CSci 120 - Lecture 15
© Morris Firebaugh
A. Introduce Chapter 8 -- Managing Multimedia Projects
B. Management Issues
C. The Management Process and MM Projects
D. Basic 3D Concepts & Conceptual Design Tools
II. Management Issues
The emphasis in MM development is on people.
- Who will manage the development process?
- Non-multimedia company
- Multimedia service provider
- Multimedia company
- Examples: car dealerships, grocery stores, department stores, small manufacturing
- May need MM for presentations, corporate training, catalogs, sales kiosks
- Decision as to whether to build it in-house influenced by
- Complexity of project
- Expertise of current staff
- May be able to re-tool graphic artists --> interface design
- Otherwise, they may contract out the MM development to outside sources
- Individual contractors, consultants, former employees, etc.
- Small MM shops
- Larger MM companies
MM service provider
- The two primary considerations are
- Agreement on specifications
- Consensus on who makes the final decisions
- This is particularly problematic if several individuals are involved
- May be from different departments
- May be from different plants, sites, states, etc.
- May have joined the project at different times
- Companies include Living Books, Brøderbund, Microsoft, Claris, and Walt Disney
- They produce titles for education, reference, training, education, and games
- They may, in turn, hire contractors and consultants
III. The Management Process and MM Projects
- Regardless of who manages the MM project, certain functions are necessary
- Planning the project
- Organizing resources and forming the team
- Leading the team
- Consider the example documents of multimedia design center (mdc)
- Promotional philosophy, experience, and services
- Contract for services
- Rate Card
- Proposed budget
Planning the project
- Planning involves determining
- Where your are
- Where you want to be
- How you intend to get there
- Task analysis - Must answer questions
- How much and what kind of video, audio, and animation is required?
- What content will be provided by the client and what will be created?
- How many illustrations? What type? How are they generated?
- What features affect programming, user input, access to databases, and testing?
- Will the title involve external media or hardware - videodisks, kiosks, & printers?
- How many and what type of usability tests are planned?
- What are the licensing and copyright considerations?
- The budget is the financial plan
- It determines whether you:
- Commission original music
- Create your own MIDI music
- License commercial music
- Settle for sound clips
- Specifies starting and ending date of project
- Specifies milestones --> dates for specific stages to be completed
- Shows flow of progress on time chart
- Identifies bottlenecks using PERT techniques
- Must avoid feature creep
- Feature creep results in vapour ware
IV. Basic 3D Concepts
Concept of Design Abstraction
- Abstraction means "putting it in a box and attaching a label"
- The more abstract a procedure, the more is done automatically
- Consider the range of design abstraction
Why would we want to automate the design process?
- More attractive designs -The sophisticated graphics possible with computer systems makes it possible to present beautifully rendered conceptual designs in 3D with cut-away views, realistic shading, and textures. Since approval of the preliminary design is generally the first hurdle before detailed design and engineering can proceed, it is critical to prepare the most attractive possible design. Well-rendered graphics will catch and hold the potential client's eye much more effectively than traditional line drawings or sketches.
- Dealing with complexity - The irreversible trend in industrial design is towards increasing complexity, as a glance under the hood of a modern automobile compared to those of ten, twenty, or thirty years ago - will confirm. Consider the thousands of engineering drawings necessary to specify all parts of such an automobile. Then consider the vastly more complex systems required in the space and nuclear power programs. Hierarchical data structures, subassembly architecture, and parts libraries of modern CAD systems provide tools capable of deal-ing with this complexity.
- Effective archive and retrieval- Most engineering drawings are modifications or extensions of previous engineering drawings. The magnetic media used for storage of designs and engineering analyses serves as an effective archive with efficient retrieval of source documents. Effective archival techniques involve standardization of part and subassembly structure notation which improves the efficient operation of the organization and its engineering protocols.
- Distributed processing and teamwork - Large engineering projects involve the work of many individuals on the primary task and numerous subassemblies. The coordination and integration of these efforts is facilitated by a network environment providing controlled access to the design of each component of the project. A multiple work-station LAN sharing access to the engineering drawing archive provides the ideal environment for the design of
subassemblies and their integration into the final design.
III. 3D Conceptual Design Tools -- CADC
What features should a 3D conceptual design tool provide?
- Good WIMP/GUI
- Numeric Options
- Direct 3D manipulation with 2D controls
- Object design by sculpting
- Object hierarchy
- Intuitive viewing options
- Choice of rendering options
- At least minimal CAD features
- Library of 3D objects
- Capability of constrained, relative motion
- Easy generation of animation sequences with tweening
Could any 3D CADC program possible provide all these?
ANSWER: Yes, Swivel3D does and more:
- Skin objects - Objects too complex to construct easily by lathing or extruding can be created by constructing linked objects defining the "skeleton" of the desired object and then stretching an elastic "skin" over the skeleton.
- Special effects rendering - Among the special effects which can be rendered are antialiasing, shadow calculation, projection of PICT images on 3D objects, and object edge enhancement.
- Object attribute list - Each object has an associated attribute list with user-defined fields such as type, weight, height, length, width, color, price, and so on.
- Multiple file formats - In addition to the RIB file format, Swivel3D exports images to various paint and draw-type formats, including 24-bit PICT, 8-bit PICT, EPS, and DXF format for AutoCAD.
- Animation - Animation is readily accomplished by dragging an object through a series of positions and orientations which are recorded as key frames. A tween button then allows the user to specify how many frames should be computed in between the key frames.
- RenderMan interface - Swivel 3D generates output files in RIB format which can be read and rendered photorealistically by RenderMan. RenderMan offers advanced features such as texture mapping, transparency, and advanced shaders for wood, metal, plastic, stone, marble, and so on.
IV. 3D Design Program -- Swivel3D
Color tool menus available on Swivel 3D
Select Color (under Effects)
Shaders and Light Controls
Shader Attributes (for MacRenderMan)
Project Scrap Image
Background with projected Scrap
- Note use of lathed and extruded objects
- Note importance of object hierarchy and locking
- Note use of Orthographic Views for object alignment
VI. Laboratory Assignment # 8
Updated October 22, 2000