IntroductionImages, both still and moving, form the core of multimedia applications and it is a commonly held view that illustrations can be used to enhance computer-based learning material (courseware) and the learning process. This view is largely based on experience rather than research, although Duchastel and Waller (1979) stated that the 'common view' was that most texts can be enhanced by the addition of illustrations. Illustrations include simple line diagrams, graphs and charts, flow diagrams or photo-realistic (representational) images.
This booklet is divided into four sections. First, we will take a brief look at the evidence supporting the view that illustrations enhance learning. The second section will discuss the capture, manipulation, storage and delivery of photo-realistic images for use in the production of computer-based learning material, although other types of illustrations will be considered where appropriate. An evaluation of several image capture cards makes up the third section. Finally, the fourth section describes some software tools developed to facilitate image conversion and manipulation and the optimisation of image palettes for the preparation of images for inclusion in computer-based learning programs. Details of how to obtain these tools are given in the relevant section.
This handbook was first published under the Information Technology Training Initiative (ITTI) and has been updated under the Support Initiative for Multimedia Applications (SIMA) to include sections 3 and 4. Under this initiative a further publication ˘Evaluation of Image Capture Pathways for Multimedia Application÷ (Steele et al., 1994) has been produced. The aims of this project were to investigate the various methods and choices of image capture, the costs and quality of image obtained for each method and to determine the best approach needed depending on the type of source material available. This publication and that of Robinson (1993), Williams (1993) and Williams and Hammond (1994) should be read in conjunction with the following information.
This booklet is by no means an exhaustive account of the subject and the authors do not pretend to be educational experts. The first section is referenced and a further reading list for the remaining parts is provided, which should be read in conjunction with this handbook. For the first section the author has relied heavily upon and quoted freely from Clark (1992).
During the course of this account the words illustration, image, picture and graphic are used synonymously.