Career Opportunity in 3D Animation and Multimedia

These days it is unusual to see Children keep in touch with mythological stories or characters which in our generation were thought as a lesson of prime importance; this could be attributed to the rise of a new dimension in entertainment called animation. This is a world of amazing graphics, special effects and exotic technologies … Continue reading “Career Opportunity in 3D Animation and Multimedia”

These days it is unusual to see Children keep in touch with mythological stories or characters which in our generation were thought as a lesson of prime importance; this could be attributed to the rise of a new dimension in entertainment called animation. This is a world of amazing graphics, special effects and exotic technologies that mesh and converge to create unbelievable real and virtual experiences. It’s a world that beckons creative minds to unleash their influence.

Animation is the art of conceiving an act by drawing inanimate characters or objects, which are made suitable for filming. It has recently become a very high paying profession and also its requirement of niche skills and inventive thinking has attracted people who have the ability to think out of the box. With the expanding world of Media, demands for animators also seem to be on the rise as every medium of communication use animation in one way or the other. The special effects, extraordinary graphics and the multi dimensional approach are sweeping everyone around the world of their feet. A lot of creative people are choosing the Animation and Multimedia field and going home with a fat pay cheque.

Multimedia is the means of putting together graphics, art etc to convey a message to a certain type of audience in an appealing manner. Therefore, just being creative would not be enough and you need to be technically competent and being a good artist would act as a great catalyst to get a dream job in animation and multimedia.

Many new age Hollywood movies have shown that Animation is the one of the most sought after means of entertainment and 3 dimensional films have become the flavor of the season, these movies use technology that could be applied only by animation and multimedia professionals therefore there is a surge in the skill needs of budding multimedia professionals.

Animation is also sought after in the music industry as we see more artists make videos which contain animated affects blended with live action etc. The animation and multimedia industry is said to reach 1530 billion this year and it continues to surge, the backbone of the industry are all the bright young minds who have chosen this field as their career, this is a chance for every young inventive mind to be a part of a movement which is moving only upwards.

There are many courses being offered in animation and multimedia, even though the cost could be steep you will definitely reap the rewards and benefits once you start working.

After completing the course there are many fields that a person can be chosen for like visual artists, graphic designer etc.

What You Should Know About Multimedia

In the last few years we have seen a major evolution in the computer industry especially in multimedia.
 
Multimedia and Internet are two of the dominant trends in the field of high technology equipment, software and telecommunications. Both subjects are represented more in Windows operating system, which contains very well known multimedia features. Another major trend is the explosion of computers on the PC households. Most computers sold on the market now include at least DVD-ROM unit.
 
In addition the sound boards market accept additional advanced audio performance, such as MIDI, which saw a spectacularly growing. With this technology evolution it is no wonder that Windows operating system includes a lot of multimedia features. Until few years ago multimedia features usually included only the sounds of closing windows, opening windows, programs, etc and some warnings and a kind of “music” – electronic music. In the beginning electronic music was composed of combined sounds that could reproduce some musical and even some vague melodies which was extraordinary because it was easier to use than a audio cassette. After ’95 when the Windows 95 operating system appeared, special software and hardware was created to convert music from tapes on audio CDs. Conversion was not total, but a transfer from the CD audio on the PC. Slowly things began to evolve appearing more advanced systems and more efficient components. Today music is used mostly in compressed MP3 format, but it is heading to different types of media. In the past, computers tended to offer users a range of poor quality media, text and graphics. But the improved performance of hardware components in the industry have led to a wider range of products which use intensively the CPU, graphics functions, the sound and full-motion video. To benefit from the advantages of multimedia components you need additional hardware, more RAM (16-32 MB of RAM) and probably a bigger hard disk on which to store video and sound files that you use. Today, music and sound on the computer has become something vital. It should be process and compress in many ways but anyways quality should be provided. That’s why some musical instruments started to be provided with the factory plugs (MIDI) Musical Instrument Interface. MIDI is a protocol which allows data transfer of digital music between electronic devices, whether PC or keyboard. Without the necessary hardware such as PC card with MIDI playback options, you will not have sound from MIDI data. So MIDI data contain only instructions that allow the desired musical sound to be reproduced. One of the advantages it has MIDI, compared to a normal WAV file is the file size. WAV files recorded all the sound and therefore can have huge dimensions. MIDI files contain only instructions for reproducing the sounds, and therefore are much smaller.

As the number of multimedia and games, including MIDI, grows, the number of sound cards that are sold with these possibilities (such as a standard MIDI port for connecting MIDI instruments) grows too. In addition for example you can use MIDI to emphasize the effect of multimedia presentations, which can sound realistic to emphasize visual presentation, which appears on the screen.

Still to record an album of quality music is not an easy process. You need computer processing. But the technician can not work without a good musician and a musician can’t work well without a technician.

Windows offers several ways to use multimedia audio, including the ability to play audio compact disks and customizing the sound recording and playback. Playing audio CD on a CD-ROM installed on your computer is possible using the CD function Player. If you have a card, inserting the CD in the drive is enough to launch the CD Player: 1. Open the Start menu and choose the Accessories. 2. Select Multimedia and then select the CD player. 3. Access the CD Play.

Windows can also recognize automatically compact audio discs, when placed in the CD-ROM. Then when you start the CD audio is enough to click on CD Player. Since the CD Player runs per background, you can listen to audio CDs while working on other applications on your PC.
 
From the sound of old boards that were limited to beeps from a small speaker on the motherboard, towards the end of the ’80 when sound cards have begun to work,  multimedia and computer games led to a computer completely different level. Today these systems are more complex when it comes to high professional standards. Motherboard and the sound and the interface have more diverse features. Computer motherboard, also called the main board, is the most important component in the computer case. On it, there are applied following components: microprocessor, memory and other cards inserted into special slots: sound, modem, network card, etc.. In addition, there are installed parallel and serial ports used to connect to peripheral devices such as mice – the printer, modem.
 
Usually sound cards are installed in the PCI slot, while the older ones were usually installed on the ISA bus. Many computers today incorporate sound chips directly on the motherboard. That leaves one slot free for other peripherals. Sound cards can be connected to:

     * Headset

     * Speakers with amplifier

     * A source of analog input as a microphone, a radio, a deck with a box or a CD player

     * A source of digital input as a digital audio tape (DAT) or a CD-ROM

     * A source of analog output – with cassette deck

     * A source of digital output as DAT writing a CD (CD-R)

Some sound cards provide through a socket a very efficient output for 4 speakers and a digital output interface. For audio, there is a new generation of digital sound card. A sound card is practical for digital applications that require digital sound. The digital sound cards have digital sound inputs and digital outputs, so you can transfer data from DAT, CD or DVD directly to hard disk in the computer. Normally, a sound card can do more things with sound:

–         to reproduce recorded music (from CDs or audio files like WAV or MP3), from games or from DVDs,
–         to record audio in various media formats from different external sources (microphone or tape deck to)
–         to synthesize sound.
 
The DAC (digital audio controller) and the ADC (analog-digital converter) bring the transmission into and out of the sound card while the DSP (digital sound processor) oversee the process. The DSP also deals with any other sound alteration as an echo or 3D sound. Because the DSP focus on sound processing, the processor of the computer can deal with other things.

Sound cards used old synthesizer to create FM sounds. Synthesizer takes tones of varied FM frequencies and combines them to create an approximation of a certain sound, such as a trumpet. While the FM synthesizer has developed to the point that sounds very realistic, it does not compare with Wave Table synthesizer which works by recording a small part of the actual instrument sound. This is continuing to play a sound exactly like the one made with incredible accuracy. Wave Table synthesizer has become the new standard for most sound cards, but some brands still use more cheaply FM synthesizer. Few sound cards include both of them. Sound cards have a very sophisticated support higher for MIDI instruments. Using a program of music, an instrument equipped with MIDI can be attached to the sound card to allow you to see on-screen musical notes to your song.

Some people so-called “musicians” produce music using computer programs that produce sounds and rhythms and with the help of synthesizers . The music made by these methods is quality music even if it sounds real and it is clear. It is made by the tool itself. That’s why classical music and the live music is superior because it’s made by real musicians (professionals).

Using Multimedia to Create Presentations for the Web

Multimedia Presentations

How can multimedia be used to create immersive presentations on a web site?

To be truly immersive, the content offered on a web page or application should offer the viewer as comprehensive an experience as possible, supplying many kinds of stimulating and engaging ‘windows’ into the subject being discussed.

The viewer should find either that their impulse to ‘find out more’ is anticipated and satisfied at every possible turn, ideally with more content that is integrated into the page, or that their attention is so completely held by the content (immersed in the experience) that they wish to linger a while longer learning about the subject.

If the subject happens to be you and your business, then you are well on the way to converting a viewer into a customer.

Multimedia in Education

Many education web sites and resources make full use of multimedia. Flash applications, often involving interactivity in various forms such as questionnaires, educational games etc. are ideally suited to educational projects and can be valuable learning aids. Where educational multimedia is concerned, it is vital that the content is appropriate to the level of the viewer, and usability considerations are paramount, especially for younger audiences.

Usually there are a clearly defined set of learning objectives guiding projects of this kind, successful results are obtained when the planning and execution of multimedia content follow these constraints.

Various types of multimedia content can be incorporated onto a web page, some examples include:

Audio

Although audio can contribute hugely to the immersive experience, creating an ambience or conveying information in one of the most direct and accessible ways possible, it can also have drawbacks when used on a web page. There can be a negative reaction to audio in situations where it intrudes or interferes with other audio (music perhaps) that the user is playing on their machine, or conversely where a quiet environment is required / enforced – for example in a workplace etc. The simple answer to this is to always alert the user to the option of sound, avoid activating audio automatically, and offer a prominent control to switch the audio off. It should be mentioned that where audio is intrinsic to other media then its presence is more readily accepted (and anticipated) therefore the caveats above are less important.

Video Presentations

Video content itself can consist of a variety of formats – live action footage, single person presentations, 3D animations and live action/3D composite sequences. All these types of video can be incorporated on the page as discrete elements, or themselves embedded into Flash movies (see below). The inclusion of video can be a very powerful immersive element when well produced – it is well known that YouTube is a phenomenally successful platform with huge audience figures in many cases translating into significant web site traffic for content producers. It is also true that generally we are all very visually sophisticated and professional audio-video content is a fantastic way of conveying quality and professionalism for your company.

VR (360) Panoramas

VR panoramas are often used in virtual tour applications, being an excellent way of ‘putting the viewer in the picture’. A photograph, or series of photographs, is digitally ‘stitched’ together and processed by software to produce a seamless, user driven 360 degree panorama that can be viewed from any angle. VR stands for virtual reality, and while there are other forms of VR (mainly employing simplified 3D models that can be manoeuvred around using a mouse), the single node photographic type of VR is the most visually immersive. Several nodes or hotspots can be linked together so that a viewer can journey from one to another – an example of this is Google Street View, where the user can virtually ‘travel’ along various routes, at each stage being able to pan around and zoom in and out. Again, VR Panoramas can be incorporated into flash presentations.

Flash animations

Flash is experiencing something of a decline currently, with the rising popularity of Apple devices which do not natively support the Flash plug-in, however it still has its uses and can most definitely have a place in your multimedia strategy when alternative options are included. There are many pros and cons (including the above) when it comes to flash – in fact it is possible that more has been written about flash’s usefulness (not to mention usability) on the web, than most other forms of multimedia. Various benefits include the possibility of delivering complicated animations and interactions very ‘cheaply’ in terms of file size, the ability to visually control elements very precisely on a web page, the ability to incorporate nearly all other types of content for a truly immersive multimedia experience. Disadvantages include stability issues – some users find Flash a burden on their computer resources, in some cases poor usability issues (easily addressed by proper planning and design), as well as the main issue mentioned above – lack of support on iOS devices. Again, it should be stressed that with properly implemented fallbacks it is possible to (nearly) get the best of both worlds.

Flash presentations

Mentioned separately here to distinguish the fact that flash can be used to deliver rich interactive experiences with a high degree of user input as well as highly optimised linear animations. Commonly, a flash presentation could include many of the multimedia types listed here, embedded in a custom interface allowing all the content to be accessed and enjoyed seamlessly. Also worth noting is the fact that much of the work involved in producing a flash interactive presentation can be leveraged in production of CD-ROM and DVD applications.

Slideshows

Photo slideshows can be a great way to involve your viewers in simple, stress free browsing. Where the images are of high quality and the presentation allows the images to scale up to a decent size, users can spend fair amount of time exploring the content – flicking through snaps is a time-honoured pastime for many people. Images should be well shot and have emotional impact, to be avoided are images (especially from image libraries) which lack authenticity and which people may sense are not telling a true story about you and your business.

Web cameras

Although not suitable for every occasion, web cameras certainly have their place in some situations – in education for example, perhaps a natural history site with a page dedicated to monitoring nesting sites, or perhaps a business trading on location where live feeds can add to the attractiveness of the offer.

Dynamic content

With the integration possible now between 3rd party applications and one’s own web site, there are almost endless possibilities for business owners willing to really experiment with web site multimedia. A basic example would be the use of custom mapping using Google tools, allowing the creation of personalised maps of events, activities, premises etc. Live data can be incorporated using Twitter feeds etc. This really is an area where you first think about what you want to do – then find a way of doing it!