Motion Graphics Tips

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Why should I use a local copy of graphics at a trade show presentation?

Trade Show Motion Graphics Presentations

Trade show presentations, such as those used in booths at conventions, are usually stored on the local computers that are set up at the trade show.

These graphics and animations have been previously created, then saved onto the local computer for use at the trade show. This process is more advantageous than attempting to run the graphics from the Internet, because if the Internet connection is lost or problems with the web interface develop, the presentation will not be accessible, possibly leading to loss of sales or new clients for the presenting company. By making sure that local copies of the presentation are used, this possibility is eliminated.

   
What is a web video host?

Web Video Hosts

Web video hosts, such as Youtube or Google Video, are websites that allow registered users to upload their own self-created videos and share them with the world at large.

Many businesses and organizations utilize these services to upload commercials or promotions for themselves, which can be hosted by the web video host, and then displayed on the business's own home page.

The use of most web video hosts is free, although some sites do take temporary or permanent possession of copyrights associated with uploaded videos. Two of the most common web video hosting services are Youtube and Google Video.

   
What are motion graphics?

Motion Graphics

Motion graphics is a generic term to describe computer-generated graphics that are displayed in a manner that give the illusion of motion.

Examples of motion graphics can be found in online games, videos, interactive tutorials or any other type of animation that moves. Applications that create these graphics include Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight.

Common uses of motion graphics are in popular cartoon animations created by individuals, political commentary animations, videos that are hosted on the web (such as YouTube) and interactive games that are either free or require a fee to play.

   
What is a digital trade show presentation?

Digital Trade Show Presentations

A digital trade show presentation is a presentation that involves some kind of digital display, whether it be plain text, images or motion graphics.

These presentations can be in the form of a keynote address or as a part of a booth at a convention. They require the presence of a computer and a projector, and the inclusion of an Internet connection is optional, depending on whether the presentation is stored locally or on the web.

These presentations can be static or interactive, and the interactive ones are often used in conjunction with hardware that the presenting company is demonstrating. They might also demonstrate the use of a new software product, and allow users to interact through the use of a mouse and keyboard.

   
What are the best motion graphics used today?

The Best Motion Graphics

Some of the best motion graphics that are used for web pages today are Adobe Flash, Microsoft Silverlight and Adobe Shockwave. The most popular software used today is Adobe Flash (formerly Macromedia Flash), which is used in everything from video files to cartoon animation to online and offline games.

Microsoft Silverlight, released at the beginning of September 2007, is a competitor to Flash and promises a cross-platform motion graphics framework that integrates with .NET. Silverlight appears to be promising, although development has not progressed very far because of the relative newness of the technology.

Finally, Shockwave--which has dropped in popularity over the past few years--has moved from a general use to a more specific use in online and offline games. The differences between Shockwave and Flash are technical in nature, though Flash is more popular with the population at large for both technical and marketing reasons.

   
What is streaming video?

Streaming Video

Streaming video is most often seen on news websites such as CNN, CSPAN, or Fox News. This video is often broadcast live on television, and the streaming video is shown live on the Internet as well.

The stream is a "live" broadcast in that it differs from other online videos such as those on YouTube, because it normally cannot be paused, restarted or otherwise affected like YouTube videos. This is because the "stream" of the video is not stored on a central computer like a YouTube video and is only viewable while it is being streamed.

Thus, when the stream ends, so does the video. Sometimes organizations will save pieces of streamed video and offer them for playback on their webpages, but the majority of videos are not saved and are simply discarded after the stream is terminated.

   
What is Flash?

Adobe Flash

Adobe Flash (formerly Macromedia Flash) is a motion graphics framework that has been popular for several years. Its most ubiquitous use is in flash-based games and animations, which are created and released by people across the Internet.

Flash is cross-platform and cross-OS, running on virtually all modern browsers (IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc.) and operating systems (MS, OSX, Linux, etc.). Part of Flash's popularity is the ease and simplicity of developing applications in it, as well as the broad compatibility that it offers.

   
What is Silverlight?

Microsoft Silverlight

The newly released framework, Microsoft Silverlight, was recently unveiled as a proprietary motion graphics framework, that is designed to compete directly with Adobe Flash and with elements of Ajax.

Silverlight applications can be created in any .NET programming language (i.e., C++) and can be used to create interactive applications or to display video or audio presentations.

Silverlight is used in conjunction with both XAML and Javascript, and is capable of taking input from the user from both keyboard and text, as well as displaying JPEGS, vector graphics and full motion video.

   
How do I perform development in Microsoft Silverlight?

Microsoft Silverlight Development

Development in the new Silverlight environment can be achieved using any .NET programming language, so long as the language can communicate with the Silverlight CoreCLR.

Microsoft has released a new version of Visual Studio that has a sliverlight development environment specifically designed for creating Silverlight applications, and their Expression Bend 2.0 can be used to develop user interfaces for Silverlight applications.

The key thing to remember when developing in Silverlight is that the CoreCLR, not the .NET Framework CLR, must be targeted by the development application.

   
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