can make text visually attractive are: use of suitable type and size of fonts; and how text is displayed on the screen.Figure 5.1 depicts the many ways text is used in multimedia applications. Figure 5.1: Texts Usage Plain Text There are many examples of text usage that is, any form of plaintext alphabet. Text files are developed using word processing that later can be imported into multimedia authoring programs. If an application requires a long text document, then the document can be imported in the form of Rich Text Format or ASCII text format and inserted into the presentation. Nowadays, most popular authoring packages such as Macromedia Director, has its own text tools for editing and typing text. Paragraph Text A paragraph is a text block, usually containing more than one sentence. It is used in multimedia applications that require in depth explanations. Many methods can be used to format paragraph text. You can choose any one of the methods described below. Left-justify: Text is aligned evenly on the left margin as shown in the example below. Welcome to the Introduction course in Multimedia Technology, one of the courses offered by the Faculty of Information Technology and Multimedia Communication, Open University Malaysia.
  • 81. 84 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS I: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION Right-justify: Text is aligned evenly on the right margin as shown in the example below: Welcome to the Introduction course in Multimedia Technology, one of the courses offered by the Faculty of Information Technology and Multimedia Communication, Open University Malaysia. Center: Text that is centered on a specified line length as shown in the example below. Welcome to the Introduction course in Multimedia Technology, one of the courses offered by the Faculty of Information Technology and Multimedia Communication, Open University Malaysia. Full-justify: Both margins on the left and on the right are the same as shown in the example below. Welcome to the Introduction course in Multimedia Technology, one of the courses offered by the Faculty of Information Technology and Multimedia Communication, Open University Malaysia.From the four styles above, the left-justified and the full-justified styles are easierto read and recommended for use. Centered is suitable for headings andquotations. Right-justified with uneven left margins can be used to create specialeffects. You can also use this style for text placed next to a picture. Bullet Text In multimedia presentations, the text presented should not be too long. You could choose important points in your topic and present them as bullet points. Bullet text is a sentence that explains concepts or as help signs and usually use the ÂbulletÊ symbol. The bullet symbols comprise of graphics, symbols, numbers or letters that combine, move or explain the text. Figure 5.2: Bullet Text Format may Limit Information Explosion Source: http//www.uttyler.edumeidenmulle r/speechfundamentalsppt/Japanese Animation/sld002.html
  • 82. CHAPTER 5 TEXT 85Scrolling TextScrolling text is a feature provided by some authoring tools to facilitatereading and control of large text blocks in multimedia applications. Forexample, you can use the Director software to develop scrolling text. Figure 5.3: Scrolling Texts for Long DocumentsNavigational TextMultimedia applications currently combine interactive elements intopresentations so that users have some control over the navigational parts. Wecan see that buttons and graphics contribute a large part of the navigationalcontrol, but do you know that users can also use text to navigate multimediacontents? Hypertext is a popular method for this purpose. Sentences orphrases in a paragraph can be made interactive. By clicking on these wordsusers can jump from one location to another, within or outsidethe application. Hypertext can also trigger sound effects and animation. TheInternet is an example of text used as interactive navigational control. Figure 5.4: An example of hypertext Source:
  • 83. 86 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS I: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION Animation and Special Effects You can make text more dramatic, interesting and funny when you use graphics and text manipulation software such as Flying Fonts and Fontographer. Software packages such as Director and Pixar Tapestry can make text turn, rotate and zoom with relative ease. If you are assigned by your company to design a logo with only text, you can make the logo interesting by using 2D and 3D animation to create dynamic movements. Figure 5.5: An Example of Text with Special Effects Exercise 5.1 1. Give TWO methods of how text is used in multimedia applications5.3 TYPEFACE AND FONTA typeface is a family of graphic characters that usually includes many type sizesand styles. A font is a collection of characters of a single size and style belongingto a particular typeface family. Typical font styles are bold-face and italic. Otherattributes such as underlining and outlining may be added by your computersoftware.Times New Roman, Courier and Arial are among common typefaces used. TimesNew Roman 12 point italic is an example of a font. Figure 5.6 shows the threemain types of typefaces. Figure 5.6: Types of tpefaces
  • 84. CHAPTER 5 TEXT 87 Figure 5.7: Types of fontsYou may be confused with the meaning of fonts and typefaces given above. Thisis because in everyday use, we often use the word font when we are actuallyreferring to the typeface, which should be the correct word to use.Typeface refers to the types of writing whereas font refers to the style f iti Figure 5.8: Different typefaces and fonts produce different moods in multimedia YOUR IDEA What is your favourite typeface and font when producing a document? Why?
  • 85. 88 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS I: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION YOUR IDEA There are many websites where you can download fonts whether as freeware or shareware. Among them are:, and 5.4 TEXT SIZE AND CATEGORYIt is important to select the correct typeface and font. Although text is thesimplest multimedia element, it is often misused. The use of size, font, typefaceand style must be consistent with the design of multimedia project you aredeveloping. Choose the typeface that can be found on most platforms. This isbecause the choice of suitable typeface in terms of its size and form will havedifferent impacts on the approach, design and meaning of themultimedia presentation display.The text size does not reflect the actual height or width of a character. This isbecause the height of the lowercase alphabet "k" of two different typefaces mayvary while the height of the capital letters "K" of those typefaces maybe thesame. However, word processing software will make the modificationautomatically to overcome this spacing problem.Text size is usually measured in point form. A point is 0.0138 inches or 1/72inches. In other words, there are 72 points in an inch. Size 10 to size 12 typefacesis often used to display the table of contents on the screen. Nevertheless, theselection of size is also closely linked to the target group that will be using themultimedia application. For example, multimedia presentations for old folks willrequire bigger text size. Figure 5.9: An Example of Point SizeIn terms of categories, typefaces may be divided into 3 main categories as shownin Figure 5.10
  • 86. CHAPTER 5 TEXT 89 Figure 5.10: Typeface Category Serif Serif refers to the line or curve (tail) that exists at the end of a character. Examples of serif are Times New Roman, New century, Schoolbook and Palatino. For example: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz Sans Serif "Sans" in French means "without". Therefore, Sans Serif means a typeface without serif. Examples include Arial, Helvetica, and Optimum. For example: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ AbcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzFigure 5.11 below clearly shows the difference between Serif and Sans Seriftypefaces. Figure 5.11: The difference between Serif and Sans Serif Source: ebdev/jharun/media/text/
  • 87. 90 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS I: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION Decorative Decorative refers to typefaces with old literature and flowery elements and look like ancient writings. For example: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz Exercise 5.2 1. Give THREE main categories of typefaces with examples. 2. State the differences between typeface and font 5.5 GUIDELINES ON THE USE OF TEXT IN MULTIMEDIA APPLICATIONSAs stated earlier, text is one of the most important elements in multimediapresentations. But sometimes, text fails to convey information quickly. Forexample, if you are given only three seconds to attract an audienceÊs attentionin a multimedia presentation, it is somewhat difficult for text to deal with thiseffectively. Nevertheless, the importance of text and its content accuracy cannotbe denied.The following are several guidelines on the use of text that you can follow duringthe development of your multimedia presentations.5.5.1 Minimal Use of TextReading a lot of text on a computer screen is tiring. If possible, minimise the useof text unless it is a multimedia application such as reference titles thatrequires maximum use of text like encyclopedias.From a design standpoint, text should fill less than half the screen. Therefore, acombination of other elements is needed to reduce the dependency of multimediaapplications on text.
  • 88. CHAPTER 5 TEXT 91 Figure 5.12: Uses of text on book covers Source: http://seamonkey.ed. text/5.5.2 Suitability of Typefaces and FontsDo you know that choosing the typeface and font for a multimedia application isnot an easy task? This is because the selection of typeface and font must dependon the objective, content, concept and the intended audience of the multimediaapplication being developed. Imagine if you were to choose a huge, gray block oftext for your application. For sure it will be boring.Therefore, typefaces and fonts are often used to draw attention to the informationthat is conveyed on the screen, to increase readability, brighten the mood andshould be in line with the concept of the application being developed. Ensure thatthe chosen typeface can be used in all platforms.The figure below shows two types of fonts, ChainDusk and Funstuff that aresuitable for the younger generation because it looks rather childlike. Figure 5.13: ChainDusk and Funstuff Fonts Source: webdev/jharun/media/text/The figure below, shows Cargo and Bandstand fonts which are more suitable fora formal approach.
  • 89. 92 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS I: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION Figure 5.14: Cargo and Bandstand Fonts. Source: webdev/jharun/media/text5.5.3 Choice of TextWhen you are developing a multimedia application, make sure that the typefacechosen is clear and readable. For example, decorative typefaces are pretty andattractive but they are difficult to read. Table 5.2 shows the comparison betweenthe San Serif and Serif typefaces. Table 5.2: Comparison between San Serif and Serif Typefaces Font type Display Style Comprehension StudySan Serif Clean, brief, objectivity, 20% - 30% level of modern understanding Quite difficult for fast reading Suitable for headingsSerif Old-fashioned, friendly 75% - 80% level of Easy to read understanding Suitable for content text5.5.4 Styles and Colour of TextStyles and text colour should be considered when developing a multimediaapplication. Among the common styles or writing styles are bold, italicand underline. These styles are regularly used to emphasise or to distinguish thecontents from another section of the print media. Other than that, writing stylesalso function as hypertexts in a multimedia application.
  • 90. CHAPTER 5 TEXT 93Text colour and background colour also play an important role to determinewhether the words are clear and readable. If possible, avoid using text andbackground that have similar colours. Figure 5.15: Example of a poster with suitable style and colours Source: ConsistencyConsistency or uniformity of textual use is important when developing amultimedia application. The use of size, font, typeface and style must beconsistent with the design and concept of the project. For example, if theapplication being developed has several screens that require the use of headingsand sub-headings, therefore the of use typeface, font, style and colour should beconsistent with each heading and sub-heading.Another significant factor that needs to be emphasised in the selection oftypeface, is whether the chosen typeface is in the computer system for thepurposes of playback. For example, if you use the AvantGarde typeface as themain typeface to display the contents of an application, you must ensure thatother computer systems will also have this typeface. Otherwise your display willbe disastrous and will not be like the original. The computer system will changethe typeface to the type that is available in its system. This will change theposition and size of each character.
  • 91. 94 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS I: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION Figure 5.3: The Typefaces normally found on Windows and Macintosh Platforms WINDOWS MACINTOSH Arial Charcoal Book Antiqua Chicago Bookman Old Style Courier Bookshelf Symbol Geneva Century Gothic Helvetica Comic Sans MS Monaco Courier New New York Garamond Palatino Haettenschweiler Symbol Impact Lucida Console Times Marlett Monotype Corsiva Monotype Sorts MS Outlook MS Sans Serif MS Serif Small Fonts Symbol Tahoma Times New Roman Trebuchet Verdana Webdings WingDings 5.6 TEXT INTENSIVE MULTIMEDIA APPLICATIONSIn certain circumstances, the multimedia application being developed requires alot of text such as encyclopedias or databases applications.There are two methods that can be used to make a large amount of text lessoverwhelming or minimal.(a) Use another method to convey the message For instance, you can use related graphics, audio, video or animation to replace a few paragraphs of text with the same information.
  • 92. CHAPTER 5 TEXT 95(b) Hypertexts This method only provides text as a path for users to obtain more related information. Users would be supplied with a minimum text or contents and additional information required will only be displayed when you click or activate the word of your choice. This technique is widely used in web pages. 5.7 HYPERTEXTHypertext represents the access to information through text as an explorationpath. Hypertext also represents a form of writing style that is non sequential orlinear. It is more a collection of text segments and not phrases that are continuousto each other. These text segments are connected by an access path which is alsoknown as a link.A user will be able to read the text that has been prepared and the same text cantake users to other related pages that contain related information. Here, theusers determine the direction of reading or information acquisition and not thewriter. This hypertext concept is mostly found in web pages. It is oftenrepresented by text in blue and is underlined like this: Multimedia. YOUR IDEA Give an example of a website that uses hypertext as a hyperlink to acquire additional information. 5.8 TEXT AUTHORING SOFTWARECurrently, there are many texts authoring software in the market that enables youto build attractive typefaces and fonts. Table 5.4 introduces several text authoringsoftware and the usage of these software.
  • 93. 96 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS I: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION Table 5.4: Text Authoring Software Texts writing software Uses Microsoft Word Is popular word processing software to Word Perfect delevop an application that requires a lot of text. Macromedia Is used for an application that does not Authorware require a lot of text. Toolbook Can be used directly to type the required text Adobe Photoshop Can be used to form text in the form of Adobe Ilustrator attractive graphics Macromedia FreeHand Normally, can be used to create text with Fontgrapher various special effects such as shadows, bright text, three dimension text (3D) and others. Exercise 5.3 1. Give TWO multimedia applications that require a large amount of text. 2. Why is the text element important in multimedia development? 3. State FIVE guidelines for the use of text in multimedia applications SUMMARYAlthough multimedia technological development is more rapid withsophisticated dynamic elements such as audio, video, graphics and animation,nevertheless text cannot be sidelined. It is an important and major media forpresenting information effectively.A multimedia application needs to maximise the use of text as an effective sourcefor presenting information and not bore the users. In the text selection process,
  • 94. CHAPTER 5 TEXT 97you must take into account the typeface, font, size, style, text colour, and itsconsistency. All of these will affect the impact of the presentation of informationthrough text.
  • 95. Chapter 6 Graphic OBJECTIVES At the end of this chapter, you should be able to: 1. state the importance of graphics in multimedia applications; 2. explain the two categories of computer graphics, and 3. name a few graphic file formats and sources of graphics. INTRODUCTIONIn multimedia applications, the text element alone is not enough to convey theintended meaning. Visual images provide a higher impact compared to justusing text. Graphics play an important role in multimedia presentations and isone of the most popular and main elements used in the development ofmultimedia applications.As the Chinese proverb says „a picture paints a thousand words", a visualgraphical display is capable of presenting information more attractivelyand effectively. Graphics also accelerate the presentation of information andprovide clearer, accurate and consistent information as compared to informationthat consist of only text. 6.1 DEFINITION AND THE IMPORTANCE OF GRAPHICSAgnew and Kellerman (1996) stated that,"Graphics are lines, circles, boxes, shadows, colours, and others, made by adrawing program."
  • 96. CHAPTER 6 GRAPHIC 99According to the ÂDewan Bahasa and PustakaÊ dictionary, graphics meanssomething to do with paintings or carvings. From these definitions we canconclude that the use of graphics in multimedia programs is not justabout beautiful paintings, but also as a source of presenting highlyeffective information.Graphics also mean the use of visuals to explain concepts that are not able ordifficult to be described with the use of text.Attractive graphics is one of the main attractions of multimedia; infact multimedia developers are aware that the success of a multimediaapplication depends on the visual impact that is successfully developed.Visualisation is an important process in the communication of information. Thisis because human beings are more inclined to study, understand and remembersomething that is seen as compared to something that is read or heard.Computer graphics can be divided into two categories which are vector graphicsand bitmap graphics. When developing graphics for multimedia applications,you will use either one or both types of graphics. Before we study in greaterdetail about computer graphics why donÊt we look at the early history ofgraphics first.The extract below relates the true experience of a famous multimedia specialist,about how he realised the importance of graphics and visuals in multimediapresentations.„A few years ago a large corporation asked us and one other multimediadeveloper to bid on a long-term contract for computer-based training. Thoughbusy with other active projects, we didnÊt want this possibly lucrativeopportunity to slip by, so we spent a few days hastily putting together ademonstration of our technical skills for building nifty databases, designingtricky telecommunications systems, and integrating live video from videodiscinto the computer. We even „wire-framed‰ a bit of a working multimediadatabase with the real data we got from the corporation.We showed our demo to about a dozen management and training executives, ina fancy boardroom that had a built-in projector and sound system with mixersand light dimmers - a place where we could knock the socks off anybody. Butwithin 30 seconds, the disaster bells started tinkling: most of our presentationwas going way over their heads. Afterward, there were one or two vaguequestions and some thank-youÊs.
  • 97. 100 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS I: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATIONOur competitorÊs presentation, on the other hand, provided a slick series of finelyrendered bitmapped screen images and elegant visuals. It was heavy on prettymenu screens and very light on how-it-is-done technology. We later learned thatone of their graphic artists had worked for two solid weeks on the color bitmapsfor that demo. In the follow-up phone call, we were told by our potential clientsthat the competitionÊs „incredible artwork‰ had won out over „excellenttechnology demonstration.‰To cover our disappointment, we mumbled something to ourselves about notwanting to work with computer illiterates, anyway- people who could be takento the cleaners by fresh paint. But we knew weÊd missed a hefty piece of contractwork because we hadnÊt invested serious graphic art talent in our demonstration.We decided thatÊs why the real peas in the can are never the same bright green asthe ones on the label. So we learned a marketing lesson.‰(References :Multimedia: Making It Work, Tay Vaughn, 2001: ms 245) 6.2 HISTORY OF GRAPHICSThe early history of graphics is frequently associated with the development of theprinting industry. When humans got to know about writing and print, humancommunication no longer focused purely on verbal statements. The use ofprinting machines became more widespread during the industrial revolution. Atthat time, graphic works and prints were made separately. For example,arrangement of letters, production of paper, printing and binding, were ofdifferent skills.In 1880, the first press" New York Daily Graphic," used new graphic technologyelements such as photography. In the same year, graphicdesigners produced illustrated posters by using full colours. The posters weredisplayed in several areas and towns in the United States and around Europe.From 1890 until 1930, the "Avant Garde" group introduced the term "ArtNouveu." This group pioneered the art of free style lettering which was notconfined to the old method. One of the prominent graphic designers from thisgroup was Toulouse-Lautrec. Then, other graphic designers emerged, such asCharles Rennie Mackintosh, Peter Benrens and Frank Lloyd Wright with theirown individual graphic creations.The emergence of ideologies in the field of art brought a lot of changes inthe creation of graphic designs. For example, a magazines layout was no longer
  • 98. CHAPTER 6 GRAPHIC 101confined to the traditional way that emphasised symmetry. The new layout putmore emphasis on free style motivational designs to the.During the 1920s, the development of graphic designs progressed more rapidlywith the emergence of the group called, "de still group." This period wasparallel to the Russian Revolutionary period. Graphic designs became freerand communications with the customers are considered important. Then, agroup called, "Bauhaus," introduced language art through fundamental designs.This group introduced formal graphics education such as lines, forms andalphabets in graphic designs.Technological development improved the quality and ways of graphicdesigns. To date, graphic designs are not only presented through printingmaterials but in fact are more widespread in the technology of televisions, filmsand computers. Nowadays, computers have taken over as the medium togenerate two dimensional and three dimensional graphic designs. REFERENCES If you are interested to know more about graphic designs, please refer to the book, "Multimedia: The Complete Guide," produced by Dorling Kindersley Limited, London, 1996. You will learn the techniques used by graphic designers to produce images on computer screens and many others. 6.3 COMPUTER GRAPHICS APPLICATIONSManual graphics, using hands and tools such as pencils, pens, colours andairbrushes have been in existence for a long time, but the field ofcomputer graphics is still relatively new. Computer graphics is an aspect ofcomputer science and its use is widespread in the areas of engineering, heavyindustries, animation, and films. The study of computer graphics not onlyfocuses on drawings and animation but also on mathematics (calculus, algebraand geometry), programming (C language or C++), computer algorithm and datastructure. Besides that, in order to generate attractive computer graphics, a highdegree of imagination is also required.Computer graphics can visualise or depict a personÊs imagination on a computerscreen. It aids in the manufacturing of goods or materials such as cars, buildings,humans artificial limbs, computer games and simulations. Computer graphicscan also provide a real picture of a house before it is built. In fact, it can design
  • 99. 102 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS I: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATIONthe interior of a house to see what furniture would be suitable to use. Thus, thetime and cost in choosing furniture or renovation is reduced.In the world of science, computer graphics can create a world which is invisibleto the naked eye or beyond reachable. For example NASA (National Aeronauticsand Space Administration) has created the topography of Planet Mars, from thedata sent by the Telescope Hubble. From the available data, scientists are able tosee the molecular structure on the computer screen.In the industrial world, computer graphics can help in the design of vehicles suchas cars, vans, aeroplanes, motorcycles, marine vessels or lorries. Beforeproduction, the vehicles level of safety, aerodynamic percentages, the suitablecolours and the subsequent finished designs, can be viewed via computer. Figure 6.1: Computer applications in various fields.In the medical field, computer graphics can help in the design of imitation limbsthat is suitable for a particular individual. In the near future, virtual reality canaid in long distance operations. Virtual reality is also used in simulations suchas aircraft simulations used to train pilots. Besides that, virtual reality is also usedby the police force to train its members on how to face a tense situation such as ina shooting scenario.Computer graphics are also used in other fields such as in computer games,films, advertising and education. Now, computer graphics are not only acceptedas an aspect of entertainment and knowledge, but it also gives a picture of thetechnological advancement of a country. In the world of computers, computergraphics is the most difficult field to explore because of the infinite imaginationof the artists. The computers used are highly powered and there is no limit to thecreativity of the computer graphics enthusiast.
  • 100. CHAPTER 6 GRAPHIC 103 6.4 USES OF GRAPHICS IN MULTIMEDIAIn multimedia applications, the text element alone is not enough to convey theintended meaning. Graphics are not only able to present meanings but situations,feelings, intonations and sensory elements in much greater detail in anysituation. Graphics are used in multimedia applications in the followingcircumstances: Complementary element. Graphics are usually used as background and texture, whereby it acts as a complement towards the intended meaning through its display. Main focus. Logos, images, paintings, figures and photographs in an application play a vital role in the delivery of the meaning or concept of the multimedia application. Object YOUR IDEABesides the uses of graphics stated above, can you think of any othersituation where graphics are used in a multimedia application? Exercise 6.1 1. Give TWO definitions of graphics according to Agnew and Kellerman. 2. Define the contribution of graphics in the medical field. 6.5 CATEGORIES OF GRAPHICSGraphics can be divided into two basic categories: vector graphics and bitmapgraphics. Understanding the differences between the two types can help youwith your work. For example, some file formats can only accommodate bitmapimages, whereas some file formats can accommodate vector graphics.
  • 101. 104 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS I: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION6.5.1 Vector GraphicsVector graphics are also known as object oriented graphics or structuredgraphics. It refers to any image produced with the use of certain softwareand computer technology. Vector graphics are formed from lines that follow themathematical equations called vector. For example a bicycle tyre, in a vectorgraphic format is built from a mathematical definition- where a circle with agiven radius, set in a specific location and filled with particular colours.Although the bicycle tyre can shift its location, change its size or colour, thequality of graphic remains the same.Vector graphics do not depend on resolution. The size of the vector imagecan be changed and it can also be printed on any printer no matter what is theresolution, without the loss of quality. Vector graphics are most suitable for text(especially small text) and thick graphics (bold) which, when altering its size, thequality still remains the same. For example, logos.Among the applications that provide the environment based on vector graphicsare Macromedia Freehand, Adobe lllustrator and Corel Draw. Table 6.1: Advantages and Disadvantages of Vector Graphics Advantages of Vector Graphics Disadvantages of Vector Graphics - Requires only a small size data - Not realistic because of the for image representation computer technology. - Quality of the Vector graphics - The more complex the image remains the same even though created the bigger the file size the size and the position change. and the slower the display. - Requires only a small storage space.6.5.2 Bitmap GraphicsBitmap graphics is also known as raster image or bit map image. Bitmap imagesare produced from dots arranged specifically in metric form. These dots areknown as pixels (Pixel = picture + element). This pixel image is known as bitmapimage.Within the confines of metric, these pixels are arranged according to size, colourand location. The image created on the computer screen is the combination of allthese pixels.
  • 102. CHAPTER 6 GRAPHIC 105Each pixel or dot that forms the bitmap image consists of 3 colours: red, greenand blue or is more popularly known as RGB (Red, Green, Blue). RNevertheless, these pixels may also consist of black and white (monochrome) orgrey colour or have 256 colours up to 16 million colours. The more colours thatare used for an image, the closer the resemblance of the image to the real image.Bitmap images are usually not produced by computer. Instead, it is obtainedfrom an actual source and then translated into digital form by devices such asimage scanners, digital camera and others. The following are some of the waysthat might be used to produce a bitmap image:-(a) Producing the image from scratch by using computer drawing programs such as the Paint Program.(b) Capturing the image direct from the screen (screen capture) and then pasting the image onto your computer drawing program or application.(c) Taking the image of a photograph, drawing or television image by using a scanner or a video capture card to digitise the image.Among the applications that are used to edit or modify a bitmap image areAdobe Photoshop, Macromedia X-Res and Painter. The bitmap image producedmay be copied, modified, delivered via e-mail and used in various creative ways. Table 6.2: Advantages and Disadvantages of Bitmap Graphics Advantages of Bitmap Graphics Disadvantages of Bitmap Graphics - Produces real quality image. - Depends on resolution - Capable of storing a large - Enlargement of image size will amount of information. produce a blurred image - Capable of being modified with a high quality modifier6.5.3 Vector Graphics vs. Bitmap GraphicsThe choice of using either a bitmap image or a vector image is a creative decision.It also depends on the application software used to develop the multimediaproject. An image that requires complex editing, precise and flexibility would bebetter drawn using a vector based application. Vector graphics are regularlyused in technical areas such as CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design/Manufacture), scientific modelling, architecture, arts design and others. On theother hand, for an image that needs to look realistic, a bitmap application is
  • 103. 106 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS I: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATIONencouraged. Bitmap images include photographs, photorealistic images andbackground texture.The appearance of both of these images also depends on the resolution displayand capability of your graphics tools and the monitor of your computer. Boththese images can be kept in various types of file formats and can be translatedfrom one application to another or from one platform to another. Autotracing is atechnique where a bitmap image is converted into a vector image. An example ofthe software used for this process is Streamline from Adobe. Other than that, thefile image can also be compressed to save memory and disk space; in fact manyimage formats use this compression method in their files such as GIF, JPEG andPNG file format. Figure 6.2 Differences between Vector and Bitmap image 6.6 GRAPHICS CARDThe monitor or the computer screen is like an electronic canvas for computerswhere all multimedia images are displayed regardless whether it is a still image,an animation or a video image that moves. Therefore, the computer monitor isthe most important component of the whole computer system. Throughthe monitor, you can view the results of your creation or your graphicsmanipulation.
  • 104. CHAPTER 6 GRAPHIC 107The monitor and the central processing unit are connected to each other througha graphics card located in the motherboard. Do you know that the imageproduced by graphics software is in digital format? But a computer monitor canonly display images in analog format. Therefore, there is a need for a conversionprocess and this is the job of the graphics card. Figure 6.3: NVIDIA GeForced4 MX 460 Graphics Card Source : /reviews/ images/nv25- nv17/gf4mxboardlrg .htmThe function of a graphics card is to convert digital images to analog form andthen displays it on the monitor screen. The graphics card is also known as thevideo controller/adapter card because it also plays a role in displaying videographics. Most importantly, regardless of what it is called, its function is still thesame: that is to display your image.A Graphics card is also responsible for: Your computers resolution (Refer to Unit 1 : Chapters 3 - 3.5.1: Monitor) The number of colours that your monitor can display and the depth of colour. Table 6.3: Types of Monitors and Resolutions Resolutions (In pixels) Type of Monitor 640 X 200 CGA (Colour graphics Adapter) 640 X 350 EGA (Enhanced Graphics Adapter) 640 X 480 VGA (Video Graphics Adapter) 800 X 600 or SVGA (Super VGA) 1024 X 768
  • 105. 108 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS I: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION6.6.1 Colour DepthThe graphics card on the computer determines how many colours are availablefor display on a computer screen. The number of colours on the computer screenis known as colour palette and it is determined by the depth of bits ofyour graphics card. Each pixel is produced by a combination of the three primarycolours that is red, green and blue (RGB). The bit depth or colour depth refers tothe range of existing colours in a pixel or the number of different colours thatexists on an image.Bit is an abbreviation for Binary digit (BInary digiT) and it comprises of 0 and 1. B TIf your pixel can only hold 1 bit of information, this means your monitor wouldonly be able to display 2 colours, black and white (monochrome). If each pixelcan hold two bits of information, each bit would have two colours and both thebits will produce four colours (2 x 2). A 4-bit display will gives you 16 colours(2x2x2x2) and an 8-bit display will give you 256 colours. The greater the numberof bits in a pixel, the more colours in the palette. Therefore, thedisplayed image will be more colourful and realistic. Table 6.4: The Colours Available in Colour Palettes Colour Depth /Bit of a Colour Available Graphic Card 24-bit 16,777 216 colours (photo realistic) 16-bit 65,536 colours (excellent for colour images) 8-bit 256 colours (good enough for colour images) 14-bit 16 colours 2-bit 4 colours 1-bits 2 colour (black and white/combination of any two colours)
  • 106. CHAPTER 6 GRAPHIC 109 Figure 6.4: The Colour Table of the Adobe Photoshop software Source: in photoshop.html REFERENCES If you wish to know more about resolution, refer to Chapter 4 of the book "Multimedia: Concepts and Practice," by Stephen McGloughlin, 2001. Green, Blue, Yellow, Orange, Purple, Pink, Brown, Black, Grey and White are ten words that explain the colours that are used mostly in all languages and cultures. The outcome of the study done by Komar and Melamid ( /km/index.html) found that blue is the most likeable colour in the world 6.7 GRAPHICS FILE FORMATTo produce graphics, you donÊt just require knowledge and expertise in thisfield but you must also be capable of manipulating the graphics by using specificequipment to add various effects. Different graphics software or packages willproduce different file types. Fortunately, most authoring software today is ableto import and export graphics files in various formats. This enables graphicdesigners to try different file formats for the different needs of the applications.
  • 107. 110 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS I: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATIONThe table below shows a few graphics file format available. Each file formatcontains its own distinctive features, advantages and disadvantages. Table 6.5: Graphics File Formats File Formats Explanations .bmp Windows Bitmap; This BMPs file is a file format that is most efficiently used in the Windows environment. .gif Graphics Interchange Format (GIF); developed by CompuServe to be used in computer networks. GIF is one of the most common graphics format used for images on websites. .jpg JPEGs image; named after the standard committee that developed it which is the Joint PhotographicÊs Experts Group. It aimed to be a graphics format that is not platform specific (Platform Independent). This is the most popular graphics file format used on websites. .pcd Photo CD; based on Photo CD technology from Kodak. Consists of five types of sizes for each picture, from "wallet" to "poster" size. .pict Standard format for an image in the Macintosh environment. It is used for the development of cross- platform. .png Portable Network Graphic format; is called ping .png is developed as a patent and license-free format and is an alternative format to GIF. .tiff Tagged Image File Format (TIFF); is developed by Aldus Corporation and consists of many file versions. Usually used in desktop publishing software packages and is a file format favoured by printing companies. .eps Encapsulated PostScript; is a file format used in PhotoShop and can contain both bitmap graphics and vector graphics. It is supported by many graphics programs, illustrations and layout pages. It is also used to transfer PostScripts language artworks between applications.
  • 108. CHAPTER 6 GRAPHIC 111A good multimedia designer should familiarise him/herself to workwith various graphics file formats. For example, one can produce graphicsusing Photoshop first, and then export the graphics in JPEG format to becombined into a multimedia application. REFERENCES The explanation about graphics file formats above may be limited. To know more about this topic refer to Chapter 10: Images, in the book, "Multimedia: Making It Work," by Tay Vaughn, 2001. To obtain more information about PNG, visit its website at Exercise 6.2 1. State the THREE main methods to create bitmap images. 2. Explain the differences between GIF and JPEG graphics file formats. 6.8 SOURCE OF GRAPHICSUsing digital image or graphics in a multimedia presentation is not an easy task.You not only need to think about the kind of images (graphics and / or text) to beused in the application, but also about the legal issues involved. For exampleintellectuals property such as art works and customised image have copyrightissues that may limit the usage of the images. Therefore, proper planning isrequired as to how to obtain graphics images for a multimedia presentationwithout violating any laws.The following are some of the source to obtain the required images or graphicsfor a multimedia application development.
  • 109. 112 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS I: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION Figure 6.5: Sources of Graphics Scanner Scanning an image or photograph for use in a multimedia presentation is one way of getting images for ready made applications. A scanner is an equipment that is able to change images, text, drawings and photographs from analog to digital forms. A good quality scans depend on the number of resolutions of the scanner. A scanner can digitise and convert graphics to bitmap images on the computer. It can also convert text document to files that can be manipulated by the computer. Use of digital cameras A digital camera can produce a digital image quickly and easily. With a digital camera, we do not need a scanner. The captured images are in digital form and can be uploaded into a computer instantly. These images may be manipulated and kept in a popular file format and can be imported into a authoring software when needed. Examples of available digital cameras in the market are Apple Quick Take and Kodak DCS 300 Clip Art, Photoshop and Photo CDs The easiest way to obtain an image is through the use of ClipArt, Photoshop and photo CDs. These images can be obtained commercially and are usually royalty free.
  • 110. CHAPTER 6 GRAPHIC 113 Figure 6.6: Microsoft Clip OrganiserClip Art can be obtained from CD-ROMs and through online services. Clip Artand useful graphics are bundled together with many graphics applications; infact many companies will send the collection once you register your purchasedproduct. The collection of Clip Art may contain a mixture of many imagesor a series of graphics, photographs, sounds and videos related to a single themeor a certain topic.For example, Corel and Micrografix have many collections of Clip Art that arebundled together with an image editing software produced by the company. Producing your own image You can produce your own image or hire graphic designers to create the image that you require. Graphic designers are trained to capture the images in your mind to digital reality form. With the aid of sophisticated graphics software available in the market, graphic designers can produce attractive images with unlimited creativity. 6.9 GRAPHICS SOFTWARESThere are a lot of existing graphics software in the market. Among the mostpopular and regularly used are Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw, Painter 3D,AutoCAD and Macromedia Freehand. Each of this graphics software has its owndistinctive features and functions as shown in Table 6.6.
  • 111. 114 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS I: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION YOUR IDEAHave you ever obtained or downloaded any image from a website on theInternet? What is your view on the use of such images? Table 6.6: Graphics software Software Uses - Complex graphics software and is used for Adobe Photoshop editing and manipulation of images. - To process/retouch photos and provides various special effects such as Paint Effects and filter. Adobe illustrator - For drawing and creating simple geometric images Macromedia Freehand - Is used for creating images that need to be edited in terms of its colours, size, etc Microsoft Designer - This software can also be used to manipulate text. AutoCAD Paint Brush - Is used in colouring programs, to create real and original artwork. Microsoft Paint - Normally provides tools such as brushes, pens, colour spray etc, required by artists.In fact, all the three categories of this graphics software are interdependent.Software such as Adobe Photoshop, for example, is included in variouscategories.
  • 112. CHAPTER 6 GRAPHIC 115 Figure 6.7: The main interface of photoshopThe following are some of the web sites that you can visit to obtain freegraphics and photos:1. http://www.allfree-clipart.com3. http://www.freefoto.com4. Exercise 6.31. What is the use and function of the Adobe Photoshop software?2. Give TWO sources of graphics that you know.3. Why are graphic elements important in multimedia presentations? Explain.4. State the main functions of a graphics card.
  • 113. 116 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS I: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION SUMMARYDevelopment in information technology and multimedia has made graphics as apractical media and it will continue to play a vital role in the informationindustry. In this digital era, graphics have been used in several fields such asscience, engineering, medical, business, industrial, government, arts,entertainment, advertising, education and training. Attractive and relevant use ofgraphics ensures the successful development and uses of software especiallyfor education and learning.
  • 114. Chapter 7 Introduction to Animation OBJECTIVES At the end of this chapter, you should be able to: 1. state the importance of animation in a multimedia application; 2. identify the basic principles and techniques of animation; and 3. know some of the main traditional animation techniques. INTRODUCTIONMultimedia technology has contributed a lot in our daily lives specifically in theentertainment world. Current Hollywood movies, especially action films andcartoons use a lot of animation technology such as movies like Star Wars: Attackof the Clones, Matrix, and Toy Story. Such films interest the audience. InMalaysia, local animated cartoon films such as Silat Lagenda and Putih havecaptivated the hearts of the audience. Unlike normal films, almost or all of thecharacters and scenes in these films are produced through drawings butappeared to be real. This situation is called animation; where allstatic images either as drawings, statues or inanimate objects can move, talk andact like live characters.Animation provides the visual impact for your multimedia project. Mostmultimedia applications, for both the Macintosh and Windows, provide thetools required for animation. But before that, we need to understand theprinciples and techniques found in animation.
  • 115. 118 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS 1: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION 7.1 DEFINITIONAnimation originates from the Latin word which means "bring to life." Accordingto the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka dictionary, animation is an act or process ofmaking something seem realistic or alive.A more complete definition of animation can be interpreted from the definitionby Neo & Neo (1997) which is as follows:"Animation is a technology that enables a still image to look as though it is alive,able to move, act and talk. This is made possible by cinematography graphicsand plastic art techniques to create or to give the illusion of movement and life tocartoons, handdrawing, statues and three dimensional objects." THINK Have you ever watched an animated action film or cartoon? In your opinion, how is animation created? 7.2 PRINCIPLES OF ANIMATIONAnimation is made possible because of a biological phenomenon known as„persistence of vision‰. An object seen by the human eye remains chemicallymapped on the eyeÊs retina for a brief time after viewing. Combined with thehuman mindÊs need to conceptually complete a perceived action, this makes itpossible for a series of images that are changed very slightly and very rapidly,one after the other, to seemingly blend together into a visual illusion ofmovement.The principle is explained more clearly through an illustration of circles as shownin Figure 7.1. Take note of this diagram; at each stated circle, an arrow is drawnat a different position and this position is changed towards the right-side at anangle of 15 degrees.
  • 116. CHAPTER 7 INTRODUCTION TO ANIMATION 119 Figure 7.1: Picture of movement of an imageWhen the images are progressively and rapidly changed, the arrow is perceivedto be spinning.Television video builds 30 entire frames or pictures every second; the speed withwhich each frame is replaced by the next one makes the images appear to blendsmoothly into movement.For computer animation to function well, it should be built by using 12 to 15frames per second (12 - 15 fps). Any amount of fps which is less than the statedvalue will produce animation that is jerky and not smooth. This is becausethe human eye is able to detect the changes from one frame to the next.In conclusion, it can be said that animation is produced with the benefit ofthe biological phenomenon known as "persistence of vision." Figure 7.2: Stop motion photo "Humans in motion" by Edweard MuyBridge Source: http//
  • 117. 120 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS 1: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATIONRead the passage below regarding the device known as Zoetrope which isproduced based on the "persistence of vision" concept.The ZoetropeThe zoetrope, or Wheel of Life, takes the PhenakistiscopeÊsprinciple of using slits to view the image and folds it into arotating drum. Invented in 1834 by William George Horner,the image was drawn on a removable strip of paper, so theanimations were changeable. The slits were equally spacedaround the drum, and the images were spaced along withthem. The viewer spun the drum and watched the animationthrough the slits. This was perhaps the most popular andlongest lasting of all of these toys. Horner originally namedit the Daedalum, or Wheel of the Devil, but changed it beforemarketing.(Source: S Exercise 7.1 1. Give ONE definition of animation that you have learnt. 2. Explain what you understand by the concept "persistence of vision?"7.3 THE IMPORTANCE OF ANIMATION IN MULTIMEDIAThe need to integrate animation in the development of a multimedia programs orsoftware not only arises from the desire to increase the „oomph‰ in theapplication, but also to provide a more dynamic visual to the audience. Inmultimedia aspects, animation is one of the elements that are able to increasethe attractiveness of a multimedia program or software. However, the decision touse animation is based on its aesthetic value and the growing importanceof animation.There is a difference between the use of digital video clips and animation. Videoclips capture real live movement whereas animation is just a simulation of the
  • 118. CHAPTER 7 INTRODUCTION TO ANIMATION 121real world. Digital video files are larger than animation files. Therefore, digitalvideo clips are only used if it is proven to benefit the overall presentation.Nowadays, computer animation is progressing rapidly. With the price ofcomputers and software getting lower and the capacity of computer systemsincreasing, development of animation technology will definitely continue toprogress. Animation makes a person creative in the sense that the software isuser friendly and the hard disk storage can be increased to accommodate anyshortfalls. This makes the production of animation easier and it is only limited bythe creativity of an individual. Figure 7.3: Examples of local animated films: Putih and Silat Lagenda Source: /gambar/poster/posterthumb.html7In the West, computer animated technology became a huge success with theproduction of animated films such as „Who framed Roger Rabbit, Antz, andToyÊs Story". In Malaysia, computer animation technology received attentionwith the emergence of the first computer animated cartoons such as, UsopSantorian and Keluang Man, Anak-anak Sidek, Silat Lagenda etc. Althoughthese local animated cartoons have their weaknesses, these efforts have beenrelatively successful in introducing new changes in the local film industry. 7.4 COMPUTER ANIMATION APPLICATIONSAs we know, recently there are many uses for computer animation, more so inthe era of multimedia industry development. You may think that computeranimation only focuses on producing computer games, TV broadcasts ormaterials with multimedia characteristics. This is not necessarily true becausecomputer animation comprises of not only entertainment but also practicalelements and education.The areas that benefited from computer animation applications are advertising,archaeology, architecture, arts, chemistry, education, engineering, film and videoproduction, flight simulation, forensics, medicine, space probe, military andmany others. Figure 7.4 below shows the various fields of computer animation.
  • 119. 122 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS 1: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION Figure 7.4: Computer Animation Applications7.4.1 EducationEducation and learning processes will be more effective and attractive if they areimplemented in informal and pleasant situations. With the increasingdevelopment of multimedia, animation continues to contribute greatly to the fieldof education. Coloured and dynamic animation features not only makethe educational content more lively and interesting, but it also stimulates andinterests the students.
  • 120. CHAPTER 7 INTRODUCTION TO ANIMATION 123 Figure 7.5: Example of a screen display of an Animated Maths software Source: courseware that are available in the market use animation, for example acourseware built for the Smart School project. What interesting about thiscourseware is the interactive feature that is relayed through multimedia. Students who use this software donÊt use it passively but have active interactionswith the software. Figure 7.5 shows an example of mathematicsÊ software,„Animated Math." Flix Productions is a company that specialises in children educational software. Visit its website at: http://www, MedicineAnimation also plays an important role in the medical field, especially in surgery.Sophisticated computer technology enabled every organ in the human body to bemodelled and animated. With the existence of such technology, the percentage ofsuccessful operations will surely increase because surgeons are able to learn andexplore on model organs first before, they operate. This increases the surgeonsÊconfidence levels and contributes to the success of operations.
  • 121. 124 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS 1: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION7.4.3 AdvertisingAdvertising especially electronic media advertising has benefited from computeranimation. The advertising field requires dynamic and attractive media such asthe animation available in the film industry. High quality animation features arecapable of obscuring the audienceÊs eyes to the extent that it is difficult todifferentiate between computer animation and real life. If you observe theadvertisements shown on television, you will find that more andmore commercials are using amazing animation techniques.Without the use of animation, these cannot be advertised, because somemovements that need to be displayed cannot be produced. For example, anaircraft that is in the heart of the city waiting to pick up a package, as in theFedEx advertisement, is made possible through animation. So is thepetroleum advertisement that shows a car turning into a tiger.7.4.4 ChemistryAnimation also contributes to the field of chemistry. This is because there aremany chemicals such as molecules and atoms that cannot be seen by the nakedeye, let alone be experimented or researched on.Computer animation is used to help chemists with their experiments by buildingrealistic 3D models of molecules or atoms that can be viewed from variousangles. This definitely eases the difficult jobs that chemists have in real life.7.4.5 ArchitectureComputer animation technology helps architecture experts create animationbased on the concepts of internal exploration, where a person is able toexperience a real life situation while exploring and moving in a building. Withthis, we can experience the actual situation of a building before it is built.This concept also enables an architect to detect any defect in the model or designat the initial stage. This will surely save cost and energy.
  • 122. CHAPTER 7 INTRODUCTION TO ANIMATION 125 Figure 7.6: Animation and architecture Source: To increase your knowledge regarding architecture and animation, visit the website at 4.299/Students/lsass/Anim/Text/ch-0.html7.4.6 Films, Entertainment and GamesAnimation is an alternative in the film industry. If in the beginning the filmindustry benefited from performing arts by humans and live animals, theanimation has transformed the attention by including drawing or artwork todeliver a story. Trinor & Krasnewick said that graphics artists canintegrate multimedia technology with artwork from drawing software that isacquired freely to build animated film animation such as cartoon films.Nowadays, computer animation has become a norm and increasingly popular inthe area of entertainment. Do you know that Toys Story (1995) was the firstanimated movie completely produced by computer? This movie was a jointproduction of Disney and Pixar. Other movies such as Terminator 2, Matrix, StarWars; Attack of the Clones, Stuart Little and Shrek has brought computeranimation to a new level in the film industry.
  • 123. 126 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS 1: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION Figure 7.7: Toys Story film Source: animation can fully contribute towards games, just like in the fieldof education. The highly interactive features make the games softwarehighly entertaining. Players can response actively during play. In addition, thereare also games that really challenge the players, not only in terms of physicalactivity but also intellectually. Figure 7.8: The GTA3 computer game Source: YOUR IDEATry to think of FOUR other fields that also benefited from computer animatedapplications.
  • 124. CHAPTER 7 INTRODUCTION TO ANIMATION 127 Visit the website computeranimation. pdf to obtain additional information regarding computer animated applications.Lets take a short break before continuing the lessons. Exercise 7.2 1. What is the contribution of computer animation in the field of medicine? 7.5 ANIMATION TECHNIQUESThere are many techniques or animation methods that you can learn. Thebasic method is to create animation through the stop frame cinematographymethod. However, to ease your understanding of animation techniques, we willdivide it into two categories, that is traditional animation and computeranimation.Traditional animation will be explained later in this chapter. It covers techniquessuch as keyframes, cell animation and onion skinning. In the following chapter,we will discuss computerised animation. Isnt that interesting? Therefore, clearyour thoughts and it is hoped that you are ready to study the various interestinganimation techniques. 7.6 TRADITIONAL ANIMATIONMost of the techniques and methods of traditional animation were developed inthe 1930s at the Walt Disney studio. These techniques were aimed at producing amore realistic and entertaining animation. In fact these techniques can and shouldbe applied in the production of 3D animation.
  • 125. 128 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS 1: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATIONThe following are some of the animation techniques used in the traditionalprocess of producing animation.7.6.1 KeyframesBefore the existence of animation technology, all traditional animation was doneby hand. To save time and reduce the workload of the artists, the task ofproducing animation was distributed to more than one person. In order for thisprocess to function smoothly, keyframes were referred to.Before an animation is implemented; a storyboard is produced first, to showsequence of the animated story. When the storyboard is completed, the chiefgraphics artist or animator will draw the main frames (usually the first frame andlast frame for an action). These main frames are known as keyframes. It will bethe key or the reference frame for all the other frames.After the keyframes have been completely drawn, the other graphics artists willtake over the task of drawing the frames between the first frame and the lastframe. The process of drawing the frames that lie between the keyframes isalso known as tweening.7.6.2 TweeningTweening is the process of producing an image or object in between thekeyframes so as to give the illusion of movement. The tweening processrequires prior counting of the actual number of frames that are requiredbetween the keyframes and the future path to be taken for the sequence ofactions. After that, the sequence of actions will be drawn in pencil. If the endresult is satisfactory and acceptable, then it will be permanently drawn in ink.7.6.3 Onion SkinningOnion skinning is another animation technique that is used in traditional cellanimation. By drawing on transparent paper, the graphics artist can see therough outline or the cell outline and use it as his guide for drawing orproducing the next cell image.
  • 126. CHAPTER 7 INTRODUCTION TO ANIMATION 129 Figure 7.9: The Mechanical Techniques during the Disney Era7.6.4 Cell AnimationThe cell animation technique, popularised by Walt Disney, uses a series ofdrawings or pictures that overlap one frame with another frame. Cell animationbenefits the three major techniques which are the keyframes, tweening and onionskinning. For your information, films are normally built using 24 frames persecond (fps). Therefore, to produce one minute of animation we will require 1440different frames.The term ÂcellÊ originates from clear celluloid sheets that are used to draw eachframe. Nowadays, it has been replaced with acetate or plastic. Cell animationbegins with the keyframes. For example, when a person walks across the screen,he balances his body on one leg and then on the other leg. Thus, the picture of thefirst keyframe will show him bending a little then straightening a little thenbending a little again and so on and so forth, continuously.The sequence of producing the frames in between the keyframes is known astweening. Through this cell animation technique, each character or object thatrequires having movement, will be drawn on transparent sheets. Pictures of thebackground are drawn on opaque sheets.For an animation to succeed, many characters or objects will be drawn onoverlapping transparent sheets that are placed on top of each other and in turnplaced on top of the opaque paper with the background drawing.
  • 127. 130 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS 1: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION Figure 7.10: Traditional Cell Animation Shows how the major frame is produced by the animator, the assistants will draw the in between frames and onion skinning is used to ease the end result of the artwork. Source: technique saves time and energy for the graphics artists because they do notneed to draw each character or object repeatedly. Instead, these artists only needto draw certain parts of the characters that require movements. Figure 7.11: The first cartoon, „Steamboat Willie" produced by Walt Disney Source: nline/lectures/history.pdfFor additional information, kindly read the passage below:
  • 128. CHAPTER 7 INTRODUCTION TO ANIMATION 131Cell and Paper Animation TechniqueBy mid-1910Ês animation production in US already dominated by the techniques ofcell and paper.Cell animation was more popularised in America than in Europe because ofassembly line Taylorism that had taken America by storm. Cell animation wasappropriate to the assembly line style of manufacturing because it took a whole lineof persons working on very specific and simple repetitive duties. On the otherhand, in Europe where the assembly line style of work was not encouraged, clayanimation and other forms of animation that required only a few individualsworking on the set at a time was more popularised. Because the actual set couldonly afford a limited amount of individuals working at one time together andno more this style and other alternative forms of animation became more widelyaccepted.(Source: Exercise 7.3 1. What is the most basic technique for creating animation? 2. Give TWO traditional animation techniques. Explain briefly. 3. State ONE usage of computer animation application in each of the following fields; Fields Usage of animation technology application (i) Advertising (ii) Education (iii) Chemistry (iv) Architecture
  • 129. 132 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS 1: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION SUMMARYToday, animation is almost a century old and has evolved into a verylarge technology. Animated movies continue to flood the market and havebecome an attractive source of information and entertainment. This indicates thatanimation has a bright future.In this chapter, you were introduced to the principles of animation, theimportance of animation in multimedia and the contribution of animation invarious areas of life. A few traditional techniques of animation such as keyframe,cell animation and onion skinning were discussed in this chapter.
  • 130. Chapter 8 Computer Animation OBJECTIVES At the end of this chapter, you should be able to: 1. state the two categories of computer animation; 2. identify the processes involved in the production of three dimensional animation; and 3. explain the two special effects of animation. INTRODUCTIONIf in Chapter 7, you were introduced to some of the traditional techniques ofanimation, in this chapter; we will discuss computer animation. Computeranimation refers to animation developed by using sophisticated electronic andcomputer technology. It may be divided into two categories: two dimensionalanimation (2D) and three dimensional animation (3D). In this chapter, we willlearn the various methods used to develop both these categories. In addition, youwill be introduced to two interesting special effects of animation: morphing andwarping. 8.1 COMPUTER ANIMATIONIn general, computer animation programmes are built using the same proceduraland logical concepts as cell animation (traditional), such as the use of layers,keyframes and tweening. What distinguishes computerised animation from cellanimation is the method used. Cell animation uses drawings arranged in frames;starting from the keyframes until all the pictures are arranged completely. Thepictures on each frame are then recorded using a method called cinematography.
  • 131. 134 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS 1: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATIONOn the other hand, computerised animation uses computer to organise the framesand records them in the computer memory.Before we discuss any further on the category of computer animation, let usreflect on two of the techniques already studied in traditional animation that iskeyframe and tweening. In this chapter, we will briefly see how these techniquesare applied in the computerised animation environment. 8.2 KEYFRAMES AND TWEENINGThe keyframe concept in computerised animation is almost the same as thekeyframe concept in traditional animation. In computerised animation, it is nolonger necessary to draw images by hand to generate the frame images betweenthe keyframes.Instead, computers with selected animation software will automatically calculateand insert or draw relevant images to be inserted in between the keyframes. Themore the number of keyframes identified the smoother the animation produced. Figure 8.1: Keyframes for Basic Animation Source: software screen in Figure 8.1 shows two frames that made up the keyframes(frames no. 1 and 30) for a short animation. The area between both the arrowsshows the process of tweening that occurs between both the keyframes.The tweening process as explained in the previous chapter is one of the famousanimation techniques. Most of the software in the market has its own specialways of doing the tweening process.Tweening reduces the workload of the animators or graphics artists. They onlyneed to design the first and last cell of an animation, as shown in Figures 8.2 and8.3, where only the first cell and the last cell are required to do an animation thatshows a bird flying. Then, the animation software will make the calculations todetermine what would happen between the first frame and the last frame.
  • 132. CHAPTER 8 COMPUTER ANIMATION 135 Figure 8.2: First cell Source: flashtweenings01.htm Figure 8.3: Last cell Source: flashtweenings01.htm REFERENCESRefer to the book, “Multimedia: The Complete Guide,” produced by DorlingKindersley Limited, London, 1996 to see the process of 3D animationproduction. There are many interesting examples and illustrations that can befound in this book. Exercise 8.1 1. State the differences between the keyframe concepts of computer animation and traditional animation
  • 133. 136 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS 1: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION 8.3 CATEGORY OF COMPUTER ANIMATIONThere are two categories of computer animation namely two dimensionalanimation (2D) and three dimensional animation (3D).Between these two categories, the two dimensional animation (2D) is morepopular and covers a variety of motion. 2D animation includes object, screenmotion and animated cartoons. 2D animation is a flat animation. Meaning, themotion produced or the object being animated uses only two dimensions ofspace: the x-axis and the y-axis. Both these axes represent the height (y-axis) andwidth (x-axis) of the object or motion.Three dimensional animation (3D) refers to the animation that contains threedimensional objects that are usually formed through modelling or mathematicalformulas. 3D animation uses three dimensions, the height, width and depth. Thez-axis represents the depth of the image involved. Three dimensional objectsseem more animated and realistic and give the illusion as if it is a real worlddimensional object.8.4 TWO-DIMENSIONAL ANIMATION (2D)2D animation is an animation that is widely used to develop multimediaapplications. 2D animation is also known as linear animation. It refers to themovement of objects easily across the screenÊs display Figure 8.4: Two-Dimensional Animation8.4.1 Path AnimationPath animation can be applied to almost all types of objects, whether text,graphics, video screens or character animation. Path animation only needs aspecific path that has been predetermined. The path maybe a straight line or a
  • 134. CHAPTER 8 COMPUTER ANIMATION 137curve. This path is later connected to the object of choice. When the application isrun, the object will move along the path which had been predetermined earlier.As stated in earlier paragraph, path animation can be applied to text objects.Bullet is an example of a motion. When presenting a multimedia application, youmight want to click on the screen and a bullet will appear from the top of thescreen and will remain on the screen until another bullet emerges. Specific bulletscan also be animated to appear from the right hand corner of the screen. Whenthis application is run, all the bullets will appear along the path, producingtextual movement in the presentation. Depending on the creativity of theindividuals, these bullets can appear in a straight line or as one letter at a time. Figure 8.5: Example of Path AnimationPath animation is not confined to bullet and text only but also to photographs,logos and character animation. Even though an animation may seem relativelycomplex, actually it may be an easy animation that uses path animation. This isbecause although path animation is easy to create, it gives the audience adynamic experience to the presentation.8.4.2 Cell AnimationAt one time, Walt Disneys cartoons such as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duckwere the most popular cartoon shows. If you loved cartoon stories during yourchildhood, you will surely remember how these cartoons keep you transfixed tothe television sets with its interesting and fascinating actions. If you werecaptivated and were wondering how characters such as Mickey Mouse, couldwalk, talk and act like humans. The secret is cell animation.
  • 135. 138 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS 1: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATIONComputer cell animation is a continuation to the traditional cell animationtechnique. Usually, cell refers to the sub-object in the animation frame. Forexample, the feet motion of someone who is running, the feet are considered as asingle cell. If the hands also move, then the hands are also considered as a cell.Therefore, in one frame there may be many cells. Figure 8.6: Example of Cell Animation Source: or the image in a cell would be drawn repeatedly with each imageshowing a specific minimal variation. These images are then organised accordingto sequence to generate an illusion of rapid motion.Cell animation can be drawn by hand, scanned into a computer or drawn by acomputer. Cells that are hand drawn can be scanned into graphics softwarepackages, coloured and exported as suitable file formats to be animated in ananimation software packages such as Macromedia Director.
  • 136. CHAPTER 8 COMPUTER ANIMATION 1398.4.3 Screen or Object TransitionDuring a multimedia presentation, sometimes transitions on the screen or objectare required for the audience to rest their eyes or to inform the audience visuallythat something is changing or going to happen on the presentation.Transitions can be placed on the entire screen or to a particular object on thescreen. In fact, in many authoring and presentation software packages, screenchanges are provided in the form of slide transitions. Transitions are also used inapplications that have many kinds of screen interfaces and provide the visualchanges from one screen to another. For example, screen flying from onedirection or screen fades away before being replaced with a new presentationscreen. Transitions are included in almost all authoring and presentation softwarepackages such as Astound, Macromedia Director and Authorware, MicrosoftPowerPoint, and Qmedia.8.4.4 Font and Icon AnimationFont animation refers to animation on fonts or selected characters. This type ofanimation also plays a role in producing lively and exciting multimediapresentations. Font animation is done using programming language, authoringlanguage or any other authoring and multimedia presentation software.In a multimedia presentation, text motion on the presentation screen can bemanipulated to attract the attention of the audience. For example, the speed of thetext motion to be presented on the screen can be predetermined or the text can becreated to suddenly appear from any angle of the screen. YOUR IDEA Have you ever pressed an icon, whether in a multimedia presentation or on any website, and suddenly, the icon you are pressing transforms into another icon? What crosses your mind at that point of time?The changes that happen on the icon are known as icon or „sprite‰ animation.The function of icon animation is to attract attention by displaying icons that areflickering, changing its colours, moving and many others. These icons can befound in many multimedia presentation software, Internet, kiosk and others.
  • 137. 140 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS 1: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION Toon Boom Technologies is a company that produces famous 2D animation software. Visit its website at 8.5 THREE DIMENSIONAL ANIMATION (3D)3D animation brings 2D animation a step forward by adding the depth factor tothe cell. Although 3D animation fills up more hard disk space compared to 2Danimation, nevertheless, the sophisticated 3D animation is able to produce a moreanimated and amazing presentation.If 2D animation uses only axis x and axis y, 3D animation adds another axis, thatis axis z to represent depth. Depth is what enables cells to seem more realistic. In3D packages, three dimensional objects are drawn within the 3D coordinationspace.2D images usually use bitmap images to create cells for animation; while 3Dgraphics use vector graphics. In other words, three dimensional objects areusually formed by mathematical calculations. Thus, any changes or modificationsthat happened to the form, size or colour of the object would result in therecalculation of the overall mathematical equation.3D animation has become the primary catalyst for the creation of variousmultimedia software and films for the computer animation market. Multimediasoftware that are games oriented like Final Fantasy and Doom and Western films,like the movie Stuart Little, Casper, Matrix and Toy Story uses 3D animatedimages to deliver their messages and this provides new and enjoyableexperiences to the consumers and audience. Click Grafix Sdn. Bhd. is a local company that provides various multimedia products and services, animation and digital videos. Visit its website at to get various interesting information and the latest on digital animation.
  • 138. CHAPTER 8 COMPUTER ANIMATION 141 8.6 3D ANIMATION PRODUCTION PROCESSYou must be wondering how three dimensional multimedia software andcomputer animated films are produced. In fact, production of 3D animation istougher and more complex compared to the production of 2D animation, and itinvolves a few steps or main process.However, there are many computer animation software such as 3DStudio Max,Lightwave 3D and Alias/Wavefront that can help you to create a complexanimation with relative ease. But the most important factor in computeranimation production besides sophisticated animation technology is your ownimagination and creativity!In this topic, we will see a few steps or main process involved in producing 3Danimation. They are: storyboard modelling mapping lighting rendering and animationThe following are detailed explanations of each step in a 3D animationproduction.8.6.1 StoryboardThe first step that should be done in 3D animation production is to prepare astoryboard. Storyboard has an important function because it shows the sequenceof the animation story being created. It is a sketch that shows the story line andthe scenes that will be included in the film or multimedia presentation. Figure 8.7shows an example of a cartoon storyboard. Figure 8.7: Example of a cartoon story board Source: http://www. freetoon,com/prestonblair/05- technical/05-frame.html
  • 139. 142 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS 1: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATIONHaving a storyboard will provides us with guidelines and references regardingthe script or screens that must be produced during the animation developmentprocess. Do you know that for an animated movie to succeed, it requires morethan 1,000 sketches of storyboards? For example, the animated movie, „A BugÊsLife‰ required more than 4,000 sketches of storyboards, while the film „ToyStory‰ used as many as 3,800 sketches of storyboards.8.6.2 Modelling3D modelling involves the physical formation of 3D objects which would be builtin three dimensional space. Among the modelling often used are wireframe andsolid object modelling. Figure 8.8: Wireframe Figure 8.9: Solid Object ModellingIt is easier to build a virtual model by using 3D animation software, liketrueSpace and 3D Studio Max than to build models or objects in real life. This isbecause most 3D software has screen work which is divided into various pointsof views, such as top view, front, right, etc. This would enable you to view andanalyse the models from a variety of angles. Figure 8.10: Modelling using the TueSpacesoftware Source: http://www. truespace_4.htmComputer animated films such as Toy Story and A BugÊs Life used sophisticatedsoftware like Marionette which is specially designed by the animation firm, Pixarto build characters, sets and the filmsÊ props. Among the advantages of thissoftware is that, it produces movement and expressions on the faces of thecharacters created.
  • 140. CHAPTER 8 COMPUTER ANIMATION 143 trueSpace is a popular 3D authoring software and is used extensively among animators and 3D artists. Visit its website at LightingLighting also plays a major role in the production of computer animation. It isimportant in creating the real situation or mood of an object. In addition it alsohelps by providing dimension to the objects involved. Among the main type oflighting often used are Ambient, Directional, Positional and Spotlight. Figure 8.11: Ambient Figure 8.12: Directional Figure 8.13: Positional Figure 8.14: Spotlight Source: using digital light, each display would be adjusted with the mood and thesurrounding situation of the image. The digital lighting can be done by 3D
  • 141. 144 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS 1: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATIONmodelling software itself or by using specific software for lighting such asLightscape (Refer Figure 8.15). Figure 8.15: Lighting by lightscape software Source: /adsk/servletitem? sitelD=123112&id=773384Please read the followings extracts so as to understand the types of lightingsources.Types of Light SourcesAmbient Light:Ambient light is light coming from all directions with equal intensity, like beingoutdoors on an overcast day. All facets of all objects receive equal illumination.Directional Light:Directional light is light coming from a single direction with a constant intensity,like being outdoors on a sunny day. All rays are parallel, as if the light is at aninfinite distance, and light intensity does not diminish with distance. Identicalobjects with identical orientations are identically illuminated, regardless of theirlocation.Positional Light:Positional light is light coming from a single location at a finite distance, likebeing in a room lit by a light bulb. All rays emanate from the light source, theyare not parallel and light intensity diminishes with distance. Identical objectswith identical orientations are differently illuminated, depending on theirlocation with respect to the light source.Spotlight:A spotlight is a positional light source, which has a cone of effect, e.g. a desklamp or a torch.(Source: S
  • 142. CHAPTER 8 COMPUTER ANIMATION 1458.6.4 MappingMapping is the process of adding texture, colour or action to the 3D surfacemodel and its environment.Mapping is an important process to make sure that the model or image beingcreated will be more realistic and suitable with the animation concept developed.Unrealistic selection of colour and texture for the model being built will spoilt thewhole animation project. Several methods of mapping that are used regularly aretexture mapping, reflection mapping and environment mapping. Figure 8.16: Wireframe Figure 8.17: Solid Object Figure 8.18: Texture mapping Figure8.19:Environment Mapping Source: To know the differences between texture and environment mapping and other methods of mapping, download additional information from this website; Lecture28/ 28texture.pdf
  • 143. 146 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS 1: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION8.6.5 Rendering and AnimationRendering and the animation preparation process, is the final process that is doneto create a 3D animation. In this process, all the models with the selectedmapping and lighting, together with the imported environment, will becombined together at the same time in one presentation screen to form theanimation as planned by the storyboard. At the same time, the camera or theangle-of-view would be fixed to provide the motion or animation required foreach object involved. Figure 8.20 shows an example of the rendering screencontrol. Figure 8.20: Rendering screen control.In the rendering process, the computer will do the mathematical calculations forall the effects used, so that it can be applied to the objects concerned. Renderingrequires a lot of computer power; therefore, before you produce a 3D animationproject, you should ensure that the computer is capable of accommodating thehigh demand required for the processing process.The rendering process also requires a relatively long period of time, up to severaldays at times, depending on the degree of difficulty of the animation beingcreated and the chosen quality level of the rendering. However, the result of theanimation created will be more realistic.
  • 144. CHAPTER 8 COMPUTER ANIMATION 147 If you wish to view the local 3D animated movie project, „A Malaysian Friday" and „Penyu2020," by Tajino, visit his website at Exercise 8.2 1. ______________is the process of adding texture, colour or action to a 3D modelÊs surface and its environment. 2. Give TWO types of lighting that you have learnt.Before we continue with our lessons, letÊs take a short break. 8.7 SPECIAL EFFECTS OF ANIMATIONBesides 2D and 3D animation, there are also several special effects of animationthat you should know, among them are morphing and warping.8.7.1 MorphingMorphing is a popular animation technique that is widely used. Morphing is theprocess of transforming one image into another. The morphing application andother modelling that offer this effect can transition not only between still imagesbut often moving images as well. The products that offer this feature are AvidsElastic Reality, Gryphon Softwares Morph, and Stratas Visual FX.
  • 145. 148 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS 1: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION Figure 8.21: Example of how the Morphing Effect is Created. Source: ses/320/Lectures/lecture-18.pdfTo create morphing you need to put the current image side by side with theimage that you desire. By using the tools provided by the morphing software,you need to select the key points on the current image that you want to morphout and these points will appear at the corresponding points of the image thatyou want to morph into. The selection of the key points is important for smoothtransition between two images. The more key points selected, the longer will bethe rendering process. But the resulting transition will be very smooth. Thisentire process may be saved as a digital video format and incorporated into yourmultimedia presentation.The effect of morphing is indeed enjoyable and easy to do. It is often used for thepurpose of advertising, education, medical, films, and others. Films that used theeffect of morphing is Terminator 2, Species and Death Becomes Her.8.7.2 WarpingWarping is a special effect that is almost similar to morphing. Warping let youmanipulate the images according to your taste. For example, you can stretch thefacial features of a person so that a sour face becomes a smiling face. One of thefamous warping software is Kai Super Goo. Figure 8.22 shows an example of animage after the warping process.
  • 146. CHAPTER 8 COMPUTER ANIMATION 149 Figure 8.22 : Example of an Image after the warping process. Source: http://seamonkey media/anim/effects2.htm Figure 8.23: Easy Morph Software Screen for Morphing and Warping Source: http://www.blackbeltsystems.c om/ bx_wi_moe.htmlEasy Morph is the number 1 software for Microsoft Windows. Visit itswebsite at
  • 147. 150 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS 1: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION Exercise 8.3 1. "Warping is a special effect that is almost similar to morphing." Define this statement. 2. Give ONE type of warping software that is popular. 8.8 ANIMATION FILE FORMATSThere are many file formats that are specially designed to accommodateanimation and it can be exported among different applications and platforms byusing suitable translators. The popular animation file formats are MacromediaDirector (.DIR), Animator (.FLI, .FLC), and 3D Studio Max (max).File compression is an important part in the process of preparing an animationfile on the web. This is because file size is a critical factor when you downloadanimation to be played on websites. The movie Director file (.DIR) for example,needs to be preprocessed and compressed into Shockwave animation file (dcr)before it can be used on the web. By using this method, the movie Director can becompressed until 75% or more and subsequently change its file size from 100K to25K. The result is really obvious; the download process is much faster and timesaving. 8.9 ANIMATION HARDWARESComputer animation technology has evolved rapidly in the west, especially in theUnited States. Therefore, it is a small wonder that most of the sophisticated andsuitable computer hardware for complex animation were first made popularthere.Among the computer hardware frequently used in this industry are SiliconGraphic which is based on UNIX; Macintosh (Mac) which is based on MacOS; PCwhich is based on Windows; and Amiga which is based on Commodore.To create a simple computer animation, you do not require a sophisticatedcomputer and high powered processing. Actually, computer animation can bedone by using any multimedia computer that is currently available in the market.
  • 148. CHAPTER 8 COMPUTER ANIMATION 1518.10 ANIMATION SOFTWARESEven if you own the latest sophisticated and powerful computer, it will meannothing if it is not equipped with the suitable animation software.It is not difficult for you to get the animation software to develop your animationproject. This is because there are hundreds of computer animation softwarepackages available in the market for you to choose from. Among the mostpopular and frequently used software are; 3D Studio Max, 3D Studio,LightWaveSD, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere, Elastic Reality, Strata StudioPro and AliaslWavefront. To obtain more information about animation software that is available in the market, visit the website: ComputerAnimation/CompAn_Tools.html8.10.1 2D Animation Software2D animation software is used to develop simple computer animation and it ischeaper compared to 3D animation software. The popular 2D animation softwarein the market is Macromedia Director and Flash. This software is not difficult touse and it can do both path animation and cell animation. Figure 8.24: Flash Screen Software Source: http:// hotwired, lycos_com/webmonkey/02/09/ index4a Daae3.html?tw= multimedia
  • 149. 152 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS 1: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION8.10.2 3D Animation Software3D animation software is used to develop 3D animation that is more difficult andcomplex. We will divide 3D animation software into three stages based on itsprice and level of difficulty.At the beginning stage, you are encouraged to use cheap and easy to learn 3Danimation such as Asymmetrix 3DFX, Ray Dream 3D, and Ulead Cool 3D.At the intermediate stage, you will be introduced to 3D animation software suchas Macromedia Extreme 3D, Visual Reality, and Specular Infini DAt the advance stage, you will be introduced to 3D animation software such asMaya, Houdini, 3D Studio Max, NewTechs Lightwave 3D, and MicrosoftSoftimage. The software at this stage is capable of producing complex andsophisticated animation such as those found in Hollywood films. Figure 8.25: 3D Studio Max Software Screen Source: http://www. cg/ max311_materials_still_li fe_pt_1.html
  • 150. CHAPTER 8 COMPUTER ANIMATION 153 Figure 8.26: TrueSpace Software Screen Source: es/TrueSpace_Materials.jpgTo increase your knowledge regarding animation especially 3Danimation, visit the following web sites;1. orials.html2. html Exercise 8.41. Why is storyboard important in the process of creating a 3D animation?2. Give THREE types of 3D animation software for the intermediate stage and TWO types of popular 2D animation software.3. 2D images normally use _________________ image to create cells for animation; whereas 3D images usually use ______________ images.4. What is the main factor that differentiates between 2D and 3D animation?
  • 151. 154 UNIT 2 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS 1: TEXT, GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION SUMMARYThe uses of animation in multimedia applications have increased the dimensionaldepth motion, and mobility for the overall value of the presentations. The use of2D animation can help in terms of improving the visual and for resting the eyesespecially during a serious presentation. In fact, in cases like edutainmentapplications and children education, it can make learning entertaining andinteresting.On the other hand, 3D animation increases the depth and perspective byproviding simulation to an incident that cannot be captured by video. With 3Danimation, you are able to create and perform a simulation to the image andsubsequently use the image to improve the multimedia message. Nowadays,with the increasing power of microprocessors and more user friendly software,creating animation is becoming easier.
  • 152. TUTORIAL QUESTION 155 TUTORIAL QUESTION INTRODUCTIONThe purpose of tutorial questions is to see how far you have understood theimportance of text components and graphics in the development of multimedia. PROBLEMAkmal was offered to work in a prominent multimedia company. AkmalÊs firsttask is to create two kinds of specific courseware: an encyclopaedia software anda games software. The problem here is that Akmal does not have any experiencein producing both types of software. JOB TASKYou are required to help Akmal by studying several courseware that areavailable in the market especially encyclopaedia software and games software.You are also required to do research on several popular graphics software such asAdobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Freehand, and Corel Draw.From the findings of your research, prepare a short report to answer thefollowing questions. This comparative report is based upon two kinds ofcourseware (i-iii) and several graphics software, (iv) of your choice.(i) Font and typeface (font type, typeface type, text category, size etc)(ii) Text (too compact, too brief, techniques used to support the big volume of text etc.)(iii) Quality (differences in the total number of colours used, text quality etc)(iv) Create a table to compare several graphics software of your choice based upon the features of the software.
  • 153. PANDUAN KURSUS 156
  • 154. Unit 3 MultimediaComponents II:Audio & Video
  • 155. INTRODUCTION 159 LEARNING OBJECTIVES At the end of this unit, you should be able to; 1. describe the concepts of analog and digital for both sound and video; 2. list several roles of audio and video in multimedia; and 3. know some of the techniques, formats, and software of audio and video that are available in the market. INTRODUCTIONAmong all the multimedia elements that we have studied so far, audio and videoare the most effective elements for conveying information. As you know,computers are capable of processing both text and graphics. However, thecapacity of computers to integrate both audio and video into a multimediaapplication is an important achievement in the evolution of the multimediaindustry. The human brain processes and reacts faster to what is seen and heardcompared to what is read. Thus, this unit aims to provide fundamentalknowledge on video and audio when it is used within the digital environment orthe computer. Not only it is important for you to use these elements inmultimedia applications, but it is also important that you understand theinteresting technology behind it.The first chapter of this unit will touch on the basic concepts of analog and digitalsound, and the various uses of audio in multimedia. In the following chapters,you will also learn about sound files and its formats. You will be shown severalbasic techniques on how to process sound with the use of the Sound Forgesoftware.The third and fourth chapters of this unit will touch on the video element inmultimedia. Other than learning the differences between analog video and digitalvideo, you will also learn to distinguish the various video formats that areavailable in the market and select the best for your application. At the end of thisunit, you would also be exposed to several basic guidelines on how to use theAdobe Premiere software.
  • 156. Chapter 9 Audio in Multimedia OBJECTIVES At the end of this chapter, you should be able to: 1. explain the concept of analog and digital sound; 2. list several roles of audio in multimedia; and 3. identify the factors that need to be considered when using audio. INTRODUCTIONThis chapter explains about audio, its importance and role in multimediatechnology. The audio element is moulded into a multimedia presentation topresent information and to increase comprehension pertaining to the contentsthat you want to present. Audio is also an element that is able to enhancepleasure, increase interest and set the ambience of a multimedia presentation. 9.1 AUDIOAudio or sound plays an important role in the development of multimedia. It hasenhanced the multimedia system that has remained static all this time. The entryof audio into multimedia is an important feature whereby it has escalated the useof multimedia to its maximum level.According to Steinmetz and friends (1995), audio (sound) is a physicalphenomenon generated by the vibrations of an object, for example, a guitar.When the object vibrates, different pressure variations would exist in thesurrounding air. High and low pressures will develop within the environment
  • 157. CHAPTER 9 AUDIO IN MULTIMEDIA 161and the resulting movement is called a wave. When this wave is perceived by thehearing sense, it will be heard as sound. The sound and audio techniqueprocesses the sound waves or acoustic signals. This wave has a particular patterncalled waveform that has repetitive movements.If viewed in terms of multimedia, audio can be defined as any sound in digitalform such as voice, music, narration and others that may be heard. With theavailability of audio in multimedia, the effectiveness of a multimedia applicationwill be better. For example, if you wish to learn a foreign language by usingapplication software, it would be difficult if you could not hear the sound of theword that you wish to learn.Audio, when combined with other multimedia components, will create aninteresting environment, increase understanding and assist users to master anapplication easily. YOUR IDEA Have you ever played computer games such as car racing? How would you feel if the game produced special sound effects such as during a collision? 9.2 SOUND CARDJust like video, sound is also required to be in digital form to enable it to beplayed on a computer. Digital sound was first introduced to the consumer marketin CD format or disk drive in the early 1980Ês. At the same time, the personalcomputer has already entered the market. The personal computer or PC at thattime was just a business equipment to do word processing and spreadsheets. Itcould not produce sound. The only sound that could be heard was generated bythe computer and it was not of good quality.Not long after, the computerÊs capacity improved and it was able to producesound with the help of a sound card. Sound cards, just like video capture cards,can improve the sound quality played on a computer. One of the earliest soundcards is the card from Creative Labs. Sound Blaster, the sound card from CreativeLabs, received a tremendous response in the personal computer industry. TheSound Blaster became so popular that, the name „Sound Blaster‰ becamesynonymous with a sound card (refer Figure 9.1).
  • 158. 162 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO Figure 9.1: Sound Blaster audigy 2 sound card Source: products/audigv2/gallery.aspSound cards have helped to boost the computer game industry. This is because,with the availability of sound cards, computer games are enhanced and able toproduce interesting sound effects. Both the computer games and the sound cardshave become very popular and receive tremendous response.Today, the sound card is an important element in a multimedia computer system.Although the capacity of the sound card has increased compared to when it wasfirst emerged, its main purpose still remains the same, that is, to change analogsound into digital sound. Creative Technology Ltd is a producer of entertainment products for personal computers including Sound Blaster. Visit its website at http://www.creative.com9.3 SOUND FORMATThe sounds that we hear everyday is in the form of analog. It is a form of signalsthat moves in a continuous wave. An example is music from the radio or taperecorder. If this sound is recorded over a microphone, it is known as analogsound. This kind of sound or analog signals cannot be transmitted through acomputer. It must be converted into digital form first. Before you learn aboutdigital sounds, you need to understand how this is different from analog form.Thus, in the following sections, you will be introduced to the concepts of analogand digital.
  • 159. CHAPTER 9 AUDIO IN MULTIMEDIA 1639.3.1 Analog SoundBefore you learn about the use of sound or audio in multimedia presentations,you need to understand the fundamentals about sound first. Sound is producedby air vibrations. It is in analog form. It can be shown as a wave in a graph asshown in Figure 9.2. The higher the amplitude of the sound, the louder is thesound produced. The graph below shows sounds that have the same amplitude.In fact, in our daily life, the sounds produced have varying amplitudes accordingto the loudness of the sound generated. Figure 9.2: Sound wavesTwo important features of sound waves are frequency and amplitude. (ReferFigure 9.3) Frequency refers to the number of cycles a sound wave creates in onesecond. One cycle is measured based on the distance from one wave peak toanother. Frequency is usually measured in the unit, Hertz (Hz). Therefore, 1Hertz (Hz) means 1 cycle per second, 1 Kilohertz (1 KHZ) means a thousand(1000 Hz) cycles per second.
  • 160. 164 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO Figure 9.3: Features of analogue soundDo you know that a healthy human ear can hear noise in the range of 20 Hz to 20kHz? What is the meaning of amplitude? Amplitude is the volume or loudness ofthe sound being produced. The louder the sound being produced, the higher isthe amplitude. The unit that is used to measure the loudness or volume of thissound is called decibel or dB. Both the frequency and amplitude form the soundwave and affect the way people perceive and hear sounds.9.3.2 Digital SoundComputer recognises sounds in digital format. Usually the computer will processdata into electronic form and not from the physical movements in the air. All ofyou know for sure that sounds used in multimedia applications are in digitalform. This involves the process of converting from analog to digital format whereit is captured by the sound card and stored within the audio file. To enable it tobe replayed, the audio stored in the numeric combinations must be convertedagain into analog format.Digital sounds comprise of the binary code. Binary code is represented by 0 and1. Regardless of whether it is digital music, digital video or digital image, thecomputer only recognises it as bits. Therefore, what happens when the analoguewave enters the computer? For sure it will be digitised or in technical term, hasbeen sampled.
  • 161. CHAPTER 9 AUDIO IN MULTIMEDIA 1659.3.3 The Conversion ProcessTo the computer, analog sound is like a foreign language. Just like video, thesound also needs to be converted into digital form. This is the use of the soundcard.The process of transforming analog sound into digital sound is performed by theanalog converter (Analog-to-Digital Converter-ADC) which has been built-ininside the sound card. Analog sound is captured by the sound card, divided intomany parts and translated into precise numerical combinations. This combinationis kept as data in the computer.When the analog sound has been converted into digital sound, only then can it bemodified or edited by a computer system. Figure 9.4 shows an ADC converterconverting analog sound into digital sound when the sound is captured. Figure 9.4: Converting Analog Sound into Digital SoundWhen the computer replays the digital sound, it needs to convert again thenumeric combination into analog wave form. This process is performed by thedigital analog converter (Digital-to-Analog converter-DAC) which is also built-ininside the sound card. Figure 9.5 shows a DAC converter converting digitalsound into analog sound when the sound is replayed on the computer.
  • 162. 166 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO Figure 9.5: Converting Digital Sound into Analog Sound9.3.4 SamplingThe process by which an analog wave is captured by the sound card and thenconverted into digital format is known as digital sampling. The sound wave isdivided into many sections or is sampled many times per second. When thishappens, the height of the wave will be recorded. As it is impossible to measurethe height of the analog wave continuously or all the time, therefore, this processonly measures a limited number of samples. Thus, the term „sample.‰ was born.There are two factors that influence the quality of a digital sound recording andthat is the sampling rate and sample size. Besides that, the channel selected alsotends to influence the quality and the file size of the audio being recorded. Thereare two choices of recording which is Mono and Stereo.Sample rate refers to how many times or the frequency a sample is taken for theaudio. The higher the sample rate, the more samples will be taken; and the betterthe quality of the digital sound.Just like frequency, sample rate is measured in Hertz unit (Hz). Sampling ratesthat are often found are 11.025 kHz, 22.05 kHz and 44.1 kHz.Sample size represents the total or the amount of information that can be storedby the sample taken. Among the main sample sizes are 8 bits, 16 bits and 24 bits.Audio recorded on a 24 bits sample size is of better quality compared to audiorecorded on a 16 bits sample size. This is because the higher the value of the
  • 163. CHAPTER 9 AUDIO IN MULTIMEDIA 167sample size, the more the information or audio information that can be stored.This will produce better quality audio. In short, the higher the value of thesample size the better the quality of the audio. Table 9.1: File size for 10 Seconds of Digital Audio Recorded in Stereo Format Sample Rate Sample size (Bit) File size 44.1 kHz 16 1.76MB 44.1 kHz 8 882KB 22.05 kHz 16 882KB 22.05 kHz 8 440KB 1 1.025 kHz 8 220KB REFERENCES To increase your knowledge about how multimedia sound is produced, refer to the multimedia book: “The Complete Guide,” by Dorling Kindersley, Limited, London, 1996. Exercise 9.1 1. In your opinion, what is the disadvantage of using a high sample size for audio recording? 2. Give THREE uses of the sound card.9.4 THE ROLE OF AUDIO IN MULTIMEDIAImagine if a movie you are watching does not have any sound or theadvertisement that is being shown is not accompanied by music. For sure youwill feel bored and unhappy. Therefore, sound or audio is very important in ourlives. It gives ÂlifeÊ to any multimedia application and plays an important role inan effective presentation.Audio can increase the effectiveness of other media and can attract usersÊawareness regarding vital information. However, audio is not suitable for
  • 164. 168 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEOproviding long information. It should not be used to repeat information that hasbeen conveyed effectively by other media. The following are several roles playedby audio in multimedia.9.4.1 Warnings and RemindersYou are busy typing a document when you accidentally click on the close button.A message box, such as the example in Figure 9.6, appears on your screen. Figure 9.6: Message boxIf a single sharp sound or a sound which can attract the usersÊ attention issimultaneously heard when the message box appears, then the users will paymore attention to the message. This of course will increase the effectiveness of themessage being displayed. Therefore, we may say that audio is an effective tool forattracting usersÊ attention and it is a good medium to remind users about criticalinformation.Other uses of audio are as Âwarning and reminderÊ tools. For example as awarning sound when something has already reached its limit, or as a panic soundto signify dangerous levels in computer games.9.4.2 Background MusicMusic and sound effects are needed in multimedia. It causes multimediainteraction to become more evident, and sometimes it is needed to deliver vitalinformation. Because the nature of audio is to attract attention, thus it is verysuitable for use in multimedia applications.Music may be used for various purposes. It is used to generate an ambience ormood for a presentation. For example, if you wish to attract the audienceÊsattention, you can use fast rhythmic music as the music setting for yourpresentation. On the other hand, if you wish to produce a calm and soothingsituation for your audience, then it is better if you use slow and melodious musicas your background music.
  • 165. CHAPTER 9 AUDIO IN MULTIMEDIA 1699.4.3 Sound EffectsLetÊs say that you want to present a multimedia project which has ÂStar WarsÊfeatures, but you forgot to include sound effects in the said project. This situationis tantamount to watching a Formula One car race without sound and definitelyyou will not be impressed with the presentation.Therefore, sound is also used as „sound effects‰ in multimedia presentations. Forexample, the ping or ding sound effects can be used to tell users that they havedone something wrong. This method of communication is much more effectivethan text.9.4.4 NarrationAnother method of using sound is by adding narrations. Usually the narrator andbackground music will be used alternatively where the music is used in thebackground and at a particular time the narrator will provide the explanationregarding the information that he wishes to convey.The narration is usually in the form of narratorÊs voice or speech. Narrations canbe used as a guide or in the form of instructions. The narratorÊs voice can instructthe users to implement a task or to provide information to the users. Narration isvery popularly used in Computer-Based Training (CBT).9.4.5 Data that is related with SoundIn some applications, the audio element is needed to deliver information thatcannot be provided by another medium. An example is a match commentator ofa live football match. The commentator will present information such as thenames of the players, commentary of the match and an analysis of the match.In multimedia, some of the applications that use data related to sounds aremedical training for medical students to distinguish the several types ofbreathing and heart rhythms, or like providing assistance to a mechanic todiagnose an engineÊs problem, and teaching students to read music or to learn thehistory of music. Figure 9.7 shows a news excerpt on a website that uses sound topresent information.
  • 166. 170 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO Figure 9.7: A News Excerpt on a Website Exercise 9.2 Give TWO kinds of applications that require the use of audio.9.5 FACTORS THAT NEED TO BE CONSIDERED WHEN USING AUDIOWhen you decided to include audio in a multimedia application, you shouldconsider some of the following factors or criteria:9.5.1 CompatibilityThe use of audio has indeed been proven in the sense that it increases theeffectiveness of most multimedia applications. In some applications, audio iscompulsory. For example, an education system that teaches foreign languages.However, the compatibility of the usage is very important. Some systemdevelopers use too much audio or include sound effects that are ratherwhimsical. This situation not only will distract the usersÊ attention, but also causethe users to feel angry and disorientated.9.5.2 UsersWhen using audio you should also take into account your target audience. This isone of the factors that should not be taken lightly. Audio has indeed been provento assist some people in understanding certain concepts easily; however before
  • 167. CHAPTER 9 AUDIO IN MULTIMEDIA 171using audio, some prior research should be conducted regarding the usersÊresponse when using audio.Audio can be used in the development of a system if the usersÊ response isencouraging. For example, adults respond better than children when classicalmusic is used as background sound. On the other hand, children will give a morefavourable response when cartoon songs are used as background music.9.5.3 Playback SystemPlayback system is one of the conditions that should be taken into account duringthe use of audio. This is because not all computers in the market are able togenerate sound. Imagine if you wanted to present a multimedia project on acomputer that has no sound card, then all the sound effects which you haveincluded would be wasted because it could not be presented.However, if the multimedia application is delivered via CD-ROM, then it is safefor you to assume that if the computer has a CD-ROM driver, then it is alsoequipped with a sound card and speakers.9.5.4 Users’ ControlThe use of sound in a multimedia application can be very useful but it can alsocreates problems especially if it cannot be controlled by the users. Try to imaginethe impact on the users if every time an application starts, it will be accompaniedby the same background music that lasts for a full minute. Usually the user willfeel bored and frustrated having to wait for the sound clip to end, particularlywhen the sound has been heard many times before.Control of sound or audio includes the usersÊ rights to start the audio, on or offthe audio, control the volume according to desire, or provide an alternative suchas using text display to replace sound. Figure 9.8 shows two icons normally usedto on and off the audio, and to control the volume. Figure 98: (a) Icon for Controling the Volume (b) Icon for switching on and off the audio (a) (b)
  • 168. 172 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO9.6 ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF AUDIO IN MULTIMEDIAThe use of audio in multimedia has received much attention due to the fact thatintegration of audio in multimedia is becoming easier to accomplish. Thepresence of audio in multimedia can be beneficial if it is successful in presentingwhat is desired by the users. Instead, it might also provide negative impact to themultimedia system if it is not used accordingly. In brief, the use of audio inmultimedia has its own advantages and disadvantages.9.6.1 Advantages of AudioThe main advantage of audio is that it ensures the delivery of vital information.This is because sound can attract usersÊ awareness to the information beingconveyed. It also has the unique capacity to provide caution or reminder to theusers about some specific information. Particularly, because hearing is easierthan reading. The other advantages of audio is that it increases the multimediaattraction where music, narration or sound effects further enhance themultimedia application that was previously quite static. Good visuals andinformation would not be perfect if the music that accompanies does not matchwhat is being conveyed. Sound has made video or animation more real andmemorable.9.6.2 Disadvantages of AudioAlthough audio use has many advantages, it also has several obviousdisadvantages. One of the most obvious disadvantages is overuse. Althoughalarm warning sounds, sound effects, and narration are suitable to attract usersÊattention, this effectiveness will disappear if audio is overused.Other disadvantages of audio are, it requires special equipment to generate highquality products. Although, basic audio production is a simple task, to generatehigh-quality audio, it requires a studio and expensive equipment. Therefore,users must possess the right equipment to generate high quality sound.
  • 169. CHAPTER 9 AUDIO IN MULTIMEDIA 173 Exercise 9.3 1. In your opinion, what are the advantages of digital sound compared to analog sound? 2. Give THREE brands of popular sound cards available in the market. 3. List FOUR factors that must be taken into account when using audio in multimedia applications. SUMMARYOn the whole, this chapter explains about the use of audio and its importance inmultimedia. Audio can exist in analog and digital form, but in multimediasystems the sound must be in digital form. Although, audio brings positiveresults in a multimedia system, overuse or wrong use of it will bring negativeresults. Therefore, make sure you use the audio element properly so that themultimedia application produced will be of better quality and achieved thedevelopment goal.
  • 170. Chapter 10 Audio Formats And Software OBJECTIVES At the end of this chapter, you should be able to: 1. name a few main audio file formats used in multimedia; 2. INTRODUCTION in the market; and know a few audio software 3. learn how to process sound with Sound Forge software. INTRODUCTIONIn this chapter, you will be introduced to some types of audio file formatsnormally found in multimedia such as WAV, MP3, AIFF and MIDI, and theirspecial features. You will also identify the audio file sources and copyright issues.Besides knowing several audio software that are available in the market, you willalso learn some basic techniques on how to process sound with the use of theSound Forge software at the end of this chapter.
  • 171. CHAPTER 10 AUDIO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 17510.1 AUDIO FILE FORMATSWith the emergence of digital audio, sound or music can be recorded in a varietyof formats; among them are the AIFF, AU, MIDI, MP3, SWF and WAV formats.Most of these audio file formats involve compressing the audio files. Audio filecompression is needed to save storage space. Audio that has been compressedcan be replayed with just a low percentage drop in its quality. AdaptiveDifferential Pulse Code Modulation (ADPCM) is one of the main methods ofaudio compression.Now, the QuickTimes movie (.mov) standard, is often used to store audio files asthis type of file can be used in most computer platforms including PC computersand Macintosh computers.As for the use of audio on the Internet, Real Audio, Real Media and MP3 can beused in view of the fact that, their file sizes are smaller compared to other audioformats.In the future, it is highly possible that more new audio formats will emerge,where you will be able to listen to audio with not only small file sizes but are alsoof high quality. Following are explanation of the common types of digital audioformats. Figure 10.1: Digital audio format10.1.1 AIFFAIFF format (Audio Interchange File Format) is one of the common formats usedto store and send sound samples. This format was first developed by Apple
  • 172. 176 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEOcomputers and is the standard format for Macintosh computers. Now, it can alsobe used by computers with Windows operating system.AIFF format is usually not able to do data compression; therefore, AIFF files areusually bigger than other formats. Nevertheless, there is another format that cansupport data compression and that is the AlF-compressed (AlFF-CorAIFC)format.AIFF format is widely used in professional audio recording systems and digitalmultimedia applications that use Macromedia Director and Adobe Premieresoftware. Both software allow the importing and exporting of the AIFF files. Onething that you need to know is that an AIFF audio file is of high quality when ituses high resolution. However, this causes its file size to become very big. Forexample, a 30 second long 16 bit stereo will have a file size as big as 5.4MB.10.1.2 MP3This audio format is extremely popular now and it is often used to record a largenumber of songs and music onto compact discs. MP3 means MPEG audio layerIII and it was created by a German company, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft in 1989.One of the main reasons why MP3 is so popular and favoured by music lovers isits extraordinary compression ratio of 10:1 for audio files such as WAV. The ratioof 10:1 means that if the WAV file is converted to MP3 format, its new size is only10% of the original WAV file size, but its audio quality remains the same. Besidesthat, MP3 format also allows various sampling rates and bit rates, whereby itgives users more authority to control the file size and quality.For MP3, the ordinary sampling rate is 44.1 kHz and its bit rate is 128 kbps. It isdifficult to distinguish the MP3 music quality from the quality of the music thathas not undergone the compression process. You can play MP3 songs or music byusing a Winamp player which was created by Nullsoft. One of the mainadvantages of MP3 is that it is capable of storing additional textual informationsuch as the subject, artistÊs name and comments. All of these can be shown on theWinamp player.10.1.3 AUAU audio format was specially created to be used on the Sun Microsystemsworkstation. It is a 16 bit audio format that is compressed and used fordistribution via the Internet. AU audio format is less popular compared to theWAV format.
  • 173. CHAPTER 10 AUDIO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 177 THINK You can download free Winamp player from the Internet. Use the browser to obtain this software. List the address. What is your opinion about this music player? Does it give you the effect as mentioned above?10.1.4 MIDIMIDI format ((Musical Instruments Digital Interface) was first used in 1980, as aneffective method of music representation that could be used in variousapplications. In fact, MIDI is not an audio format. It is more of an interface toproduce audio. The audio produced would then be kept in MIDI format.MIDI is a standard language used for communications between musicalinstruments and computers. This means a musician can attach the electronic key,guitar and other MIDI tools to audio synthesiser connected to the personalcomputer. Users can compose their own music which would then be convertedinto digital sound. This means a composer can use the MIDI keyboard to recordnotes and then can convert this information easily into the computer.A sequence of MIDI that has been compressed makes it very useful forapplications where space is an issue. For example, songs for video games, musicfor websites and background music are applications of good MIDI formats. MIDIhas many advantages compared to other digital audio. Among the advantagesare; MIDI tracks requires less bandwidth and processing power compared toMP3 files. For example, when you download a MP3 track using a modem, youmay be disappointed because you need half an hour just to download a singlemusic track.On the other hand, if you download a MIDI file, you can obtain the file in lessthan a minute even though you use a slow speed modem. MIDI sequence ortracks are much smaller than any digital audio files. One MP3 track normallyuses only 1MB of disk space for a minute of music, but a MIDI track only requires40KB of disk space which is 95% smaller than a MP3 and its quality is notcompromised!
  • 174. 178 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO10.1.5 WAVA WAV file is the main and popular audio format in the Microsoft Windowsoperating system environment. It is unlike MPEG or compressed format. It storesamples without the need of pre- processing. The format of this file is similar tothe AIFF format.A WAV files is usually huge. Its file size is dependent on the length of the audiobeing recorded and the sampling rate used for recording. It is later replayed at acompatible rate. You can record and replay a WAV file with the Sound Recorderthat is inbuilt in the Microsoft Windows environment.The following passage explains the differences between MIDI files and digitalaudio. MIDI versus Digital AudioMIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a communications standarddeveloped in the early 1980s for electronic musical instruments and computers. Itallows music and sound synthesisers from different manufacturers tocommunicate with each other by sending messages along cables connected to thedevices. MIDI provides a protocol for passing detailed descriptions of a musicalscore, such as the notes, sequences of notes, and what instrument will play thesenotes. But MIDI data is not digitised sound; it is a shorthand representation ofmusic stored in numeric form. Digital audio is a recording, MIDI is a score · thefirst depends on the capabilities of your sound system, the other on the quality ofyour musical instruments and the capabilities of your sound system.A MIDI file is a list of time stamped commands that are recordings of musicalactions (the pressing down of a piano key or a sustain pedal, for example, or themovement of a control wheel or slider) that, when sent to a MIDI playbackdevice, results in sound. A concise MIDI message can cause a complex sound orsequence of sounds to play on an instrument or synthesiser; so MIDI files tend tobe significantly smaller (per second of sound delivered to the user) thanequivalent digitised waveform files.In contrast to MIDI data, digital audio data is the actual representation of asound, stored in the form of thousands of individual numbers (called samples).The digital data represents the instantaneous amplitude (or loudness) of a soundat discrete slices of time. Because it is not device dependent, digital audio soundsthe same every time it is played. But that consistency comes at a price; large datastorage files. Digital sound is used for music CDs.
  • 175. CHAPTER 10 AUDIO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 179MIDI data is to digital audio data what vector or drawn graphics are tobitmapped graphics. That is, MIDI data is device dependent; digital data is not.Just as the appearance of vector graphics differs depending on the printer deviceor display screen, the sounds produced by MIDI music files depend on theparticular MIDI device used for playback. Similarly, a roll of perforated playerpiano score played on a concert grand would sound different than if played on ahonky tonk piano. Digital data, on the other hand, produces sounds that aremore or less identical regardless of the playback system. The MIDI standard islike PostScript, letting instruments communicate in a well understood language.(Reference: Multimedia Making It Work, Tay Vaughn, 2001: 205 - 206). Exercise 10.1 After reading the excerpt above, can you state TWO advantages and TWO disadvantages of MIDI compared to digital audio? Visit its web site at to see the scanner software that can read notes or musical scores and convert them into MIDI files.10.2 SOURCE OF AUDIO FILESAlmost all multimedia computers today are equipped with sound cards andspeakers; this indicates how important audio is as a media, in our daily lives.If you are observant, you will notice that when you open or close an applicationon a Windows operating system, your action is accompanied with a sound. Thissound can be changed according to an individualÊs preference at any time.Sounds such as this are stored in a file and its source can be obtained from pre-packages, purchases or borrowings, and from your own inventions.
  • 176. 180 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO10.2.1 PrePackage Figure 10.2: Sound FileSome sound files can be obtained from the computerÊs operating system or fromprograms that already exist in your computer. Figure 10.3 below shows the soundfile that is in Microsoft Office. These sound files can produce special effects suchas the sound of doors opening; car braking and others.10.2.2 Buying and BorrowingOther than the pre-packages built into an operating system or applicationsoftware, sound files can also be bought from companies that specialise inproduction of sound clips. In addition, the Internet is the right place to purchasesound clips. Sometimes you can also get it free by downloading it from theInternet.These file resources can be very useful for background sounds, sound withspecial effects and also for historical events, such as speeches or conversations ofthe Prime Minister.10.2.3 Own InventionSound file can also be produced through your own invention. Sound clips mightbe created easily by using specific program together with a microphone. One ofthe factors that must be considered when creating a sound file is the quality of thesound to be generated. If you want to include sound into a PowerPointpresentation, you can use a medium quality sound.On the other hand, if you aim to produce a commercial of high quality, youshould consider using a recording studio equipped with instruments such asDAT (Digital Audio Tape) that can record digital sound. Additionally, sound filescan also be generated by using equipment such as an audio synthesiser connected
  • 177. CHAPTER 10 AUDIO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 181to the computer so that the sound can be recorded in MIDI (Musical InstrumentDigital Interface) format.Before we proceed to the next topic, make sure that, when obtaining these sourcesof audio files, you did not infringe or violate the CopyrightÊs Act, which is acritical issue concerning music. To be safe, always make sure that the music youuse is royalty free. There are several new products such as ACID from Sonic Foundry that allows users to produce sound which is not only professional, but also unique. Visit its web website at Exercise 10.2 As a multimedia developer you should make sure that the work you produce will not be copied by other people. The CopyrightÊs Act (Amendment) 1997 was created to solve this problem, give brief information about this Act. 10.3 AUDIO SOFTWAREJust like video, attention should also be paid to audio in a multimedia system.Audio management such as recording and editing is very important to generategood multimedia products especially video clips where the audio is synchronisedwith the video display.Just like video, audio requires specific software for recording purposes or for theaudio production. The Microsoft Windows operating system provides audiorecording facility through its software called Sound Recorder (refer Figure 10.3)
  • 178. 182 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO Figure 10.3: Sound recorderFor the purpose of producing better audio with attractive special effects,sophisticated audio software are required such as Sound Forge and SoundEdit 16.The following are discussions on major audio software.10.3.1 Sound ForgeSound Forge is professional audio editing software for Windows. It includes anaudio processing set, equipment and special effects to manipulate audio. SoundForge is very useful as it works well with the WindowsÊ compatible sound cardsto create, edit and record audio files. This user friendly interface software enablesthe process of editing to be done quickly and easily.Sound Forge has special features that make it so popular. Among the specialfeatures are; Has internal support to record video and CD. It can store a lot of video and audio file formats that include WAV, AVI and MP3; Has excellent editing features such as cut, mute, reverse, trim, normalise, and others; Has an amazing effects. This includes 20 types of DirectX audio plug-ins that can be used for microphone modelling. Other effects such as, chorus, distortion and others; Support many file formats such as WAV, RealAudio, and MP3; and It is easy to use. It uses the drag and drop operation in a user friendly interface.
  • 179. CHAPTER 10 AUDIO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 18310.3.2 SoundEdit 16This software has features that are almost similar to Sound Forge. It can doediting for more than 10 audio formats. Besides that, it also has Mixer, CD AudioCapture and others. Nevertheless, it only operates under the MacOs (Macintosh)operating system.The advantages of SoundEdit 16 are that it can import and export AU file formatsfrom the Internet. SoundEdit 16 also supports compression such as algorithmcompression 4:1 for a 16-bit voice. Other than that, you can also import CD tracksdirectly into SoundEdit 16; then, edit, process and give it the desired effect.With these features, audio recording and editing has become a process that can bedone by both the professionals and the common users.10.4 PROCESSING SOUND WITH SOUND FORGESound can be processed through software applications that are available in themarket. The most popular software to process audio is the Sound Forge. It is easyto use and understand regardless of whether you are a beginner, or have alreadymastered it. There are several important steps in processing digital audio whichare:(a) The process of opening and playing sound files;(b) The process of recording and copying sound files;(c) The process of editing sound files;(d) The mixing process; and(e) The process of compressing for Internet use.10.4.1 The Process of Opening and Playing Sound FilesOpening and playing sound files is a very basic and easy process with SoundForge. You can open any number of sound files that you want, simultaneously onthe screen.The first step is to click the File button, then click the Open button as shown inFigure 10.4. If you want to close a file that is not needed, you can click on File andthen click Close.After you have clicked on Open, a window, as shown in Figure 10.5, will appear.You should choose the required sound file and then click the Open button. Afteropening the file, you can listen to the entire sound file by just clicking the PlayAllbutton that is available on the Transport Toolbar as shown in Figure 10.6.
  • 180. 184 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEOFigure 10.4: Opening a Sound File Figure 10.5: Choosing and Opening a Sound FileMeanwhile, you can play the sound file at any starting point by just clicking atdifferent locations using the mouse, and then click on the Play button. Then, youwould be able to listen to the sounds, starting from the cursor position till the endof the file.You can also play part of the sound data by choosing the waveform like indicatedon Figure 10.7. You can use the mouse to make the choice. You only need to clickthe left button of the mouse and drag it to the right side; the black shaded arearepresents the chosen section. When you click on the Play button, you will onlyhear the chosen sound. Figure 10.6: Transport Toolbar
  • 181. CHAPTER 10 AUDIO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 185 Figure 10.7: Waveform10.4.2 The Process of Recording and Copying Sound FilesThe process of recording and copying sound files is very important. This is thefirst step in producing a new sound file.First, you need to insert the compact disc with the sound file sample (.wav), andthen click on the Start button in the Windows system. Subsequently, chooseAccessories -> Multimedia -> CD Player. A CD player window will be displayedas shown in Figure10.8. Figure 10.8: CD player windowAfter this window emerges, you can open the Sound Forge window and thenclick on File -> New. After that, a new window, as shown by Figure 10.9, would
  • 182. 186 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEOappear. Here, you should ensure that the sampling rate is 44,100Hz, the samplesize is 16-bit and the channel is stereo, and then press the OK button. Figure 10.9: New file windowA new Sound Forge program window will be displayed. Here, you mustcoordinate the Sound Forge program window with the CD player window so thatboth the windows can be seen, as shown in Figure 10.10. This is because you needto use both the windows to record sounds. Figure 10.10: Sound Forge Programme Window (left) and CD Player (right)When you are ready to begin recording, you only need to click on the Recordbutton (the button with a red circle) which is on the Transport Toolbar. After that,a record window will emerge as shown in Figure 10.11. Then, you should changethe mode to Automatic retake, input format to Time, and finally mark theMonitor checkbox. When all this has been done, you can click on the Preparebutton. You will see the word, ÂPreparedÊ flashing on a small green coloured box.
  • 183. CHAPTER 10 AUDIO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 187 Figure 10.11: Record WindowWhen all steps are done, you can click on the Record button, and then click on thePlay button which is on the CD player window. After 20 seconds, clik on the Stopbutton to stop the recording and also click on the Stop button of the CD player.Finally, close the record window (Figure 10.11) because the sounds have beensuccessfully recorded10.4.3 The Process of Editing Sound FilesThe editing process enables you to do editing or cut MP3 track that you like. Thefirst step is to click on File -> Open. An Open window will be displayed. Thenyou can choose the required sound file by clicking on the Open button where amain Sound Forge window (Figure 10.12) will be displayed. Figure 10.12: Main Sound Forge window
  • 184. 188 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEOYou can play this sound file by just clicking on the Play button to hear the overallsound file, but if you wish to cut out a section (say area A1) of the sound file, youonly need to use the mouse to click and drop until you reach the section you wishto discard (Figure 10.13). Figure 10.13: Sound section (shaded) that you wish to discard.After that, click on Edit ·> Delete to discard the selected section. Later, you canstore the sound with a new file name that you like by clicking File -> Save As.When you click the Save button, a dialogue box, as shown in Figure 10.14, will bedisplayed and then, you need to click the No button. Now you can listen to thesong that you have edited. Figure 10.14: Dialogue box10.4.4 The Mixing ProcessThe mixing process is a process of combining two different sounds. This processis started by opening a sound file by clicking File ·> Open. Then, choose thesound file, for example, voiceover.wav which you wish to edit. After choosing thesound file, you can click on the Open button and a waveform can be seen asshown in Figure 10.15.
  • 185. CHAPTER 10 AUDIO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 189 Figure 10.15: Waveform for the sound file Voiceover.WavYou can then choose all the waveform by clicking Edit -> Select All. Then, clickEdit ·> Copy. After that, you can open another sound file; letÊs say the soundfile, mix.wav. A waveform will be displayed on the screen as shown in Figure10.16. Now, you may determine the areas that you wished to combine. You canclick on any place of the waveform, for example area B2, as shown in the circledarea in Figure 10.16. Figure 10.16: Waveform for Mix.wav fileThen, you can click Edit -> Paste Special -> Mix. A window as shown in Figure10.17 will be displayed. In the Name box, you should choose Voice Over Mix, andthen click the OK button. After that, you can keep the file by clicking on File ->Save. When these steps are completed, you can then hear the song.
  • 186. 190 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO Figure 10.17: Mix window10.4.5 Compression Process for Internet UseSometimes we wish to export a sound file via the Internet, but the huge file sizecauses the sending process to become slow. As such, this software is able tocompress the required sound file. If you want to compress a sound file, in the firstplace, you should open the file by clicking File -> Open, and choose the requiredsound file, and then click Open. After that, you need to click on File -> Properties.A Properties window will be displayed as shown in Figure 10.18. Figure 10.18: Properties window
  • 187. CHAPTER 10 AUDIO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 191Now, you can click on Process -> Resample. A Resample window will bedisplayed as shown in Figure 10.19. At the Name window, choose 22,050Hz withanti-alias filter, and then click the OK button. Figure 10.19: Resample windowNow, the compression process has been successfully executed. The selectedsound file has been converted into the AU format. Now, you can click, File->Save As, and a Save As window will appear. Through this window, go to Save astype and choose, NeXT/ Sun(Java) File (*.au, *.snd) from the drop down list. Alsogo to Format and choose, G.711 u-Law, and then only click, Save.After clicking Save, a dialogue box will be displayed as shown in Figure 10.20,and you can then click, Yes. Finally, you can start this file or close it. Figure 10.20: Dialogue box YOUR IDEA Try editing a sound file using Sound Forge software without referring to this book. What are your opinions on this software?
  • 188. 192 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO Exercise 10.3 1. The _____________________ process is the first step in producing a sound file, whereas the ____________________ process is the process of combining two different kinds of sound. 2. State the steps required to open and play a sound file in Sound Forge. 3. Name THREE types of audio file formats that are currently available. SUMMARYTo integrate the audio element into a multimedia project, you do not require adeep knowledge of sound. However, you should equip yourself with the basicknowledge as to how sound is produced, know the audio file formats and learnhow to record and edit sounds on the computer. Thus, this chapter has presentedto you, several file formats used to record digital audio. You also know thedifferences between digital audio and MIDI. At the end of this chapter, you alsolearned several basic techniques on how to generate an audio file with the use ofthe Sound Forge software.
  • 189. Chapter 11 Video in Multimedia OBJECTIVES At the end of this chapter, you should be able to: 1. explain the differences between analog and digital video 2. explain the basic components of video production; 3. INTRODUCTION learn the methods and techniques of video compression; and 4. list several roles of video in multimedia INTRODUCTIONThis chapter describes the video component in multimedia. Because of thedisadvantages of analog video, digital video technology emerged. Nowadays,digital video is increasingly finding its place in the development of multimediasoftware. Including video elements in a multimedia presentation is an effectiveway to present information that cannot be delivered by any other media. Mostvideos are capable of bringing elements that resemble actual situations, attract theusersÊ attention and emotions.11.1 VIDEOVideo is one of the important elements in the development of multimediabecause it can convey meaning and information in a relatively short period oftime. Video has been in existence for more than 50 years, and it started with theblack and white television.
  • 190. 194 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEOAccording to Agnew and Kellerman (1997), video is a digital media that showsthe arrangement or sequence of static pictures that give an illusion as though weare looking at moving pictures. This illusion depends on two physiologicalphenomena called, „persistence of vision and flicker fusion.‰Before multimedia was introduced, we often watched videos through video tapesor television broadcasts. These videos were in analog form and could not bepresented through the computer. After multimedia technology was introduced,digital video was developed and became very popular. Generally, there are twotypes of videos, which are analog video and digital video.11.2 ANALOG VIDEOAnalog video comprises of video or sequence of images produced by acontinuous analog waves. Analog waves change in a constant manner (refer toFigure 11.1). This means that there is no exact value at any point of the analogimage. This makes it difficult to reproduce analog images.Movies played on VCR or laser disks are examples of analog video. This isbecause television is an analog device and not a digital device. On the other hand,videos played on computers are digital videos. If you wish to import an analogvideo into a computer, a video capture cards is required. It is used to sample theanalog video at regular intervals in order to produce a digital video. Figure 11.1: Example of an Analog WavePictures in an analog video can be enlarged or edited without jeopardising theimage quality. This is different from digital pictures which consist of pixels thattend to lose its quality when enlarged.We can find analog videos on television broadcasts. Where can we find digitalvideos? In your opinion, between analog video and digital video, which iseasier to handle? Why?
  • 191. CHAPTER 11 VIDEO AND MULTIMEDIA 19511.3 DIGITAL VIDEODigital video comprises of images with discrete values (binary digit 0 and 1)(refer to Figure 11.2). Unlike analog video which is continuous, every point on adigital image has an accurate value. The digital image on a computer comprisesof individual dots known as pixels or pictorial elements. These collections ofpixels form the image which is seen on the computer screen. Figure 11.2: Digital SignalsNowadays, digital video has become a hot issue in the computer industry andreceives tremendous response especially from computer games and multimediasoftware and hardware developers. Digital videos are often found on websitesand are usually in the form of video clips. They are used on websites to presentnew products, news, games and entertainment. REFERENCES To gain more knowledge on digital videos, you can refer to the multimedia book: “The Complete Guide,” by Dorling Kindersley Limited, London, 1996. There are many interesting topics on digital video, video compression; video production processes etc that you can learn from this book. Exercise 11.1 1. Give TWO differences between analog videos and digital videos.
  • 192. 196 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO11.4 VIDEO PRODUCTION PROCESSDo you know that the video clips that are played on a computer are digitalvideos? Because computer is a digital device, therefore analog videos need to beconverted into digital format to enable the computer to process it before it can beused in a multimedia application.The video production process requires several basic components that will bediscussed in the following sections. These components form part of the process ofconverting analog format to digital format. Figure 11.3: Basic Components for Video Production11.4.1 Personal Computer SystemA personal computer or desktop is needed to record or to produce a digital video.Digital video production requires an efficient and powerful computer. Theminimum requirement for the personal computer system is a Pentium processorwith a large memory and storage. In fact, there is no limit for computer andmemory in video production. The faster the processor, more video frames can becaptured, and the better the quality of the digital video clip.On the other hand, if a low quality computer is used; many frames will beeliminated during the video production process. The resulting video producedwill be wobbly and not smooth. In addition, you are not encouraged to multi taskwhile the video is being recorded on the computer.11.4.2 Video SourceYou should ensure that your videos source is in good condition. There areseveral video sources that you can choose from such as cassette recorders, Hi-Fi
  • 193. CHAPTER 11 VIDEO AND MULTIMEDIA 197videos, BetaCam, Camcorders, and laser disc. These sources are in analog format.It is important to have a clear and clean analog source. If the source is noisy andis of low quality, there is a great possibility that the digital video captured anddisplayed will be of a low quality or worse. If you have good and clear videosource, the chances of obtaining a high quality digital video are better.11.4.3 Large StorageYou also need a hard drive with a large storage space and faster speed becausevideo takes up a lot of memory space. If your hard disk is large, then it definitelywill be able to accommodate the digital video file. Multimedia computer systemsthat are currently available in the market have storage space that is sufficient fordigital video production. However, if you are serious about video production,you are encouraged to buy hard disks built for this purpose.Besides a large storage space, the hard disk must also be fast. A fast hard disk iscapable of storing video sequence more effectively and reduces the loss of dataduring the production process. Fast hard drive has an access time of eightmilliseconds. Access time refers to the amount of time taken by the computer tosearch for data on the hard disk. In this case however, access time is the timetaken by the hard disk to search for an empty space to record the data. Therefore,the lower the time, the faster the hard drive is.11.4.4 Video Capture CardA video capture card is an add-on card required for digital video production. Avideo capture card is an interface between the video source and the computer.The video capture card can be installed in an additional slot on your computersystem. Once the video capture card is installed in your computer, you canconnect the video source to the computer by using the RCA cable. There aremany types of video capture card that are available in the market. There arevideo capture card that allow you to digitise both sound and video data together;and there are others that do not, where you need to digitise the video and theaudio data separately.All video capture cards are furnished with software to capture video sequence.This software enables you to do your own configurations to the video screen, thenumber of frames per second, the colour and the type of codec that you want touse for video compression. Among the popular video capture cards are, IntelIndeo, Radius Cinepak and Crucial Radeon 9800 Pro (refer to Figure 11.4). Videocards that do not digitise the audio video data would be supplied with softwarethat synchronises the audio video data automatically.
  • 194. 198 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO Figure 11.4: Crucial Radeon 9800 Pro Video Capture Card Source: asp?imodule=CTV9800P128A2 8&cat=Video+CardThe price of a video capture card varies depending on its quality. The higher thedigitised quality, the higher its price. Companies that produce video capture cardare Creative Labs, Avid Targa, Intel, and ATI.11.5 CAPTURING VIDEOOnce all the basic components are connected and the software installed, you mustchoose your video sequence on the analog source. Press the play button and clickrecord with the mouse (See Figure 11.5). The computer will instantly startrecording and the video will stream from the source, it get digitised; meaningconverted into a digital file by the video capture card, and then compressed bythe software that has been installed in the computer. Files that have beencompressed will then be in the hard-disk for future use or editing. If you want torecord sequence for editing purposes, digitise it first and edit later. At the sametime, the sound or audio from the video source will also be digitised (refer toFigure 11.6). Figure 11.5: Process of Digitising Analog Video Signals Source: index.html
  • 195. CHAPTER 11 VIDEO AND MULTIMEDIA 199 Figure 11.6: Capturing and Digitising Video and SoundThere are digitising software that allows you to view video sequence during thedigitising process. If you do not have such software, you can connect the TV tothe video card to view the process that is going on.11.6 ADVANTAGES OF DIGITAL VIDEOThe main advantage of digital video is its capability to edit and modify videosequence. Besides that, digital video can also be stored and copied just like othercomputer files without compromising its quality. It can also be transferredthrough computer networks such as the electronic mail system. Most videosoftware does not require special hardware for the purpose of playback.Another advantage of digital video is that it provides random access or non-linear editing facilities. It also allows instructions such as copy, cut and paste tobe implemented, and special effect elements to be inserted easily.
  • 196. 200 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO11.7 DISADVANTAGES OF DIGITAL VIDEOSThe main disadvantage of digital video is that it needs large storage equipment tostore the large video file. A one-second, high quality digital video with a fullscreen size, may have a file size of more than 27MB before the compressionprocess.Digital videos also experience the problem of piracy. It is very easy for digitalvideos to be copied, and even the quality of the video copied is almost equal tothe original video quality. This causes the problem of rampant piracy.Besides that, digital videos also require a reasonably high data-transfer rate. Italso requires a longer period of time for file compression and other processingtasks. Figure 11.1: Advantages and Disadvantages of Digital Video Advantages of Digital Video Disadvantages of Digital Video- Easy to edit video sequence - Requires a storage device with large capacity.- Easy to add special effects - Copies can be pirated.- The quality of the copied file is the - Requires a powerful computer same as the original file. system for capturing and playback.- Better audio and image quality - Requires knowledge of digital technology- Long lasting11.8 DIGITAL VIDEO FILE SIZEThe quality of a digital video is frequently associated with its file size. The higherthe quality of the video, the bigger the file size required to store the video. Doyou know that a video file size is large because it contains both the audio andvideo data? It occupies a large section of storage space in a multimediaapplication. Therefore, it is important for you to know how to calculate video filesso you that you can estimate the amount of storage space required to store yourwhole multimedia project. In fact, there are several factors that determine the filesize of a digital video.
  • 197. CHAPTER 11 VIDEO AND MULTIMEDIA 201 Figure 11.7: Factors that Determine the Digital Video File Size11.8.1 Screen SizeThe screen size varies depending on the userÊs choice. Basically, the bigger thescreen size, the bigger the memory and the processing power required to playback the digital video on the computer. This is because the bigger the screen, thegreater the amount of pixels on the screen. For example, for a screen size of 640 x480, there are 640 pixels displayed horizontally and 480 pixels displayedvertically. As such, the computerÊs processor needs to work hard to produce thedigital image to fill-up the screen.If there is insufficient processing power or memory, then the image on the screenwill not be clear. In the end, the video will not be able to be viewed well.Normally, digital video is suitably displayed at 1/4 the size of the screen, whichis 320 X 240 pixels. The video size of 240 X 180 is also often used in multimediapresentations.11.8.2 Frame RatesVideos usually hold about 30 frames per second while films usually contain 24frames per second. Although videos or films are often played in the range of 24fps to 30 fps, digital videos require a minimum rate of 15 fps only. If it is less thanthat rate, the quality of the video will drop and the movement will be jerky.The higher the frame rate of the digital video, the smoother the movement of thevideo and the larger the file size or the storage required for the video.
  • 198. 202 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO11.8.3 ColoursMost video-clips today are colour video clips. Colours make your video moreattractive and realistic. However, colours will increase the file size. In fact,digital videos are built from several series of graphics or images arranged andplayed quickly. Thus, the quality is also dependent on the quality or the totalnumber of colours used for every image.The colours that you see on television comprises of three primary colours thatare, Red, Green and Blue (RGB). When these colours are used on the computer,each colour will take-up space which is equivalent to 8 bits per pixel. Therefore,in order to generate a realistic digital video, each pixel in the computer willcomprise of 24 bits of colour or colour depth. This is also known as true colour.Black and white clips will take-up less storage space compared to a colour clip.11.8.4 DurationThe duration of a digital video-clip will add or reduce the file size. The longerthe duration, the bigger the file size. THINK If you want to digitise a video clip in the form of 24-bit colour and have decided to use the following perimeters: Size:1/4 screen (320x240 pixels) Colour 15 frames per second Duration:30 second How much storage space is required?Can you calculate the answer? If not, refer to the following steps to obtain theanswer.Calculation steps:Step 1: Screen size 320 X 240 pixels = 76,800 pixelsStep 2: Colour 76,800 X 3 bit (for RGB colours) = 230, 400 bits
  • 199. CHAPTER 11 VIDEO AND MULTIMEDIA 203Step 3: Frame Rate 230,400 X 15 = 3,456,000 bitsStep 4: Duration 3,456,000 X 30 seconds = 103,680,000 bits Estimated total storage: 103 MB!You will find that to play a coloured video clip for only 30 seconds, with a speedof 15 frames per second on a 1/4 video screen display, you will need a storagespace of 103MB! You must remember that this number excludes the total amountof sound data in the digital video-clip. If quality CD sound is added for a 30second duration, you will be forced to add 5.25MB to the size of the data file.From the explanation above, it is clear that there should be a method to controlthis large digital video size. This method is known as video compression and willbe discussed in the following topics. Exercise 11.2 1. What is the relationship between frame rate and digital video? 2. Give TWO factors that determine the file size of a digital video11.9 VIDEO COMPRESSIONJust like graphics and audio, compression is very important to enable us to storedigital video data. Video requires compression because video files contain moredata than graphics and audio. Once the sequence of a video is digitised, the filewill be compressed by software which is known as codec. CODEC stands forCOmpression and DECompression. The purpose of codec is to compress thedigital video file to a smaller size and then store the file in the hard-drive or othercomputer storage devices. Digital video compression is one of the methods usedto reduce the file size so that more video can be kept in the storage space. Luckilythere are currently many compression technologies for digital videos. Therefore,you have many choices to choose from.Generally, the method of compression is known as CODEC and it encompasses:(a) The process of compression: Generally, compression occurs when a video film is stored or produced. The compression process changes video sequence that has been digitised in the form of pixel into mathematical equation.
  • 200. 204 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO(b) The process of decompression: Generally, decompression occurs when a video is played or broadcasted. The process of decompression converts back the mathematical equation to the original digital video. When you see a video-clip being played on your computer screen, you are actually viewing a video file that is decompressed and not the compressed video file (see Figures 11.8 and 11.9). Figure 11.8: Compression Figure 11.9: Decompression11.9.1 Lossless and Lossy CompressionsThere are two main methods of compression and that is lossless compression andlossy.
  • 201. CHAPTER 11 VIDEO AND MULTIMEDIA 205Lossless CompressionLossless compression means that files that have been compressed can bedecompressed exactly the same as the original file. This type of compressionmaintains the original image during both the compression process anddecompression process. It is important especially if it involves text images. Textneed to appear in its original state before and after file compression.One of the techniques for text compression is to identify repeated words andrepresent it in code form. For example, if the word university appears a couple oftimes in a text, a code will be given to the word. This technique saves storagespace as compared to using the actual word. During the decompression process,the code would be converted back to the word university.PKZIP is an example of compression software for compressing text or files.EXE tosmaller storage sizes. You can also find this type of „zipped" files on the Internet.To decompress these files, you need to „unzip.‰ The „unzip‰ process is done bysoftware which is known as PKUNZIP.Lossy compressionLossy compression on the other hand, eliminates some of the data of the image.Hence, this technique has a better compression ratio than lossless compression.This method helps to reduce the digital video file size. However, the bigger thecompression ratio, the lower the decompression quality of the resulting image.This type of compression is suitable for video because the small decrease inquality is hardly noticeable for moving images.An example of lossy compression is JPEG or Joint Photographic Expert Group, acompression technique that generates a ratio of 45:1. Usually, JPEGs pictures canbe obtained from the Internet and downloaded for storage in the hard-drive.Under video compression topic, there are two more techniques of videocompression: intraframe compression and interframe compression. Intraframecompression occurs within its own frame while interframe compression occursbetween frames. Both these processes are important compression techniquesand occur during the video compression process.11.9.2 Hardware SupportWhen a video is produced, compressed and play-back, it goes through aprocessing which involves a tremendous amount of information, and only high-
  • 202. 206 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEOpowered and fast computers would be able to display the high-quality video withsatisfactory frame rate and size.Most codec processes only involve software and it is popular for videos withsmall frame rates and size. But when you want to aim for a more sophisticatedlevel of technology, you should invest in codecs that are supported by hardware(hardware assisted codec).Hardware support usually comprises of a video board that you can plug in intothe computer. This board has a chip that processes the digital video file in codecsuch as MPEG or JPEG. In future, video processing chips will become standard inmost computers. Exercise 11.3 1. Codec can have symmetrical or asymmetrical features. It refers to the balance between the compression speed and the decompression speed. Briefly explain both these features of codec. 2. Give TWO examples of compression software that are currently available in the market.11.10 THE ROLE OF VIDEO IN MULTIMEDIAThe role or use of video in multimedia is very wide. It can increase theeffectiveness of multimedia presentations. A few years ago, it was seldom usedbecause it is large in size and difficult to incorporate into a multimediapresentation. Now, with the emergence of compression processes andsophisticated hardware, video is becoming increasingly popular especially on theInternet.It cannot be denied that video has given a visual touch to multimediaapplications. Video is the best media to show realistic and exact physical actions,but it is also the most difficult media component compared to other media. Thefollowing are several roles of video in multimedia.
  • 203. CHAPTER 11 VIDEO AND MULTIMEDIA 20711.10.1 Attracting AttentionVideo is a media that attracts the usersÊ attention immediately because it providesvisual satisfaction with colourful displays and attractive videos. Therefore, videois very useful for advertising products and services.For example, while surfing web sites on the Internet, a window suddenly appearswith a brief video displaying a new-product of a company. Our attention willimmediately be redirected to this advertisement and generally this windowwould have a "click here for further information" button to carry us to furtherlinkage of this advertisement.11.10.2 Display of Physical ProcedureHave you ever experienced a situation where you were unable to understand aprocedure or direction by just referring to the text? Instead, when this procedureis shown step by step through a video display, you are able to understand itimmediately. This shows that video is the media that deserve our attention inmultimedia especially when you want to show a sequence of complex actions andneeds accurate descriptions. Besides that, video can also be used to showprocedures or operation manuals that cannot be described by text or graphicsalone.11.10.3 Scenario PresentationSound and movement has made video a good and effective tool to depict a real-life situation or scenario in our daily lives. For example, it can be used to displayan „acting‰ of an emergency situation to train doctors and nurses to familiarisethemselves and act in a calm manner during a real emergency situation.11.10.4 Movement AnalysisOne of the special qualities of video, that is not available in other media, is itsability to pause an action, show an action in slow motion and fast mode. Thisquality makes video very useful for analysis. Figure 11.10 shows an example ofthe movement analysis by video.
  • 204. 208 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO Figure 11.10: Movement Analysis by using Video.Among the commonly found movement analysis is body movements analysis toincrease the performance of a sportsperson whereby their body movementspatterns can be seen in slow motion. For example, the movements of a swimmerin a swimming pool can be analysed through this movement analysis.In addition, video can also be used to make long-term weather analysis bystudying cloud movements in an area, and analysis of expected traffic-flow incertain places.11.11 ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF VIDEO IN MULTIMEDIAVideo play an important role in multimedia applications. It can stimulateemotions, convey messages, provide directions and shows specific techniques.However, moderation of use is very vital, where you should know theappropriate situation and time to utilise video. Other things that must beremembered are, you must use high-quality videos supported bymicroprocessors and storage. The following are some advantages anddisadvantages of video in multimedia.11.11.1 Advantages of VideoAppropriate use of video will bring positive outcomes. There are severaladvantages of video use in multimedia applications. They are;(a) Video can captivate the users. In this aspect, there is no other media that is comparable to video, because video comprises of various combinations of colour, movements and sounds. Thus, it is very useful for marketing materials and promoting applications.
  • 205. CHAPTER 11 VIDEO AND MULTIMEDIA 209(b) Video can increase the memory of users. Research has shown that human beings can remember information better and longer if they are able to see the materials compared to reading or hearing them only. Video has the ability to improve usersÊ memory compared to other media.(c) Video can explain physical actions and complex relationships. Video can show realistic physical actions in a situation. The videoÊs ability to show real-time movements enables users to have a clear picture regarding a relationship or physical action compared to what is conveyed through descriptions or illustrations.(d) Video can combine with other media. Video can combine with other media, especially with audio. Sounds, text, graphics and movements, can all be combined together with video, for use in a presentation. This is a core factor, as to why video is the most suitable media, for delivering complex information.11.11.2 Disadvantages of VideoVideo have many advantages in multimedia applications, but it also has severalobvious disadvantages;(a) Video production involves higher cost. Video production requires more time and resources compared to other media. You may require a few weeks to plan and shoot a video. To produce a short video-clip, you may require the help of a trained technician. Furthermore, many resources are required to edit videos and combine it into a multimedia application.(b) Video requires a large memory and storage space. Video uses more system memory and storage space compared to other media. For example, a one-minute video uses more storage space than thousands of pages of text. Therefore, video is only suitable for use in situations that absolutely requires its use, such as in advertisements and demonstrations.(c) Video requires special equipment for production and presentation. Instruments such as cameras, lights and equipment for editing are required to produce a video. Your investment in equipment for use in video production is far greater compared to the equipment used by other media. In addition, users must possess suitable hardware and software, in order to
  • 206. 210 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO watch a video, such as video cards and Quick Time or Media Player software.(d) Video is not able to visually explain abstract concepts or static situations, effectively. Video is specially used to show movements but it is not suitable for illustrations of abstract concepts, showing objects or static situations. In these circumstances, text or graphics can convey the abstract concepts more effectively than video. The quotation below explains the use of audio and video in the website. When to use audio and video on the WebWhen HTML allowed Web designers to incorporate images compressed for Webpages (e.g. JPEG and GIF images), the issue raised was that there were too manyWeb pages that included too many images, many of which were not necessary.The concern was that images were used because they needed to be included, andnot for gratuitous use. The use of audio and video in Web pages may not sufferas intense scrutiny as with images simply for the reason that using these mediaelements requires more bandwidth than images, making their use somewhatlimited.That said, there are Web sites that need to use audio and video. These includesites in the music and music video industries, sports and radio industries and themovie entertainment industry. Some examples of the entertainment industryusing technology to display audio and video are the MTV site( which features live reports from the music industry andthe Oscar site ( which has video clips of the winnersacceptance speeches. News and sports sites include the ESPNet Sportszone site( which features video clips of some of the keymoments in sports and the National Public Radio (NPR) site( which allows cyber surfers to listen to their shows andeven download interviews. Depending on the type of industry that is featured onthe Web, using audio and video can be a great attraction.(Source: The Multimedia Sourcebook: Volume 2 Multimedia authoring and Webpublishing, Neo Mai & Ken Neo TK, 1999: ms 204)
  • 207. CHAPTER 11 VIDEO AND MULTIMEDIA 211 Exercise 11.4 1. State TWO examples of physical procedure presentations that use video. 2. Why does video attract more attention from users compared to other media? 3. Give TWO examples of problems faced by digital video. 4. What do you understand by the interframe and intraframe compression techniques? Explain. SUMMARYThis chapter explains both the analog and digital video. The roles of video inmultimedia are also explained. In addition, this chapter elaborates on themethods and techniques of video compression. If you wish to develop a digitalvideo, you need to choose the proper hardware and codec format so that thevideo produced is of high quality and easy to use.
  • 208. Chapter 12 Video Formats and Software OBJECTIVES At the end of this chapter, you should be able to: 1. state four main types of video formats and standards; 2. identify several examples of codec formats and video file formats that INTRODUCTIONthe market; and are currently available in 3. learn several basic techniques of processing video using the Adobe Premier software. INTRODUCTIONIn the previous chapters, you learned about video components in multimedia. Inthis chapter we will focus on some of the video formats and standard that areregularly used. You would also be given explanations, regarding the types ofcodec formats and video file formats that are currently available in the market. Atthe end of this chapter, you will also learn about several basic techniques forprocessing video with the use of the Adobe Premier software, which is the videoapplication software used extensively today.12.1 VIDEO FORMATS AND STANDARDSAs what we have learnt, video broadcasts are based on frame rate per second orfps. Do you know that video is played on different frame rate per seconddepending on the country? For example, in the United States, video is played at a
  • 209. CHAPTER 12 VIDEO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 213rate of 30 frames per second. This is based on the guideline or standard,prescribed by the committee of the country, which is the National TelevisionStandards Committee (NTSC), while countries like United Kingdom, Australiaand most countries in Asia, use the PAL broadcasting system or PhaseAlternation Line. Unlike the NTSC system, the PAL system uses 25 frames persecond for videos and television playback. Hence, majority of the television setsand video recorders have multiple systems capability (multi system ready). Thisgives the audience the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of both the systems.The four main formats and standards for broadcasting and video are, NTSC,PAL, SECAM and HDTV. These standards may be converted or interpretedamong each other but usually, the conversion process causes the quality to drop,and there are some processes that require specific hardware. Therefore, it isimportant to understand each of these standards, and identify where yourmultimedia project will be played, or presented.The following are brief discussions on the video formats and standards that areavailable currently;(a) NTSC NTSC or National Television Standards Committee is a standard based on specifications fixed by the National Television Standards Committee, 1952. It is used in the United States of America and Japan. These standards define a method for encoding information into the electric signal that ultimately creates a television picture. According to NTSC standards, a video frame consists of 525 horizontal scan lines that is produced every 1/30 of a second.NTSC is also known as, Never Twice the Same Colour.(b) PAL PAL or Phase Alternate Line is a standard that is used in Britain, European countries and most of the countries in Asia. According to Vaughan (2001), PAL is an integration method that adds colours to black and white television signals. It produces 625 lines at a frame rate of 25 frames rate per second (fps); each line requires a time of 1/50 per second to be produced (50 Hz).(c) SECAM SECAM or Sequentiel Couleur avec memoire is a standard that is used in France, Russia and a few other countries. Although it is almost the same as PAL and NTSC, the broadcasting technology and method of SECAM
  • 210. 214 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO distinguishes it from the other standards. To tackle this problem, the majority of television sets sold in European nations have components that can accept both the PAL and SECAM systems.(d) HDTV HDTV or High Definition TV is a new standard of television technology. HDTV provides clear and quality sounds and pictures just like 35mm movies. The main difference between the old television standard and HDTV is its high resolution. HDTV consists of 1080 active lines compared to the current television pictures standard of only 486 active lines. REFERENCES To obtain more information regarding video formats and standards, refer to Chapter 12 of the book, „Multimedia: Making It Work, 5th Edition,‰ by Tay Vaughan, 2001. Advanced Television Systems Committee is an International Organisation involved in the development of standards for digital television. Visit its website at CODEC FORMATSCodec format is defined as an algorithm to compress and decompress. It is amechanism that is used to compress digital video. In the previous chapters, youlearnt about the methods and techniques of compression. In this chapter, we willview several digital video formats that are currently available in the market.Among them are CinePak and Indeo, which can be used in various platformssuch as Macintosh, Windows or Unix. Examples of other codecs are JPEG, MPEGand Sorenson. You can choose any of the codecs that are available in the marketto produce videos. (See the table quoted from the multimedia book, MultimediaLiteracy, by Fred T. Hofstetter, on the following page).
  • 211. CHAPTER 12 VIDEO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 21512.2.1 CinePakCinePak format was formerly known as, Compact Video. It is the most popularcodec for the Quick Time file. CinePak is a lossy compression format. If you usethe CinePak format, you must ensure that the original video source that has yet tobe compressed is of high quality.CinePak can support frame differencing. It is asymmetrical whereby it requires alonger time for compression. For example, a video that is only 15 seconds willtake up to an hour to be compressed. However, the video produced is smoothand its file size is satisfactory.12.2.2 Indeo/DVIBesides CinePak, Indeo (also known as DVI) is a codec format developed by Intel.Generally, Indeo can be in lossy or lossless compression forms and can supportframe differencing. However, it is less asymmetrical compared to CinePak.Indeo requires more processing time for decompression. This causes the videoproduced to be less smooth compared to CinePak. Indeo is a special codec formatfor the VfW (Video for Windows) file, but Quick Time 2.0 can also support thisformat. Therefore, it has become the second most popular codec format for digitalvideo.12.2.3 JPEGWhen you view a JPEG format, you may think that it is one of the file formats forgraphics or images! In fact, it is the same as the JPEG graphics format. Sometimesit is dubbed as JPEG motion. You must remember that video comprises of a set offrames, where each image in a frame can be compressed using JPEG compression.JPEG assumes that each of these video frames as static images. This produces arather large file size and a sizeable drop in terms of quality with a correspondinglarge compression ratio.Compression using JPEG entails specific hardware, but the process ofdecompression can be implemented without hardware, but with softwaresupport particularly QuickTime for Apple and Video for Windows.Choosing suitable codec is not an easy task. Read the quotation below regardingthe Comparison of Codec Formats, to help you make the right decision.
  • 212. 216 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO Figure 12.1: different codec format
  • 213. CHAPTER 12 VIDEO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 217 To obtain more information regarding video codec, visit its website at Exercise 12.1 Give ONE difference between Indeo and CinePak.12.3 VIDEO FILE FORMATSAfter the video has been digitised and converted into a digital video file, youshould choose a video file format to store the video clip. For use on the computer,the main choice is the Microsofts Video for Windows (.AVI), QuickTime andsome versions of MPEG. Although there are many file formats such as theAutoDeskÊs FLC, most of the digital video files comprise of formats from MPEG,AVI or QuickTime. Figure 12.2: Main digital video file formats
  • 214. 218 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO12.3.1 QuickTimeQuickTime is among the best video file formats and it is developed by AppleComputer. Both the MacintoshÊs system and Windows support this file formatextensively. Most of the Windowss 95/98 systems can play the QuickTime video,but it may require a device installation software if the version of QuickTimeneeded to play the video is later than the version supported by the computersystem.Although, you may be forced to equip your computer with the requiredQuickTime installation software, QuickTime is still the main choice for crossplatform multimedia development.QuickTime does not require a high cost as the files required to replay video clipsin QuickTime format are circulated free of charge by Apple computer.12.3.2 Microsofts Video for Windows (.AVI)Microsoft first introduced Video for Windows in 1992. Its aim was to prepare astandard for video under the WindowsÊ operating system. Although the AVIformat is not the best format in the market, however, it is the most widely used.This is because most of the personal computer owners in the world use theWindowsÊ operating system. Therefore, you do not require any additionalsoftware to play AVI files in the WindowsÊ system environment. For systems thatare not in the WindowsÊ environment such as the Macintosh computer that doesnot support the AVI format, you need special software that can be obtained fromMicrosoft to view the video clips.The Microsofts Video for Windows program is based upon the .AVI (AudioVideo Interleave) file format where the audio and video is "interleaved." Thisenables audio and video to be played simultaneously.12.3.3 MPEGMPEG (Motion Picture Expert Group) is gaining popularity in tandem with theincrease in computer systems. MPEG-1 encodes video-clips on 352 x 240, 320 x240, 176 x 112 or 160 X 112 screen sizes only, but it can be played on full screen at30 fps with neat frame rate and satisfactory image quality.There are many MPEG versions in the market such as MPEG 1, MPEG-2 andMPEG-4. MPEG-1 is the original format designed for quality VHS pictures atCD-ROM data rate. It is a cross platform format supported by both theMacintoshs system and Windows. MPEGs main problem is that its compression
  • 215. CHAPTER 12 VIDEO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 219method is asymmetrical and thus, needs expensive software to encode thisformat.MPEG-1 compression standard usually has a compression ratio within the rangeof 26:1. It supports random access, meaning that the users can play the video clipat any part that is required.MPEG-2 was introduced in the middle of 1990Ês and has better quality comparedto the MPEG-1 format. It enables data to be transferred, at a speed of 5MB persecond for quality multimedia broadcasting, and up to 10MB per second forstudio quality. MPEG-2Ês standard also enable basic video modes to be used suchas, fast forward, reverse play and slow motion.Now, a new format has emerged which is the MPEG 4 that promises good qualityat a low data rate and the capacity to encode playback at a different data rate.Adobe Premiere (a topic that you would study later) supports the coding formatof MPEG 4.Before using MPEG, make sure that the system you are using can supportMPEGs version. Just like AVI and QuickTime formats, you probably need ainstallation device. Besides that, for some versions of MPEG such as MPEG 2,users may need to install encoder hardware to the computer system. The explanation above about MPEG may be limited. Visit its website at; http: //, to obtain more information. The website at contains many interesting topics on digital video including Codec, formats and video standards.The extract below explains about audio and video streaming.
  • 216. 220 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO Audio and Video Streaming?Streaming audio is the sound that is delivered to the user as it is being receivedfrom the website that you are visiting. The audio file is broken up into smallpieces (streams) and then sent from the server to the clients machine, thebrowser on the clients machine uses a helper application (like Real Audio) toreassemble the audio stream. This is different from downloading a file to a harddrive and then playing it after the entire file has been downloaded. Theadvantage of streaming is that there is usually no waiting (or very little) from thetime the mouse is clicked until the time the sound starts playing. The sameapproach could be used to stream video files across the Web. According to recentreports published, the streaming technology industry is the fastest growingindustry on the net and this trend is expected to continue and grow. The keyproviders, as far as streaming technology is concerned are: Real Networks, Appleand Microsoft.Real Audio is streaming audio technology developed by Real Networks. TheRealAudio player (the client software) is available for free from Real NetworksWebsite. RealAudio is capable of sending audio files in two different formats.1. Stereo 8 KHz sampling rate for 28.8 kbs connections (-2.5 KB/sec.) and2. Stereo 16 KHz sampling rate for 56+ kbs connections (~5 KB/sec).)Another emerging technology in creating audio content for the web is the use ofcompression techniques and namely MP3. In order to create streaming audio orvideo files, the multimedia designer firstly needs to create the digital audio orvideo file format (acceptable file formats are .Wav, .aif, avi, .rnov, .mpg) and thenusing a RealAudio producer or similar type of software the digital file format isbroken into streams ready for broadcasting over the Internet.(Source: „Designing Interactive Multimedia Systems,‰ Mohammad Dastbaz,2002: pg173) Figure 12.3: Audio and video streaming Exercise 12.2 1. Explain the differences between MPEG-1 and MPEG-2. 2. State TWO advantages of QuickTime.
  • 217. CHAPTER 12 VIDEO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 22112.4 VIDEO SOFTWARELately, the role of video has been receiving a lot of attention in multimediasystems. Including the video element in multimedia presentations is one of theeffective ways to deliver information that other media failed to do. The reasonsfor this development are: Demands from users for video; Multimedia technology has progress to a stage where video is easily integrated into multimedia systems; and The emergence of sophisticated hardware such as video capture cards, video RAM and AGP cards.According to Tannenbaum (2001), there are three basic levels in the use ofmoving images in the interactive multimedia applications such as capturing,editing and presenting. There are various software that can help you toimplement these basic functions. Depending on the difficulty levels of theequipment and the functions offered, these software are probably expensive.Professional video clips require a studio, cameras and professional soundengineers. In fact, in large multimedia project cases, contracts are usually given toprofessional film studios to produce videos.Most of the video capture cards also provide several basic software that cancapture and store digital videos. Video for Windows and AppleÊs QuickTime areamong the earliest videos that are available in the Macintosh and WindowsÊenvironments. For more professional results, Adobe Premiere provides morechoices and functions. Other than Adobe Premiere, you can also try other videosoftware such as Video Fusion and UleadÊs Media Studio Pro. Although thisvideo software are expensive, each has their own advantages and uses inproducing high quality digital videos. Have you ever watched a computer using support software such as MPEG or viewed a short video-clip on web sites such as If you have never viewed video-clips on web sites, visit CNN.coms website at:
  • 218. 222 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO Besides Adobe Premiere software, Lumiere, and UleadÊs Media Studio are also famous video editing software. Visit UleadÊs Media Studios website at to obtain more information.Now, we will discuss one of the popular video software that is available in themarket, which is the Adobe Premiere.12.5 ADOBE PREMIEREAdobe Premiere is popular video application software in desktop computerplatforms. The new premiere interface supports professional video work, audioequipment with studio quality, and editing tools with long formats.With Adobe Premiere, users can edit long or short video formats, online oroffline more productively and effectively for the purpose of broadcasting, filmproduction, story boards or preparation of web based videos.Another productive feature of this software is that, it has good mediamanagement tools such as palette transition that is used during the transitionprocess. In addition, this software also offers extensive hardware and softwaresupport where it allows users the flexibility to carry out their tasks. This isbecause Adobe Premiere integrates very well with other AdobeÊs family such as,Photoshop, After Effects and Illustrator. With this integration, users can carry outthe task of developing videos more efficiently where the project being developedcan be transferred among these applications.By using Adobe Premiere version 5 and above, users will be faced with aninterface that has various media management tools and dialogue boxes. It is veryeasy to use and suitable for common users as well as professional video makers. REFERENCES To know more about the method of recording and editing digital videos in the Windows and Macintosh environments, refer to Chapter 35 in the book, „Multimedia Literacy,‰ by Fred T. Hofstetter, 2001.
  • 219. CHAPTER 12 VIDEO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 22312.6 GUIDELINES FOR USING ADOBE PREMIEREBefore we learn the basic features and techniques of Adobe Premiere, we mustremember that Adobe Premiere is the most widely used video application ondesktop computer platforms. Nevertheless, all editing programs are generallyalmost the same, it uses metaphors that resemble the traditional video and filmediting.The following are several features and basic concepts of Adobe Premiere.12.6.1 Selecting Initial WorkspaceWhen you first use Adobe Premiere, you will see a screen display as shownbelow in Figure 12.4. You must select Initial Workspace. There are two choiceshere and that is, A/B Editing and Single-Track Editing. Figure 12.4: Initial Workspace12.6.2 Determining Project SettingAfter selecting Initial Workspace, a dialogue box Load Project Settings willemerge such as shown in Figure 12.5. Each time you start a new project onPremiere; this dialogue box will be displayed. Here, you need to determine themost suitable setting for your videos project. For example, MultimediaQuickTime for Macintosh users and Multimedia Video for Windows, forWindows users.
  • 220. 224 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO Figure 12.5: Load Project Settings12.6.3 Adobe Premiere’s Main ScreenAfter deciding on the Project Settings, you will come to the PremiereÊs mainworking environment screen as shown in Figure 12.6 below. Figure 12.6: PremiereÊs Main Working Environment ScreenThere are five different key areas on the screen as explained in the followingsections.
  • 221. CHAPTER 12 VIDEO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 225(a) The Project Area Figure 12.7: The Project area The Project Area tracks all the different AVI/MOV files that contain raw footage which are used to generate videos. In this illustration, the Project Area contains five different files that have been imported into the bin. Each file contains a raw footage which is a cougar, an elephant etc. Bin is like a folder, which is a collection of materials or files.(b) The Monitor Area The Monitor Area contains two video windows. The left window is known as the source window; it allows you to see different AVI files so that you can identify the IN and the OUT points of the video clip that you wish to use. The right window is known as the Program window; it enables you to view the movie while it is being developed on the timeline. Both these windows contain standard controls for play, stop, repeat etc. Figure 12.8 shows the monitor area.
  • 222. 226 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO Figure 12.8: The Monitor Area(c) The Timeline Area Figure 12.9: The Timeline Area The Timeline Area, as shown in Figure 12.9, is the area where you collect audio and video clips for the final movie. Even though the timeline area shown above has space for two video tracks and three audio tracks, it actually can accommodate dozens of clips if required.
  • 223. CHAPTER 12 VIDEO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 227(d) The Transitions Area Figure 12.10: The transitions area The Transitions Area enables you to choose various types of transitions so that you can place it on the timeline area.(e) The Navigator Area Figure 12.11: The Navigator Area The Navigator Area enables you to see the whole project at a glance no matter how large the project is. It also enables you to decide the zoom level on the timeline area.
  • 224. 228 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO12.6.4 Capturing VideoAfter you have captured the raw footage with the camera, you should load thisfootage into your computer. To do this, connect your camera to the computerwith the FireWire cable. Choose File -> Capture -> Movie Capture from the aAdobe Premiere menu. You will see a window as shown in Figure 12.12 below. Figure 12.12: Capture window from Adobe PremiereThe control button at the lower part of the Capture Window allows you to controlyour camera. You can rewind, fast forward and play. Generally, you should dothe following: Press the Rewind button at the window to rewind the tape in the camera. Press the Play button at the window to start playing the tape. Press the Record button in red colour, to start capturing the section or the raw footage to the hard disk After the section or footage has been played / recorded, press the Stop button. Premiere will ask for the fileÊs name that you wish to use for this section.You can capture all your footages into a large file or capture it into severalsmaller files. Make sure that you know the size limit of the file for the operatingsystem and editing software package that you are using. You should also makesure that you have adequate disk space to store all footages captured.
  • 225. CHAPTER 12 VIDEO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 22912.6.5 Video ClipsYou might not want to use all the raw footages that you have previouslycaptured. You probably want to choose the part or the scenes that are suitable foryour project only. Therefore, you would need to clip these areas that you want touse in your movie. To do this, follow the following steps.Firstly, you must import the file containing the raw footage into your currentproject so that Premiere can use it. If you capture the footage in Premiere, it willbe imported automatically. Choose File -> Import and identify the AVI or MOVfiles that you wish to add to the project. Adobe uses the "Bin" concept to keepAVI and MOV files. "Bin" is like a folder, which is a collection of files. In largeprojects, you probably have several "Bin" to keep the various types of sections.To assist with your understanding, we will use the cougar file as shown in Figure12.13 as an example of the imported file that you wish to Âclip.ÊFigure 12.13: This project area contains five AVI files that have been imported into a Bin.‰ . Drag the cougar file from the Project window to the source window. Press the Play button to view the result being played on the source window. Mark the IN and OUT points at the clip that you wish to use in the source window.
  • 226. 230 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO The small bar placed on the time code shows which section of the raw footage that you have chosen for the Âclip.Ê After you have chosen the Âclip,Ê you can then add it to the timeline (Figure 12.4).12.6.6 TimelineOnce you mark the clip by choosing the IN and OUT points in the sourcewindow, you can add the clip to the timeline. Just drag the image from the sourcewindow to the timeline. The display that you would see is as shown in Figure12.15 below. Figure 12.15: TimelineWhat is displayed at the timeline now is your movie, containing a 5 secondsduration clips.Now just repeat this process by dragging several clips to the timeline. The resultis as shown in Figure 12.16.
  • 227. CHAPTER 12 VIDEO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 231 Figure 12.16: Timeline with three clipsWhat you have learnt so far is only an example of how to generate a simplemovie by gathering several clips and placing them at the timeline. Nevertheless,it is better than just the mere raw footage. This is because you have picked thebest parts from the raw footage to be gathered in the timeline.To play your movie, click the Play button at the program section in the monitorarea or click the time section in the timeline area to move the pointer, and thenpress the spacebar to start playing from the selected point.12.6.7 TransitionsSometimes, simple cut from one clip to another clip is sufficient; at times, youmight wish to use more sophisticated transitions from one scene to another scene.For example, you might want to use dissolve, wipe or fade transitions. Premierehas many types of transitions. You only need to choose one type of transitionsfrom the transition area and then drag it to the spot between the two clips on thetimeline.
  • 228. 232 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO Figure 12.17: Dozens of transition typesOnce you are at the desired place in the timeline, right click on the transition ifyou wish to adjust it. Figure 12.18: Timeline with the placed transitionWhen the movie is being played, you cannot instantly see how the transitionshould actually be seen. This is because the transition requires more processingtime for it to accomplish its impact or effect. Premiere will tell you that additionalprocessing is still required, by indicating it through a small red bar placed on thetransition (see Figure 12.18). To activate the additional processing, you mustRender the timeline. From the Timeline menu, choose Render Work Area. Oncethe processing ends, you can play the movie to view the transition.
  • 229. CHAPTER 12 VIDEO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 233 Exercise 12.3 1. In your opinion, what are the advantages of digital video editing? 2. Which of the following video file formats utilise the least storage space: AVI, QuickTime or MPEG? 3. List FOUR types of CODEC formats that you know. 4. When you open Adobe Premiere, you need to ensure Initial Workspace first by choosing either A / B Editing or Single-Track Editing. State the differences between both these options. SUMMARYJust like audio, digital video integration for desktop computers has opened a newpage for multimedia applications. Apart from requiring a video capture card thatcan communicate and read the analog video sources, video integration inmultimedia applications also require software that can capture and edit thedigital video for storage.In the world of multimedia, digital video editing is not only used to increase titlesand impact of animation, it is also used to generate web animation, post processand combining morphs in large productions and also to enliven static images.With the availability of various sophisticated video application software such asAdobe Premiere in the market, it not only helps but also draws out your talents toproduce a more creative, attractive and dynamic pieces of work.
  • 230. UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VDEO 236 TUTORIAL QUESTION INTRODUCTIONYou are a trader selling VCDs, MP3s and DVDs. Recently, your business has beendeclining. Now, you strive to diversify your business in order to compete withother dealers. You are interested in developing your business on the Internet.Before that, you should conduct a survey to ensure whether your desire to sellthese videos on the Internet is a lucrative investment. Therefore, you are requiredto visit websites that have video clips and see whether this sort of business is verydifferent from your current conventional method. PROBLEMYour first problem is you do not have any knowledge about digital videos on theInternet.Your second problem is you do not know how to do transactions on the Internet.Your third problem is you do not have the expertise to develop and operatewebsites. ASSIGNMENTTry to visit websites that supply video clip services on the Internet. Choose threeof the best websites that you found from your search. After that, you are requiredto provide a brief report based on the following questions;(i) Name the three best websites that you have visited.(ii) How did you manage to find the websites?(iii) Is the digital video on the websites, developed by an individual, organisation or company?(iv) What are the types of digital video offered (E.g. entertainment, historical, general etc) and its specifications (E.g. format and file size).(v) How can you buy and obtain the digital video (E.g. free of charge, cash, credit card etc).
  • 231. TUTORIAL QUESTIONS 235(vi) Can you download the sample that you want?(vii) What is the process that you use to obtain the video clip when you are on this websites?(viii) Are you going to use this websites to obtain the video clips? Why?
  • 232. 236 REFERENCESReferencesBlake,B. 2001. Adobe Premiere Virtual Classroom. California. Osborne/McGraw-Hill.Chapman, Nigel & Jenny. 2000. Digital Multimedia. England. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.Chapman, Nigel & Jenny. 2002. Digital Media Tools. England. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.Dastbaz, Mohammad. 2002. Designing Interactive Multimedia Systems. Berkshire. McGraw-Hill EducationDirector 7 and Lingo. 1999. California. Macromedia Press.Hofstetter, Fred T. 2001. Multimedia Literacy. New York. McGraw-Hill Higher Education. Edisi KetigaIskandar Ab Rashid & Zaitun Ismail. 2001. Grafik Menggunakan Jasc PaintShop Pro. Kuala Lumpur. Venton Publishing.Jamalludin Harun & Zaidatun Tasir. 2000. Pengenalan Kepada Multimedia. Kuala Lumpur. Venton Publishing.Ken Neo TK & Neo Mai. 1999. The Multimedia Sourcebook: Volume 1 Creating Multimedia Content. Subang Jaya. Meway Computec Sdn Bhd.Ken Neo TK & Neo Mai. 1999. The Multimedia Sourcebook: Volume 2 Multimedia authoring & Web publishing. Subang Jaya. Meway Computec Sdn Bhd.McGloughlin, Stephen. 2001. Multimedia: Concepts and Practice. New Jersey. Prentice- Hall.Multimedia: The Complete Guide. 1996. London. Dorling Kindersley Limited.Neo Mai & Ken T. K. Neo. 1998 The Multimedia Pavilion: Trends and Technologies. Subang Jaya. Meway Computec Sdn Bhd.Neo Mai & Ken T. K. Neo. 1999.7/76 Multimedia Mosaic: Multimedia on the PC. Shah Alam. Federal Publications.Norhayati Abdul Mukti. 2000. Perisian Pengarangan. Petaling Jaya. Prentice Hall.
  • 233. REFERENCES 237Pfaffenberger, Bryan. 2002. Computers in your Future. New Jersey. Prentice Hall. Edisi Keempat.Shuman, James E. 1998. Multimedia in Action. California. IIP.Vaughan, Tay. 2001. Multimedia Making It Work. California. Osborne/McGraw-Hill. Edisi Kelima.Terminology Committee, Education and Multimedia Technology Centre, USM. 2001. Glosari Multimedia. Petaling Jaya. Prentice Hall.Brian K.W. & Stacey, C.S. (2001). Using Information Technology (complete version). McGraw Hill.Jim, M. (1996). How to Select the Appropriate Media http://www. Metrognome. com/martin/ articles/media.htmPaula, P., Ben, D. (1997). Creating And Designing Multimedia With Director. Prentice Hall.Education and Multimedia Technology Centre, Universiti Sains Malaysia. (2000). Glosari Multimedia. Petaling Jaya: Prentice Hall.Steinmetz, R. & Nahrstedt, K. (1995). Multimedia: Computing, Communications And Applications. Prentice Hall.Sound And Video Files. The Concept of Multimedia,
  • 234. 236 REFERENCES
  • 235. IDT-RK-750-07-02 Module Evaluation Maklumbalas ModulPlease complete this questionnaire by T3 (May Semester) or T4/T5 (January and September).The purpose of this survey is to obtain your feedback (regarding the layout and presentationonly) so as to improve this module.Sila lengkapkan borang soal selidik ini pada T3 (Semester Mei) atau T4/T5 (Semester Januaridan September). Soal selidik ini bertujuan mendapatkan maklum balas (berkenaan susun aturdan reka bentuk sahaja) bagi meningkatkan mutu pembangunan modul. Module Title Tajuk Modul ____________________________________________________ Module Code Kod Modul _________________ Semester January May Year : 200 ____ September Pelajar Tutor PPW/PPT ____________________________________________________ Please circle your answer. Sila bulatkan jawapan anda. Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Strongly Agree Amat Tidak Bersetuju Amat Bersetuju No. Question/Soalan 1 The overall design of the module was attractive. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Secara keseluruhan reka bentuk modul adalah menarik. 2 The size/format of the module was appropriate. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Saiz/format modul, amat bersesuaian. 3 The module achieved its objectives to help learners understand 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 the subject matter. Modul ini telah mencapai objektifnya supaya pelajar memahami bahan subjek. 4 My knowledge of the subject improved after reading the module. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Pengetahuan saya berkenaan subjek yang dipelajari meningkat setelah membaca modul. 1/2
  • 236. IDT-RK-750-07-02 5 The Think and Your Idea sections were useful. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Bahagian Fikir dan Idea Anda adalah berguna. 6 The references to the Web sites were useful. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Bahagian rujukan tapak web adalah berguna. 7 The exercises and tests made it easy for me to understand the 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 topic. Latihan dan ujian membuat saya lebih memahami topik. 8 The module was easy to read. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Modul senang dibaca. 9 The graphics and illustrations were effective in enhancing 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 information. Grafik dan illustrasi memberi kesan dalam mempertingkatkan penyampaian maklumat. 10 The assessment questions were relevant throughout the module. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Soalan-soalan penilaian yang disediakan amat bersesuaian. 11 My overall rating of this module is: Penilaian keseluruhan untuk modul ini ialah: ___________________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Poor Outstanding Paling tidak baik Amat baikWhat other sections or information would you include in the module?Apakah bahagian atau maklumat lain yang anda rasa perlu dimasukkan ke dalam modul ini?____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________What changes or modifications would you recommend to improve this module (if any)?Apakah perubahan atau pengubahsuaian yang ingin anda syorkan bagi mempertingkatkanmodul ini (jika ada)?____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Please return the completed questionnaire to your tutor/administrator. Thank you! Sila kembalikan soal selidik yang telah dilengkapkan kepada tutor/pentadbir. Terima Kasih! -Centre for Instructional Design and Technology- Pusat Reka Bentuk Pengajaran dan Teknologi Fax: 03-26978702 2/2