The very word "digital" has acquired a status that far exceeds its humble dictionary definition. Even the prefix digital, when associ ated with familiar sectors such as radio, television, photography and telecommunications, has reinvented these industries, and provided a unique opportunity to refresh them with new start-up companies, equipment, personnel, training and working practices - all of which are vital to modern national and international economies. The last century was a period in which new media stimulated new job opportunities, and in many cases created totally new sectors: video competed with film, CDs transformed LPs, and computer graphics threatened traditional graphic design sectors. Today, even the need for a physical medium is in question. The virtual digital domain allows the capture, processing, transmission, storage, retrieval and display of text, images, audio and animation without familiar materials such as paper, celluloid, magnetic tape and plastic. But moving from these media to the digital domain intro duces all sorts of problems, such as the conversion of analog archives, multimedia databases, content-based retrieval and the design of new content that exploits the benefits offered by digital systems. It is this issue of digital content creation that we address in this book. Authors from around the world were invited to comment on different aspects of digital content creation, and their contributions form the 23 chapters of this volume.
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