Re: Graphics and Multimedia Techniques

Subject: Re: Graphics and Multimedia Techniques
From: Justin Soles <jsoles -at- TYPHOON -dot- CO -dot- JP>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 1999 08:54:43 +0900

>Does anyone have any little tips or techniques for to help me produce
>or multimedia,
>or are there any resources that you would recommend (books, websites,

For graphics, I would recommend PaintShop Pro (JASC software) and Photoshop
(Adobe). These are both very powerful graphics tools used right across the
industry. Depending on your needs, I would also recommend Macromedia
Director for producing multimedia. It's quite expensive and it's got a
fairly sharp learning curve but it's power and portability more than make up
for it. Take classes if you can get the company to pay for them and you will
save yourself a lot of time and grief!

>For instance, when I illustrate a product, I take a digital picture, then
>the picture. It's faster,
>easier, and more appealing than my freehand illustrations. This little
>technique has really helped
>me in my job... and I would really like to learn some new techniques that
>help me produce
>faster quality stuff.

Invest in a Wacom ArtPad! I use mine both for artwork and as a general
replacement for my mouse and it's wonderful. They released a new USB
compatible version a little while ago which works great under Windows98.
Only problem is that I don't think they have NT drivers...

>I want to try some multimedia tricks, so I'm taking a digital picture of a
>product, then taking a picture
>with a component removed, then taking a picture of the component itself.
>hoping to simulate
>the component removal by transposing the component over the componentless
>product picture,
>maybe add some little graphics of screws moving or something, then moving
>component off
>of the componentless product picture (easier done than said). This is my
>trial at anything like
>this, so please don't laugh too hard...

Actually this kind of simulation is a really good idea, especially when
training someone on equipment that's too costly to have them break/screw
up/etc while they're learning. HOWEVER (and this is a big caveat) producing
this level of multimedia can cost a LOT of money, both in designing how the
simulation will work and in actually producing it. Make sure you have got
the support of management and accounting before jumping in with both feet!

That being said, there's a lot you can do by using multimedia elements
sparingly: short audio/video clips &/or animations in conjunction in with
good writing can be just as effective as a full-blown Hollywood spectacle.
For example, I include a "Show Me" button along with the instructions have
to do to install and upgrade our products. Clicking this button shows the
user a brief 5-15 second AVI movie demonstrating the steps just described.
This is purposely kept both separate & subordinate to the written
explanation of the same procedure because not everyone will need it, nor
will they need it all the time. Remember: know your audience and design

Hope this helps. Feel free to contact me directly if you want.



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