Aree a mohammed computer science department aree ali@univsul net 2010 2011
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Multimedia Technology. Chapter 1 Introduction to Multimedia. Aree A. Mohammed Computer Science Department 2010-2011. 1.4 Overview of Multimedia Software Tools.

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Multimedia Technology

Chapter 1Introduction to Multimedia

Aree A. Mohammed

Computer Science Department


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1.4 Overview of Multimedia Software Tools

• The categories of software tools briefly examined here are:

1. Music Sequencing and Notation

2. Digital Audio

3. Graphics and Image Editing

4. Video Editing

5. Animation

6. Multimedia Authoring

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Music Sequencing and Notation

• Cakewalk: now called Pro Audio.

– The term sequencer comes from older devices that stored sequences of notes (“events”, in MIDI).

– It is also possible to insert WAV files and Windows MCI commands (for animation and video) into music tracks (MCI is a ubiquitous component of the Windows API.)

• Cubase: another sequencing/editing program, with capabilities similar to those of Cakewalk. It includes some digital audio editing tools.

• Macromedia Soundedit: mature program for creating audio for multimedia projects and the web that integrates well with other Macromedia products such as Flash and Director.

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Digital Audio

• Digital Audio tools deal with accessing and editing the actual sampled sounds that make up audio:

– Cool Edit: a very powerful and popular digital audio toolkit; emulates a professional audio studio — multitrack productions and sound file editing including digital signal processing effects.

– Sound Forge: a sophisticated PC-based program for editing audio WAV files.

– Pro Tools: a high-end integrated audio production and editing environment — MIDI creation and manipulation; powerful audio mixing, recording, and editing software.

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Graphics and Image Editing

• Adobe Illustrator: a powerful publishing tool from Adobe. Uses vector graphics; graphics can be exported to Web.

• Adobe Photoshop: the standard in a graphics, image processing and manipulation tool.

– Allows layers of images, graphics, and text that can be separately manipulated for maximum flexibility.

– Filter factory permits creation of sophisticated lighting-effects filters.

• Macromedia Fireworks: software for making graphics specifically for the web.

• Macromedia Freehand: a text and web graphics editing tool that supports many bitmap formats such as GIF, PNG, and JPEG.

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Video Editing

• Adobe Premiere: an intuitive, simple video editing tool for nonlinear editing, i.e., putting video clips into any order:

– Video and audio are arranged in “tracks”.

– Provides a large number of video and audio tracks, superimpositions and virtual clips.

– A large library of built-in transitions, filters and motions for

clips  effective multimedia productions with little effort.

• Adobe After Effects: a powerful video editing tool that enables users to add and change existing movies. Can add many effects: lighting, shadows, motion blurring; layers.

• Final Cut Pro: a video editing tool by Apple; Macintosh only.

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• Multimedia APIs:

– Java3D: API used by Java to construct and render 3D graphics, similar to the way in which the Java Media Framework is used for handling media files.

1. Provides a basic set of object primitives (cube, splines, etc.) for building scenes.

2. It is an abstraction layer built on top of OpenGL or DirectX (the user can select which).

– DirectX: Windows API that supports video, images, audio and 3-D animation

– OpenGL: the highly portable, most popular 3-D API.

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Rendering Tools:

– 3D Studio Max: rendering tool that includes a number of very high-end professional tools for character animation, game development, and visual effects production.

– Softimage XSI: a powerful modeling, animation, and rendering package used for animation and special effects in films and games.

– Maya: competing product to Softimage; as well, it is a complete modeling package.

– RenderMan: rendering package created by Pixar.

• GIF Animation Packages: a simpler approach to animation, allows very quick development of effective small animations for the web.

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Multimedia Authoring

• Macromedia Flash: allows users to create interactive movies by using the score metaphor, i.e., a timeline arranged in parallel event sequences.

• Macromedia Director: uses a movie metaphor to create interactive presentations — very powerful and includes a built-in scripting language, Lingo, that allows creation of complex interactive movies.

• Authorware: a mature, well-supported authoring product based on the Iconic/Flow-control metaphor.

• Quest: similar to Authorware in many ways, uses a type of flowcharting metaphor. However, the flowchart nodes can encapsulate information in a more abstract way (called frames) than simply subroutine levels.

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Importance of Multimedia

There are a number of fields where multimedia could be of use. Examples are:-





Public Places

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Importance of Multimedia


Use and Applications

Sales / Marketing Presentation

Trade show production

Staff Training Application

Company Kiosk

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Importance of Multimedia


Use and Applications

Courseware / Simulations

E-Learning / Distance Learning

Information Searching

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Importance of Multimedia


Use and Applications

Games (Leisure / Educational)


Video on Demand


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Importance of Multimedia


Use and Applications


Satellite TV

SMS services (chats, voting, reality TV)

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Importance of Multimedia

Public Places

Use and Applications

Information Kiosk

Smart Cards, Security

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Multimedia Products

Briefing Products

Reference Products

Database Products

Education and Training Products


Entertainment and Games

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Multimedia Products

Briefing Products


  • Small, straightforward, linear products used to present information quickly and concisely.

  • Characteristic of briefing product:

    • Short Development Cycle

    • Limited Number of Presentations

    • Usage of text to present information with limited use of graphic, audio and video.

    • Have few navigational controls. (mouse click and button press to move from one page to another)


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Multimedia Products

Briefing Products


  • Good briefing presentation depends on:

    • The understanding of the presented subject.

    • Seamless integration of content.

    • Consistent layout

  • Example:

    • Corporate Presentation

    • Sales Presentation

    • Educational Lectures


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Multimedia Products

Reference Products


  • Often used for answering specific questions or for general browsing of information. (stored on CD/ DVD ROM)

  • Characteristic of reference product:

    • Used by wide range of user (small – adult)

    • Have navigational menu, book marking, searching, printing utility

  • 2 Basic classes of reference product:

    • Generalized Content (dictionary/encyclopedia)

      • Broad treatment of content at a limited depth

    • Detailed Content

      • Focus on specific area and provide extensive information.


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Multimedia Products

Reference Products


  • Good usability and success depends on:

    • The developers understanding the body of information and how the end user will want to access it.

    • Help function should always available to explain how to access and use the information

  • Examples are electronic forms of:

    • Encyclopedia

    • Dictionaries

    • Cookbooks, Historical, Informative


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Multimedia Products

Reference Products


  • Example:


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Multimedia Products

Database Products


  • Similar to reference product in a sense that large amount of information are made available to the end user.

  • Focus on storing and accessing the actual data (multimedia data such as text, graphic, audio, animation and video)

  • Characteristics of Database Products are:

    • Manages multimedia data (large data)

    • Descriptive finding methods

      • Content based search

    • Simultaneous access

      • Online database

    • Relational consistency in data management.


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Multimedia Products

Database Products


  • Examples are:

    • Google Search

    • Google Earth


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Multimedia Products

Education and Training Products


  • Similar to textbook or training manuals but have added media such as audio, animation and video.

  • Make up a significant share of the multimedia market ranging from pre-kindergarten to postgraduate offerings from technical to corporate training products.

  • 2 categories of reference product:

    • Instructor Support Products

    • Standalone or Self-Paced Products

    • Combination Products

  • Shares the same characteristics as Reference Product


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Multimedia Products

Education and Training Products


  • Example


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Multimedia Products

Kiosk Products


  • A product which is usually stationed at public places and allow the user to find information interactively and also other types of transaction.

  • Characteristics of Kiosk Products:-

    • Limited target users and usage.

    • User friendly and easily used by user.

    • Fast response.


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Multimedia Products

Kiosk Products


  • Categories of Kiosk

    • Point Of Information

      • Provide certain information (example map, timetable etc)

    • Point Of Sales System

      • Allow users to purchase or make orders

  • Example of Kiosk Products:-

    • Instant Photo Booth

    • Banking Kiosk (money deposit, cheque)

    • University Information Kiosk


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Multimedia Products

Entertainment & Games


  • Most popular

  • Shipped in the form of Interactive CD / DVD ROM.

  • Characteristics of E & G Products:-

    • Immersive.

    • Requires constant feedback and interaction with the user.

    • Challenging and sometimes intriguing for user

    • Enabled online play for more than one user experience.