Learning Multimedia using QuickTime
an interactive student workbook
with CDROM

David Grover

Book Outline

As students work with the 5 basic multimedia elements they understand far more about how multimedia works - they handle the elements in their raw form and learn to combine and manipulate them in creative ways.

I remember the moment some years ago at a computer conference when a workshop group of which I was a participant took 16 shots on an early digital camera, used some expensive software to stitch them together, matched the joins, corrected the edge distortion and then viewed the result in QuickTime as an interactive virtual reality panorama. That early effort is included on the CD that accompanies this book. Now even more sophisticated (and much cheaper!) tools allow anyone to achieve this. Up until that moment I had thought QuickTime just played digital movies.

I had sampled my first experience of the emerging world of interactive multimedia.
I was soon exploring the various ways in which I could use QuickTime to combine the five multimedia elements: audio (both sound and MIDI), animation, digital video, graphics and text.

Among these were QuickTime’s ability to:

• perform editing of digital video and adding transparency (‘blue-screen’ effects)
• combine a text track with a video or music track as in karaoke
• add dramatic transition effects between clips
• add special filter effects to clips such as artificial ‘old film’ effects and random flames
• create interactive VR journeys with hot spots which travelled to new scenes
• allow manipulation of different MIDI effects, swapping instruments in familiar tunes
• create VR object movies which became product demonstrations
• handle multiple media formats, importing and exporting these in a wide variety of compression formats

Since then QuickTime has acquired many features not the least of which is its growing popularity as a web streaming tool.

Why use QuickTime to explore multimedia?

QuickTime takes us below the bonnet of the computer and authoring software and lets us work with the elements themselves.

In doing this we learn far more about what multimedia is and how it works. We learn to work with the elements in their raw form, to combine and manipulate them in creative ways.

There are many software authoring packages for creating sophisticated multimedia presentations. All students continuing with multimedia will find themselves working with such applications. However this is not a workbook about creating multimedia productions.

Its purpose is to examine the elements of multimedia, to understand their formats, what they are, what they can do, how they can be extended and how they can be combined and in doing so to gain a deeper understanding of how the application software that uses such media works.

This workbook gives students the chance to work with and learn about multimedia without the need for an expensive authoring package or the learning curve usually associated with mastering it. And students can do it at home as well as school.

QuickTime is perfect for such a purpose.

Learning Multimedia using QuickTime

e-mail: dgrover@ozemail.com.au

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