AIM

Applied Interactive Multimedia

Regarding the use of media in hypermedia projects, be sure to review Finkelstein, Chapter 3, and Ivers, Chapter 5.

Using Images
In the Intermediate and Advanced AIM projects (and to a very limited extent, possibly, in the Basic AIM project) you will be using images. For the Intermediate and (especially) for the Advanced AIM projects you will use a LOT of images. For this reason, it is absolutely essential that you keep image file size down. (This is particularly critical for photos that can be huge files.)

Images must be kept as small as possible because they add to the overall file size for your project file. Project file size needs to be as small as possible for moving the file from one computer to another (which you will need to do as you use the project in the classroom). File size also will be an issue for uploading (and downloading) the file as you work with it in this class. Perhaps even more important is that file size will matter to your students as they work with the project file in an educational setting. Screens will load more quickly with smaller images on them.

Image file size can be reduced in 2 ways.
  1. Crop the image. Pick out the most important element of the image and crop the image to just that item. Cropping also is important if you need a smaller image than the natural image size. Squashing and image to a smaller size does not reduce the image file size going onto your slide.
  2. Compress the image. This is different from squashing the image. Compression is a process that keeps the image the size you want, but reduces the pixel rate in the image. Computer displays have much lower resolution than is required to print a nice quality photo. Often one can tell relatively little difference on the computer screen between a 100 KB photo and a 3 MB photo file.
Ideally, you may wish to crop and compress a photo, both. Failing to control image size will complicate your life greatly as you work on these projects. The images add up quickly.

If you have, and are comfortable using, Photoshop or Picasa, these programs will both crop and compress. A free Web 2.0 editing tool is Picnik, http://www.picnik.com, that also will accomplish these tasks very easily. Typically compressed image files are in .jpg format.

Clip art is invariably in smaller file sizes. Use clip art when you can.

Using Sound
The same considerations as mentioned above for images also apply to sound files. Most file formats sample sound at 48 Khz for good quality. The average computer speaker will reproduce about the same quality sound at 11 Khz sample rates. Typically compressed sound files are in the .mp3 format. Audacity is the sound editor of choice.

Video
All video files are large. Note the discussion in the Ivers text, pages 106-108. The smallest file sizes are .mpg, .mp4, .mov, and .qt. Most of you have some familiarity with Jaycut, Movie Maker, and iMovie that can be used for editing (cropping) and compressing a video file. Handbrake will get a video file off of a DVD - but circumventing the DRM software on a DVD is against the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in the U.S. One consolation is that unlike image files, videos (and sound files, for that matter) a linked to the PowerPoint file, rather than incorporated into it. So, the video does not directly impact the project file size, but it adds an order of complexity when moving the project file and the links to external files often have to be re-set after each move.

Calendar

The week of:
October 15-21 - Basic AIM Proposal

October 22-28 - Basic AIM Completed

October 29-November 4 - Intermediate AIM Proposal (Happy Halloween)

November 5-11 - Intermediate AIM Draft (Happy Water Lantern Festival and Veteran's Day)

November 12 - Intermediate AIM Completion

November 19-25 - Advanced AIM Proposal (Happy Thanksgiving)

November 26-December 2 - Advanced AIM Draft

December 3-9 - Advanced AIM Progress Report

December 10-16 - Advanced AIM Completion

December 16 - End of course