Media Arts

This full year course is designed to instruct students in using the computer to produce computer generated artwork. Art projects will be created with digital cameras, scanners, video cameras, and color printers. The focus will be placed on computer graphic arts and some animation/video production though fundamental principles of two dimensional art will play a key role in the course. Students must have completed one elective in art or photography to take this advanced course.

1 CREDIT, Full Year Course

Course Materials:

  • A toned sketchbook (tan or grey).
  • A USB flash drive that has at least 4G of space
  • There is no specific text for this course, but there will be articles assigned to you based on what we are currently studying. The school will provide you with the Adobe Suite of tools, but you are encouraged to use alternative freeware or purchased software at home to complete your projects in a timely manner.

Course Information & Description:

Media Arts is the use of computer programs to brings your creative visions and artistic expressions to life using analytical and non-analytical thinking skills.
The main emphasis of this course is to solve a series of open ended and inter-related problems through electronic media focusing on traditional art making techniques such as composition, design, visual language and technical skills. These open ended problems are designed to enhance student understanding of how to use electronic media combined with traditional principals as a means of personal investigation, understanding, and exploration. Subject matter will include audio, and visual editing as well as basic graphic design and advertising principles.
Prerequisites: Studio in Art
Requirements met by this course:
General Education Requirements: This course satisfies the NYS requirement for one art credit while in secondary school.

Specific Learning Outcomes:

  • Applying the process of computer editing to to audio and visual information and to learn to think, and design, audio and visual projects within a group context. To develop a thorough understanding of how by applying the elements and principles of art and design the artist can create limitless possibilities in audio/visual media that are aesthetically pleasing, thought provoking, and expressive. Students will learn the importance of self-reflection and challenging their current level of ability both visually and conceptually.
  • Apply the process of layering (adding) and editing (subtracting) visual information and learn to think and create the illusions of space, texture, form and volume in two-dimensions.
  • Establish a personal work ethic, time management/organizational skills. Learn to use various tools and materials and be able to know how to manipulate these to create successful solutions to various problems. They will learn how to constructively criticize their own work, and accept constructive criticism from others.
  • Recognize exceptional art from an informed perspective through presentations of historic and contemporary examples of audio/visual media. They will recognize when a piece is finished and know when to halt the creative process when creating their own work. Build self-confidence and pride in accomplishing successful solutions to problems presented and to know when they have succeeded in this process.

Course Requirements/Expectations

Class Attendance and Participation Policy
You are expected to be in class and working every day on time, and for the full class time. If you know that you will be out, please notify me as soon as possible.

Student Responsibilities

Students are expected to be prompt, self-motivated , manage time well and participate in class critiques and discussion. While we will use every class to the fullest extent, it is expected that students will put extra time into their work outside of class if it is required to complete the project by the due date. Each student is responsible for keeping a personal sketchbook to experiment in, gestate thumbnails and ideas and practice foundational skills. I am available any time unless other school duties have me elsewhere in the building.

Course Readings

There is no specific text for this class, but we will be studying articles and readings as they become pertinent to our study. We will also be making use of YouTube, and other videos to help inform our learning and to study a topic more closely.

Assignments (please not that these are subject to change)


Week 1-5: Photoshop and Illustrator
This section will cover basic editing of photographs and vector graphics with a focus on hue, value and chroma as well as effective use of masks, channels, vector design and layout. Projects will include collage and personal logos for entertainment companies.
Week 6-9: Sound Editing
Using Adobe Audition we will put together soundbytes for radio advertisements and learn how to make sound effects and spliced together audio files to make original soundtracks.
Week 10-14: Writing-Scripting and Storyboarding
We will examine the principles of lighting for stage sets, and writing for video and audio. Additionally we will study story maps and make storyboards with color using photoshop.
Week 15-20: Podcasting
Working in a group you will make a shared world and characters to write a serialized podcast about. Individual students will write the episodes that compound together based on a meta-plot and voice actor (or find voice actors) for the personas in the podcast. We will discuss the principles for podcasting and methods for publishing it.
Week 21-25: Podcast Recording and Editing
Recording and editing the podcast and post-editing.
Week 26-30: Movie effects and scripting
You will script and storyboard a short film (five minutes or less) and study lighting and camera angles and learn the basics of Adobe Premiere and After Effects for future use
Week 31-40: After Effects Movie Production
Using premiere and After Effects you will make your scripted movie and post-edit it into a finished piece. Using Photoshop and digital photography you will make the movie poster for your production.

Grading Policy

My grading policy separates into three categories: Participation (25%), Sketchbook assignments/Homework (25%) and Projects (50%)

Academic Integrity

Use of copyrighted images is strictly forbidden. All images and photographic reference must be your own. Failure to comply with this will result in a removal of the project from the grade book until an appropriate project is turned in. If you use copyrighted images as reference, you must change the final result so that the original image is not recognizable and clearly distinguishable from the original source.

Instructor Disclaimer
This syllabus is intended to give the student guidance in what may be covered during the semester and will be followed as closely as possible. The instructor reserves the right to modify, supplement and make changes as the course needs arise in such a manner that will benefit the classroom environment.

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