Intro to IT: Specialized

Define Multimedia authoring


Nalin Sharda
Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.

Definition: Multimedia authoring involves collating, structuring and presenting information in the form of a digital multimedia, which can incorporate text, audio, and still and moving images.

Introduction

Authoring involves collating, structuring and presenting information in the form of a document created in some medium or media (Csinger, 1995). Traditionally this has been applied to the production of static text documents. With the advent of digital multimedia systems – that can incorporate text, audio, and still and moving images – authoring process has become much more complex. Interactive multimedia systems allow the user to change the presented content, and therefore, add another level of complexity to the authoring process.

The driving force behind all authoring is the human need to communicate. Verbal, pictorial, sign and written languages have provided the means to communicate meaning since time immemorial (Elam, 1994). Today we can employ multimedia systems to combine text, audio, still and moving images to communicate. Computer-based digital multimedia systems not only provide the means to combine these multiple media elements seamlessly, but also offer multiple modalities for interacting with these elements (Elin, 2001). The cross-product of these multiple elements and modalities gives rise to a very large number of ways in which these can be combined (Lemke, 1998).

To handle the complexity of multimedia authoring we need to combine theories, models, tools, and processes from the domains of the arts, sciences and technology for creating meaningful content (Sharda, 2004a). Movies have a much longer history than digital multimedia, and their authoring processes can be used to inform the development of multimedia authoring processes.

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