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Objective Multimedia development

By the end of this page you will be able to:

  1. Understand the different methodologies used to create multimedia



Methodologies to develop Multimedia applications are still relative new, and lack formal or tool based modelling techniques (Lang & Barry, 2001)[1]

Software engineering and video production techniques combined

  • In order to produce an effective multimedia presentation, particularly where the project is large and/or complex, schedules need to be met, costs controlled, quality maintained and specifications adhered to multimedia design methodologies will need to be followed.
  • A Software engineering approach can provide the framework, but for multimedia allowance has to be made for time variations (example setting up and conducting interviews).
  • Video production techniques provide useful aids to visualisation, such as storyboarding, and can help in the planning of a development project, particularly prior to implementation.
  • Combining video production techniques as well as software engineering techniques can assist in developing a multimedia design methodology
  • Multimedia development involves juggling -- time, resources and quality.

Example Methodologies

Methodology references



In order to produce an effective computer based application, particularly where the project is large and/or complex, schedules need to be met, costs controlled, quality maintained and specifications adhered to design methodologies will need to be followed.

Multimedia software development stages

Traditionally to develop an application, software engineering specifies the following stages;

  • Planning: Identify scope and boundary of problem, plan development strategies and goals.
  • Requirements analysis: what the project should do.
  • Design: How the project is going to work
  • Implementation & testing: Producing different media components and integrating them together using an authoring tool.
  • Support: Correcting errors, improving and enhancing.

These stages may be implemented in different ways;

  • Waterfall
  • Exploratory
  • Prototyping

Waterfall (1960s)

Waterfall development methodology

Formalises program development and facilitates documentation. Progress passes sequentially from one phase to the next (In reality overlap and revisiting occurs). Godfrey (1995) compared the waterfall model of SDLC to the Multimedia Development Life Cycle (MDLC) indicating that the two were very similar.


Exploratory programming

Implementing an initial solution and modifying until the project is complete. Suits multimedia game development. Requires rapid iterations and high level programming tools. Used when specifications difficult or correctness not paramount. This methodology is particularly suited to game program development.

Exploratory programming development methodology


Similar to exploratory programming, but the main objective is to generate requirements. Generally the prototype may be abandoned and the system written (often in another language).

Also suitable for games development, where concepts are explored then in the interests of performance the application is re-coded in a language that takes advantage of the hardware platforms. For example, development may be in Flash/Director with the final production version developed in C++.

Prototyping development methodology

Framework for Application System Technologies (FAST)

Framework for Application System Technologies (FAST) is a development of the System Development Life cycle (SDLC) methodology popular in the 1970s and 80s.

While initially designed for database systems is applicable to multimedia application development.

Framework for Application System Technologies (FAST) Methodology


Video production methods

In order to produce an effective video presentation, particularly where the project is large and/or complex, schedules need to be met, costs controlled, quality maintained and specifications adhered to video production methodologies will need to be followed. Video production can be approached in two ways:-

  • planned: organises and builds up a program in carefully arranged steps. May stifle originality.
  • empirical: uses instincts and opportunity. May lead to a production with little cohesion.

or combined, where it is planned but taking opportunities as they arise.

Video production process

Three phases :-


  • The pitch : After researching the topic, the producer presents the idea, feasibility, costs, timescales and projected revenue based on previous work.
  • The proposal: production overview document. Includes
    • an outline of how the subject is to be approached, a history of the company’s work, a treatment and a budget.
    • Plot lines, characters and situations.
    • Storyboard may be used when delivering a proposal
  • The treatment: an outline of the plot and the style to be used in conveying the story. i.e. the producer’s concept.
  • The script: a complete guide to the production. Not only the spoken text, but descriptions of scenes, including stage direction, in the order that they are to be shown in the proposed final video edit.
  • The script breakdown: the producer takes the script and divides it into manageable sections. Includes shotlist that defines exactly every camera set-up, lens framing, and video shot needed.
  • Storyboard: made up of a series of simple sketches, line drawings or photographs, and includes a description of movement within a scene (including camera instructions) and audio details


  • Recording of raw footage.

Post- Production

  • Image and sound editing.
  • Special effects, titles, archive material and audio overdubs are added.
  • Printing, delivery, and publicity.

Icon References.png References

  1. Lang, M. & Barry, C. (2001) A Survey of Multimedia and Web Development Techniques Usage. Web Engineering. April-June Issue. Retrieved February 21, 2006 from

Multimedia:Development. (2018). In virtualMV's ( Michael Verhaart ) wiki. Retrieved November 13, 2018, from    (zotero)