Section 4
SCREEN DESIGN PRINCIPLES

Rule of Thirds
For centuries, artists have used the rule of thirds to compose their pictures. Use this simple technique to layout your text and visuals to be displayed on a screen.

Visual Weight
All visual elements (both text and graphics) have what is called visual weight. The size, shape, density, and color of the visual element determine visual weight.

Visual weight is an important design principle because people tend to look at heavy objects first, then proceed to lighter objects to gather more information.

Use Visual Weight to Control How People Will View Each Screen
As a screen designer, you will want to control the sequence of how people will view each screen. Keep in mind, that in our western culture, people tend to view a page or screen from the top left portion of the screen and then work to the right and down. By using visual weights, you can alter this viewing pattern, and in the process, create screens that are both attractive and interesting.

NOTE: When using pictures of people, have them “look” toward any text that may appear next to the picture of the person.

The Importance of White Space
As you design your screens, keep in mind not to crowd the screen with text and visual elements. It is better to use several screens to explain an idea or concept than to try and force everything onto one screen.

Helpful Internet Sites That Focus Upon Layout and Design

The Design and Publishing Center
Yale’s Web Style Guide 

For more information search the Internet using the key words Graphic Design.

LABELING ILLUSTRATIONS
Technical drawings, schematics, and photographs often require labels. Labels are a convenient was to name and identify the location of specific parts within a large system. When labeling an illustration, keep in mind the design principle of not overcrowding a screen. It is much better to “zoom in” on an area that requires attention. Several “zoom” screens may be required to pinpoint a specific area or items.

ANIMATION
Animation is a powerful MTS technique that will bring your illustrations to like. Basically there are two types of animation. The first type of animation that can be used is called travelling animation. Traveling animation is where an object moves from one part of the screen to another.

TIP: To indicate a travelling animated sequence on a storyboard page:
 

The second type of animation is called repetitive animation. Repetitive animation is used to give motion to stationary objects. Repetitive animation is developed using a sequence of mini-frames that repeat in sequence to give the illusion of motion.  Below is an example of four mini-frames which, when viewed, will appear to be a wheel being turned by a motor.

When designing repetitive animation sequences, use the form entitled “Repetitive Animation Form” found in the Forms section of this Guide.

GIF Animations
A widely used form of the repetitive animation is the GIF animation used on the Internet. For more information about the construction and use of GIF animation consult the following sites on the Internet.

GIF Animation Software
GIF Optimizer
Free GIF Animations 

To locate additional sites on the Internet use the keywords GIF Animations.

For other animation resources check out:
Free Animation Software

SPEECH, MUSIC AND SOUNDS

Hardware Requirements
What would any multimedia presentation be without speech, music and sound? In order to create sound files for use within computer presentations, computer based training, and delivery via the Internet, you must first have a sound card and sound editing software installed on your computer. Since most computers built within the past five years have included sound cards as part of their standard configuration, no discussion of sound cards is required. In addition to a sound card though, you will need a microphone, cassette or reel-to-reel tape player, and the appropriate cables to hook up your sound equipment to the sound card.

When Should You Use Sound Files?
Music files are often used to set a mood or provide emphasis, such as the music that proceeds a program. Technical sound files can be used illustrate what something sounds like when there is a malfunction, such as the sound of a faulty heart valve. Speech should be used in lessons that will be taken by people who may not read well. Speech may also provide an additional channel for instruction. For example, you may have an illustration on the screen, but do not want a lot of text to appear explaining the illustration. By using speech files programmed into the lesson, let a “speaker” explain the illustration.

File Formats
Far and away the most popular format for sound is the .wav file. For fascinating discussion of sound formats go to: Sound Formats

Sound FX
Have some fun. Include sound effects into your programs. You can create your own or down load them free from the Internet.

To search the Internet use the key words Sound Effects or Producing Sound Effects.

Audio Editing Software
As for editing software, Windows includes a Sound Recorder utility as part of the Multimedia folder under Accessories. Also, when you bought your computer, you should have received audio editing software. Check the documentation that came with your computer.

To search the Internet use the key words Free Audio Editing Software.

For free WAV files that you can download from the Internet, use the key words Free WAV Files.

TIP:  Place your narrator’s script in the appropriate area on the storyboard page.

TIP: To add a professional touch to your production efforts use a professional “voice.” Most local radio and television announcers do voice work on the side, therefore don’t hesitate to hire a professional voice to narrate your program.

Want More?
For more information on how to produce audio materials search the Internet using the key words Producing Audio.

VIDEO

Video is a powerful tool for training and until recently has been very expensive to develop and use. However this is no longer the case.

When Should You Use Video?
Video files should be used whenever a procedure or operation that incorporates motion needs to be shown. Video, as with speech, provides an additional channel for instruction, but be careful of using too many “talking heads.”

Transferring Video Files to your Computer
Up until recently, transferring video files to your computer required specialized hardware. In some some cases this may still be true. See Additional Hardware Requirement below. Today however, most of the problems associated with transferring video to your computer have been resolved. Visit transferring video files to your computer for more information.

Additional Hardware Requirements
For high quality video, you may need a special card installed into your computer to capture video. To locate a card appropriate for you needs use the key words Video Capture Card. In addition to a video capture card, you may need an special audio card, and a VHS cassette player / CD / DVD player and the appropriate cables.

Video Editing Software
As with sound cards, your video card will include basic video editing software. However, if you require more than the basics, search the Internet, using the key words Video Editing Software.

File Formats
Popular video formats include AVI, MOV, Quick Time, Mpeg and RealVideo that can be used on the Internet. For a complete listing of file formats visit Wotsit or search the Internet using the keywords, Video File Formats.

Free Video
For free video files that you can download from the Internet start your search by using the search terms Copyright Free Videos.

TIP: To add a professional touch to your production efforts. Consider using a professional videographer.

TIP: Place any video production instructions in the Production Notes area of the Storyboard Page.

TIP: When capturing and editing video content, use an AV Drive. AV drives are special hard drives designed to exacting specifications that will ensure smooth recording and playback of video files. For more information on AV hard drive search the Internet using the key words AV Hard Drives.

Want More?
For more information on how to produce video materials, search the Internet using the key words Producing Video.

COPYRIGHTED MATERIALS
While there are a number of free media available for downloading from the Internet, be careful not to violate or use without permission any copy righted materials! If you are unsure about the copyright laws or the use of copyrighted materials, consult the following web sites.

The U.S. Copyright Law
Copyright Permission 



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