The vibrant world of multimedia
Creative people see the concept of multimedia as a digital canvas similar to the canvas of an artist.
Creation in progress.
Remember the scene in the recent blockbuster, The Gladiator, where Russell Crowe takes on the other Roman Gladiator in an engrossing duel for survival. With every swish of the blade and flex of his biceps he sent the crowd in the arena roaring in a chorus. Do you think such a scene can be enacted in real life shoot, featuring thousands of people in a newly constructed colosseum which itself would cost millions?
The answer is simple `NO'. The entire scene was simulated in computers using multimedia tools. Well that is the real world of multimedia and not just PCs that are fitted with a pair of speakers.
Creative people see the concept of multimedia as a digital canvas similar to the canvas of an artist. Just like an artist who captures his ideas and imagination on the canvas with the help of sketches and colours, a multimedia professional can use this media to generate one's imagination to virtual reality. The only difference is that, in this case it can be modified and updated at any point of time unlike the normal canvas that becomes redundant once the colours are splashed.
The subject of multimedia stands apart from the general thought of the computer industry. It is more associated with the mass media industry, be it print, film, electronic or the latest entrant: Internet. "Its ups and downs are linked to this industry and thus the recent software crash has not made much of an impact on the multimedia industry. Whatever slump is seen or heard is due to the general melt-down of the US economy after the September 11, 2001, crisis," asserts the director of Metamorph System, K.V.A.N. Chakravarthi.
After one takes up the basic training and becomes an adept with the tools, the career options are many. Multimedia is such a subject wherein if one has got a creative bent of mind he can soar high and for him the sky may not be the limit.
Let's take the print industry to start with. For any company to begin operations it requires a logo or an icon to be designed and that's where the multimedia fits in, right at the inception of the company. Earlier, this task was entrusted to an artist or designer who after days of hard work would deliver one or two designs and any modifications further would have taken a few days more. Today with the `computer aided illustrations' one can design 10 to 15 logos overnight with three-dimensional effects, and the modifications can be done across the table.
The world of animation and visual effects. -- Photos : K.R. Deepak
Multimedia has today become the heart and soul of the newspaper and publication industry. Even small-to-small publications use DTP (desk top publishing) tools like Adobe Pagemaker, Photoshop, Coral Draw and other packages to design their pages and product.
If one can remember the recent cover page of the `National Geographic' magazine that featured a rustic Afghan girl who was clicked 15 years ago by the same magazine and was believed to have been lost and forgotten in the turmoil that swept the country over the years. But she was re-located a few months ago with the help of a computer generated image using the tool of `digital imagery editing'. Well that's the power of multimedia it can reproduce how Egyptian pharaoh, prince Tutankhamun, looked or for that matter attribute facial features to the 5,000 year-old iceman to the perfection. Multimedia is also playing a vital role in photograph correction and restoration. If digital imagery is a boon to the growing photography and forensic industry it is certainly a bane to the criminals.
Coming to the electronic industry, be it television or films, a world of opportunities awaits a multimedia professional. In recent times there is a big use of multimedia visual effects in most of the films. Blockbusters like `Jurassic Park', `Godzilla', `Titanic' and our own `Khiladiyon ka Khiladi', to name a few, have used visual effects extensively. The film industry is the most vibrant and growing segment for the multimedia sector. The technology of digital composition and manipulation have revolutionised the art of film- making. Even sound mixing and editing are done with the help of multimedia tools. Can you imagine a roaring dinosaur running beside you in a park. Well, Speilberg made it possibly using such techniques. And all these are not done by a single professional; the job caters for a few thousand working simultaneously on-line. The particular scene in `The Gladiator' needed 2000 professionals to work on it for almost a year.
Multimedia has replaced traditional animation film-making with its 3D tools. The recent hit and Academy award winner cartoon film, Shrek, was completely done using multimedia tools and the production unit comprised 5,000 professionals.
Most TV channels, including news channels like BBC, NDTV or Aajtak,s use multimedia graphics. In this context one cannot forget the recent Rajdhani express derailment graphics that was exhibited by them in the absence of photographs or video clips.
The scope of multimedia in electronic media is enormous. Simulation games and virtual reality are the latest concept that is catching on. "Virtual reality holds the future. By this concept one can actually simulate a real war scene or replicate a real accident or a crime scene or reproduce the last-ball finish of a cricket match. A few years from now, this technology will be extensively used by every industry not only for entertainment but to train people to handle real life situations," says Mr. Chakravarthi.
The bubble might have been pricked, but Internet or Dotcoms are here to stay. It has rather come to a stable level dropping down from all the hype. Every company has decided to have its own web site for global presence and to create, maintain and upgrade such sites there is need for web designers and programmers - again linked to the multimedia industry.
The world of multimedia is funny, interesting and dynamic. For creative people with fire in their belly, opportunities are legion. It could be in newspaper and publication sector, films, electronic media, advertising, web segment, event managing and games or entertainment industry. As long as there is the mass media and entertainment industry multimedia will be there.
Visakhapatnam is host to quite a few training institutes like Metamorph Systems, Arena and Images who impart the required training for the aspiring to take to the wings.
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