FIT5900 : Introduction to Multimedia
In the previous lecture:
There was no previous lecture (semester has just begun - remember?)
In this lecture:
What is a medium?
Poetry and sculpture are media through which people may interact...
by communicating ideas or encouraging thought, inducing emotions ...by conveying a message!
Never lose sight of the concept of a
(and your production will shine)
What is a message?
A message is the concept/emotion/need/information (or anything else) which it is the intention of the sender to pass to the receiver.
A response triggered in a receiver is the only sign that a message has been received.
The response of a receiver depends on:
Example: if you were to give $20 (stimulus) to:
So you see, the stimulus was the same in each case, but the
message and response were different.
Can you think when giving $20 to your friend would result in a different response to that above?
Back to multimedia then...
What are some messages?
...anything can be a message!
Can you interpret
smoke signals or Morse code?
Can you receive a message sent in these ways?
People, being people, will respond to some stimulii in very similar ways.
Just ask Shakespeare... his plays retain their relevance across (many) cultures and times
However, background details may vary between people resulting in different
Ask any Shakespearean scholar... opinions on Shakespeare's plays vary widely
Can you think of some further examples?
Traditional media for conveying messages
A theatre production with slides projected as a backdrop, music played through a sound system and singing, dancing actors is a multi-media production! (Multimedia is not a new concept)
Interactive multimedia ...allows user-response to alter the way the presentation proceeds.
The desktop computer is currently a popular vehicle for interactive multimedia
It is not the be-all and end-all of multimedia, despite what politicians and university administrators might believe.
Digital media for conveying messages
Techniques of digital multimedia development are directly applicable to:
Techniques learned for traditional media...
...may be modified to be of relevance to digital multimedia production
Which traditional techniques are not relevant to digital multimedia?
*Hint: Consider the lack of tactile interaction
with computer-based multimedia.
(With modern hardware, such barriers may one day be broken)
Strong points of digital multimedia presentation.
Weak points of digital multimedia presentation
Compare the following...
Common flaws in desktop computer-based multimedia/web productions.
1. Lack of emotional triggering
Have you ever seen a truly...
...exciting, awesome, fascinating, beautiful, poignant, ironic, sorrowful, joyful, lovely, hateful, angry, bitter, harsh, stark, warm, peaceful, empty, lonely, chilly, stifling or terrifying...
...computer based, desktop multimedia piece?
Most works seem to stop at being 'engaging'. Try to find a computer-screen based multimedia piece that claims to make a user feel. Then see if you can't easily find a non-computer-screen based piece that conveys or induces the same emotion with substantially more success! (Eg. I bet you have less trouble finding a film which induces any/all of the above emotional responses!)
2. Ineffective presentation of information
Have you ever been to a web site looking for information and felt...
...confused, frustrated, lost, bewildered, disappointed, annoyed, puzzled, overcome, impatient, sick in the stomach?
The effective presentation of information online is often considered to be of secondary importance to the attractiveness of the site and how many fancy bells and whistles can be added. An error which the user ends up having to suffer for.
Why these difficulties with computer-based interactive multimedia?
Lack of audio / visual / tactile impact (see above).
Lack of a well established language.
Lack of understanding concerning the technology's use / misuse.
When should multimedia be employed?
Munch did not need to add sound to his most famous painting, "The Scream" (1893) - even the title is redundant
Whenever an idea cannot be conveyed more effectively with a single medium (and in no other instance) ought multimedia be used!
....and that is what the remainder of this course is all about!
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©Copyright Alan Dorin & Jon McCormack 1999,2000