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Repurpose 3D Models using Emerging Media & New Technologies
Best-in-class design will include the use of Emerging Media and new Technologies. Making decisions regarding emerging media such as what digital design tools to use for a corporation can be an important process as well as embracing the technology behind it. For example, suppose you are faced with the problem of selecting multimedia software and presentation software as though you were using it in a small start-up company. In response, you may ask why this would be important enough to be of interest to an Engineering Technologist. This may be a reasonable question for a student/learner interested in Engineering Technology, so in support of the exercise, four case studies have been added here to view, read, reason, and rationalize as to why.
Many companies have invested in general technologies such as computer aided design (CAD) systems and they need to adapt these general technologies to the betterment of the company by fully utilizing the digital data produced. By providing the data in other ways such as promoting their product they will realize more return on their investment (ROI). Repurpose work of CAD designs which can be accomplished to achieve a very realistic format (often in better presentation quality than many off the shelf illustration programs), is very desirable and often a necessity for impressing high-end customers.
The tools vary, however the basic elements of all of these tools fall under the heading of "multimedia" In the computer world multimedia includes text and graphics, sound, animation and video. By bringing together two or more of these methods, multimedia is created. Multimedia offers many benefits to a business and for some with simply an investment of time and equipment it could even become the preferred method of business. So as engineering technologists it would be wise to familiarize ourselves with software tools that work with these types of elements.
Furthermore, common tools used for Internet publishing are a viable way to bring many of the multimedia elements together. Tools designed for both generating and accessing internet content can assist the engineering technologist in presenting a design idea or product. Many of these are multimedia tools that are available for accessing information i.e. text, graphics, audio and video editors. By using various combinations of multimedia tools, elements of information can be integrated into a process suitable for documenting and/or presenting product.
Emily Pitweiler the proprietor of the home-based business Rock 'Em Graphics can sit at home and at the tip of her fingers reach millions of potential customers all through the use of multimedia presented across the internet. She can load graphics, enter text, and change a font, all from a library selection with multitudes of choices that simply reside on a set of CD-ROMs (the computer equivalent to audio CDs). In the computer world the tools that are used to work with text, graphics, sound, animation and video, would all be considered multimedia tools. With a selection of multimedia tools, along with some investment in time and equipment, individuals such as Emily Pitweiler of Rock 'Em Graphics, can become owner/operators of multimedia businesses or even "multimedia producers" providing multimedia products on the world wide web.
To do production work of multimedia, an individual will need the right set of both hardware and software tools. For example to do a video production of say a promotional videotape, one will need to acquire a video adapter board and a video recorder or a digital video recorder that is compatible with their computer, and they would need some form of video editing software along with some type of presentation software. These are not as difficult to obtain or as cumbersome as one might think. But the tools do vary, and as stated earlier, in the computer world multimedia includes text and graphics, sound, animation, and video. So all of these types of editing tools fall under the heading of "multimedia."
Before taking the plunge it would be wise to familiarize ones self with software tools that work with these types of elements. Invest some time and research in this technology and then once you have a basic knowledge of these tools but before making any final decisions you may wish to shop and compare features and prices. Some of the tools you may decide on may even be common web publishing tools for the internet.
Web Publishing & Internet tools
The world wide web is full of various forms of multimedia, this naturally suggests that many of the common internet viewing and internet publishing tools that are available are also viable multimedia editing tools or have multimedia editing capabilities. This makes it practical for an internet approach to be taken when developing multimedia. By using a few of the methods, tools and procedures common for accessing information i.e. text and graphics, or audio and video via the world wide web and emplacing them as tools used for multimedia development, companies and organizations can achieve a somewhat acceptable alternative to having a specialized multimedia department. Thereby skipping a need for a special audio/video editing department. However this is not to say that this can be the end of any and all multimedia departments in larger corporations, but it is to offer up the alternative to a smaller company, individual or private entrepreneur.
Tools designed for the internet can assist in preparation of multimedia for documentation. By using a few tools, images, animations, audio and video can be integrated with text easily and efficiently. In an internet approach, preparation of documentation consists of putting together text and graphs, and can also include sound clips for narration and video clips to add clarity, all are very efficient ways of creating any of the traditional manuals used in industry.
With the widespread use of internet and the use of multimedia, corporations should also consider the possibilities of repurposing CAD work into high end professional multimedia presentations for publication on the world wide web (hosted in a cloud), for distribution on CD-ROM, or for portable devices (iPhone or Android) by using an app.
A Practical Exercise
Browse to (http://cognitiveapprentice.com/wiki/examples/welcome.htm). Using built-in screen capture abilities for Windows, collect the graphic shown in an active window, scale it appropriately and include it as Figure 1 in a word document, and you just completed an example of a process that could prove invaluable in repurposing computer work, documenting a process, or making a record of files and folders in a directory listing, etc. Seems easy doesn't it?
This can simply be done by the following:
With the print screen key, the image is then saved to the system clip-board (or for window 2000 or later it is known as the clip-book), which can than be brought into a image editor to be saved off as a new graphic, or pasted/inserted into an existing document.
Next Step in Multimedia
SnagIt by TechSmith is a screen capture program that captures both video and audio output. SnagIt gives you the tools you need to create images from images on your screen. http://www.techsmith.com/snagit.html
That works fine for basic needs, but it is often advisable to capture more than what is on the screen, or to capture a sequence of screen images, or even simply to select just a portion of a screen. Also what about help in organizing what you have captured should you screen capture more than one screen shot at a time? In these cases, a screen capture program may be required.
For a screen capture program, you should research and make notes of the special features about each screen capture program and make your own choice, as these can vary in complexity, features, and expense. Many can be found at "shareware" or "freeware" sites on the internet, such as: http://www.tucows.com or http://www.freewarehome.com, or you may elect to tryout a trial version of a commercial-of-the-shelf (cots) version of one.
As with the screen capture programs, so it is with audio and video editors. It is wise to first familiarize yourself with common features found within these types of programs. For example, once one learns what non-linear editing is, then one can evaluate the features that non-linear editors have (non-linear is a feature that allows the film to be assembled in any order from beginning to end, and changes can be made in the cut anywhere at any time). Once you have acquainted yourself with features, again you may wish to go to "shareware" or "freeware" sites on the internet, such as:http://www.tucows.com or http://www.freewarehome.com, then evaluate the features and costs. You may even want to read evaluations of product online at theses sites or in one of the many audio/video discussion groups.
Advancing Multimedia Content
Use of multimedia not only includes basic uses of text, audio, and video, it also includes hypertext interaction, animations, serious games, and various other user interactivities which blend content. As suggested before with regards to engineering design and the widespread use of internet, with the use of multimedia, corporations should consider the possibilities of repurposing CAD work for product visualization. This includes high-end professional multimedia presentations for publication on the world wide web (even hosted in the cloud), for distribution on CD-ROM, or for application on portable devices (iPhone or Android). Some extended fields to consider are virtual reality and augmented reality. See Product Visualization, and Augmented Reality.
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