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Authoring Systems

Hypervideo authoring system is one area of hypermedia that still needs much development. Hypervideo is still a recent addition to the hypermedia systems. Today, much of the efforts in this area seem to be directed to the integration of multimedia to the Internet. There are many Web authoring systems, much of them allow inserting video clips into web pages, but few really provide hypervideo functionality. A query for "hypervideo" posted in Yahoo on May 6, 1998, returned 3 categories and 360 Alta Vista pages. A query for "hypervideo" and "authoring" resulted in 125 pages. Nevertheless, after taking a closer look to the returned URLs, a great amount of repetitions were found. Among the most popular URLs are:

HyperCafe http://www.lcc.gatech.edu/gallery/hypercafe/

Movideo http://www.artsvideo.com/movideo/

Ephyx Technologies http://www.ephyx.com/

The University of Paris http://hypermedia.univ-paris8.fr/HyperVideo/hvideo/hvideo.html

Storyspace http://www.eastgate.com/Storyspace.html

HyperCafe

While HyperCafe relevance within the hypervideo field is undeniable, HyperCafe is an example of a hypervideo presentation and not an authoring system. The HyperCafe Homepage [HyperCafe 1997] is an interesting site for anybody interested in hypervideo.

Movideo SDK:

Movideo is a tool from Arts Video Interactive that allow crating hypervideo links on QuickTime, AVI and MPEG files [Arts Video 1998]. It also helps tracking trajectories (movements and transformations) of the actors and objects in a digital video sequence. Movideo SDK also can create hypervideos that may be integrated with in other multimedia titles and presentations as ordinary videos. The system works with Macromedia Director, Asymetrix Multimedia Toolbook, mFactory mTropolis , Microsoft Visual Basic and programming languages (C, C++, Pascal, and Delphi). Movideo runtime files are free and can be downloaded from their site.

Ephyx technologies

V-Active HyperVideo Authoring Engine from Ephyx Technologies (now Veon Inc.) [Ozer 1997] uses hotspots to provide linking capability for video to video and video to other media. It provides functionality to specify a hotspot in one frame and then recognize the image in subsequent frames, reducing the load of specifying the hot spot for every frame. It also provides different options to represent the hotspot. V-Active's has runtime engines for ActiveX, Netscape and Director Xtra. According to EMedia Professional the engines are "extremely efficient, swiftly and seamlessly switching between the source video and target video, bitmap, text screen, or URL". Priced at $695 dollars seems to be one important contender in the hypervideo authoring systems today.

Veon has now deployed its VeonStudioTM for authoring interactive video applications [Veon 1998] these tools are targeted for applications such as video shopping, interactive entertainment, training and distance learning. Veon adopted SMIL as the underlying multimedia format.

The University of Paris

Presents different research papers referring to a prototype system and a tool that given an input of a textual document and one ore many videos, automatically recognizes the associations between the text elements with the sequences of videos [Universite Saint-Denis 1996, Le Quellec and Vuldy 1998]. As a result, the prototype generates a new hypermedia document that allows the simultaneous consultation of the text and the sequence of videos. The work presented is an evolution from a previous work in the digital libraries field for the automatic generation of hypertext documents. From a hypervideo point of view, the automatic generation of links between text and video is still far from providing full hypervideo functionality. As an authoring systems the prototype provides a pour support for authoring and coordinating the presentation.

Storyspace

Storyspace is a hypertext writing environment designed for large and complex hypertexts [Eastgate Systems, 1998, Kaplan and Moulthrop 1994]. HyperCafe designers utilized Storyspace when designing and prototyping HyperCafe. Storyspace proclaim its usefulness as a scripting tool for hypervideo. However Storyspace does not provide any hypervideo functionality or authoring facilities.

Macromedia and Shockwave

According to CNET Macromedia Director is the de facto standard in multimedia creation [CNET 1998]. Shockwave is made using any one of three Macromedia tools: Flash, Director, or Authorwave. Shockwave has had a great success with the distribution of the Shockwave Players for Internet. In 1997, over 37 million Shockwave players (Flash and Director combined) were successfully downloaded from Macromedia's web site. While Macromedia Director does not provide hypervideo functionality directly, other tools like Movideo and Digital Lava [Digital Lava 1998] add the hypervideo functionality to it.


Next section: Applications of Hypervideo


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