Creating multimedia assignments
Some assignments ask you to create a multimedia artefact that combines elements such as text, images, animation, audio and video, and presents them as a coherent experience.
Start by creating a detailed project plan:
- What is the objective of the artefact? What are you trying to communicate?
- Are there constraints? For example does it have to be less than six minutes or work on mobile phones?
- Who is the target audience? Always design it with them in mind; what do they want to get from viewing the artefact?
- How much content is needed? Aim for the ‘minimum viable product’ and then extend if time allows.
- What is the artefact’s structure and sequence? Draw a storyboard; this provides a quick way to develop your ideas. Get this sorted before you start building – although you may build some rough prototypes at this stage to check if your ideas are do-able!
- What resources are required? Make a list of what you need; texts; scripts, images, photos, graphics, audio, video and overall visual design.
- Do you have the skills and software needed? You must design within your capabilities, although pushing at the limits of your abilities is more fun.
- Who does what? If this is a group project, agree who is responsible for specific parts of the project, including the all-important project manager to keep it on track.
- What is the timeline? Split the project into phases with deadlines, but build in some slack at the end if possible. Or work frantically overnight just before the submission date if you prefer…
- Use agile project management techniques. Create prototypes early to test your ideas and find (and solve) any problems as soon as possible. This will also help refine your design and help your thinking, so you can adapt the design as you go.
Finally, a word about copyright. Don’t use images, graphics, photos, music or video you do not own (i.e. have created) unless you have permission to use them. Search for resources that have a Creative Commons licence, and make sure you acknowledge all your media sources, just like you would cite sources in an essay, like this:
Casa Batlló – Barcelona – Andrew Booth
These are some tools that you could use:
See the page about Creating video for advice about software as well as learning to shoot and edit video.
PowerPoint is actually a really good tool to develop multimedia where the user can navigate from screen to screen and make choices. It gives you complete control over the visual design, content and interactivity.
- No bullet points! Use the blank slide layout and add text and graphic objects to it.
- Use Slide Masters to control the appearance of slides , so that a change to a master slide updates every slide that uses it. You can have multiple master slides.
- Record the narration for each slide, so you can easily re-record to get the quality you want.
- Use hyperlinks from text and graphic objects to create navigation links between slides. For example you can create navigation buttons or photo buttons.
- Use animation to add movement and control timing. You can add triggers so that an object only appears when another is clicked.
You can save your animated presentation as a video or as a PowerPoint Show file.
This free online tool allows you to record anything shown on your screen and save it as a video file or upload it to YouTube. The free version has a 15-minute time limit. You’ll need to buy an annual Pro licence for $18 to be able to edit your videos.
This is a professional multimedia authoring tool, perhaps a bit like PowerPoint on steroids. There is a free fully-featured 30-day evaluation trial, so if you are quick you can complete your project before it runs out. Beware; although it can create really sophisticated multimedia that also means a steep learning curve. The online tutorials are excellent, and you should study these before starting your evaluation trial.
A free tool that creates animated narrated cartoon videos, such as this one:
The free version is a bit limited, but they have an education plan where for $36 you can get most of the Pro features for a year.
Another free tool for creating animated cartoon videos with music and text:
Again the free version is limited, while the Pro version costs $99 per year but includes thousands of video clips to give your production a professional polish.
This free tool creates ‘hand-drawn’ animated narrated videos:
The free trial is only 7 days, so you’ll have to be quick when creating your project, or you could buy a one-month licence for £18.
This free tool creates animated narrated videos, and provides great control over the animation and timing of the content. If you need to draw animated objects, such as text and arrows, this is your top choice. It works really well on touch-screen devices such as iPads and Android tablets, but there is also a Windows 10 version. Your project is stored online, but you can provide a link or export it as a video.
- Published: 4 years ago
- Updated: 3 years ago