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The stages of a Project: Most of the multimedia and web projects are undertaken in stages. Some stages are necessary to complete before other stages begin, also some stages may be skipped or combined. There are generally four basic stages in multimedia project.
Planning and Costing: A project always begins with an idea or a need that you purify by outlining its messages and objectives. Identify how you will make each message and objective work within your authoring system. Before developing any multimedia project we plan what writing skills, graphic art, music, video, audio and other multimedia expertise will be required. Develop a creative graphic look and feel, as well as structure and navigation system that will let the viewer visit the messages and content. Estimate the time needed to do all elements, and prepare a budget.
Designing and Producing: Perform each of the planned tasks to create a finished product.
Testing: Always test your project to make sure they meet your objectives, they work properly on the required platforms, and also they meet the needs of your client or end user.
Delivering: Package and deliver the project to the end user.
What you need?
You need hardware, software, and good ideas to create multimedia. To make good multimedia projects you need talent and skills. You also need to stay organized, because as the construction work gets under way, all the little bits and pieces of multimedia content may get lost e.g. under growing piles of paper, cassettes, videotapes, disks, phone messages or even emails.
You also need time and money and also need to budget all the commodities. You may also need the help of other people. Multimedia is often a team effort: art work is performed by graphic artists, video shoots by video producers, sound editing by audio producers, and programming by programmers.
Hardware: Most commonly we require a PC with graphical user interface with efficient processing speed for the development and delivery of multimedia. Detailed and animated multimedia is generally created on specialized computers called workstations.
Software: Multimedia software tells the hardware what to do. Display the color red, play the sound, run the digitized movie etc. you don't need to be a computer programmer or computer scientist to make multimedia work for you but you do need familiarity with the building blocks and terms to operate the multimedia application.
Creativity: Before beginning a multimedia project, you must first develop a sense of its scope and content. Let the project take shape in your head as you think through the various methods available to get your message across to your viewers. The most precious asset you can bring to the multimedia is your creativity.
The evaluation of multimedia is evident when you look at some of the first multimedia projects done on computers and compare them with today's projects. Taking inspiration from earlier experiments, developers modify and create their own creative touches to design their own unique multimedia projects. It is very much difficult to learn creativity. Some might say its impossible, one is born with it, but like classical artists who work in paint, marble, the better you know your medium, the better able you are to express your creativity. For multimedia, this means you need to know your hardware and software first. Once you are proficient with the hardware and software tools, then what ever you will develop will look great, sound great and attract the viewer.
Organization: It's essential that you develop an organized outline and a plan that rationally details the skills, time, budget, tools, and resources at hand. These should be in place before you start to render graphics, sounds, and other components and they should continue to be monitored throughout the project's execution.
Role of Multimedia in IT
Online media is helping to achieve a balance between the distribution of information and the actual facts that are of interest to consumers.
"Modern applications for the Internet and Multimedia mobile devices provide the opportunity for anyone, anywhere to upload or download a video for specific events. Other role of Multimedia in Information Technology includes:
New networking technologies
Media data information converting technologies
Interactive multi-user virtual environment
Lecture # 04
A typical team for developing multimedia for CD-ROM or the web consists of people who bring various capabilities to the table. A single person can perform many tasks as Graphics Designer can also do interface design, scanning and image processing.
A project manager or producer may also be the video producer or script writer.
Depending upon the scope and content of your project and the mix of people required, a team may also employ animators, art directors, composers and musicians, content developers, creative directors, videographers, programmers and others.
Project Manager:- a project manager's role is at the center of the action. He or she is responsible for overall development and implementations of a project as well as for day to day operations.
Project Manager can also be called as Program Managers. A good project manager must completely understand strengths and limitations of hardware and software so that he or she can make good decisions about what to do and what not to do.
Multimedia Designing:- the look and feel of a multimedia project should be pleasing, inviting and engaging. Screens should present an appealing mix of color, shape and type. The project should maintain visual consistency, using only those elements that support the overall message of the program. Navigation clues should be clear and consistent, icons should be meaningful and screen elements should be simple and straightforward.
Graphic designers, illustrators, animators and image processing specialists deal with the visuals. Instructional designers make sure that the subject matter is clear and properly presented.
Interface designers devise the navigation pathways and content maps.
Information designers structure contents, determine user pathways and feedback and select presentation media based on an awareness of the strengths of the many separate media that make up multimedia.
Multimedia Designer:- A multimedia designer often wears many hats but most important he or she looks at the overall content of a project, creates a structure for the content, determine the design elements required to support that structure and decides which media are appropriate for presenting which pieces of content. In essence the multimedia designer prepares the model for the entire project content, media and interaction.
Multimedia designer need a variety of skills. You need to be able to analyze content structurally and match it up with effective presentation methods. You need to be expert on different media types and a capable media integrator in order to create an overall vision.
Interface Designer:- the role of the interface designer is to create a software device that organizes the multimedia content that lets the user access or modify that content and that presents the content on the screen.
An interface designer's best work is never seen by the viewer, it's transparent. An interface provides control to the people who use it. It also provides access to the media of multimedia - the text, graphics, animation, audio and video.
The elegant simplicity of multimedia project screen, the ease with which the user can move about within a project, effective use of windows, backgrounds, icons and control panels - these are the symbols of an interface designer's work.
Writer:- the role of the writer changes with each different project, depending on the people you are working with. Multimedia writers do everything writers of linear media do and more. They create characters, actions and point of view, and they also create interactivity.
They write proposals, they script voice-overs and actors' narrations, they write text screens to deliver messages, and they develop characters designed for an interactive environment.
Writers of text screen are some times referred as content writers - they gather information from content experts, synthesize it and then communicate it in a clear and concise manner.
Script writers write dialog, narration and voice-overs.
Video Specialist:- a multimedia video specialist does much more than just shoot and edit video. He or She must understand the potentials and limitations of the medium how these limitations affect the video production itself, and how to get the most out of the video. He or She must also understand the interactivity and how it will affect the video.
A video specialist may also be responsible for an entire team of videographers, sound technicians, lighting designers, set designers, script supervisors, gaffers, grips, production assistants and actors.
In a multimedia project a video specialist must be a professional, skilled in managing all phases of production from concept to final edit.
Audio Specialist:- Audio specialists are wizards who make a multimedia program come alive, designing and producing music, voice-over narrations and sound effects. They perform a variety of functions on the multimedia team.
Audio specialists may also be responsible for locating and selecting suitable music and talent, scheduling recording sessions, and digitizing and editing recorded material into computer files.
An audio specialist working in multimedia should have a thorough understanding of the need and requirements involved in producing a successful sound track. Most often this person may either be an engineer, technician, composer, sound designer or any combination of the above.
Multimedia Programmer:- A multimedia programmer or software engineer integrates all the multimedia elements of a project into a seamless whole using an authoring system or programming language.
Multimedia programming functions range from coding simple displays of multimedia elements to controlling peripheral devices such as laser disc players and managing complex timings, transitions and record keeping. Without programming talent, there can be no multimedia.
The programmer on a multimedia team is called on to perform number of tasks from assisting producers in organizing their code more effectively to enhancing the production and playback tools. The most important skill a multimedia programmer can bring to a team is the ability to quickly learn and understand systems.
Producer, Multimedia for the web:- web site producer is a new occupation but putting together a coordinated set of pages for the world wide web requires the same creative process, skill sets, and often team work as the making of any kind of multimedia.
There is a great difference between putting up a simple web page with a few links and designing, implementing and maintaining a complex site with many areas of content and many messages.