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Of Mice & Multimedia

May 4th, 2008 by Ted Bailey

Bertrand Russell once wrote “The mind is a strange machine which can combine the materials offered to it in the most astonishing ways.” When mice and man (not to be confused with Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”) combine, many buzzwords get bounced around like so many ping-pong balls. Of these, one of the more popular buzzwords today is “multimedia”. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of confusion about precisely what “multimedia” is and why “it” is so exciting and important.

Many of us have had the opportunity, at one time or another, to work with someone who can’t quite seem to explain specifically what they want… but “will know it when they see it!”. Multimedia is similar in that it is difficult to specifically define… but we all seem to “know it when we see it!”.

Contrary to what the buzzword might imply, Multimedia isn’t a single ‘thing’ that may be purchased from the local computer mart shelves. Multimedia is more a computer- supported cooperative environment of business, industry, education, art, entertainment, technology and more. Multimedia offers unparalleled and unprecedented power to enable people to share information and ideas irrespective of their geographical location. Read the rest of this entry »

The Effectiveness of Animation

May 4th, 2008 by Ted Bailey

Often the effectiveness of a video production can be enhanced with animated sequences. Everyone loves animation – probably because most of us grew up with cartoons. But epics like Disney’s “Fantasia” are hardly standard fare. Today, animation is enjoying a renaissance, as evidenced by Groening’s “The Simpsons”, Seven-Up’s “Red Dots”, and even more Disney, Fox, and Buth epics such as “The Little Mermaid”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Land Before Time”, and “Anastasia” (to name but a few).

Why? Because animation is the perfect medium for the ‘Age of Infotainment’. Graphics, specifically, animation must attract the audience enough to become interested in gaining information, then it must inform immediately. Read the rest of this entry »

Making Money in Multimedia

May 4th, 2008 by Ted Bailey

My previous article discussed the paradigm shift promised by multimedia. It built a framework for making money in multimedia development. We continue the discussion focusing on CD-ROM, although the concepts work for all new media design. Multimedia titles/projects tend to first fall into two primary categories which can be further broken down. While overlaps occur, the tiers look something like this:

  • Consumer
    • Games/Entertainment
    • Education
    • Edutainment (combination of above)
  • Developer/User
    • Graphics
    • A/V (audio/video)
    • Utilities

Consumer titles are generally complete and immediately useable like a game, a reference work like an encyclopedia or a child’s storybook. Developer titles usually contain information or material which is used to create something else such as clip art is used for desktop publishing, utilities for programming, or audio/video clips for other multimedia programs or projects. Often the more mass appeal that a title has, the lower its retail price will be. $34.95 – $39.95 seems to be the magic retail price point right now. Read the rest of this entry »

I’ll See Your Paradigm (pt.1)

May 4th, 2008 by Ted Bailey

If you have read any of my other articles, attended any of my multimedia/technology seminars in the past, then you have more than likely heard me use the term “Paradigm Shift” as it relates to the effect multimedia is and will have on many aspect of our lives. Lately, it seems that ‘everything’ is being hyped as something that will cause a paradigm shift. But the term “Isoquantic” as used by John Sculley (formerly of Pepsi and Apple Computers fame) was a new one, even for a polyglot like me who enjoys eclectic words. I was intrigued. Whaddesay?

Let me see if I can define and distinguish the two terms. Paradigm is easy… it refers to a set of standards or norms by which we operate. When this set of standards shift radically because of some innovation, we call it a paradigm shift, clever huh? A common example used for the effect of such a shift is “buggy whips”. The automobile or “horseless carriage” represented a paradigm shift in transportation technology. While some industries were able to adapt their products and services, not so for the buggy whip makers. The buggy whip industry became a casualty of this technology shift. Read the rest of this entry »

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