Skip to Main Content
Skip to Library Help widget

Multimedia Projects

This guide is to help students who need or want to work on multimedia projects for non-multimedia classes and majors as well as for students who are new to multimedia production.

CMS Resources

West Wing Computers/Software

computer on a desk with headphones

High-end HP and iMac computers adjacent to the CMS loaded with industry standard media editing/digital design software are available to CSUN students during CSUN University Library hours. For more information on computer specs and software available visit our computer/software information page.

Multimedia Equipment Checkout

green screen, cameras, lighting

Equipment such as cameras, tripods, audio recorders, microphones, green screens, lighting, and much more are available for checkout through the CMS. For a full list of equipment visit our equipment page. 

Helpful Tutorials

Photography Concepts


Exposure - Overall brightness or darkness of a photograph. When photographing, can be altered with shutter speed, aperture, and ISO setting.

Contrast - Tool in photography to highlight different tones and colors to bring attention to textures, colors, and clarity.

Rule of Thirds - Dividing image evenly into thirds horizontally and vertically. Placing subjects within the lines and crosshairs will increase interest and balance.

Framing - Using elements to create a frame within the photo composition to draw attention to specific areas 

Manual Camera Settings

Shutter Speed - Length of time the camera shutter is open, exposing light onto camera sensor or film. Affects brightness and motion sensitivity.

Aperture - Size of hole within the lens that controls amount of light onto camera sensor or film. Affects depth of field or blurriness of a photo

White balance - Adjustment to the intensities of colors within different light settings. Affects tone and mood of photo.

ISO - Controls camera's sensor sensitivity to light to attain correct exposure. Can affect brightness and amount of noise in a photo.

Image Specifications

Picture Resolution

Depending on how you are using images, be aware of picture resolution which is measured in pixels per inch (PPI). See below the recommended pixels for different types of media.

  • 600 PPI - Professional printing 
  • 200 to 300 PPI - Non-professional printing 
  • 72 PPI - Web 

A good rule of thumb when photographing images, you should always shoot in the highest resolution so you have enough information to then edit and size down later. 

File Formats

There are many types of different image file formats and they can be used for different purposes.

  • JPEG (.jpg, .jpeg) -
    • Smaller files size with compressed image
    • Popular for digital cameras and general web or printing uses
  • PNG (.png) -
    • Larger file size with greater detail that can support transparent background
    • Not recommended for printing 
    • Popular for web and creative projects like Photoshop
  • GIF (.gif) -
    • Small file size that supports transparent backgrounds and animation 
    • Mainly used for web graphics
  • RAW (.raw, .cr2, .nef, and more)
    • Large file size with no compressions usually created by DSLR camera or scans
    • Must be processed in editing software like Photoshop or Lightroom and exported as another file type before printing and distribution
  • TIFF (.tif, .tiff)
    • Very large file size for high-quality images that supports transparent backgrounds
    • Best used for high quality prints 

Aspect Ratio

Aspect ratio refers to the width and height of an image. Some common ratios include: 

  • 1x1 - Square image size popular with prints, web, and especially social media
  • 3x2 (Other common instances: 1080x720 and 6x4) - Similar to 35mm film image size popular with print 
  • 4x3 (Other common instances: 1024x768 and 8x6) - Popular with TV, monitors, and cameras.
  • 16x9 (Other common instances: 1920x1080 and 1280x720) - Popular with monitors, widescreen TV, videos, and movies. 

Finding and Using Images

Finding Images on Google

On Google, you can find a ton of free images but you should be careful of copyright restrictions.

After searching for an image, click on Tools and then on Usage rights. From there, you can pick whichever of the options applies to you for the image you are searching:

  • Labeled for reuse with modification
  • Labeled for reuse
  • Labeled for noncommercial reuse with modification
  • Labeled for noncommercial reuse

Google Image Search - search for image, click on tools, click on Usage Rights, click on the option that applies to you

Other resources to find free images include:

Creating Graphics & Photo Manipulation

Web based software (mostly free but you can pay for premiums) to create graphics:

  • Canva
    Create graphics, posters, and other graphic design elements using this free tool. 
  • PiktoChart
    Free tool for creating infographics. There might be some fees for premium templates 
    Free tool for creating infographics. Premium graphics may require payment. 
  • Venngage
    Tool for creating infographics. Account and initial templates are free. Additional templates, designs, and download options require payment.

Software for image manipulation, photo editing, and graphics:

Free software for download:

Adobe Creative Cloud software:

  • Adobe Photoshop - Wikipedia Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator - Wikipedia Illustrator
  • Adobe InDesign - Wikipedia InDesign
  •  Spark

Available for CSUN students to download and install at no additional cost. To get started, submit a request to the IT Help Center. For more information please visit CSUN IT.

Report ADA Problems with Library Services and Resources