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Multimedia is a general term used to describe any application or technology that can be used to manipulate a number of types of media like text, audio, images, graphics, and video. Multimedia provides a level of interactivity with each of these elements separately, as well as through a combination of different multimedia mediums.
Multimedia is the use of technology to better communicate information. This includes the use of digital video, interactive programs, Internet content, graphics, audio, 3-D animation, 2-Dillustration and any other computer-delivered media. PCC provides classes that help you learn about all of these topics. The advanced class's help you fine tune your skills with computer graphics, digital video, and multimedia programming.
A typical multimedia application is characterized by the following features:
Â· the different media it possesses and makes use of
Â· the use of digital technology
Â· the interaction it demands of the user
Â· and the integration of sound, images, text and data into seamless applications
The word "Multimedia" simply means being able to communicate in more than one way. This means that, whether you are aware of it or not, you already give multimedia presentations. For example if you rub your temples while telling someone you have a headache or when you point to a diagram on a board whilst speaking to a class of students you are using multimedia to get your point across. In this instance we are using movement in conjunction with sound. Check out the examples at the bottom of the page.
What are the main elements of a Multimedia program?
There are six main elements which make up a typical multimedia program:
Text: This is the base to most applications - the on-screen display of words. The use of different styles, fonts and colours can be used to emphasize specific points.
Images: Seeing a picture of an object has more impact than merely reading about it. Examples include conventional artwork, computer-generated artwork, photographs or captured video frames.
Movies: You can present information which is normally outside the scope of the ordinary classroom, such as medical operations or archaeological excavations.
Animation: Animations can render a procedure more accurately than that of a movie. For instance objects which appear blurred within a movie can be represented more clearly.
Sound: Sound can be used in strategic parts of the program or during a movie to emphasize certain points. This may include speech, audio effects (e.g. applause), ambient sound (e.g. the background sound of the sea etc.) and music
User Control: There has to be some degree of user control so as to provide students with the option to leave certain parts of the application and thus prevent boredom. On-screen options should exist for them to visit other areas of the program.
All of the above aspects are combined to produce a seamless application.
Typical examples of which might include:
Â· linking of animation to static in-text diagrams
Â· linking a video clip to a descriptive paragraph
Â· audio recordings of foreign language pronunciation towards words of pictures
Interactive multimedia uses more than one medium and provides the user with the control of paths, directions and decisions. When a structure of linked elements is provided through which the user can navigate, interactive multimedia becomes hypermedia.
A project does not have to be interactive to be considered multimedia. Users can view it as they would a movie or television program. When users are given navigational control to view the content at will, multimedia becomes nonlinear and interactive.
Determining interface design and how a user will interact with and navigate through the content of a project requires planning, organization, and a navigation diagram or storyboard. As designing a project often takes a great deal of time, planning and programming, the storyboard should not only describe the graphics of each screen, but the interactive elements as well.
Web pages that consist only of styled text and images are static - they don't do anything once they have been loaded into the browser. In contrast, pages with dynamic elements respond to events such as mouse clicks and rollovers, by changing in some way.
Dreamweaver is a tool for website design and management. Web pages can be created and navigated which contains links, tables, forms, images and multimedia content can be added. Pages can be combined into a site whose structure can be displayed and modified. The main and basic purpose of Dreamweaver is to combine elements into a form that can be displayed in a web browser.
Web pages and sites:
Web pages are documents marked up using a markup language that provides a set of tags, which represents the logical structure of the page. Tags are also used to include images and other multimedia elements like Flash videos and to implement links between pages.
The web pages are intentionally kept as simple as and with not much heavy multimedia files on it, so that they load faster in the web browser.
Formatting web pages:
Dreamweaver is unnecessarily powerful for simply formatting text and images using HTML. Html formatting is also an important concern while designing any web pages.
Most web pages contain various types of Medias like images, video or audio clips and animations embedded in Dreamweaver. Dreamweaver provides two ways to add the stuff to the web pages. Either selecting appropriate menu from Insert menu or its media sub-menu or an icon is dragged from the common subset of the objects panel. Once the initial command selection or drag and drop action has been made a file open dialogue appears and the desired file can be browsed.
Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 is the development environment used for the development of the web pages for the site. As white text on black background gives best resolution, web pages with black background are opted over the traditional white ones.
For each page created in Dreamweaver, I have specified layout and formatting properties using the Page Properties dialog box. The Page Properties dialog box helps specifying the default font family and font size, background colour,, link styles, margins and many other aspects of page design. New page properties can be assigned for each new page created and modified those for existing pages.
Set page properties
Page titles, background images and colours, text and link colours, and margins are basic properties of every web document. We can set or change these properties, and specify the document encoding type that is specific to the language used to author the web page. We can also specify which Unicode Normalization Form to use with that encoding type using the Page Properties dialog box.
Set the HTML Appearance page properties
The HTML Appearance Page Properties category lets the user specify several basic page layout options for the web pages:
Background Image and Background Specify a background image and background colour for the page. Text and Links Define default colours for text, links, visited links, and active links. We can also control these colours using CSS style sheets. Dreamweaver doesn't display page margins in the Document window; to see the margins, I used preview In Browser.
By default, Dreamweaver formats text using CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). While designing this application I used HTML formatting using the Preferences dialog box.
On the home page of the site, a YouTube video is embedded using the embed code. As the video can take longer to load, a skip option is provided which diverts the user towards the web page containing the main links for Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC.
Images are the most important and attractive part of the web pages presented here. It is very important to choose the correct resolution images according to the background colour, resolution and the layout of the web page.
The resolution used for the images on the 'Wallpapers' page is kept as 400 x 300.
Following are some important aspects related to image properties:
Picture resolution is the number of pixels or samples used to represent the image. Image resolution determines the amount of detail storage requirements.
Aspect Ratio expresses the resolution of an image
i.e. 'number of horizontal pixels' x 'number of vertical pixels'
Typical aspect ratios are:
320 x 240, 640 x 480, 800 x 600, and 1024 x 768, 1600 x 1200 - all of which are 4:3
768 x 576 (4:3) is the standard PAL TV format
The process of dividing an image into its constituent parts is known as Segmentation.
It constitutes of identifying the principal features in an image. It is considered as an essential first step in automatic procedures for analysing the content of images.
There are two approaches of Segmentation:
Identifying regions e.g. histogram thresholding
Identifying edges e.g. spatial convolution
Along with the fields mentioned above, links are also a very important part for the design of any web page.
Adding a link means that clicking on that link causes the link to be followed i.e. the user gets diverted to the web page linked with that link.
After setting up a Dreamweaver site to store website documents and creating HTML pages, I created connections from my documents to other documents. Dreamweaver provides several ways to create links to documents, images, multimedia files, or downloadable software. User can establish links to any text or image anywhere within a document, including text or images in a heading, list, table, absolutely positioned element (AP element), or frame.
I choose a very simple approach while designing the web pages. The home page features an introductory video briefing the traditional rivalry between the two biggest football clubs in London. This video was imported in adobe Dreamweaver using Flash CS3. If the user is not interested in the video and wants to skip to the home page, it can be skipped by using the link placed below and the user gets directed towards home page. The video featured here is embedded using the YouTube.
The home page contains two main links Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC. Clicking on any of the links will redirect the user towards the information pages of the individual clubs. These pages are built using simply inserting Div Tags and using text and images.
The site map gives a visual representation of how the files are linked. In the site map we can add new documents to the site, create and remove document links, and check links to dependent files. There are several different ways of creating and managing links. Some web designers prefer to create links to nonexistent pages or files as they work, while I preferred to create all the files and pages first and then add the links. Another way to manage links is to create placeholder pages, in which user add and test links before completing all the site pages.
At this stage the navigation menu is available at the top/bottom of the page. This allows the user to access every page in the site. This is also a simple html file containing a series of links with their relative on release 'getUrl' behaviours.
The Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC pages both simply embed the html files, built using Adobe Dreamweaver CS3, like in the homepage but they also feature the navigation menu at the top/bottom.
Flash is a multimedia graphics tool/program especially for use on the Web. Flash enables user to create interactive "movies" on the Web. Flash uses vector graphics, which means that the graphics can be scaled to any size without losing clarity/quality
The important advantages of Flash over other similar tools are:
Flash loads much faster than animated images
Doesn't require any programming knowledge
Flash have its own language called action script.
Websites have become the most vital thing since the origin of Internet. Millions of websites already exist and thousands getting added daily. Considering this fact, I finalised to design a Web Site for the most famous Football League in the world, i.e. English Premier League with the main focus on the top two London based clubs viz. Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC.
The project undertaken here enhanced my knowledge and skills with tools like Adobe Dreamweaver CS3, Adobe Flash CS3 and Adobe Photoshop.
Note: The video embedded on Home page is linked with YouTube, thus an internet connection is mandatory to preview it properly.