Course Title: Multimedia Technology
Prerequisites: CSC 1052
Prerequisite Rationale: Students should be comfortable with developing and authoring mid-size programs so that they will be able to participate in prospective course projects ranging from compression algorithm evaluation to Flash or QuickTime scripting.
Description: This course will focus on digital representations of text, audio, images, video, and virtual reality and on the mechanisms that are commonly used to combine and and distribute them.
What this is NOT: Although some software packages like PhotoShop and Premiere and QuickTime will be used in the course, it will NOT be a graphic arts course, nor will it be a “Poetic PowerPoint” course.
Prospective Audience: Students who are interested in web development; students who want to understand how to optimize and combine different media (audio, video, images, text, etc) for presentation on web, CD, or DVD; students who are curious about how Flash or QuickTime files are structured.
Course Outcomes: Students will:
- Explain how text, audio, video, and images are represented digitally
- Compare and evaluate common techniques for compressing text, audio, images, and video,
- Create 3-D representations for “virtual worlds.”
- Explain how multimedia data can be packaged electronically or stored physically for distribution
- Explain the evolution and role of standards such as MPEG-7 in multimedia creation
- Understand the common techniques and issues behind enforcing copyright on the Internet and on physical formats such as CDs and DVDs.
Proposed Text: “Fundamentals of Multimedia,” by Ze-Nian & Drew, with readings from “Streaming Media” chapter in Tanenbaum’s Operating Systems.
Course Organization: The course will be lecture-oriented, with a midterm and final. I expect to have students work on 4-6 homework projects. Some projects will be a set of questions from the text; others will be experimental explorations of compression techniques’ effectiveness on different types of media; others will have students create small multimedia works and evaluate them for ease of authoring or support for copyright.
Topics: Specific topics will include:
- Uncompressed Representations
- text: representations from ASCII to Unicode
- audio: understanding sampling and frequency representations
- images & video: color gamuts (Lab, RGB, HSV, CMYK, etc.)
- Virtual Reality projections
- Compression techniques
- Background: Cosine Transforms; Wavelet Transforms; codecs
- images: GIF, JPEG, JPEG2000, PNG
- video: H.261-H.264, MPEG
- audio: MP3, etc.
- relationship between compression parameters and media quality
- text: Run-Length Encoding, Lempel-Ziv, Huffman, Shannon, etc.
- Distribution and “Container File Standards”
- Internet streaming issues; server design constraints
- XML spec files for (1)
- SMIL files; QuickTime files; Flash files
- CDs and DVDs as delivery media
- MPEG standards, including MPEG-7 & MPEG-21 retrieval standards
- DVD and BlueRay encoding for movies
- Copyright Enforcement and Issues
- Basic theory behind digital watermarking
- Basic theory behind encryption
- Copyright protection techniques
- Digital Millenium Copyright Act constraints and questions
- Common Multimedia Tools
- VR-capture technologies (camera rigs, etc.)
- Final Cut, iDVD: video
- Audacity: audio
NOTE: The course will offer students a good familiarity with content-capture, contentediting, and content-distribution issues, but will defer questions of graphic arts and original content creation to other courses that might be found in the Communication