CHAPTER 08: MEDIA INTEGRATION Introduction To Media Integration Delivering Multimedia Advantages and Disadvantages of Multimedia Multimedia Development Life Cycle Last updated: 5/07/06 Introduction To Media Integration Multimedia is the integration of various informational media such as text, graphics, sound and images into a single document. The modern electronic digital computer system can easily combine and deliver these seemingly diverse forms of information it manipulates them in as a stream of binary numbers. The tools by which various media components are brought together into a structure and flow are divided into : presentation packages tools for creating production authoring tools for interactive training and education Introduction To Media Integration Most media integration tools employ one of the following screen metaphors: movie screen slide show a group of screens linked together The development interface includes: a list of media events iconic flowchart card stack a series of frames Introduction To Media Integration Reasons to Integrate Multimedia The power of multimedia computing is realized only when elements from various media domains are combined and distributed in innovative, interesting, entertaining and informative ways. Hardware and software systems for accomplishing this have evolved steadily over the past decade. A combination of database and hypertext techniques produced some of the earliest commercial multimedia products, the multimedia encyclopedias in the early 1990s. Introduction To Media Integration Since then, a number of software products have been introduced that allow the production of multimedia documents at the desktop. Multimedia composition programs, such as PowerPoint and Astound, allow the production of multimedia slideshows, but are typically limited in their ability to incorporate user interaction. Multimedia authoring systems enable products providing full interaction capabilities. Introduction To Media Integration Presentation Packages Presentation Software Enable novices to create and deliver business presentations in the mold of the slide show. They include text outliners and may import outlines from other packages. Each major heading signals the beginning of a new slide Templates are used to determine how the heads and subheads are formatted and displayed over backgrounds, including position, style, size, colors font. Many packages now include support for dynamic media such as audio, video, animation. Introduction To Media Integration Presentation Packages Production Software Typically oriented toward producing content that is more ambitious than the slide-show level. It is usually integrate all types of multimedia data into a multi track timeline that determines the evolution of events. Interactivity takes the form of conditional branching that can make navigation decisions based on user input and other conditions. Production software creates dynamic content. Introduction To Media Integration Authoring Tools The multimedia authoring tool is the glue that holds the data together in order to inform, educate or entertain. It offers 2 basic features: The ability to create and edit a product A presentation scheme for delivering the product The most critical elements of multimedia product development are : Tools Product Developer End User Introduction To Media Integration Multimedia Selection Tool Authoring tools for multimedia range from relatively simple word processor applications to expensive multimedia authoring/delivering environments costing thousands of dollars. The criteria for selecting a tool include : Function: a complete understanding of how the product will work. Content: nature, volume, format, and types of data that will be incorporated into the product. Hardware: platforms expected to run a product. Software: requirement of operating system or software application such as database manager and flash. Introduction To Media Integration Performance: speed and efficiency expected -> critical for gaming and fast-paced presentations. User interface: screen layout,data presentation,positioning of control and visual and audio for end user. Database: will the product support a huge access of information? Reliability: essential within the product itself and how the product behaves with other products. Maintenance and Update: support for a lifetime product to avoid having to recast into another tool. Introduction To Media Integration Features of Authoring Tools 1. Editing and Organizing Features Authoring systems include editing tools to create, edit, and convert multimedia elements such as animation and video clips. The organization, design, and production process for multimedia involves storyboarding and flowcharting. Visual flowcharting or overview facility illustrates project structure at a macro level. Introduction To Media Integration 2. Programming Features Visual programming with icons or objects is the simplest and easiest authoring process. Visual authoring tools such as Authorware and IconAuthor are suitable for slide shows and presentations. Authoring tools offer „very high level language‟ (VHLL) or interpreted scripting environment. Introduction To Media Integration 3. Interactivity Features Interactivity gives the end user control over the content and flow of information in a project. Simple branching is the ability to go to another section of the multimedia production. Conditional branching is an activity based on the results of IF- THEN decisions or events. Structured language supports complex programming logic, subroutines, event tracking, and message passing among objects and elements. Introduction To Media Integration 4. Performance Tuning and Playback Features Achieving synchronization is difficult, considering that performance of the different computers used for multimedia development and delivery varies. Authoring system should facilitate precise timing of events. It should enable developers to build a part of a project and then test it immediately. Introduction To Media Integration 5. Delivery, Cross-Platform, and Internet Playability Features Delivering the project may require building a run-time version of the project, using the multimedia authoring software. Run-time version or standalone allows a project to play back without the complete authoring software and all its tools and editors. It is important to use tools that facilitate easy transfer across platforms. Authoring systems provide a means for converting their output to be delivered within the context of HTML or DHTML. Introduction To Media Integration Categories of Authoring Tools 1. Simple authoring tools Basic authoring. Delivering text product with a few graphics on screen. Graphical user interface(GUI) are able to incorporate text and graphics (also video and audio). Word Processors: provide tools at the most basic level (display text in a variety of font types, sizes, and color). Introduction To Media Integration 2. Programming tools Advantages of implementing multimedia products using programming tools : Languages such as C and assembly language tend to be very efficient and fast. Easier integration with other software or the OS to access data or manage resources such as memory. A control over environments can be achieved enabling complex interaction by the user or the product. No dependency on a third party tool developer. The product may be ported to similar compilers on other platforms. Introduction To Media Integration 2. Programming tools Disadvantages of implementing multimedia products using programming tools : Programming expertise is required to create and maintain the product. Much more code is required making long term maintenance difficult and correspondingly more expensive. The product can become platform-dependent based on the choice of language. Introduction To Media Integration 3. Simple interactive authoring tools Provide the critical feature of being able to interactively navigate through a product. Depends on pressing buttons or hot spots to navigate between pages in a presentation. Most simple interactive authoring tools include the following capabilities for creating and editing products : Page metaphor. Objects including buttons, hot spots, text boxes. Object for audio and video. The ability to vary font type, size, colour. Animation objects. Importing of text and graphic files. Assigning event-driven action to object. Introduction To Media Integration 4. Complex interactive authoring tools Combine features found in simple interactive tools with programming features. Offer more complex creation and editing functions that go beyond simple page layout. Categories is based on how they are used for creation and editing : a) Card-based and page-based tools b) Icon-based, event-driven tools c) Time-based tools Introduction To Media Integration a) Card-based and page-based tools Card- and page-based authoring systems provide a simple and easily understood metaphor for organizing multimedia elements. Navigation is referred to the number of page – index in table of contents. It provides a facility for linking objects to pages or cards. Introduction To Media Integration b) Icon-Based, Event-Driven Tools Enables complex interaction and layering of multimedia products. Developer can select objects,timing,and sequencing in the form of icons and placing them on a layout screen. Major advantage: the ability to graphically design complex interactions for repetitive applications. Templates can be reused for different applications. E.g: Macromedia Authorware. Introduction To Media Integration c) Time-Based Tools Time-based tools are best suited for messages with a beginning and an end. Some time-based tools facilitate navigation and interactive control. Macromedia‟s Director and Flash are time-based development environments. Macromedia Director : A multimedia database, „Cast‟, contains still images, sound files, text, shapes, scripts, movies, and other Director files. Score is a sequencer for displaying, animating, and playing Cast members. Introduction To Media Integration Lingo is an object-oriented scripting language that enables interactivity and programmed control. Macromedia Flash : Flash is used for delivering rich multimedia content to the Web. It allows the creation of simple static HTML pages with the Flash Player plug-in. Introduction To Media Integration How do you choose the best tool for your project? Word Proce Progr ssor, Page- Time- Icon- ammi prese based based based ng ntatio n Easy and quick to develop, effective for prototyping; easy to update and modify Greater flexibility for development (= better interface for end user) Extensive training and experience required for developers Programming features included Cost (1=lowest, 5=highest ) 1 2 3 4 5 Introduction To Media Integration How do you choose the best tool for your project? Applications/Product Choice for tool Informal briefing or presentation Simple authoring tool - presentation package Formal briefing Simple interactive authoring tool Standalone kiosk Complex interactive authoring tool - page-based Database application, or needs to Programming language communicate with a database Complex training application Complex interactive authoring tools - icon-based Entertainment product Complex interactive authoring tools - temporal-based Interactive game Complex interactive authoring tools - temporal based Introduction To Media Integration How do you choose the best tool for your project? Applications/Product Choice for tool Informal briefing or presentation Simple authoring tool - presentation package Formal briefing Simple interactive authoring tool Standalone kiosk Complex interactive authoring tool - page-based Database application, or needs to Programming language communicate with a database Complex training application Complex interactive authoring tools - icon-based Entertainment product Complex interactive authoring tools - temporal-based Interactive game Complex interactive authoring tools - temporal based Delivering Multimedia Multimedia can be delivered through the following methods: 1. Compact disc / Digital versatile disc Holds substantial amount of data Include sound and video Inexpensive Easy to produce in large quantity Small in size -> easy to transport, distribute and display Almost all computers are now equipped with CD-ROM drives, sound cards and speakers Delivering Multimedia 2. Information Kiosk A stand-alone or networked computer system Allows user to access information, perform transactions, play games e.g. retail store kiosk, museum kiosk, college kiosk Convenient to customers Reduce personnel costs Expensive investments in hardware Require continual updating of the content Delivering Multimedia 3. Internet / World Wide Web Easier to share knowledge Much faster to transmit data and information Example: product presentation (advertisement), teleconferencing, e-commerce, greeting Advantages and Disadvantages of Multimedia Advantages of Multimedia 1. Cost Caters many users Can be used flexible hours Reduces transportation factor No need to hire instructors Takes up less space for storage Saves time 2. Quality Content can be updated easily Attract diverse range of users No pollution Advantages and Disadvantages of Multimedia Disadvantages of Multimedia 1. Investment Cost Expensive Maintenance 2. Technical Cabling, wiring Power failure 3. Social & Psychological Inability to differentiate between reality and fantasy More human-computer interaction than human-human Multimedia Development Life Cycle Multimedia Development Life Cycle Phase 1 – Planning • Step 1: Developing the concept • Step 2: Stating the purpose • Step 3: Identifying the target audience • Step 4: Determining the treatment • Step 5: Developing the specifications • Step 6: Storyboard and navigation Phase 2 – Creating • Step 7: Developing the content • Step 8: Authoring the title Phase 3 – Testing • Step 9: Testing the title Multimedia Development Life Cycle Phase 1 – Planning Step 1: Developing the concept – Asking what in general, do we want to do? – Criteria to consider: • How can we improve it (make it faster, better-quality graphics, updated content) ? • How can we change the content to appeal to a different market (consumer, education, corporate) ? • How can we take advantage of new technologies (VR, speech recognition) ? Multimedia Development Life Cycle Phase 1 – Planning Step 2: Stating the purpose – Asking what, specifically, do we want to accomplish? – Specifying the project goals and objectives which will help direct the development process and provide a way to evaluate the title both during and after its development: Goals Objectives Broad statements of what More precise statements of the project will accomplish the goals Multimedia Development Life Cycle Phase 1 – Planning Step 3: Identifying the target audience – Asking who will use the title? – The more information a developer has about potential users, the more likely a title can be created that will satisfy the users‟ needs and be successful. – The target audience can be described in three ways: • Demographics (location, age, sex, marital status, education, income, and so on) • Lifestyle • Attitudes Multimedia Development Life Cycle Phase 1 – Planning Step 4: Determining the treatment – Asking what is the „look and feel‟? – Four things to consider based on the target audience selected in step 3: • Tone: Will the title be humorous, serious, light, formal? • Approach: How much direction will be provided to the user? • Metaphor: Will a metaphor be used to provide interest or to aid in understanding the title? (For example user a certain theme that is related to the content of the title) • Emphasis: How much emphasis will be placed on the various multimedia elements? Multimedia Development Life Cycle Phase 1 – Planning Step 5: Developing the specifications – Asking what precisely does the title include and how does it work? – Specification vary from project to project BUT elements that should be included in the specifications for all titles include: • Target playback system(s) Related to restriction. For example an instructor who is developing a multimedia presentation is confined to the playback system set up in the classroom. • Elements to be included The specifications should include, as much as possible, details about the various elements that are to be included in the title. Multimedia Development Life Cycle • Functionality The specifications should include how the program reacts to an action by the user. For example clicking on a door (object) might cause the door to open (an animation); a doorbell to ring (sound); or and “Exit the Program?” message to appear (text). • User Interface Involves designing the appearance (how each object is arranged on the screen) and the interactivity (how the user navigates through the title). Multimedia Development Life Cycle Phase 1 – Planning Step 6: Storyboard and navigation – Asking what do the screens look like and how are they linked? – Storyboard A representation (often in the form of hand-drawn sketches) of what each screen will look like and how the screens are linked. The storyboard serves multiple purposes: • To provide and overview of the project • To provide a guide (road map) for the programmer • To illustrate the links among screens • To illustrate the functionality of the objects Multimedia Development Life Cycle Storyboard consists of : • Hand-drawn sketches • Each frame represents one screen • Present rough layout of the elements to be displayed • Show where the text, graphics, photos, button and other elements to be placed Multimedia Development Life Cycle – Navigation The linking of screens through the use of buttons, hypertexts, and hotspots. Multimedia developers decide on how various screens will be linked. The benefit of planning navigation scheme is that problems can be determined before the programming begins Multimedia Development Life Cycle The linking of various screens Multimedia Development Life Cycle Four primary navigational structures used in multimedia: 1) Linear Users navigate sequentially, from one frame of information to another. 2) Hierarchical Also called linear with branching. Users navigate along branches of a tree structure that is shaped by the natural logic of the content. Multimedia Development Life Cycle 3) Nonlinear Users navigate freely through the content of the project, unbound by predetermined routes. Multimedia Development Life Cycle 4) Composite Users may navigate freely (nonlinearly) but are occasionally constrained to linear presentations of movies or critical information and/or to data that is most logically organized in a hierarchy. Multimedia Development Life Cycle Phase 2 – Creating Step 7: Developing the content – Creating the pieces. – Issues that need to be addressed: • What is the level of quality for the content (photorealistic graphics, stereo sound)? • How will the content be generated (repurpose existing content, hire content experts to write text, employ graphic artist and other professionals)? • Who will be responsible for acquiring copyrights and licensing agreements? • How will the content be achieved and documented? Multimedia Development Life Cycle Phase 2 – Creating Step 8: Authoring the title – Bringing it all together. – In determining which authoring system to use, a developer would consider the following points: • The playback system (Macintosh and/or Windows- based computers) – some authoring programs work with only one platform. • The emphasis placed on animation – certain programs have fairly sophisticated 2-D animation tools • The expertise of the programmer – programs differ greatly in the approach they use (metaphor) and their scripting language. Multimedia Development Life Cycle Phase 3 – Testing the title Step 9: Authoring the title – Asking does it work the way it was planned? – Testing is an ongoing process. It is important to test the design and the function of the title throughout the creation phase. – Two formal testing processes: • Alpha Testing Usually conducted in-house and restricted to the development team. The idea is to “try and make it crash”. Every conceivable action (point and click) and Navigation path should be explored. Multimedia Development Life Cycle • Beta Testing Beta testing is the final functional test before release. It has two goals: – To get feedback from as wide as variety of potential users as possible. – To have the test done on as many different computer configurations as possible.
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