LECTURE 10
MEDIA INTEGRATION
(Multimedia Authoring Packages)
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Objective
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The difference between authoring and
programming
The components of an authoring tool
Types of authoring system
 Examples of PC products
Programming systems
2
Authoring versus Programming
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Authoring tools are what we call high level tools
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A lot of the technical details of how things are done is hidden
from the developer. The developer can concentrate on the
functionality instead of how to make the hardware work
Can be used by non-programmers
Programming tools are low level tools
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They provide access to the low level hardware features for
those who want to get the most out of the computer
Are used by programmers or software engineers
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The Components of
an Authoring Tool
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Most authoring systems provide facilities for:
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Loading and saving media assets (graphics, sounds, videos,
text, etc.)
Creating or editing audio and graphic images
Page or slide building (layering multimedia data to create a
single page)
Animation / transition effects
Specifying the sequence of the application
Adding interactive controls for navigation and actions at
run-time
Creation of CD-ROM or web-based distributions
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Types of Authoring System
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There are numerous development models that can be
used for multimedia applications
Authoring systems generally fall into one or more of the
following categories:
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Slide, card or frame based
Icon based
The score model
Object-oriented models
Scripting language based
Some systems combine one or more of these to create
more sophisticated tools
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Slide, Card or Frame Based
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Each part of the application is self-contained in a single
page
Each page is created separately and then integrated into
the final application
A page may contain hyperlinks to other pages to provide
navigation or pages may be sequentially viewed
There may be global parameters that can be set to affect
the entire application
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e.g. background colour, default font, etc.
6
Icon-Based Authoring
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Each part is represented an icon
(symbolic picture)
Each icon does a specific task,
e.g. plays a sound
Icons are then linked together to
form complete applications
Can easily visualise the structure
and navigation of the final
application
A screenshot of
Macromedia Authorware
7
The Score Model
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This model has an analogy with a musical score
Instead of musical instruments playing notes we have
multimedia objects (sounds, images, video, text, etc.) that
do something at specific points (times) in the score
There is usually some way to animate the objects (e.g.
rotation, scaling, colour changes, etc.) between each
transition (i.e. when they start and when they finish)
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Each multimedia object lives in a track
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A score has one or more tracks
8
Scores and Timelines
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Timelines are a useful way of representing multimedia data
during the course of a presentation or application
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Time is represented along the x-axis
Tracks are represented along the y-axis
The developer can move objects left and right to change
the order of the information and can lengthen or shorten
the bars to change their duration
0 seconds
Track 1
Track 2
Track 3
Track 4
5 seconds
10 seconds
15 seconds
Background music
Animation
Voice over (narration)
Video
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Scripting Language Based Models
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Scripting languages are cut-down versions of complete
programming languages
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They tend to have less features and are therefore easier to
learn
Scripting models allow the developer to write small scripts
(programs) which can be associated with a multimedia
object
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e.g. you may write a script to make a graphic image move
across the screen or to make a window pop up when an
item is clicked
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Object-oriented models
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In an object-oriented model, everything that can be put in
an application is considered an object
Every object has:
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State - A description of its unique properties
 e.g. a graphic image’s state would describe its size, colour
depth, author’s name, etc.
Behaviour - The things that the object can do
 e.g. a video can be played, stopped or rewound
Icon and score-based models usually have object-oriented
features also
Objects are self contained and can be reused in later
projects
11
Microsoft PowerPoint
http://www.microsoft.com/office/powerpoint/
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PowerPoint is:
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a “business graphics” package
a slide-based multimedia tool
Supports vector graphics, bitmapped
images, sound, video and hyperlinks
Supports many slide transitions and
animations (see right)
Developers can script objects to make
them display at specific times or events
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The events are represented by a limited number of presets
and cannot be altered
12
Sound Forge 6.0
http://www.sonicfoundry.com/products/showproduct.asp?PID=668
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Audio editing, audio recording, effects processing, and
rich media encoding.
Powerful and fast non-destructive audio editing
Supports a wide range of audio formats, including 15
import formats and 17 export formats, such as WAV,
Windows Media™ Audio and Video, MPEG-1&2*,
RealAudio® and MP3
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http://www.sonicfoundry.com/products/showproduct.asp?PID=66
8&FeatureID=5775
13
Macromedia Flash
http://www.macromedia.com/software/flash/
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Flash is a tool for creating animated vector graphics and
multimedia
It uses a timeline and object-oriented model
Has a very useful feature called tweening which can be
used to create animations
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You specify a start and end point and Flash calculates all the inbetween frames of the animation
Flash is a popular format on websites. See
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http://www.macromedia.com/software/flash/productinfo/features/
14
Macromedia Flash Screenshot
Tracks
Timeline
Tweening
15
Macromedia Director
http://www.macromedia.com/software/director/
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Director is a package with many features
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Uses a metaphor of cast, stage and score
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Sound and audio editing
Bitmap and vector graphics editing
Asset management
The Cast are the media assets
The Stage is the screen or individual page
The Score is the sequence of events
Director has its own programming language called Lingo
which can be used to add new functionality
Director is one of the most widely used PC tools
16
Multimedia Programming Tools
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Programming tools differ from authoring tools in that
they tend to be much lower level and require the
developer to have more knowledge of the underlying
hardware and programming language
Programming tools give the developer access to much
more functionality than authoring tools but require much
more effort (and money!)
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Summary
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Today we have looked at the two types of tools that
can be used to create multimedia applications:
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Authoring tools
Programming tools
Each has their own set of pros and cons:
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Authoring tools are generally quicker to learn and can be
used by non-programmers but may have limited flexibility
Programming tools are more difficult to use and require good
programming knowledge but can be much more flexible
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