Web-Safe Colors

Technology has really expanded and evolved in the past decade. Each time I research and write about it, I’m constantly reminded. And that’s something that can’t be ignored as it has grown so much that technology has woven itself into our daily lives. Because such an innovation has rapidly improved in many ways, the problems and limits that followed such tech are now long gone. For example, not being able to see every color on the monitor. Not because it was in monochrome (of course) but because the computer monitor couldn’t display every color. In this moment, we’ll dive into the technical problems of the late 18th century.


The Rise of Web Safe Colors

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In 1977, home computers were created and became a common home appliance around the 1980s. As amazing as the new technology was, it was very confined in what it could’ve done, especially compared to today’s computers. In terms of colors, computer monitors could only project 256 colors. So, when there was an image or graphic was couldn’t be displayed on the monitor, the closest color to the original that the monitor could use would replace it. To make thing simpler, a color palette of 216 colors were chosen as ‘web-safe’. So, what were these colors and how did they work?

The Complex Color Palette

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For starters, these web-safe colors didn’t come with names, but were identified by certain RGB values: 0, 51, 102, 153, 204, and 255. Since these numbers are multiples of 51, they are used via percentages to determine the reduction of red, green, and blue. Basically, starting with 255 each color loses its hue by each 51 reduced, leaving you with 36 colors in one palette and 6 groups of colors. If that sounds too complicated, it’s because it is complicated. But this carefully calculated formula allowed a variety of colors to be displayed through all monitors of different brands.

Do We Still Need It?

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With all this information, a question arises: should we still stick to web-safe colors when placing images and graphics into the Internet? As stated before, this was the solution to a problem involving monitors that could only show at most 256 colors. But today, that’s no longer a consideration with how much our technology has advanced. Most digital/ graphic designers wouldn’t ask themselves this question anymore. However, it’s still a valid question to wonder. And the answer varies on the uploader. Web-safe colors are still a color mode that can be used but isn’t necessary unless you want to allow more antique monitors see the graphics clearly. But overall, web-safe colors are still important, even if it’s not such a concern anymore.


With such a complicated topic and basic analyzation, it’s not wrong to still have questions. If you would like to further explore the history behind web-safe colors, here’s the website I used for its history and functionality. Enjoy!

CMYK & RGB: What’s the Difference?

Here we are again with another round of ‘What’s the Difference?’ in the world of digital design! In this blog we’ll cover the two types of color modes and their comparisons. To many digital designers, these terms are well-known but not as much spoken about. For all we know at the moment, CMYK and RGB deal with colors and how these colors are seen in certain situations. But what about them? Why are they so important in designing graphics? And what are they specialized for? With these questions set in stone, we’ll begin with the research on these two important color modes.


CMYK

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For starters, the color mode CMYK is an a abbreviation for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and BlacK. These are the colors used to print graphics and images. The ink is used via subtractive mixing to turn a blank white page into a page with various particular colors. As stated before, the CMYK color mode is used for graphics and images that will be physically printed, so this color mode is best used with business cards, flyers, t-shirts, restaurant menus, etc. When preparing a digital graphic for printing, most file formats are compatible for CMYK, but some files are most suited for printing than others. The most compatible file formats for CMYK are PDFs, AI (Adobe Illustrator, if you have access to it), and EPS (a good file format for vector programs besides Illustrator).

RGB

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Next up is RGB, an abbreviation for the colors Red, Green, and Blue. These three colors are used via additive mixing to turn a black screen into a screen full of colors varying in intensity. Such freedom with the colors can allow the designer to adjust how shaded, vibrant, and saturated the colors are projected. When I say ‘screen’ I’m referring to digital screens such as: computers, smartphones, televisions, etc. The RGB color modes allows graphics to be seen on such screens like icons, online ads, images, videos, and more. Just like CMYK, RGB has file formats that they can work best with. These formats are JPEGs, GIFs, PNGs, and PSD (for Adobe Photoshop).


With this new found information, I believe he have a lot to thank these color modes for (or at least the engineers who created them). These modes are not only responsible for the many physical things we see around, but for the seemingly endless digital graphics we encounter each day. Hopefully this post clears up the confusion for these commonly used terms, and helps you determine when and how to use CMYK and RGB. If you were unsatisfied with the brief explanation, feel free to use the website I used as research for the color modes. Enjoy!

What’s the Difference: Raster vs. Vector

As we continue to expand our knowledge on graphics and design, more questions arrive (to my mind at least). An example of such asked by beginners and amateurs is, “what is a vector and raster and what’s the difference?”, which is fine to question. That’s because for the most part, they basically do the same thing, right? Well not entirely. There’s small differences in composition and uses that a designer should know. These types of edits and images are very important to learn, and it’s a pretty complicated concept to understand. Nevertheless, we’re going down the rabbit hole to get a better understanding of vectors and rasters!


Vector

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Vectors are mathematical formulas which explains how paths of a graphic are shaped, colored, and outlined. Vectors allow images to keep their appearance identical to the original image no matter what the image size. This allows them to scale images and graphics to any chosen song. It’s best to use vectors for simple designs with simple colors like logos, illustrations, engravings, signage, etc. This feature can be used in Adobe programs like Photoshop and Illustrator. With these restrictions, most graphics depend on rasters. Despite its limitations on what it can be used for, vectoring is a great tool to learn and take advantage of.

Raster

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On the other hand there’s raster, working with every single pixel of color in a graphic to generate an image, showing precise detailing. Raster can be used for complex graphics like images, digital painting, GIFs, etc. This feature can also be used in Adobe programs along with other design programs. However, scaling a graphic depends on the quality of the image. A rastered image can’t be easily scaled up as they can be scaled down. This messed with the size of the pixels, making the image blurry. Don’t let this stop you from using rasters for graphic editing, because it’s also an amazing asset.


Although it’s not common to find in conversations (in any topic for that matter), vectors and rasters are pretty important in creating amazing, quality graphics and images. Most if not all images or graphics had some sort of involvement with these tools. Hopefully this basic information allows you use these amazing tools when dealing with graphics and images. For more information on vectors and rasters, click the link for this amazing website I found. Enjoy!

Charging for Graphic Design Jobs

When have occupations around media/ communications and design, there’s more ways to work in those fields. The blog will focus on freelance graphic design, to which graphic designer has complete control over what and who they work with. So with such freedom, one must ask: “How much should I charge for graphic design jobs?” There’s many factors to consider for a clear answer, and those will be discussed today.

Employment vs. Freelance

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The more common form of working is being employed into a company, where it’s your “permanent” occupation and you’re being supervised by manager and bosses. As an employee, you can receive benefits like free health insurance and retirement plans while not having to pay employee taxes. As a freelancer, you’re more liberated and flexible. Typical freelancers search for jobs and make temporary negotiations and contracts with multiple employers. Because they are their own manager, they must be on top of themselves to keep the flow of income coming. Freelancing doesn’t include any benefits or paid vacation, but you control your work days. The most important difference is the flow of income because an employee gets paid on a salary or hourly basic. A freelancer, however, gets paid by task,which varies by the person that hires you. This is why as a freelancer you must question how much you’ll charge for your work.

Working with your Client

Pay Knowing your Worth

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As a freelancer, you’re able to make negotiations with your client on how you’d like to be paid: by project/quote or hourly. Hourly pays (which is more preferred by most), tends to be around $25-$150 per hour. Being payed by quote simply means giving an estimated price based on what you’re asked to do. If the client asks to pay by quote, you can make an estimate how long it would take to complete the project and give them a full payment. As a freelancer, since you’re working directly with the client, having a set hourly pay rate can be altered based off the client’s will too. Admittedly, some clients may not be able to afford your preferred pay rate, so you can fluctuate it until you reach an agreement. Because a freelancing income changes constantly, It’s important to know your skill to you don’t over or under-price your work! Have pride and know your worth (unless you’re not that skilled then just take it easy)!

Equally, working as an employee and working as a freelancer comes with advantages and disadvantages. There’s many things that a freelancer can do while being spontaneously limited. As you go on with freelancing, you’ll get better at negotiating and pricing your work. I hope this further clarifies is, but if not then here’s the sources I used for info on freelancing and charging for your work. Good luck!

Destructive & Non-destructive Photoshop Operations

Photo editing comes in two ways: destructive and non-destructive. That’s pretty much it. The term ‘destructive’ doesn’t mean that the photo is torn up and ruined though (as alarming as it sounds). It’s the way the pixels of the original photo are permanently altered forever. After editing a photo on Photoshop, you can’t open it back up on Photoshop and revert it back to the original. It’s altered forever. Many editors don’t like this idea, so here’s the different types of destructive and non-destructive operations on Photoshop.

Destructive

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As stated before, destructive editing manipulates the pixels on the original photo. Photoshop itself and many other Adobe programs are dubbed “destructive editing applications” because of its many adjustments that destroy the original photo pixels. This makes it hard to give exact examples of destructive editing since the entire software is a destructive editor (how dangerous!). Once you tint, crop, add filters, erase, or use the healing brush, the pixels are no longer the same. Of course, this is a disadvantage as you can’t take back what you changed-and undo and redo doesn’t count in my point. To combat it because Photoshop has a lot of potential, editors find non-destructive ways to edit their photos. These tricks are harder to find if you’re a beginner at using Photoshop, but even Adobe gives info about non-destructive edit methods!

Non-destructive

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The standard non-destructive method in Photoshop would be to duplicate the original photo and edit it on a separate layer. This is very effective in editing and saving the altered copy while keeping the original untouched. But there’s much more to this safe way of editing on Photoshop. To share a few methods on non-destructive editing, you can crop photos and revert it to its original whenever you please by turning off the “Delete Cropped Pixels” check box. You can also use vector masks and filter masks which hide the pixels you edited instead of deleting them. And then there’s adjustment layers that can edit a photo’s tone and color and change it back to the original whenever you need to.

Overall, Photoshop is a great yet destructive program. Many editors turn to other programs like Aperture and Adobe Lightroom that aren’t destructive. And while that’s well and fair, you don’t have to lose hope on the capability of Photoshop’s operations. There are many ways to edit photos on Photoshop without destroying the original if you look hard enough. If you would like more information on the differences of destructive and non-destructive editing, along with tips on non-destructive editing on Photoshop, click on the links given respectively. I hope you’ve been enlightened!

Photoshop Files: 72 DPI vs. 300 DPI

Infamous for its versatile usages, Photoshop is compatible with many projects and occupations. And because it is a powerful and precise software, it has precise measurements and adjustments. This is where photo resolution comes in; which is how clear and sharp a photo appears. A photo’s resolution can be measured in DPI, or dots per inch. This measurement is used by printers to know how many dots they must rationally place when printed. Based on this post’s title, it’s safe to assume that 72 DPI probably isn’t as good as 300 DPI, because the more dots present, the better detailed the picture will be. But if it’s true, then why use 72 DPI? I wondered myself until I found out that 72 DPI is the standard measurement for computer screens. Or at least it was. It was a confusing fact because many computers are pretty big in size, making an image of 72 DPI seem small or at least blurry. And that’s when I researched some more and found that because technology has improved so much, that DPI differences aren’t noticed on device screens and therefore really don’t matter.

72 DPI

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Back in the 1980s when computers were a newer concept and smaller, Apple’s Macintosh had a 9 inch display and 72 DPI. And despite the evolution of computers, many people still hold onto the stigma that a computer’s resolution should be 72 DPI. So ignore what I said in the introduction: DPI is not a measurement for computer screens (anymore), but for printing out an image. Now that it’s clear, lets focus on image resolutions when printing. Image size and resolution go hand-in-hand, and the chosen DPI affects the overall size of the photo when printed. Additionally, an original image’s PPI-pixels per inch-can affect the image size when changed by the DPI. For example, if you have image with 500 x 500 pixels and change the resolution to 72 DPI, the image may grow or shrink in size to match the amount of dots you want an image to have. Overall, 72 DPI isn’t that bad, but what if you compare it to 300 DPI?

300 DPI

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Just for clarifications (because I’m we’re both a bit confused), an image with the resolution of 72 DPI looks fine on a computer screen so don’t bother changing it for a better photo unless it’s going to be printed. In this case, most photographers print their photos with the resolution of 300 DPI. This is the standard industry quality because the higher amount of dots will make the image more detailed and sharper. If the image resolution as 72 DPI, then the photo would be a good size, but pretty blurry. Now you’re probably wondering why Photoshop is in the title when it was only mentioned once. When printing an image, you can edit an image’s resolution on Photoshop before printing it. How to change image resolution: Image > Image Size > Resolution. That being said, I can conclude this blog here. We covered the differences, the myths, and the methods of image resolution. Hopefully, you got the gist of it but if not here’s the websites I used for DPI and the differences of 72 and 300 DPI. Good Luck!

Presentations & Its Terminology

Greetings! In a previous post I covered the full aspect of a multimedia presentation; something more commonly used for demonstrations. Because of this fact, I don’t believe I have to explain what a presentation is. Instead, we’ll go over the terms in describing the structure of a presentation (because that really exists and it important).

Introduction

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An introduction is usually the opening of any form of communication: letters, essays, calls, etc. It’s a short greeting to the audience, as well as a brief description of the speaker(s) and the topic. It’s not an exact requirement to have an introduction for presenting, but it is highly recommended to make a good first impression for the audience.

Speaker

To put it simply, the speaker in the presentation is the person, or people who is expressing their topic to the audience with their presentation. So, in this case, I’m the speaker of this blog and you are the audience.

Audience

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With you being the audience of this blog, this means that you are the person that listens to the presentation of the speaker. It is important for the speaker to know who their audience is in order to properly engage and relate to them. This way the amount of influence that comes from the presentation would be nothing but positive! (That being said, who are you?)

Topic

When presenting a topic to an audience, the speaker states the matters of a general idea they want to convey. A topic is a basic concept that’s spoken about with the intent of it being discussed about. An easy example would be this blog having the topic on common presentation terms.

Structure

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A presentation could be as visually attractive as ever, but it would be in vain if the presentation lacked proper structure. Structure is the proper formatting of a presentation. This can be done with good transitions, connections, and a clear focus on the topic. It’s easily seen as a major component to a presentation, as well as other types of communication. 

Transition

Now when you move on from one statement to something different, you don’t just state them immediately after the other, right? (I hope you said no). Whenever a speaker wants to move onto one place to another, it’s important to use transitions to make the presentation move smoothly. A transition is a phrase or word used to connect two different topics or statement together to prevent awkwardness in presenting.

Connections

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Connections are additional information or scenarios to expand a topic and compare it to other things in the world. This is where examples, personal stories, and demonstrations come it. It allows the topic to be easier to relate to by the speaker, as well as being easier to understand. Many speakers use this tactic without even realizing it, because that’s how necessary it is.

Graphics

But what’s a presentation without graphic? Graphics are visually pieces of information to further state an idea, fact, or opinion. Graphs, videos, and photos are commonly used for engagement and a surplus in information in a presentation. While they may look pretty, remember its role in a great presentation. 

Sources

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Unless your mind holds all the knowledge in the world, then there’s a little chance of you getting those facts and graphics from your mind. Sources are varieties of information and visuals coming from other people. It’s great to take information from different sources to be more specific with the topic. And it’s even better to give credit to the sources you used after finishing the presentation. It’s just like the way I give credit to the photographers in each photo seen.

Paraphrase

In modern times when our attention span has drastically decreased, there’s no time to state your ideas verbatim from your thoughts or other sources. Presentations are used to speak freely while getting to the main points of your topic. Which is why paraphrasing your words are crucial to a good presentation. Paraphrasing is to shorten an original block of text to its main elements. This saves time, keeps the topic in focus, and doesn’t bore the audience.

Conclusion

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Finally the Conclusion, the final section when the speaker makes a summary of their entire presentation and closes off. Since this is the main thing the audience remembers, it’s important to make the conclusion are well-rounded and understandable as possible. This reduces the chance of it being forgotten. But overall, it’s just a simple farewell and thanks to the audience. So, thank you very much for reading this post, I hope these terms helps you create a well-structured presentation in the future. For great examples, check out this website I used to gather my info. Ciao!

 

Trips, Grips, & Holds

Mastering the Usage of Tripods and Camera Grips & Holds

As a photographer sharpens their skill of photography, they usually start to learn the best ways to handle their camera and their tripod. This is either done by habit, something that suits your methods, or simply by being taught. Every photographer is different and because of that, there’s many ways to hold and grip a camera for shooting. The same goes for using a tripod. So lets go down the trail of trips, grips, and holds.

Tripods

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A tripod is a three-legged stand for a camera to keep it steady and in place. Tripods can be very helpful when taking photos that require precision and constant placing, when the camera itself is very heavy and becomes a burden, or when you need a photo with a low shutter-speed. When using a tripod, you can raise your camera and tilt it to the sides and front & back, but compared to hand-holding the camera you are limited in movement. Many professionals prefer holding their cameras when shooting, but it’s always good to posses a tripod if you take photos as a full hobby or profession.

Battery Grips

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To be honest, it took me a while to fully understand what a battery grip was (mainly because I called it camera grips at first). But now that I’ve gained knowledge, the name itself pretty much explains what a battery grip is. Battery grips are camera extensions attached to the bottom of a camera which stores an extra battery and can be used as an extra grip for photographers. To cater to photographers, the grip comes with an extra shutter and other buttons for different camera holds. And many photographers using heavier lens use the extra weight of the grip to balance the weight out. This accessory isn’t mandatory for amateurs nor professionals, but they’re very convenient for long shooting periods.

Camera Hold

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And then there’s camera holds, mistaken for camera grips (which we both now know aren’t the same thing). As stated before, every photographer is different, and camera holds aren’t an exception. That being said, there are right ways and wrong ways to hold a camera for shooting. To keep it brief, I’ll only cover the best ways to hold a camera when standing, sitting, and laying down. When standing up, it’s best to keep your elbows close and lean into the camera just a bit. It’s also best to hold the camera under the lens. When sitting, you should lift your legs up so you can rest your elbows and stabilize the camera. And if you have to lay down, keep your arms close together like the way you position your legs.


Hopefully these simple tips and information is helpful in the future. Or it can be a refreshing post about the knowledge you already possess. However, there’s much more to know about tripods, camera grips, and camera holds! For more information about trips, grips, and holds, check out these websites for each topic respectively! Enjoy

Digital Cameras

I remember going on a field trip with my school at a very young age, and my father buying me a disposable camera to take pictures. I also remember having no idea on how to take those photos, but giving it whirl anyways.

Thankfully, not only do we have better cameras today, but we carry cameras with us anywhere we go. (On smartphones, if you couldn’t figure it out). There are many types of cameras used in daily life and occupations, their differences varying on their uses. We’ll cover the basic types of cameras.

Compact Cameras

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Compact cameras are a basic type of camera that’s commonly used by the average person. They’re small, easy to carry, and usually come with automatic settings to make it simple to use.

Unlike other more professional cameras where you control every setting of the camera, all one must do it look and click. The camera adjusts the exposure, focus, and everything in between. This makes a compact camera a great start for a beginner photographer.

Zoom Compact Camera

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Unlike the regular compact cameras, zoom compact cameras have stronger camera lens to increase the magnification. For the most part, the camera has automatic settings like the compact camera, but they could also have manual settings and can record in HD (High Definition). If you want to up your game in your photos, this is a great personal camera to use, although not the best for professional use.

Advanced Compact Cameras

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The final version of a compact camera is the advanced compact camera, with comes with manual settings like exposure and focus. These cameras are still light and easy to carry around and use, but its features make it better than the average compact camera.

It gives a photographer more control over their shooting and produces higher-resolution photos than a compact camera (and even your phone). If you want to gain more experience handling a camera in manual mode, this type of compact camera is perfect.

Adventure Cameras

Now most cameras you bring most likely withstand being submerged in water or function in severe weather. Which is why geniuses created the adventure camera. They’re very small like a compact camera, but are durable and able to shoot beautiful photos in any condition.

Their cons although are the lack of interchangeable lens and they don’t have optical or electronic viewfinder. Basically, there’s no way to see exactly what you’re taking a photo of until it’s uploaded on another device. But don’t let that stop you from going on a wild aspiration-seeking adventure!

Digital Single Lens Reflex

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Now on to the heavier stuff: the Digital Single Lens Reflex- or DSLR. Now this type of camera is seen more often because they are used by beginners and professionals alike.

To break this camera apart, a DSLR comes with one lens where light travels through to reach the digital sensor. This allows a photographer to see their shoot right after taking it. This differs from a regular SLR, which used films instead of digital sensors. This camera comes with interchangeable lens, manual options, along with many other shooting modes. This powerful and versatile camera is very expensive, but worth it for it’s amazing capabilities.

Compact Mirrorless Cameras

Did I say that I was done with the variety of compact cameras? Ignore that. This type of compact camera is very similar to a DSLR, but are smaller and lighter. However, the main difference is unlike a DSLR, there’s no mirror for the light to bounce off to. It goes directly in to the sensor to be seen by the photographer.

These cameras gives you control over the settings, comes with different lens, different modes, and can be paired with other devices via WiFi. This makes a compact mirrorless camera a great and cheaper alternative to a DSLR.

Instant Camera

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And finally we reach the current camera of aesthetic: the Instant camera aka Polaroid. This 1940s invention which recently got more popular truly deserves recognition for being quite ahead of its time. Instant cameras allows a photographer to take a photo and receive a developed hard copy from the camera itself.

It’s pretty lightweight with many types of designs, but there’s not much you can do besides adjust the exposure. Not to mention the lack of manual control and viewfinders (besides the final product). It’s a pretty complicated camera to manage that takes practice and skill to master. But the instant developing makes it worth while.


I’m sure I didn’t cover the entirety of cameras, as they have continued to develop and span out over decades, but I got the basic and more commonly used cameras. Every camera is used differently, so it’s refreshing to find a camera that can do the specified job with reasonable ease. With the help of this website for it’s knowledge, I hope this list helps you find the best camera for your needs. Enjoy snapping!

Multimedia Presentation

Remember when presentations back then mainly consisted of a speech with flash cards and pictures that were passed around to the audience (if they even had some to show)? Well now in the 21st century we don’t have to be as basic anymore! With technology stronger and smarter than ever, we can make ideas and discussions more engaging and understandable. This is done with Multimedia Presentations, exhibitions that use cool graphics and forms of media to make your topic interesting and helpful. A popular software would be Microsoft PowerPoint, and there’s also Apple Keynote which are great at making multimedia presentations. Some examples of what is usually found in these presentations are:


Videos

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Videos can be found in multimedia presentations to add extra info or recap their topic from other sources. Sometimes hearing a different sound can grab the audience’s attention. And what better way to speak based off outside sources than to show the audience themselves. Whether they’re short clips or hours long, the type of video is determined by whatever the speaker wants to show. To give a few examples, people present music videos, clips of movie scenes, spoken word performances, or recorded experiments. The possibilities are endless. So put your presentation in motion!

Audio

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Something more amusing for the ears would be auditory media. This isn’t commonly used since it’s just auditory and little visuals. But if used the right way, it can be pretty cool. Things like sounds of daily life (nature, gatherings, etc) or certain music could be used. It could even be simple background music to cancel out the overbearing silence. To give an idea, let’s say a speaker presents an audio clip of birds singing and tweeting in the morning. Now imagine life without such sounds due to climate change. Really makes one wonder…

Animations

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And lastly there’s animations, a relatively newbie in multimedia presentations. A basic idea on animations could be the cool slide transitions that you see in Microsoft PowerPoint. That’s a form of animation that can be found in most presentations, but what about actual graphics and animations. This could be a GIF, a 2D or 3D animation, or a stop-motion. Although at first glance they seem weird to add to a presentation, it’s a very creative way to share info and entertain the audience.


After reading this, you may realize how common multimedia presentations are without even noticing it. It’s become the social norm, with little knowledge of what it is. To be a very complex form of presentation made simple enough for a primary school student to use, that’s pretty impressive. There’s much more to a multimedia presentation as the creative world expands each day (even each hours!), but these features are the foundations of a multimedia presentation. I hope you take the time to make a few of your own!

Show out to Presentation Magazine for their super simple explanation on Multimedia Presentations! Check them out here!