{short description of image}Standards for multimedia

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Imaging standards compared | SEDRIS | VRML | Web3D SDK | WebCGM Profile | GeoVRML 1.0 | Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) | MPEG | IEEE 1394

Imaging standards compared

An article published in Web Review focuses on three imaging standards that are in development: PNG, SVG, and JPEG 2000. The article discusses what they are, their relative strengths and how they are likely to be implemented once they have completed the standardisation process.

URL: http://webreview.com/wr/pub/1999/08/13/feature/index3.html

Synthetic environment interchange standard

ISO/.IES JTC1 SC24 produces graphics and imaging standards such as PREMO (PResentation Environments for Multimedia Objects), VRML, and Synthetic Environment Data Representation and Interchange Specification (SEDRIS). The SEDRIS group is largely sponsored by the Defense Modelling and Simulation Office of the US DOD. The standards are concerned with specifying interchange formats for environmental data and are related to GI interchange standards.

URL: http://www.bsi.org.uk/sc24/sc24/news.htm
URL: http://www.sedris.org

VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language)

Web3D Consortium (formerly the VRML Consortium)

The Web3D Consortium is concerned with the standardisation of "multiple technologies for 3D on the Internet". Originally based on work carried-out by the VRML Consortium the organisation aims to create a suite of interoperating standards targeted at specific market segments.

URL: Web3D Consortium http://www.web3d.org
URL: VRML standards http://www.vrml.org/consort/Specs.html
URL: VRML FAQ http://www.vrml.org/VRML_FAQ.html
URL: ISO http://www.iso.ch

Web3D Software Development Kits

The Web3D Consortium develops and distributes Software Development Kits (SDK) containing the latest Web3D technologies, source code and software tools to encourage and enable the digital media industry to develop 3D content for the web. For details on the material contained in the Web3D SDK and to download it, visit the web site below.

URL: http://sdk.web3d.org/
URL: Web3D Consortium http://www.web3d.org/

GeoVRML 1.0

GeoVRML was an effort to provide support for representing and visualising geographic data using standard VRML97 (Virtual Reality Modeling Language). GeoVRML 1.0 includes a Recommended Practice document that makes recommendations on how to extend VRML to support geographic applications. It also includes an open source sample implementation of the new nodes that are described in this document.

This work is a product of the GeoVRML Working Group, an official working group of the Web3D Consortium.

URL: download page for docs. and programmes http://www.ai.sri.com/geovrml/1.0/
URL: home page http://www.geovrml.org

Internet 3D data transmission

Scientists from Bell Labs, the research and development arm of Lucent Technologies and the California Institute of Technology apparently developed a technique to transmit detailed 3D data on the Internet. The researchers have announced a digital geometry compression algorithm.

Reports suggest their technique is twelve times more efficient than the method standardised in MPEG4 and six times more efficient than the best previously published method. One aspect of the team's approach is an original use of wavelet transformation instead of by signal processing based on Fourier transforms. Another key element was the collaborators' "subdivision," a novel way of building smooth surfaces. The papers are published on the web at the URLs below.

URL: http://cm.bell-labs.com/who/wim/papers/compression/
URL: http://cm.bell-labs.com/who/wim/papers/normalmesh/
URL: VR topic news on El.pub base02vt.htm

Three-Dimensional Markup Language (3DML)

Flatland Online claim that Three-Dimensional Markup Language (3DML) and their Flatland Rover "browser": " will enable the creation of 3D web sites which can be displayed using the Rover web browser extension for Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer".

3DML uses a basic building block metaphor that lets users create 3D spaces by arranging ready-made blocks into complete environments. Flatland has created building block sets (such as billboards, lampposts, walls, trees, houses) that offer builders architectural components and buildings for use on their 3D Web sites. The software and 3DML source code can be downloaded from the Flatland site along with tutorials and 3DML building guides.

URL: http://www.flatland.com
URL: http://www.3DML.org

WebCGM Profile

Developed collaboratively between W3C and the CGM Open Consortium, the WebCGM profile reflects cross-industry agreement on an interoperable way to exchange dynamic, hyperlinked Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM) files over the web. CGM is an ISO standard graphics format widely used in the aerospace, defence, automotive and medical industries, for example in interactive online technical manuals. Use of the profile, which describes which features of CGM are to be used, and in precisely what way, should ensure interoperability of the file format over the web, the developers believe.

URL: http://www.w3.org/Graphics/WebCGM/

Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG)

The W3C develop the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) specification: "a vendor-neutral, cross-platform and ubiquitous Web-specific format for XML vector graphics".

URL: http://www.w3.org/Graphics/SVG/


The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG)

The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) is a working group of ISO/IEC in charge of the development of international standards for compression, decompression, processing, and coded representation of moving pictures, audio and their combination. So far MPEG has produced:

MPEG usually holds three meetings a year. These comprise plenary meetings and subgroup meetings on Requirements, Delivery, Systems, Video, Audio, SNHC, Test, Implementation, DSM and Liaison. MPEG meetings are attended by some 300 experts from 20 countries. Further information from the official MPEG home page.

MPEG-4 Industry Forum

MPEG-4 Industry Forum's (M4IF) objective is to further the adoption of the MPEG-4 Standard, by establishing MPEG-4 as an accepted and widely used standard among application developers, service providers, content creators and end users. The forum runs a web site which provides:

URL: Contact Rob Koenen mailto:R.H.Koenen@kpn.com
URL: MPEG-4 Industry Forum http://www.m4if.org/
URL: M4IF meeting http://www.m4if.org/meetings.html
URL: MPEG home page http://www.cselt.it/mpeg/

MPEG-4 reviewed

The e-zine and web-based publication, "Music for New Media" Issue 36, features a brief article which discusses the advantages of "Structured Audio" - a part of the MPEG-4 audio standard. The article's authors, a group of composers, sound designers and software-developers have been researching and experimenting with MP4-SA "for quite some time now" - with their first results available via the web.

To subscribe to the newsletter, see the link on the Electronic Journals page of El.pub.

URL: structured audio link http://www.saol.net/
URL: tutorials http://www.streamingmedia.com/tutorials/index.asp
URL: E-Journals on El.pub base11.htm

MPEG audio resources

Starting points on the web for MPEG audio:

a major source for MPEG-4 audio with links to a wealth of other resources

URL: http://sound.media.mit.edu/mpeg4/audio/

MPEG-4 Structured Audio is the collective name for a set of tools which allow powerful and flexible description of sound in a variety of ways. Tools based on the MPEG-4 standard will be the future platform for computer music, audio for gaming, streaming Internet radio, and other multimedia applications. This site is the best place to learn about these new developments in computer sound processing.

URL: http://sound.media.mit.edu/mpeg4/

Pro-MPEG Forum

The main focus of the Pro-MPEG Forum is to promote interoperability of professional broadcast systems based on MPEG-2 compression technology. The Forum is an association of broadcasters and programme makers, equipment manufacturers and component suppliers. Specifically, its objectives are to:

promote interoperability of MPEG-2 equipment and applications in the professional TV programme making and broadcasting environment throughout the world;
provide a forum where manufacturers and users of MPEG-2 equipment and applications can proactively cooperate to test the interoperability and ensure consistent use of MPEG-2 throughout the television programme production and distribution chain;
propose guidelines and codes of practice to augment MPEG-2 standards and accelerate their implementation;
promote, through demonstration and education, the use of MPEG-2 as an open standard for use in all stages of television, high definition television and professional multi-media production and distribution.
The Forum will also be considering how to integrate compressed video from legacy and alternative formats such as Motion JPEG, Digital Betacam and DV based systems.

URL: http://www.pro-mpeg.org

ITU digital TV standards expanded

The means of connecting a cable television feed into a videocassette recorder (VCR) and digital television set (DTV) will become easier thanks to an international standard approved by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The interface standard, numbered Recommendation J.117 and entitled: "Home Digital Network Interface Specification" is applicable to both high definition TV (HDTV) and to conventional TV sets worldwide. Extensions of this standard will also apply to PCs and other networked devices. The ITU is also working on an ITU-T Recommendation J.95 which it is hoping will provide the basis for providing programme content owners with a recognised system to protect their work from "possible signal theft".

URL: http://www.itu.int/

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Last up-dated: 16 February 2024

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