Sunday, January 6, 2013

Class Syllabus


This is an advanced course in digital media, with an emphasis on the moving image as a vehicle for expression. As a studio-based course, it will investigate the principles and processes of video editing, 2d animation, and other forms of motion graphics. This class will switch it's focus from 2d to 3d animation from year to year. We will learn the importance of storyboarding and acting, and move on to hands on camera and studio equipment demonstrations. For processing, industry standard software such as Adobe Premiere, After Effects, and Flash will be covered, among others.

Art382 is an upper level course for Digital media majors to use in the service of artistic exploration and portfolio development. Non art majors will find this class informative for multiple fields such as electronic publishing, journalism, communications, business, etc. I see it as a class for everyone to explore their ideas and have an enjoyable time doing so. Video and animation is more challenging then you may realize, because we are so accustomed to seeing it everyday. That said, it is because there is such a large audience for this particular set of skills that I think you will find a lot of pride and enjoyment in connecting with the work you do.


In this class students will learn….
• the make up the digital files as they relate to motion.
• basic camera and recording equipmentuse, from technical and compositional strategies.
• the basics of Adobe Create Suite 6
• how to add animation believably to static images.
• the interrelationships between the images, sound, and motion in our everyday experience. Then learn to interpret and critique them.
• a basic introduction to history and current issues in contemporary art related to video art, film, and animation.


1) Projects: Each student will complete a total of 4-5 (estimated) major class projects. These projects are due at the beginning of the class critique. They must also be in the format specified on the project description on the class blog. Incorrect or late projects will be assigned a point loss at the discretion of the instructor. Smaller class assignments may also be assigned weekly to tighten technical skills, so attendance is crucial.

2.) Critiques: Students are expected to participate in class critiques of works, both completed and in progress. As the term evolves, we will orient towards weekly progress critiques. Talking about your work and the work of others is a crucial aspect of design. Learning to articulate what your work is about is just as important as the actual making of the work. The ideas shared in an open critique will help us all learn from each other and greatly increase our ability to understand our creative practice.

3.) Blog: All assignments and related class material will be posted online. Specific tutorials, example videos, and other online source material will be assigned and posted on the blog as the course progresses.

4.) Supplies: USB Drive (4 gb is optimal, more is better), headphones, and later, blank DVDs.
5.) Equipment check out: we have video cameras, along with tripods, studio lights, steadicams, audio recorders, and more. There are DVD movies available for check out as well. All equipment, especially cameras, are due back the NEXT class period, or you will receive a grade deduction on the current project, and then your university records will be charged for the equipment.

6.) Attendance: mandatory at all class sessions. Class moves fast and it is extremely difficult to catch up unless you take responsibility and look up anything you missed. More than three absences (excused or unexcused, they are all the same) lower your final grade 1 grade down each absence. Come prepared for work in class or you will receive an absence. Looking at on the internet during a class discussion will give you an absent mark, no questions asked. Since most class material is covered at the beginning of class, being notably tardy also counts as an absence.

7.) Grading: There will be 4 or 5 (estimated) major projects that are worth 100 points. Students will be graded according to how well their projects reflect an understanding and a willingness to experiment with the techniques, issues and practices covered in class. The grade breaks down as follows: Concept and Creativity – 25%, Understanding and Execution of the project – 25%, Craftsmanship – 25%, Writing and Participation– 25%


Students are responsible for the frequent and methodical back-up of their class work over the course of the semester. Data loss—from a lost, fried and/or stolen hard drive, or satanic software - cannot be used as an excuse for late or missing work. Students are responsible for the re-creation of any required files that go lost or missing. Back up your work weekly.

Students are not permitted to use the internet or any electronic devices during lectures or student presentations. Cell Phones must be turned off unless instructed otherwise. Headphones must be used with video projects. if you want to surf the internet or talk on the phone you should do us all a favor and stay home.


Cheating, plagiarism (submitting another person’s materials or ideas as one’s own), or doing work for another person who will receive academic credit are all impermissible. Turning in work made before this class, or from other classes, is also a violation of academic honesty. Disciplinary action may be taken beyond the Department of Fine Arts.


It is the policy of Tarleton State University to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other applicable laws. If you are a student with a disability seeking accommodations for this course, please contact Trina Geye, Director of Student Disability Services, at 254.968.9400 or Student Disability Services is located in Math 201. More information can be found at or in the University Catalog.