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interactive media


DJ Decks made of... Paper? I n o va t iv e t a l k a t T E D.

Interactive media graphics are in their element in video games. Video games are the definition of interactive media as they include many different areas of interaction, such as Graphical User Interfaces, 2D & 3D sprites, Concept Art, Computer Generated Imagery and environments, textures for both 2D & 3D models, and Printed Media such as Posters and Game Covers.

There are many applications for interactive media graphics such as for Websites (banners, buttons, and animations), in games (CGI, Sprites, GUI, 3/2D Environments), Operating Systems (G/ UI, Splash Screens) and Applications GUI). Media Graphics have been around for decades in the form of Newspapers and Magazines and to some extent Computing over the last 20-30 years where the Graphical User Interface GUI has completely replaced its predecessor of basic type faces. The Printed graphics and publications industry is a rapidly evolving field despite its decline in previous years to the massively favoured Digital medium; though yet to be implemented technologies where you can actually physically interact and gain access to media via your printed publication e.g. listening to music or a talk. Click below to watch a fascinating talk on the subject on Bringing Interactivity to graphical media allows for a sense of involvement rather than being a passive user to a pre-defined route, such as in a film.



Picture-Elements, or Pix-Els (pixels), are the building blocks to every digital graphic, whether that is text, images, UI, video etc. A Pixel is a representation of a single segment of an image, a pixel is coloured on a RGB (RedGreen-Blue) scale to create a single colour, this single, square, segment is joined with other pixels of same or different colours to eventually create an image. Image Resolution is dimension of an image, measured in pixels. Resolution is not to be confused with density, which is the measurement of an imaged area (pixels) by the physical projection (inches (pixels per square inch, or ppi)). The resolution of an image is determined by the height and width of the image, for example 1920x1080 and 1280x720pixels. 1080 & 720 are often described as being ‘High Definition’ however it does not technically refer to them as being High, but rather they are of a higher resolution then the previous standard which was 576p. In digital web graphics, images, such as a button are often reduced in size, via compression or lowering the pixel density so web pages will load quicker.


DI g i t a l G r a p h i c s

Digital images There are 6 types of digital graphics used to create digital images; 2d sprites, 32 isometric sprites, concept art, textures, UI and printed media. 2D Sprites are bitmaps that are drawn to completion, so that no additional lighting or effects are needed. 2D sprites were more commonly used in 80’s/90’s arcade games and were widely used in Nintendo consoles, such as N64 and GameBoy, but moreso in arcade machines.

Concept Art is the illustration of an idea for a Video game or Film. It is used to assist 3D modellers in the creation of the designers’ concepts and ideas in the Industries. Textures are used to wrap objects in an image to give more detail or to give objects realistic visual properties; this can also be flipped to make objects appear cartoony, such as in the Boarder Lands series. In game Interface (User Interface UI) is used to represent different elements or influences in a game, for example Head-Up displays in FPSs, health bars, maps etc. It may also represent game commands, such as in a menu with options or a deck game. These element are usually 2D to distinguish them from the game its self.

3D Isometric Sprites are still a widely used medium of digital graphics in games such as league of Legends and Lego Star Wars on the Nintendo DS. 3D Isometric Sprites follow the same principals as 2D sprites, but give the illusion that they are 3D by drawing them in isometric, which is using viewing angles of 30, 90 and 60 degrees. CGI or Computer Generated Imagery is used to give the illusion that the object or character is 3d and moving in a 3d environment. CGI is a common form of graphic especially for the large majority of modern console and PC games as it offers a constant feeling of emersion that 2D or 3D isometric can’t achieve.

Printed Media is used to publicise media products, for example the font cover of a game is created to draw a potential player in, much the same as a book cover, and the saying also remains “Not to judge a book by its cover”. Many current game covers veer away from overly ‘fantacistic’ and ‘cante’ re-imagining of the game behind (Call of Duty 2), and quite often concentrate on more ominous covers, such as the Destiny cover. Most often they will portray a very real image of the game overall.

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F Il e e x t e n t i o n

AND c o m p r e ss i o n

Tiff, uncompressed JPG, High quality JPG, medium quality JPG, average web qulity JPG, low quality / high compression JPG, lossless compression PNG, lossless compression GIF, lossless compression, but only 256 colours

901 319 188 105 50 18 741 286

FIle compression is used to decrease the size of thr file, to save both and space and optimise it during transit (email or for uploading to the web). Uploading highly compressed lossless files to the internet will allow for web pages to load faster while retaining image quality .

Image capture,

O u t pu t a n d s t o r g a e

Image capture is achieved with the assistance of a digital camera. A digital camera works by turning light into electrical charges. These are the main components in a digital camera and their part in capturing a digital image:

Solid State Drives are a relatively new method of storage using flash drives, such as the ones used in UDB Keys and SD cards. SSDs work by saving a digital copy of binary digits, in each cell of a Single Cell Level SCL, a single digit is stored, and in a MCL two digit are stored.

Lenses > Are designed to alter the focus to capture the clearest and sharpest image.

SSDs have much higher writing rates then HDD’s, however they have a noticeably slower reading rate.

Aperture > Controls the amount of light that is let through onto the image sensor. Image Sensor > The light sensor is made up of millions of light sensors, photons are converted to electrical charges, the circuit board then converts the electron signal from each sensor into a designated number which then corresponds to a specific colour for each pixel. Methods of image output include; Projection via projector or CRT, via a monitor, uploading images to the internet, printing images for physical media such as magazines, e-mail attachment or as a frame in a film. Image storage > the colour of each pixel is representative of a certain set of binary digits. Those digits are what are stored on your Hard-Drive. A Hard Drive or HDD works by having a spinning disk (7200rpm ave.). The disk has a magnetic coating on it and so when the writing arm hovers over the disk, it moves very slightly on a North and South magnetism, to show 0s and 1s and will save it as a pattern, as the disk spins.

A Bit is the abbreviated version of ‘Binary digit’ and refers to either a 1 or 0 (On or Off) in the American Standard Code for Information Interchange ASCII (binary). Binary is the break-down of all computer data into coded sequences of 8 bits (Digits) or 1s and 0s, an 8 bit sequence is called a byte and a byte refers to any number of upper case (010) or lower case (011) letters, numbers or any character of the ASCII Unicode, such as colons, full stops, exclamation marks etc.


m e d i a g r a p h i c s sof t w a r e >AutoDesk 3DS Max >AutoDesk Maya >Adobe Photoshop >Adobe InDesign >Adobe Flash >Apple Final Cut Pro >Adobe Premier >Adobe Illustrator




Digital Graphics Technology  

This is a short, but informative, piece on Digital Graphics Technology. Unit in Interactive Media BTEC @ Weymouth College

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