Multimedia in computer graphics

The word multimedia is made up of two separate words, multi meaning many and media meaning forms through which information can be conveyed. Therefore, multimedia can be described as an integration of multiple media elements to influence the given information so that it can be presented in an engaging and interactive way. In simple words, multimedia means being able to communicate in more than one way. Traditionally, information was presented in a single medium, be it newspaper, radio or television. With the development of computers, data presentation has taken on a whole new meaning. Multimedia is a computerized method of presenting information by combining audio, video, graphics, text, or animation components. For example, a multimedia database of musical instruments may allow a user to not only search and retrieve text about a particular instrument, but also view its images and play a piece of music. The advent of high resolution displays and sound and video playback facilities for computers has resulted in increased use of multimedia applications.

A typical multimedia application is characterized by some characteristics that are the following:

Uses of digital technology.

Requires user interaction.

· Integrates sound, images, text and data into embedded applications.

As we know, multimedia is mainly concerned with the computer controlled integration of text, graphics, drawings, still or moving images (video), animation and audio where all kinds of information can be digitally represented, stored, transmitted and processed. The various elements that together constitute multimedia are as follows:


The on-screen display of words, that is, text, is the basis of most applications. Mankind developed text and symbols to be able to communicate. Writing helped humans remember things for a much longer period than is possible with the help of memory (brain). Words and symbols in any form, spoken or written, are the most common means of communication. Currently the text is not only capable of displaying information, but it has also gained interactivity; things like an electronic annotation, which help navigate through all the information presented on the Web by means of hypertext. A hypertext can be defined as an object in the text that allows the user to jump from one web page to another with a click of the mouse button. They act as electronic footnotes and help navigate through all the information. Files can contain raw text or formatted text. For example, Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), a program language font (C, Pascal), or Rich Text Format (RTF), a file format for text files that includes formatting such as different font styles and fonts letter, etc. Basic text storage is 1 byte per character (text or format character). For other forms of data, such as spreadsheet files, some may store the format as (formatted) text, others may use binary encoding. Text can be written using various word processing and editing tools, such as word processing software such as Microsoft Word and Word Perfect, where the text file can be developed and then imported into media authoring tools to integrate with other media elements.


It is a generic term used to describe the pictorial representation of data. When talking about graphics, we generally tend to refer to those pictorial representations that are created by primitive objects like lines, polygons, circles, curves, and arcs. For example, the image of a cube can be drawn using lines, and a pie chart can be drawn using lines and arcs. Images are still images that are rendered as a bitmap (a grid of pixels), but graphics are usually editable or reviewable (unlike images). Graphics input devices typically include a keyboard, mouse, trackball, or stylus. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, so adding a graphic element to a text-based document can change the user’s perception of the document. The integration of the graphic element in the application makes it more elegant and understandable. Increasing technology has produced a large number of graphics and visual images for a multimedia project. For the development of the multimedia project, various images are captured from different sources such as scanners, digital cameras and through the Internet. Once the images are transformed into digitized form, they can be edited and modified using image editing software, namely Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw, and Freehand.


It means the sensation resulting from the stimulation of the auditory mechanism by air waves or vibrations. It is the vibration of the air molecules in the atmosphere that can be perceived by the ear. It involves the transmission of mechanical vibrations through an elastic medium that is capable of being detected by the human ear. Computers and digital technology have changed the face of the music industry. Today, digital music is used to produce special effects in televisions, movies, recording studios, and games. Music and sound effects not only add interactivity with the user, but also play on the user’s perception and emotions. Audio can also be used to provide a sense of place or mood as is seamlessly done in-game. Music is probably the most obvious form of sound. It can be used to set a mood, convey an idea, and even tell a story. Speech is also a perfect way to teach users the pronunciation of words just like speech learning software does. Non-speech sound effects can be used in the user interface to inform users of background events. For example, the sound of a file download progress could be signaled by the sound of water being poured into a gradually filling glass. These types of background sounds should not be intrusive. Also, sounds can be embedded in a web page and can be played.


Refers to a moving image accompanied by sound, like a movie on TV. It is a medium that is as direct as print and attracts more attention. Add richness to the content and improve the user experience. It dramatizes and gives impact to the multimedia application. The integration of video elements in a multimedia application provides a large amount of information in a short time. If used in a planned and well-executed way, it can make dramatic differences in your multimedia presentation. Digital video is useful in multimedia applications to show real-life objects, such as people talking or illustrations of real-life concepts. Video places the highest performance demand on computer memory and bandwidth if placed on the Internet. In terms of computers and the Internet, the main problems with most videos are that their production quality is too low and they have a very large file size. For video to be usable, video files must be compressed into different file formats.


It is the process of sequencing still images in rapid succession to give the effect of live motion. The sequence of images is displayed one after the other very quickly so that the human eye and brain mix the images together to produce the effect of movement. It is a powerful tool capable of communicating complex ideas. It is often much easier to show someone how things work than to try to explain it. The animation is made possible by a natural phenomenon known as persistence of vision. An object seen by the human eye remains mapped on the retina of the eye for a short time after seeing it. This makes it possible for a series of very slightly and very rapidly changing images, one after another, to seemingly merge into a visual illusion of movement. In other words, if one slightly changes the location or shape of an object quickly enough, the eye will perceive the changes as movement. An animated sequence has to display a certain number of frames per second. For professional animation, you need to have at least 30 frames per second.

In today’s challenging world, if the ideas in the presentation are not expressed effectively, then the presentation is a failure. One way to express imaginative ideas is through the use of graphics. Charts can be presented in various modes which are described below:

Background: Sets the tone and theme of the presentation. It should be based on the type of information to be transmitted. For example, if the information is more text-oriented, simple background images should be used. In case the information is conveyed to young children, the background should be more lively and colorful.

· Two-dimensional (2D) graphics: Usually, when you look at a computer screen, you see a two-dimensional image. The image stretches from left to right and top to bottom, but usually does not go in or out of the computer screen. A 2D image definition contains only information about how a scene appears from a particular point.

Three-dimensional (3D) graphics: A 3D image contains information about the scene in three dimensions (x, y, and z coordinates). However, this 3D data cannot be viewed directly. To view it, the computer must first convert the 3D data into a 2D image using a process known as rendering. The rendering process takes as input the 3D scene and a camera’s location and attributes and produces as output the 2D image that the camera sees from that particular point in space. The process is done by mathematically projecting a 3D scene onto a 2D surface. In photography, this is done by the camera lens, but in computer graphics, this is done by solving mathematical equations. In both cases, the result is a 2D image that has been generated from a 3D scene.

Charts and Graphs: In business and training related multimedia projects, charts and graphs are the most appropriate forms of graphics used to present information related to facts and figures.

· Flow charts: The use of flow charts expresses the systematic order of an event. They are primarily developed to break complex problem solving steps into smaller, less complicated steps to make logic development easier. They are also used to represent 2D graphics.

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