Computer Multimedia

Sam Quesinberry

Computers have come a long way very fast since there start in the 1940\'s. In
the beginning they were mainly used for keeping financial records by banks and
insurance companies, and for mathematical computations by engineers and the U.S.
Military.

However, exciting new applications have developed rapidly in the last few years.
Two of these areas is Computer Graphics and sound.

Computer graphics is the ability of the computer to display, store and transmit
visual information in the form of pictures. Currently there are two main uses
for this new ability. One is in the creation of Movies and the other in
Computer Games. Computer visual information is also increasingly being used in
other computer applications, such as photographic storage, and the Internet.

Computers can also store, transmit and play back sound.

When a picture or a sound is stored on a computer it said to be digitized.
There are two main ways of digitizing a picture. One is by vector graphics.
Here the information in the picture is stored as mathematical equations.
Engineering drawing applications such as CAD (computer assisted device) use
this method. The other method is by bit mapped graphics. Here the computer
actually keeps track of every point in the picture and its description. Paint
programs use this technique. Drawing programs are usually vector mapped
programs and paint programs are usually bit mapped.

Computer sound is handled in two different ways. The sound can be described
digitally and stored as an image (wave format) of the actual sound or it can be
translated in to what is called midi format. This is chiefly for music. In a
piano, for instance, the information for what key to hit, for how long ad at
what intensity is stored and retrieved. This is kind of like the way and old
player piano worked.

Computer graphic applications in the beginning were developed on large computes.
The computer hardware and software were developed by individuals and groups
working independently.

These projects were very expensive and carried on by large companies and
investment groups. Applications which only a few years ago would have cost
millions of dollars, can now be run on a desk top computer with programs costing
under $100.

It is the purpose of this paper to research and examine several areas of
computer multimedia by using a typical application programs in that related area.


These areas are:

Paint Programs - Photo Finish -Zsoft

3d Rendering Programs - 3d f/x - Asymetrix

Animation Programs - Video Artist - Reveal

Morphing Programs - Video Artist - Reveal

Sound Recording Programs - MCS music rack - Logitech

Midi Recording Programs - Midisoft recording Session - Logitech

Multimedia Programs - Interactive - HSC software

Paint Programs

One of the fist paint programs was super paint. It was created by
Carnegie Mellon Shoupe at Palo Alto Research Center. To demonstrate a paint
program Photofinish by Zsoft will be used to import and modify a photograph.
Photofinish is an inexpensive paint program costing under $50.

First a photograph is scanned into the paint program using a scanner.

The photograph is cleaned up and a title is added.

3 D Rendering Programs

3d rendering programs are programs used in the movies to create the special
effects, such as those used in the movie Star Wars. The 3d rendering program
was created over a period of time. They kept getting more advanced. Lucas
Films is one of the first company\'s to develop 3d rendering programs for
computers. The effects were one of the reasons that Lucas Film Productions
became so popular. Here is an example of what a 3d rendering program can do.
The name of the program that I\'m using is 3d f/x by Asymetrix.

Animation Programs

One of the first company\'s to create animation software was Autodesk.
The Disney studios were also one of the first company to develop animation
software. A couple of years ago the Disney computer animation department only
had two animators, but now there are 14. Computer animation has greatly reduced
the human effort of making cartoons. A full length Disney film used to require
over 600 animators. Now it can be done with approximately 125. The first full
length computer animated movie, The Toy Story, came out around 6 months ago.
Now the program that I am using to explore animation is Reveal\'s Computer\'s
Artist. I captured an old cartoon from a 16 mm film made in 1913 and used
computer artist to edit and digitize it to floppy disk. The cartoon can now be
viewed under Windows using Multimedia player

Morphing Programs

Tom Brigham, a programmer and animator at NYIT, astounded the audience at
the 1982 SIGGRAPH