Alexey Alexandrovich Kamensky - EL’2005

^ Alexey Alexandrovich Kamensky

Project Editor Program navigation and functions

The Project Editor program is a tool for creating links between multimedia files and uniting them into multimedia projects to be viewed with the Multimedia projects player program.

To create a multimedia teaching course you are to organise your teaching material in a number of text, graphic, audio and video files ready to be linked into a project. To facilitate your work with the Editor and ensure the project’s transfer from one type of data medium to another, save the necessary files to the same disk and the same folder. Inside this folder files can be grouped into sub-folders according to their types, contents etc. Choose a starting file for your project for the user to begin viewing it. It can be either a text or a graphic file.

Editing text files

You can open a text file in the window Document of the Text Link Master and create links to other files. Please remember that a text file opens for reading only and cannot be edited in The Text Link Master. The text is to be prepared for creating links beforehand. You can edit your text files in any other text editor. The program supports text formats.TXT (encoded ANSI Windows) and.RTF. If you have another format type, save the text file in the required format with the help of any other text editor (e.g., Word).

To open a text file in The Text Link Master enter the menu item File and choose the item Open. You can also open a text file by clicking F3 button.

It is advisable to mark beforehand the text fragments meant as links with a different colour or/and by underlining in another text editor to make link fragments vivid in the text. To create a link in the opened text, mark a text fragment and click the third button on the tool bar or the right mouse button on the marked fragment. Choose the item Turn to a link in the pop-up menu.

Next, you will see a panel at the bottom of the window with the marked text fragment in the right-hand part. The left-hand part of the panel is to show the path to the target file. For this, click button […]. Target files can be text files of.TXT (encoded ANSI Windows) and.RTF formats, images, audio files in.WAV or.MP3 formats or video files in.MPEG,.MPG,.AVI formats. After you have indicated the path, the marked text fragment, or link, will be shown on the right-hand side panel. If you decide to edit the created link, double-click the text fragment. You will open the panel indicating the path at the bottom of the window again. Repeat the described procedure to change the path.

When you have organised all the links, save the text file by clicking the save button or by choosing the corresponding item in the File menu. You can also save the file by clicking F2 button. If you need to create links from the text files already provided with links, open them in The Text Link Master and repeat the procedure until you have created all the necessary links from the text files.

Editing images

On opening the Multimedia Projects Editor program you automatically enter The Image Link Master. Here you can open image files in.BMP,.JPG,.JPEG,.ICO,.EMF,.WMF formats. For this, choose the item Open in the File menu or click the first button on the tool bar. Click the third button Turn on/off the marking mode. The mouse cursor will change to a cross-like arrow when you move it across the image. Now you can begin cutting the image into parts according to its sense or function.

The program allows for creating links of any configuration with few exceptions. Click the left mouse button and do not release it until you have drawn the link contour. The link contour is drawn in a single movement. If the link contour has any self-intersections, forming closed areas, the program will suggest that you should choose either attributing the closed contour to the already existing link, making them the same link, or creating a new link. Any of the closed contours can be deleted. For this you are to turn off the marking mode, choose the link and press the delete link button. Please remember: when you delete the link consisting of several closed areas, all of them will be deleted.

Every image has one link by default – the background link. This is a link from the image as a whole. If the image is provided with other links, the background link will be called by clicking the area between them.

The program will not allow the user to create an open contour and will connect the starting and the final points of the marking with a straight line. It is understandable that a straight line, a dot and other figures without an inner area cannot be made link areas. The program will produce the warning ‘This link configuration will be ignored’.

There’s also the possibility of creating a single link from two separate closed areas. One can draw a closed contour containing three areas. The upper and the lower links are made the same link No.1, while the middle link is created independently and then deleted. Yet, there is a simpler way to create links of this kind. On finding the link the program produces the window, which allows you to choose one of the actions: you can either attribute the link to the already existing one or create a new link.

To attribute files to the links use the Link Inspector. Link Inspector is called either by clicking the left mouse button on the link area with the marking mode turned off or by clicking the corresponding button. The Link Inspector window reflects all the necessary attributes and events to call files for all the links.

In the top of The Link Inspector window you will see an opening list that reflects all your links. Now you can link media files to them: text files in.TXT (encoded ANSI Windows) and.RTF formats, images, audio files in.WAV or.MP3 formats and video files in.MPEG,.MPG,.AVI formats.

Link 0 (Background) implicates your decision to create a link from the image as a whole. You can indicate the type of cursor file (.ANI files) in the box Cursor of the Link Inspector when clicking on the link. In the box Prompt you can indicate the text to be displayed on the screen when drawing the mouse onto the link. In the box Description you can enter the text to be displayed in the unit Help for this link. The other boxes are for indicating paths to media files to be displayed at various events of this link (clicking the right mouse button, the left mouse button or double-clicking). If a certain box is of no use for you, just leave it blank.

After you have filled in all the links, you are to save them for further project building. Sometimes it is advisable to change the link contour colour, especially for coloured images. If the link contours get invisible when opening a number of different windows, the function of applying link contours will be of help to you.
^ Multimedia project
All multimedia files with the description of their attributes, events of calling links and links themselves are integrated into a project. It includes all the files employed with the file names under which they have been introduced into it.

To create a project you are to start the Project Master by choosing the item Project Master in the Project menu or by clicking the Project Master button. To create a new project, click the leftmost button on the tool bar. You will open the Creating New Project Master window. In the tab sheet The main file your are to indicate the name and the path to the file that served you as a starting point, that is, the file you would like your project to begin with. In the tab sheet Project name indicate the name of the file that will contain description of all links and will serve as a starting file for your project. Finally, indicate the name of the project proper and click the button Done. After that you will see the file structure of your project in the Project Master window. You can also view your project tree. For this, you only have to click the Project Tree button on the tool bar.

If you want to open a previously done project, click the Open Project button on the tool bar. The functions of the side tool bar on the right serve for editing the project. You can also edit the file paths. Click the Tick button on the right-hand tool bar and you will see the file name and the path to it, which you can edit. Another useful function of the Master is editing the project file name and the starting file name. If you decide to add a file to the project, click the top button showing an open folder on the right-hand tool bar. Then write the file name and the path to it at the bottom of the window and click the button Done or the button Cancel. After these actions the name of the file you have entered will appear at the end of the project file list. After you have performed all actions with the project, save it by clicking the button showing a diskette on the upper tool bar.

The program builds up a project automatically according to the links you have created with the help of the Image Link Master and the Text Link Master. The project tree is created likewise. This function reflects all files of the project as a project tree in accordance with the links. The project tree is displayed in a new window. When the project is ready of when you open the file of a previously created project, the tree window is called by clicking the corresponding button on the Project Master tool bar. In this window you can view the sequence of the files in your project and correct errors if necessary. The icons indicate the type of multimedia files, which the user will view. The Multimedia Projects Player program will run the project exactly the way you see it in the tree. If it is OK with you, save the project and run it with The Multimedia Projects Player program.

The Multimedia projects player program.

Starting and running the program

The Multimedia projects player program serves for presenting to the user multimedia materials integrated into a project. The program window has only four buttons allowing for 1) opening a multimedia project to be viewed; 2) going back to the project starting file; 3) going back to the previously viewed file; 4) exiting the program.

In the running parameters line you can indicate the name of the project started by default. It can be used when creating autorun files of multimedia CDs of projects in this format. If the project name is not indicated in the running parameters, open the project file right from the project player clicking button 1). After you have chosen a project file, you will see its starting file in the Multimedia Projects Player window. The user will be able to follow the links of the project in accordance with the project tree, developed with the help of the Multimedia Projects Editor.

Viewing multimedia files

If a link is an audio file, it will be played with the system’s standard devices. If a link is a video file, it will be played in a new window on activating the link. To end viewing, just close this window. If a text or image file is not provided with any links, a new window will open for the user to see it in. After viewing such a file the window is to be closed. New windows are opened to view only the files which are ‘leaves’ on the project tree. If you prefer to view them in the same way as you view the files with links, open the terminal files with the Image Link Master and the Text Link Master and create such links that will not allow following them while viewing the project.

To go back to the starting file, click button 2). Then you can view the project from the beginning. If you need to return to the previous text or graphic file, click button 3). On finishing viewing the project you can either open the next one or exit the Multimedia Projects Player program.

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