Monday, 21 May 2012

Multimedia Elements


In a multimedia application, basically the elements are divided into two: dynamic (objects that move or change) and static (objects that do not move).
Texts and graphics are two elements that do not move whereas the other three elements: audio, video and animations are moving objects within a multimedia application.


Text is the basic element of multimedia. It involves the use of text types, sizes, colours and background colour.
In a multimedia application, other media or screen can be linked through the use of text.  This is what you call Hypertext.
To produce an effective multimedia program there are three things that need to be considered. They are:
  • The position of the text on the screen.
  • Length of the message
  • And legibility of the text.

Graphics make the multimedia application attractive. They help to illustrate ideas through still pictures. 
There are two types of graphics used: bitmaps (paint graphics) and vector (draw graphics).
Bitmaps images are real images that can be captured from devices such as cameras or scanners.
Vector graphics are drawn on the computer and only require a small amount of memory.


A multimedia application may require the use of speech, music and sound effects. These are called audio or the sound element.
There are two basic types of audio or sound:  analog and digital audio.
Analog audio refers to the original sound signal. Digital audio refers to the digital sampling of the actual sound. The sound used in multimedia is digital audio.
We can record analog audio file. We can use special audio editors like Sound Forge to convert analog audio files into digital audio files.


Video provides a powerful impact in a multimedia program. In multimedia applications, the digital video is gaining popularity because of the following reasons:
  • video clips can be edited easily
  • the digital video files can be stored like any other files in the computer and the quality of the video can still be maintained
  • the video files can be transferred within a computer network
  • it allows non-linear editing in any part of the video
However, these digital video files are large in size. Transferring these files can take a long time especially when using the Internet.

Animation is a process of making a static image look like it is moving. In multimedia, digital animation is used.  Digital animation can be categorised into two broad area: 2D (2 Dimension) and 3D (3 Dimension) animations.
2D animation refers to creating movements in basic objects. These objects are put into various situations or positions and have movement on the screen. 
3D animation refers to creating movements to three dimensional digital objects from photographs. Movements like spinning and flying across the screen are some samples of animations.


Each of the five elements mentioned has various standard file formats. file format is a particular way to store information in a computer.
The formats will allow you to make decisions of the type of text, graphic, audio, video and animation to use when developing your own multimedia program.

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