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Multimedia Systems (MMS)

MCA-Sem-V

SVIT, Vasad

Multimedia Project
A typical software project, using multimedia technology with specific aim of disseminating explicit information to a well defined homogenous or heterogeneous market segment, using various media technologies and interactivity can be called as a multimedia project. Multimedia projects can be differentiated from all other types of computer projects in the following respects: Artistic capabilities become equally important as that of the programming expertise demanded for the project. The software tools, utilities and the programming environment as a whole tend to be far different from that of the conventional one, though some integrity is maintained at the system software level and the OS. Interaction between various media is involved and thus the nature of interactivity between the user and the project of different nature. Different varieties of skills are required to effectively tackle different media engaged in the project. Thus, artistic skill people who know computer are part of the project development team. The market segment generally tends to be a highly heterogeneous mixture, particularly for those CD ROM projects, developed for the general public.

Multimedia Project Concept Development Some aspect that must be consider during development of multimedia project are as follows: The topics innate support to various types of media and interactivity. Availability of information Availability of resources The potential market segment that will be interested in the topic and its size Previous titles that have been published in the same or relevant topic(s), if any Detail discussion and exchange of ideas lead to concise development of the multimedia concept with respect to the topic chosen for production. All advantages and limitations of the topics with respect to the associated multimedia characteristics become well exposed and the project can be so designed so as to take full advantage of the positive traits of the topic and to mange the associated limitations Multimedia Project Design and Development Multimedia project design and development involves following aspects: 1. General content design or development 2. Navigation structure design or development 3. Media content design or development 4. Interface design or development 5. Storyboarding techniques 6. Program development or authoring 7. Delivery design or development Certain distinguishing criteria associated with these aspects vary depending upon the nature of the multimedia concept evolved and the very class of application under development though the fundamental concepts remain consistent. 1. General content design or development

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Multimedia Systems (MMS)

MCA-Sem-V

SVIT, Vasad

It refers to all types of information in al possible forms of media collected for the specific title under production. General content design or development emphasized on the following activities: (a) Data collection (b) Data analysis and filtering (c) Data arrangement and sequence (d) Data verification (a) Data Collection Collection of the relevant information from all possible sources is the first step in general content design and development. The sources of the information vary, depending upon the project under production. This exercise may be simple or complex, depending upon the nature of the project. Filed expert advice and participation is also required sometimes.

(b) Data Analysis and Filtering Not all data collected are going to be useful for the project. In multimedia development it is crucial task to decide what portions of the data are to be filtered from the pool of information collected and how. Field expert, project manger and designer do this task jointly. The filtered data is neatly rearranged and several copies of the same are made for the further proceedings.

(c) Data Arrangement and Sequence The filtered data must be arranged in the proper logical sequence, which forms the backbone of the Story Board thats going to be developed. The introductory topics will naturally demand precedence over the others, followed by the specialized topics.

(d) Data Verification Data verification is not negligible and the mistakes committed could be costly particularly for those CD-ROM multimedia projects, wherein the data can be written down only once. Somebody not involved with data collection does it. Authenticity of the information collected can be checked up with alternate sources. The verified data arranged in proper sequence and result in the Master Information Booklet, which is distributed to the designers involved in the project. The content of the Master Information Booklet is known as the General Contents of the specific project.

2. Navigation Structure Design and Development The general content sequence development in the earlier phase of multimedia project design must be rearranged to suit the multimedia application development environment, which is known as Navigation Mapping. Navigation mapping provides navigation map, which is very important for the proceedings for the rest of the project. The user has to be provided certain well-defined rotes or paths for navigating through the various portions of the project and for this the designers fix up all possible paths thought which the user can navigate. This path is known as navigation paths and the map containing all the paths is called a navigation map.

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Multimedia Systems (MMS)

MCA-Sem-V

SVIT, Vasad

Navigation maps can adopt any one of the following structures for their design: i. Liner Structure ii. Hierarchical Structure iii. Non-Liner Structure iv. Composite Structure

(a) Liner Structure It is the simplest structure in which the user moves though a sequential straight lined path, one portion after another. There is absolutely no independence to move freely in between the portions. At the most user may be given the option to move one step forward or backward.

(b) Hierarchical Structure Hierarchical structure provides a top down tree. In this kind of mapping the first main link branches out to different portions, which, in tern branch out further. Integrity is maintained by limiting the users movements within various branches. To move over from one branch to another, the users may have to come over to that portion where the branch starts and make the move. It is very popular among edutainment multimedia. Hierarchical design provides certain amount of freedom with the rigidity of the project by selectively restricting the pathways. Programming with liner structure project is simple.

(c) Non-Liner Structure Non-liner structure is not bound by any restrictions and the users can freely navigate through any portion of the project. The underlying project, thats adopting this type of navigation structure, should be so designed that each and every portion of the project are not dependent upon each other and every single portion provides certain quantum of information pertaining to the project. Programming with non-liner structure project is not simple and demand experienced professionalism for handling the same.

(d) Composite or Compound Structure Composite structure is a combination of any of these three types of structures, discussed above. Composite structure enjoys the benefits of more than one structure but programming the same becomes a pretty complicated process.

3. Media Content Design And Development Media content refers to those portions of information in a particular project that are going to use any media other than plain text. Audio Clipses, Graphics, Animations and Video Clipses developed for a particular project can be called as media content. Media content design involves decisions regarding which media type is to be used for a particular sequence or frame. Each media makes its own distinctive impact amongst the minds of the users, which must be kept in mind, before deciding upon a particular media type.

4. Interface Design and Development

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Multimedia Systems (MMS)

MCA-Sem-V

SVIT, Vasad

The front end of the project that projects itself before the user is called interface. Designing the interface is called interface designing, which play a key role in the success of any project. The primary aim of creating the interface design is that the multimedia information thats available in various forms, has to presented in a amicable manner to the user, so that user fills pleasure while consuming the information and gets encouraged to proceed further, without getting weary. One of the basic characteristics of interface design is that it has to be developed, exclusively for the potential market segment the title is aim at. i.e. interface design fore general public should be simple and should have lucid front hand. Interface design is also going to make use of the same types of media as that of the project contests, but the difference lies in the contents of the media files. For example, the same audio media can be used either to explain a concept in the project or to create some background music. Whereas the former demands the users appropriate attention, the latter doesnt. Interface design includes backdrops, buttons and Icons, animated backdrops.

(a) Backdrops Backdrops provide a friendly and pleasant background over which all other media contents are seated. As a rule for all children projects, very simple backdrops are provided so that the front end doesnt look complicated. On the other hand, adult titles can have relatively complex backdrops. For presentation and kiosk application, the design can be relatively simple. In presentation generally no audio is to be provide, where in case of kiosks, the expected audience are to taken into consideration before designing. For example, a kiosk for a star hotel can be bit more complex because of almost all of the visitors can be expected to enjoy minimum proficiency in the computer usage. A kiosk for the international airport should be relatively very simple in its design. Mostly MIDI files are used for background audio rather then digital audio because it requires very less overloads. Carefully selected background audio files bring in a great sense of atmosphere to the project. Sometimes apart from stationary graphics, even some mild animations or videos ma be used as backdrops.

(B) Button and Icons Buttons and Icons help the user to navigate within the project. Instead of providing the usual windows environment interface like Menu Bars, gray Ok and Cancel buttons and almost all of the multimedia project use fancy buttons and icons. The buttons are not plain color bars as in many Windows packages. They have been carefully texture mapped with some fancy fabric. The buttons seem to be mad of the plastic or some other material mainly because of the shading effects incorporated. The fonts used are also regular in nature and different from conventional Window Fonts. When buttons are clicked they retain their texture properties and seem to project in and out creating a 3D.

(c) Animated Backdrops Sometime animation may be used as backdrop. Creating animated backdrops is not a simple task. It require skilled graphics programmer. Programmed animation backdrops are relatively easier than animated videos.

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Multimedia Systems (MMS)


MCA-Sem-V

SVIT, Vasad

Animated backdrops are to be used in only one or two important places and not in all sections. The nature of the animations to be provided must be carefully analyzed and designed.

5. Story Boarding Techniques Story boarding can be adopted in any phase of the project but best result can be achieve when it is used before programming. Because in this stage all other details are ready, everything including Navigation Map, interface design media. Its better to have the participation of an experienced authoring professional even during the story boarding state itself because he may have the opportunity to express his authoring or programming problems. Sometimes, a design or display methodology that seems to be the best option, may invite some troubles in programming and in other case the media overhead may well exceed the permissible limit. Though it is time consuming but it is helpful to complete the project in time. Many times it proves to be economical too. Only after the partial of full completion of the story boarding process the multimedia programming or authoring process begin.

6. Multimedia Programming or Authoring Multimedia authoring can be defined as the process of developing a software program that will accept all the media elements involved with the multimedia project under production put them up in their respective places as advocated by the story board of the project and evolves as an integrated source of information many times supplemented by navigation map. 7. Delivery Design and Development The media, in which the project is going to be delivered, also forms a part of project design. In the most cases CD ROM or DVD are used as delivering media due to sheer volume of the multimedia project. Some time delivery can be done on Internet also.

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