Advanced Interactive Multimedia for Instruction
It might be easy to say that in this course, I mostly just played around in Flash. I really enjoyed Flash as a tool for creating multimedia content, but there was considerably more to it than that.
We focused a lot on what you can do with multimedia that you can’t readily do in other formats. It’s essentially an extension of the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words; with an animation graphic, you can convey very detailed and complex information in a visual way that makes it easy to understand.
I found a few of my IT 576 projects still lurking around in various directories:
* An Asus motherboard – this was a simple graphic that, on mouseover, shows some of the various hardware components on a computer’s motherboard
* Planets – I always thought astronomy was really neat, and in Flash, a motion tween is a really simple way to illustrate orbiting objects
* Orbit – This was an extension of the earlier ‘planets’ swf, but in this one, rather than having a few objects (planets) orbiting a single object (sun), I had a moon orbiting a planet, which was in turn orbiting a sun. For another twist, I decided to have a blue-green planet that appeared to be revolving on its axis, which I accomplished by way of an additional motion tween that looped a texture across the surface of the planet (so it looked like continents passing by repeatedly).
During the Spring 2007 semester when I took IT 576, I also was fortunate to be able to attend a Multimedia Bootcamp hosted by UNC – Chapel Hill. It was a week-long seminar on digital storytelling, in which attendees worked on recording, audio/video editing, Photoshopping, information graphics, etc. There were attendees from the Washington Post, National Geographic, the San Diego Union-Tribune… just a ton of great publications. I went with a friend of mine from the Knoxville News-Sentinel; the organizers turned all the participants loose to go shoot video, interview people, get “b-roll” (secondary footage to be cut in with the primary video). As a sort of skills summary, my friend Erin and I shot and edited this video, and encapsulated it in a Flash presentation. We shot the video in a restaurant at the hotel where UNC put up all the participants; the hostess we talked to worked there while attending UNC, and was about to graduate. I uploaded a lower quality video, by the way – VGA quality video was around 150 megabytes and the lower quality one is sufficient to get the idea across. So, as a big caveat, this video was *not* created for IT 576. It was, however, very much in keeping with the work I was doing in Ed’s class that semester, and the Chapel Hill trip really dovetailed well with what I was learning in the IT576 class.