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Chapter 4: 

Chapter 4 Computers in Arts and Entertainment


Overview Computer technology serves as a tool in a number of artistic processes. We will discuss: Music composing, recording, and distribution Dance notation and choreography Theater set design, lighting, and sound Sculpture, 3-D Media, and Graphic Arts Digital Photography and Video Computer Animation Athlete training and equipment design

Analog to Digital Conversion: 

Analog to Digital Conversion Data is processed in two ways: analog or digital Analog data is continuous (ex. wave patterns of sound or light) Digital data is sampled at particular rate (processed by computers as bits (0s and 1s)) For a computer to use the data, all analog data needs to be converted to digital. For humans to understand the data, it needs to be converted back to analog (the reverse process) An analog-to-digital converter (ADC) converts analog to digital A digital signal processor (DSP) utilizes the data A digital-to-analog converter (DAC) converts the data back to analog for output

Composing Music: 

Composing Music Music notation software allows for creating music electronically. For example: Set up a score with instruments, time signature, and key signature Input notes directly to a computer, or use electronic instrument, or scanner Listen to the score on the computer and edit it as needed Print out score and parts, or post to the Web


Music notation software

Playing and Recording Music: 

Playing and Recording Music Music can be created or performed using a synthesizer A synthesizer creates sound using digital instructions from the user The MIDI standard is used to represent music in digital form A MIDI port allows for an electronic instrument to be connected to a computer The MIDI protocol contains series of messages that describe the action of a musical performance Messages can be saved in a MIDI file format Other music file formats are WAV, and MP3 (compression format)


Using an electronic keyboard to record music

Editing Music: 

Editing Music Audio-editing software lets you modify audio clips and produce studio-quality soundtracks and songs Works like a musical word processor with editing functions to modify any track It allows for mixing and incorporating of MIDI tracks with other audio tracks Also for creating special effects such as echo or delay and adjusting of speed, tempo, pitch, tone, notes, or timbre


Audio-editing software

Performing Music: 

Performing Music Amplifiers and speakers can be computer-controlled when outputting sound from instruments Soundboard computers can be used to balance the sound or volume, and create special lighting and sound effects Computer programs can help train performers There is a Digital Conducting Feedback System, which conductors can use to practice arm movements Electrodes are placed on the arms and a computer generates the sounds of the orchestra based on the arm movements

Distributing Music: 

Distributing Music High-quality digital music is recorded and distributed on optical media, such as CDs and DVDs Users can obtain music online, or download MP3 files to disk or MP3 player Copyright protection has become an issue with the rise of P2P file-sharing networks Music, movies, and software are protected by U.S. copyright law The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) are working to stop the piracy of copyrighted materials


Copyright Infringement Policy


Dance Dance notation software captures movement as a series of symbols to provide a guide for staging Software implements one of several dance notations in use today Choreographers use animation software packages to plan the movements of dancers Dancers may electronically document a dance fully for future staging Historical documents, costumes, production information, and digital audio and videos of performances Dancers may use motion capture devices to analyze their dance movements and create virtual partners Dancers wear sensors which transmit data to a base station


Dance animation software


Motion capture technology


Theater Computer applications exist which may be used in theatre to create, design, and test various elements of a production Computer-aided design (CAD) systems are available for use with stage design Recently much of the stage lighting process has been computer automated Computer-controlled soundboard and related software are available to sound designers Costume designers electronically store measurements Finally, box offices may use software to handle ticket sales

Sculpture and 3-D Media: 

Sculpture and 3-D Media Sculptors may use CAD software to create a 3-D digital model to used as a guide 3-D scanning is available to scan an existing object and manipulate it with related software Uses a fine line of laser light across the surface The Digital Michelangelo project used a 3-D scanning system to archive the artist’s works Computer numerically controlled (CNC) milling machines use the digital model as input to shape the desired medium Telesculpture allows artists to collaborate on a work electronically


The Digital Michelangelo project

Graphics Arts: 

Graphics Arts Computer software may be used to create graphics (called rendering) Can include illustrations, cartoons, simulations, and designs for new art Illustration software allows you to render art with a mouse or graphic tablet Contains digital pencils, brush, pastels, erasers, etc. Fractal art can be created with graphic software A fractal is a geometric pattern repeated at ever smaller (or larger) scales Computer-generated fractals use mathematical formulas to create art


Fractal software


Photography A digital camera allows users to take pictures and store the electronic images on a storage medium Three types of digital cameras Studio Field Point-and-shoot


Benefits of Digital Photography


A variety of miniature mobile storage media

Digital Photo Editing: 

Digital Photo Editing Digital images can be edited with photo-editing software. Some features include: Adjust contrast and brightness Remove red-eye Crop images Remove or add elements Add special effects Remove blemishes and wrinkles Ethical concerns have been raised about altering digital photos for news magazines and newspapers


Digital photo editing in photojournalism

Copyright Concerns: 

Copyright Concerns Sharing digital photos and computer graphics over the Internet raise unique copyright concerns Files can be protected by using a digital watermark Embedded digital code that makes imperceptible changes to a digital document A reading device or software provided by the vendor can be used to view the watermark


Image without watermark Image with watermark View of imperceptible watermark

Television and Movies: 

Television and Movies Movies today are often shot using digital video The video can be distributed to many theatres using a satellite system Cinemas are in the process of upgrading to digital projection systems Digital video (DV) cameras work in much the same way as digital cameras Three types of DV cameras Studio, field, and point-and-shoot

Digital Video Editing: 

Digital Video Editing Video editing software allows fir editing digital video Automatically splits the video into smaller, more manageable scenes Allows for cutting out, or pruning, unwanted parts, editing individual scenes, and adding titles or logos Morphing is a special effect in which one image is transformed into another over several frames Video composition is the process of integrating two or more elements into one complete scene Used to integrate special effects Can use a blue or green screen technique to film the subject (and digitally fill in the background later)

Digital Video Editing, cont.: 

Digital Video Editing, cont. Audio effects can be added using video editing software Finished scenes are combined into a complete video by adding transitional effects between scenes Black-and-white movies can be colorized much faster with video editing software The old film is scanned into the computer to create a digital version A process called interpolation involves manually coloring key frames; the computer uses algorithms to determine colors for the other frames and automatically fills the colors in The same ethical concerns arise with digital video as with digital photos


A meteorologist’s green screen

Computer Animation: 

Computer Animation In 3-D animation, every object in a scene has to be sculpted in 3-D to form a wireless model Mesh-like set of lines that follow the contours of the object Skin, hair and other textures are mapped on to the wireframe The software generates an image and adds final effects The images are placed in an animation sequence Key frame animation focuses on the key frames in an animation sequence The animation software program computes the positions between the top and bottom of the sequence in a process called tweening


The 3-D animation process


Sports CAD software is used to design all types of sports equipment Computers are also used as virtual coaches and nutritionists Coaches and athletes use video cameras and motion capture to analyze and improve performance Clocks are coordinated by a GPS-based system for many Olympic venues Virtual reality technologies are becoming part of athletic and gymnastic training Umpires may use a computerized system to evaluate their accuracy


Conclusion Computer technology may be used in the arts and entertainment industries to Write, record, perform, and distribute music Choreograph, record, and enhance dance performances Design theatre sets, lighting, and sound systems Create 3-D sculpture models and generate fractals Produce digital photos and videos Create computer animations Create sports equipment, train athletes, and time results

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