Unit- 5 : Introductory concept of Multimedia


The word ‘Multimedia’ is a combination of two words, ‘Multi’ and ‘Media’. Multi means many and media means material through which something can be transmitted or send. Multimedia combined all the media elements like text and graphics to make the information more effective and attractive. Now I am going to write about its components.

Components of Multimedia

The various components of multimedia are Text, Audio, Graphics, Video and Animation. All these components work together to represent information in an effective and easy manner.

1)Text: Text is the most common medium of representing the information. In multimedia, text is mostly use for titles, headlines,menu etc. The most commonly used software for viewing text files are Microsoft Word, Notepad, Word pad etc. Mostly the text files are formatted with ,DOC, TXT etc extension.

2)Audio: In multimedia audio means related with recording, playing etc. Audio is an important components of multimedia because this component increase the understandability and improves the clarity of the concept. audio includes speech, music etc. The commonly used software for playing audio files are:
i) Quick Time
ii) Real player
iii) Windows Media Player

3)Graphics: Every multimedia presentation is based on graphics. The used of graphics in multimedia makes the concept more effective and presentable.the commonly used software for viewing graphics are windows Picture, Internet Explorer etc. The commonly used graphics editing software is Adobe Photoshop through which graphics can be edited easily and can be make effective and attractive.

4)Video: Video means moving pictures with sound. It is the best way to communicate with each other. In multimedia it is used to makes the information more presentable and it saves a large amount of time. The commonly used software for viewing videos are:
i) Quick Time
ii) Window Media Player
iii) Real Player

5)Animation: In computer animation is used to make changes to the images so that the sequence of the images appears to be moving pictures. An animated sequence shows a number of frames per second to produce an effect of motion in the user’s eye. Some of the commonly used software for viewing animation are:
i) Internet Explorer
ii) Windows Pictures
iii) Fax Viewer

These are the components of Multimedia. Now I am going to talk about its applications.

Application of multimedia

Nowadays the application of Multimedia are observed in various fields such as Education, Entertainment,Business and so on. To communicate the message in the form of picture, sound, video, animation is the primary role of multimedia. Some of the application of multimedia are as follows:

1)Multimedia in Education: Multimedia is becoming popular in the field of education. It is commonly used to prepare study material for the students and also provide them proper understanding of different subjects.Nowadays Edutainment, a combination of Education and Entertainment has become very popular. This system provides learning as well as provides entertainment to the user.

2)Multimedia in Entertainment: Computer graphics techniques are now commonly use in making movies and games. this increase the growth of multimedia.

i)Movies: Multimedia used in movies gives a special audio and video effect. Today multimedia has totally changed the art of making movies in the world. Difficult effect, action are only possible through multimedia.

ii)Games: Multimedia used in games by using computer graphics, animation, videos have changed the gaming experience. Presently, games provides fast action, 3-D effects and high quality sound effects which is only possible through multimedia.

3)Multimedia in Business: Today multimedia is used in every aspect of business. These are some of the applications:

i)Videoconferencing: This system enables to communicate using audio and video between two different locations through their computers.When the information is sent across the world, this technology provides cost benefits to the business which saves their time, energy and money.

ii)Marketing and advertisement: Nowadays different advertisement and marketing ideas about any product on television and internet is possible with multimedia.

CD-ROM and Multimedia highway

       CD-ROM (compact disc read-only memory, has become the most cost-effective distribution medium for multimedia projects: a CD-ROM disc can be mass-produced for pennies and can contain up to 80 minutes of full-screen video or sound. Or it can come rain unique mixes of images, sound, text, video and animations controlled by an authoring system to provide ultimates user interaction.

       Discs can be stamped out of poly-carbonate plastic as fast as cookies on a baker’s production line and just as cheaply. Virtually all personal computers sold today include a least a CD-ROM player, and the software that drives these computers is commonly available on a CD-ROM disc applications that required inserting as many as 16 or more floppy disk one after another are now installed from a CD-ROM without muss or fuss

Many systems now come with a DVD-ROM player, Multilayered Digital Versatile Disk (DVD) technology increases the capacity and multimedia capability or current optical technology to 18 GB. CD and DVD burners are used for reading discs and for making them, too, in audio, video, and data formats. DVD authoring and integration software allows the creation of interactive front-end menus for films and games.

       In the very long term, however, CD-ROM and DVD discs are but interim memory technologies that will be replaced by new devices that do not require moving parts. As the data highway described below becomes more and more pervasive and users become better “connected”, copper wire, glass Fiber, and radio/cellular technologies may prevail as the most common delivery means for interactive multimedia files, served across the broadband internet or from dedicated computer farms and storage facilities.

The Multimedia Highway:

       Now, that telecommunications networks are global, and when information provides and content owners determines the worth of theirs products and how to charge money for them, information elements will ultimately link up online’s as distributed resources on a data highway (actually more like a toll road). Where you will pay to acquire and use multimedia-based information.

       Curiously, the actual glass Fiber cables that makes up much of the physical backbone of the data highway are, in many cases. Owned by railroad and pipelines companies who simply buried the cables on existing rights of way where no special permits and environmental reports are necessary. One railroad in the United States invested more than a million dollars in a special cable laying trenching car; in the United Kingdom, there is talk of placing a fiber-optic  cables backbone along the decaying 19th century canal and barge system. Bandwidth on these lines is leased to other, so competing retailers such as AT&T, MCI, and Sprint may even share the same cable. Full-text content from books and magazines is accessible by modem and electronic link; features movies are played at home; real-time new reports from anywhere on earth are available; lectures from participating universities are monitored for education credits; street maps of any city are view-able with recommendations for restaurants, in any language-and online travelogues include testimonials and video tracks. This is not science fiction; it is happing now. For each of these interfaces or gateways to information is a Multimedia projects just waiting to be developed.

Definition of Animation

“One of the most exciting forms of pictoral presentation is animation. Animation refers to a simulated motion picture depictingmovementof drawn (or simulated) objects. The main features of this definition are as follows: (1) picture – an animation is a kind of pictorial representation; (2) motion – an animation depicts apparent movement; and (3) simulated – an animation consists of objects that are artificially created through drawing or some other simulation method.” (Mayer 2002:88)

“The potential educational benefits of animation arise from its capacity to portray temporal change directly and explicitly” (Lowe and Schnotz, ?)

Usages and function of multimedia animation in education

3.1 Typical usages

  • To attract attention
  • To inform about the state of process (e.g. progress bars that show the percentage of program loading)
  • Demonstrations (e.g. show how a volcano may interrupt by moving tectonic plates)
  • Interactive simulation (e.g. have a learner fuel and point a rocket and then show its flight path)

3.2 Pedagogical function

  • Motivation, get students interested in some phenomenon and to explore it.
  • Representation, help to support mental representation
  • Organization
  • Interpretation, provoke cognitive conflicts that make the students think.

Types of Animation Techniques

  1. Traditional animation
  2. 2D animation
  3. 3D animation
  4. Typography Animation
  5. Clay animation
  6. Sand Animation
  7. Flip book Animation
  8. Stop-motion animation, 

 Traditional animation or Classical 2D animation :

Traditional animation involved animators drawing by hand for each and every frame. If you love the feel of pencils on a paper, then the traditional approach is very fascinating. Traditional animation is creating the drawings one by one on the frame. 2D animation involves creating numerous drawings then feeding into a plastic cells, hand painting them and create the animated sequence on a painted background image.
Traditional Aniamtion Movies : Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Peter Pan, and Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin

Digital 2D animation

Creating animations in the 2 dimensional space with the help of digital technologies is known as digital 2d animation. You don’t need to create digital models, you just need to draw the frames. Create 100s of drawing and animating them to show some kind of movement is technically known as digital 2d animation. Using Adobe flash, animators can limit the number of drawings used, which makes them easier to create digital 2d animation. Small variations like changing the color or frame rate can be changed almost instantly, thus making it easier for the animators to work on.

: Digital 3D animation

If you are interested in making the unreal characters into a realistic one, then it’s Digital 3d animation. Digital 3d animation characters are much faster to create and they are quite popular in the movie making industry. Using a computer software 3d animated images are used to create many short films, full length movies and even tv commercials and a career in digital 3d animation is highly rewarding. Comparing to 2D animation and the traditional approach, 3d animation models are highly realistic.

Stop-motion animation

Have you ever wondered if a piece of stone can walk or talk, well anything is possible in animation? Using frame by frame animation, physical static objects are moved around and during the post production it is shown in a fluid movement. Stop motion animation has been around ever since the evolution of puppets. There were many movies created using the stop motion method, some of the finest examples are “Fun in a bakery shop” created in 1902.Edwin Porter directed “The Teddy Bears,” which was one of the earliest stop-motion animation films. The movie is a short sequence of playing teddy bears, just over a minute in length, which took over 50 hours to animate. 

Mechanical Animation

Instead of robotics, machines can be animated by using the mechanical animation technique. Instead of creating the original machine, creating these mechanical animations, allows the animator to understand how the machine works. Explaining the functionality of these machines is quite easy through this kind of animation technique. 

6 : Audio-Animatronics and Autonomatronics

Walt disneyimagineering created the trademark audio animatronics which is fitted in its disney theme parks. Otto is a robot which can easily sense a person in a room, converse with them and can also tell if they are happy. Autonomatronics technology is different from Audio-Animatronics technology. Audio-Animatronics technology repeats a pre-programmed show over and over again. Autonomatronics technology is driven by sophisticated cameras and sensors giving Otto the ability to make choices about what to say and do. 

7: Chuckimation 

Chuckimation is one of the popular animation techniques created by “Action League Now!” creators. It’s a combination of stop frame animation and live shots, where characters are dropped into a particular frame. It has some similarities to the famous puppet shows.

: Puppetry Animation 

Puppetry animation is created using the life like puppets instead of objects. The film ‘The Humpty Dumpty Circus’ (1908) created by J. Stuart Blackton and Albert smith receives credit as the first stop-motion animation film that features puppets. Nowadays puppet animation is most commonly used in children’s cartoons and films. An example of puppet animation used in cinema is in the film King Kong (1933).The Nightmare before Christmas (1993) is an American stop motion musical fantasy horror film directed by Henry Selick. It used 227 puppets to represent the characters in the film and also 400 heads were used to allow the expression for every possible emotion.