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A digital asset is any item of text or media that has been formatted into a binary source that includes the right to use it. A digital file without the right to use it is not an asset. Digital assets are categorised in three major groups which may be defined as textual content (digital assets), images (media assets) and multimedia (media assets) (van Niekerk, A.J. 2006).
Defining and distinguishing the different types of digital assets can aid in understanding the management of digital assets. There are a number of management systems related to digital asset management (Austerberry, 2004) including:
An art asset (media assets ), in computer graphics and related fields (particularly video game and visual effects production), is an individual piece of digital media used in the creation of a larger production. Art assets include synthetic and photographic bitmaps (often used for texture mapping), 3D models consisting of polygon meshes or curved surfaces, shaders, motion captured or hand-animated animation data, video and audio samples.
The term "art" is used to distinguish the creative (or real-world) elements of a production from the software or hardware used to create it, but there is no requirement that the data represents anything artistic.
Digital learning assets (DLAs) are digital assets focused on "learning". DLAs are any form of content and/or media that have been formatted into a binary source which include the right to use it for the purpose of "facilitating learning". DLAs are most commonly found in online learning (academic course work, corporate training, etc.).
Digital asset management is expected to be a multi-billion dollar industry as corporations and individuals migrate traditional graphic, broadcast and print assets to the digital format. Companies including Apple, Oracle, Microsoft, Getty Images and others are aggressively expanding their enterprises to provide third-party digital asset management via web-based repositories. This trend will continue as business and consumers evolve from traditional analog materials.
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