Site Network: um_bloggers | imagebank | videoworks | business home

Welcome to

All art is but imitation of nature.

- Seneca, Epistles


3. 共享資源 Goodies

3.1 Free Reference Guides for Video Production 


3.1 Free Reference Guide for Video Production

3.1.1 Multimedia Freeware 多媒體自由或共享軟件
3.1.2 Multimedia File format 多媒體檔案
3.1.3 Codec and Compression Technology 編碼、解碼及壓縮技術
3.1.4 Home Video Production Process 影音製作程序
3.1.5 Glossary of AV Technology 技術名詞

3.2 Animated Gif Icon

3.1.2 Multimedia Info Sources 多媒體資訊

File Format 檔案格式

Short for A udio I nterchange F ile F ormat, a common format for storing and transmitting sampled sound.The format was developed by Apple Computer and is the standard audio format for Macintosh computers.It is also used by Silicon Graphics Incorporated (SGI). AIFF supports a variety of bit resolutions, samples ratea and channels of audio.
Advanced Systems Format (formerly Advanced Streaming Format ) is Microsoft 's proprietary digital audio / digital video container format , especially meant for streaming media . ASF is part of the Windows Media framework. The format does not specify how (i.e. with which codec ) the video or audio should be encoded; it just specifies the structure of the video/audio stream. This is similar to the function performed by the QuickTime , AVI , or Ogg container formats. One of the objectives of ASF was to support playback from digital media servers , HTTP servers , and local storage devices .
Audio Video Interleave , known by its acronym AVI , is a multimedia container format introduced by Microsoft in November 1992 as part of its Video for Windows technology
A representation, consisting of rows and columns of dots, of a graphic image in computer memory. The value of each dot (whether it is filled in or not) is stored in one or more bits of data. For simple monochromes images, one bit is sufficient to represent each dot, but for colors and shades of gray, each dot requires more than one bit of data. The more bits used to represent a dot, the more colors and shades of gray that can be represented.
Digital audio
Refers to the reproduction and transmission of sound stored in a digital format. This includes CDs as well as any sound files stored on a computer. In contrast, the telephone system (but not ISDN ) is based on an analog representation of sound. In sound recording and reproduction systems, digital audio refers to a digital representation of the audio waveform for processing, storage or transmission. When analog sound waves are stored in digital form, each digital audio file can be decomposed into a series of samples.
Digital Video
Refers to the capturing, manipulation and storage of video in digital formats. A digital video (DV) camcorder, for example, is a video camera that captures and stores images on a digital medium such as a DAT.
A DVD that is created with and contains only digital audio files in the MP3 format. Not all DVD players can play DVD-MP3 discs
Encapsulated PostScript , or EPS , is a DSC -conforming PostScript document with additional restrictions intended to make EPS files usable as a graphics file format . In other words, EPS files are more-or-less self-contained, reasonably predictable PostScript documents that describe an image or drawing, that can be placed within another PostScript document.
FLV ( Flash Video ) is a proprietary file format used to deliver video over the Internet using Adobe Flash Player (formerly known as Macromedia Flash Player) version 6, 7, 8, or 9. FLV content may also be embedded within SWF files. Notable users of the FLV format include YouTube , Google Video , and MySpace. Flash Video is viewable on most operating systems, via the widely available Adobe Flash Player and web browser plugin , or one of several third-party programs such as Media Player Classic (with the ffdshow codecs installed), MPlayer , or VLC media player .
A design for a set of characters. A font is the combination of typeface and other qualities, such as size, pitch, and spacing. For example, Times Roman is a typeface that defines the shape of each character. Within Times Roman, however, there are many fonts to choose from -- different sizes, italic, bold, and so on. (The term font is often used incorrectly as a synonym for typeface .) .
Graphic Interchange Format. An 8-bit bitmapped Web graphics file format using indexed colour, which can permit one arbitrary colour to be defined as transparent. A file format commonly used for images on the Web. GIFs are especially suitable for images composed of relatively few colors, such as logos or vector graphics.
Graphic, Bitmap
Images are laid out in pixels , much like dots of paint on a canvas. As such, bitmap objects are not independent entities, which can be singled out for manipulation, but patterned series of dots. To enlarge (or reduce) bitmap images, the number of pixels is increased (decreased), often giving the resulting image a jagged appearance. (See anti-aliasing .) Scanners produce bitmap images (.TIF), as does Windows' PaintBrush (.BMP, .PCX): Bitmaps are one of the most commonly compatible types of image formats.
Graphic, Vector
Graphics consisting of objects, each of which can be separately manipulated - e.g. sized, moved, (un)grouped, positioned to the back/front. The graphic components are calculated, hence can be sized without distortion. File formats include: AutoCAD DXF, CBM, EPS, HGL, PIC, DRW, WMF, WPG.
Short for H yper T ext M arkup L anguage, the authoring language used to create documents on the World Wide Web . HTML is similar to SGML , although it is not a strict subset. HTML defines the structure and layout of a Web document by using a variety of tags and attributes . The correct structure for an HTML document starts with (enter here what document is about) and ends with . All the information you'd like to include in your Web page fits in between the and tags.
Short for J oint P hotographic E xperts Group , the original name of the committee that wrote the standard. JPG is one of the image file formats supported on the Web.
MIDI ( Musical Instrument Digital Interface ) is an industry-standard electronic communications protocol that enables electronic musical instruments , computers and other equipment to communicate, control and synchronize with each other in real time.
Knowing the type of audio to be sampled and the intended purpose
MPEG Audio Stream, Layer I file format
MPEG Audio Stream, Layer II file format
MPEG -1 Audio Layer 3 , more commonly referred to as MP3 , is a popular digital audio encoding, lossy compression format , and algorithm , designed to greatly reduce the amount of data required to represent audio, yet still sound like a faithful reproduction of the original uncompressed audio to most listeners. It was invented by a team of German engineers of the Fraunhofer Society , who worked in the framework of the EUREKA 147 DAB digital radio research program, and it became an ISO / IEC standard in 1991 .
A series of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards for digital video and audio, designed for different uses and data rates.
OGG Vorbis
Ogg Vorbis is an audio compression format, comparable to other formats used to store and play digital music, but differs in that it is free, open and unpatented. The Ogg Vorbis specification is in the public domain and if freely available for commercial or noncommercial use. In Ogg Vorbis, Ogg refers to the Ogg Project which is an Open Source multimedia initiative, while Vorbis is the actual compression format
OpenType is a scalable computer font format initially developed by Microsoft , later joined by Adobe Systems . OpenType was first announced in 1996, with a significant number of OpenType fonts starting to ship in 2000–2001. Adobe completed conversion of its entire font library to OpenType around the end of 2002. As of early 2005 , there were around 10,000 fonts available in OpenType format, with Adobe's library making up under a third of the total. As of 2006, every major font foundry and many minor ones were developing fonts in OpenType format.
PICT is a file format that was developed by Apple Computer in 1984 as the native format for Macintosh graphics. PICT files are encoded in QuickDraw commands. The PICT format is a meta-format that can be used for both bitmap images and vector images.
PNG ( Portable Network Graphics ) is a bitmap image format that employs lossless data compression . PNG was created to improve and replace the GIF format, as an image-file format not requiring a patent license. PNG is pronounced " ping " ( /p??/ in IPA ), but can be spoken "P-N-G" to avoid confusion with network tool ping . PNG is supported by the libpng reference library (platform-independent), with C functions for handling PNG images.
Type 1 outline fonts (also known as Postscript, Postscript Type 1, PS1, T1 or Adobe PostcScript Type 3 or PS3, T3 or Adobe Type 3) were developed by Adobe for professional digital typesetting.
A video and animation system developed by Apple Computer. QuickTime is built into the Macintosh operating system and is used by most Mac applications that include video or animation. PCs can also run files in QuickTime format, but they require a special QuickTime driver
Real Audio
RealAudio is a proprietary audio format developed by RealNetworks . It uses a variety of audio codecs , ranging from low-bitrate formats that can be used over dialup modems, to high-fidelity formats for music. It can also be used as a streaming audio format, that is played at the same time as it is downloaded. Many internet radio stations use RealAudio to stream their programming over the internet in real time. The first version of RealAudio was released in 1995 . As of 2006 , the current version is RealAudio 10.
RIFF is a file structure for multimedia resource files, it is not a file format but rather the structure that defines the class of more specific file formats, such as WAV and AVI. The RIFF format specifications were first developed by IBM and Microsoft, and published by in 1991 in "Microsoft Windows Multimedia Programmer's Reference". Since 1990 no new multimedia file formats have used the RIFF file structure
Scalable Vector Graphics ( SVG ) is an XML markup language for describing two-dimensional vector graphics , both static and animated , and either declarative or scripted. Images can contain hyperlinks using outbound simple XLinks [2] . It is an open standard created by the World Wide Web Consortium
SWF is a proprietary vector graphics file format produced by the Flash software from Adobe (formerly Macromedia ). Intended to be small enough for publication on the web, SWF files can contain animations or applets of varying degrees of interactivity and function. SWF is also sometimes used for creating animated display graphics and menus for DVD movies, and television commercials. The Flash program produces SWF files as a compressed and uneditable final product, whereas it uses the .fla format for its editable working files.
Truevision's (now Pinnacle Systems ) TGA File Format , often referred to as TARGA File Format , is a raster graphics file format . It was the native format of Truevision Inc. 's TARGA and VISTA boards, which were the first graphic cards for IBM-compatible PCs to support Highcolor / truecolor display. This family of graphic cards were intended for professional computer image synthesis and video editing with PCs; for this reason, usual resolutions of TGA image files matches those of the NTSC and PAL video formats.
Tagged Image File Format (abbreviated TIFF ) is a file format for mainly storing images , including photographs and line art . Originally created by the company Aldus , jointly with Microsoft , for use with PostScript printing, TIFF is a popular format for high color depth images, along with JPEG and PNG .
Digital Photography Review
TrueType is an outline font standard originally developed by Apple Computer in the late 1980s as a competitor to Adobe 's Type 1 fonts used in PostScript . The primary strength of TrueType was originally that it offered font developers a high degree of control over precisely how their fonts are displayed, right down to particular pixels, at various font heights.
The format for storing sound in files developed jointly by Microsoft and IBM. Support for WAV files was built into Windows 95 making it the de facto standard for sound on PCs. WAV sound files end with a.wav extension and can be played by nearly all Windows applications that support sound.
Web Solution
Windows Media Audio ( WMA ) is a proprietary compressed audio file format developed by Microsoft . It was initially intended to be a competitor to the popular MP3 format, but has not yet received such popularity. However, with the introduction of WMA Pro and Apple 's iTunes Music Store , WMA has positioned itself as a competitor to the Advanced Audio Coding format used by Apple and is part of Microsoft's Windows Media framework. A large number of consumer devices, ranging from portable hand-held music players and handphones to set-top DVD players , support the playback of WMA files.
Web Solution

Digital Video File Format Comparision

640x480² 640x480² 320x240² 720x480
Sorenson, Cinepak, MPEG4 ...
Video bitrate
MP1, MP2, AC3, DTS, PCM MP1, MP2, AC3, DTS, PCM MP3, WMA, OGG, AAC, AC3 QDesign Music, MP3 ... RM DV
Audio bitrate
Min/74min CD
10-20min ~4min
60-180min 30-180
7-18hrs 3-18hrs 14-35hrs 20min
13-30hrs 6-30hrs 25-65hrs 37min
DVD Player Compatibility
Great Good Excellent None Few None None None
Computer CPU Usage
Low High Very High Super high Very High High Low High
Good Great* Excellent* Superb* Great* Great* Decent* Excellent
kbps = thousand bits per second
Mbps = million bits per second
² approximately resolution, it can be higher or lower
~ approximately bitrate, it can be higher or lower
ª DVD with lower video quality, similiar to VCD/SVCD video quality
* the video quality depends on the bitrate and the video resolution, higher bitrate and higher resolution generally means better video quality but bigger file size

Credit 鳴謝

Credit and thanks are hereby granted to all those vendors, their colleagues and collaborating voluntary programmers who contribute their works to the general public for free.


Our Belief in Sharing

After releasing our stock photos for public sharing for more than 1 year, we consolidate our belief in our move to embrace free licence. Last year we released our calendar under creative common licence but we decided to releasae our works under our own free licence for some considerations. Now it's time for us to tell the public our thinking.

Someone claim that the majority of people may enjoy wealth generated from their creative work. So our legislators  have drafted and passed a series of law for the protection of intellectual property. However, under the copyright ordinance, we cannot be sure if a piece of work is allowed to be copied, shared, distributed, reproduced or modified without a complete knowledge about the details of license even though we are willing to pay for the use of it. For the peace of mind, we must create everything from the very beginning together with a thorough prior art search confirming that there is no similar wrok in the world.  However, the new ordinances have not helped too much in protecting our creative works. Customers, including government departments, are expecting "free  demo design service" early  in the stage of tendering quotation for jobs involving the elements of creation.    

The problem is not limited to this. Nobody is able to tell if his idea would coinside with someone living and working in elsewhere of the world. This intrinsic defect of the so-called intellectual property have given rise to the overwhelming rent seeking activities of a group of professional litigators who take advantages from champerty and maintenance. These brave new ordinances, to some extent, have legalized their legal extortion from innocent people. In Hong Kong, their victims are mainly SMEs, especially small retailers or service providers. It's hard for outsiders to imagine how and why a lawful and well disciplined retailer keep receiveing legal letters from prominent law firms representing prominent content providers or trademark owners claiming hundred thousands dollars for the infringement of copyright just for selling stationery of dollars and cents only because it  is deemed by these smart heads to be "too similar" to what they possess. In Western countries, even the wealthy gigantic corporates are their targets. 

Then some people stood up and vowed that this "permission culture" was not the thing they want but that they valued the joy of sharing and recognition of their idea more than money. They realize that whether  or not a piece of work can generate profit relies on the popularity but not the promise of law. In software industry, some vendors introduce the idea of "SAAS" (software as a service) and support the open source movement. In creative industry, some artists start to release their work free of charge to the public for gaining the  popularity and make their money from the provision of service. Thus a number of free license like "creative common", "copyleft", "wiki-common" or "GPL" were created to get around the restriction of copyright which is granted to the creator automatically as a natural right by most of the prevailing legal systems in our world. To the astonishment of a lot of ordinary people, in just a few years, more and more authors have joined the camp of "free culture" and released their work under various kinds of free license.  They contribute their effort in building a more beautiful world. 

However, do not confuss piracy with "free culture".  Advocates of free culture only share with others their own creation but not pirated property from others. Actually, they respect the right of the author of all intellectual property. Whether or not to release their work under free license remain their own choice. 

This point is important when using our hyper-links to these 3rd party web site providing free resources to artists all over the world. We respect the will and the right of the author of all intellectual properties. When we provide the information and hyper-link of these web-sites, we believe that their activities and content are lawful and ethical. Hence, before you visit those webs, please read our disclaimer once again. If you find any abuse or obsession, please email to "".

Taking the most pragmatic point of view, the action of releasing free works to the public may be regarded as a "free demo service" like what a contractor provides in  tendering a quotation for a project. Nevertheless, as a humble person, we should believe in the pure intention of some people who only demand for  echo in return for what they have shared with  the world.

- 11/12/2008