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Using QuickTime in Multimedia Production

As we have already discussed with our studies on the Quicktime architecture and format:

Multimedia presentation often includes many different facets:

The media requirements for such presentations can also be complex.

They may include ``standard'' digital video, animated characters, and customized musical instruments. QuickTime's ability to reference movies that exist on local and remote servers provides a great deal of flexibility in the delivery of digital content.

A movie can also be used to contain the media for animated characters and/or customized musical instruments. For example, a cell-based sprite animation can be built where the images that make up the character are retrieved from a movie that is built specifically for that purpose. In another scenario, a movie can be constructed that contains both custom instruments and a description of instruments to be used from QuickTime's built-in Software Synthesizer to play a tune.

In both cases we see a QuickTime movie used to contain media and transport this media around. Your application then uses this media to recreate its presentation. The movie in these cases is not meant to be played but is used solely as a media container. This movie can be stored locally or remotely and retrieved by the application when it is actually viewed. Of course, the same technique can be applied to any of the media types that QuickTime supports. The sprite images and custom instruments are only two possible applications of this technique.

A further interesting use of QuickTime in this production space is the ability of a QuickTime movie to contain the media data that it presents as well as to hold a reference to external media data. For example, this enables both an artist to be working on the images for an animated character and a programmer to be building the animation using these same images. This can save time, as the production house does not need to keep importing the character images, building intermediate data containers, and so on. As the artist enhances the characters, the programmer can immediately see these in his or her animation, because the animation references the same images.

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Next: The QuickTime for Java Up: QuickTime for Java Previous: The Java for Quicktime
Dave Marshall