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Digital Media I ARTS 1550
Fall 2021

Location: AT 208
Hours: 9:00 – 11:50 MW or 12:30 – 3:30 TH

Instructor: David Sullivan
Office: AT 208
Office Hours: Before or after my classes above, or by appointment

Prerequisites: A basic understanding of computers and the Macintosh operating system (navigation, opening and saving files, etc.) as well as 2d image making fundamentals.

This course will allow those with a basic preparation in art fundamentals to familiarize themselves with the expanding processes and possibilities of computer based imaging.  This opportunity should not only develop important skills in an increasingly computer dependent world, but also allow even greater opportunities for individual expression.
This course will serve as an introduction to the use of computers in fine arts production.  Emphasis is on both aesthetics and process. The following will be covered, though not necessarily in this order:
– Developments in electronic imaging
– Computer imaging systems: general interface characteristics as well as specific applications
– Moving from concept to output
– Expanding “Input and Output” definitions: Internal and External manipulation
– Conceptual Issues
– Terminology

(Check assignment web page for details)

No. 1: Self portrait
In this project, you will create 4 separate compositions by compositing scans, photos, and other images.
Application: Photoshop
Goals: Understanding of scanning and basic digital photography, familiarity with Photoshop (including compositing, color, and image manipulation), basic printing.

No: 2: Brand on the brain
For this project, you will create a brand identity and promotion. First you will create a graphic logo that represents your brand identity. Second you will use this logo in the development of a large-scale poster..
Applications: Photoshop and Illustrator
Goals: Visual identity design, understanding vector graphics, familiarity with Illustrator, large-scale printing..

No: 3: Fortune cookie
In this project, you will create a short animation with sound based on the text of a fortune cookie.
Application: Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Audition or Garageband
Goals: Understanding of time-based media, editing sound, familiarity with After Effects, investigation into typography.

No. 4: Process / iteration
This project can be a collaboration. Groups will create a short video exploring processes.
Application: Premiere, After Effects, Audition or garageband
Goals: Become comfortable with collaborating on a creative project, familiarity with Premiere and the basics of video editing

Required Reading:
No text is required for this course. If there is anything I want you too read, I will provide it. Most technical info can be found online.  If you have any questions, come to me.

You will need some kind of portable storage media (a usb drive.) to backup your work. Tulane provides Box cloud storage for all students. It is imperative that you keep all your work backed up ( in multiple locations!).

This class will meet for 2 sessions per week.  The class will run for approx. 3 hours.  This will be a time for discussion, presentations, critiques, lecture, etc. as well as project work time. Due to the technical nature of much of this introductory material, attendance is expected at all classes. Class attendance and participation does not only affect your grade.  You will benefit from the feedback, assistance and interaction with the instructor and your fellow classmates.  It is the student’s responsibility to catch up on any missed material outside of class time.  Three absences are allowed and may be recorded in case of late arrival or leaving class early.  Absences beyond this minimum will result in a reduction in the final grade by one-half a letter grade for each missed class beyond that allowed.

Class critiques are very important and will be held at the beginning of class on the due date of each project. If your assignment is not complete for the critique, your grade for that assignment will be lowered by one full letter for each day it is late. You are required to attend critiques even if your work is not complete. Critiques are not for my benefit. They are your best method to learn about art making – from your fellow art makers. You must be able to articulate your creative decisions and conclusions in regards to your own work, as well as discuss the work of others. Participation and attention is expected. Please be considerate of your classmates and give their work the same attention they give yours. NO SCREEN DEVICE USE OF ANY KIND NOT DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE WORK.

Work outside of scheduled classes
Due to the amount of technical material, and the very process of creating, not all portfolio requirements can be met working only during class hours each week.  Though much pre- and post-production can be done away from the computer, you will need to put in numerous hours on the computers.  Access to the lab will be available during scheduled hours.  I expect you to put in at least as much time out of class as you will in class each week.  You MUST use this equipment to gain facility in making art with it.  That takes time.  Do not expect to achieve this without the hours required.

Late work Policy:
I will set specific dates for each project presentation.   There will be a critique on these dates.   I will expect a finished product and presentation at this time.  Any assignments not turned in at this time will be marked late., and the grade will be lowered one full letter grade for EACH DAY it is late.. An incomplete presentation will result in a reduced grade on the project even if present in the final portfolio. If a student has any emergencies or difficulties in completing an assignment, it is the student’s responsibility to notify me prior to that day. Under no circumstances will I accept the work if I have not been notified and arrangements made prior to that day.

There will be a mid-term grade that will be based on my assessment of your work to date.  This grade is a progress report and will not be averaged into the final grade on the entire portfolio.  Due to the variety of options this media presents, no specific project definitions can be set.  You will, however, be provided a number of both specific and general project assignments to complete.   Evaluation will involve meeting both aesthetic and technical standards to be outlined in the assignment handouts.   Other factors will be taken into account, such as participation in critiques, presentation of finished projects, thoroughness and intensity of explorations of creative options, and mastery of processes.   These will all be assessed based on your critique presentation and my observations of your efforts in and out of class.

Below is a sketch of how I utilize letter grades.

A+                                      Exceeds Expectations in ALL areas. 

A Range (90-100%)           Conceptual: Concepts are engaging, thorough and coherent, showing original and creative thinking that moves beyond assignment requirements, Writing: Excellent writing and grammar skills that express ideas clearly and effectively.. Participation: Thoughtful comments on other’s work. Participates fully, taking a leadership role in discussion in class and on blackboard. Brings new ideas to class consistently. Listens to other’s views with respect. Attends class on time and turns in work on time.

B Range (80-89%).            Conceptual: Complete assignments with some originality; Satisfies aims of the assignment well. Writing: Good writing and grammar skills. Writing is clear and ideas are organized. Participation: Participates fully in discussion. Attends class on time and turns in work on time. Participates on blackboard and engages with other’s ideas.

C Range (70-79%)             Conceptual: Unoriginal or common sense thinking; doing only what is required; Writing: Unclear writing, grammatical errors, lack of thoroughness, does not meet goals of exercise, structural and technical problems. Participation: Inconsistencies in presentation of work and participation, or does not frequently participate. Attends class but minimally engages with other’s work.

D Range (60-69%)             Falls below expectations in most areas. Inconsistencies, sloppiness, inaccuracies, errors, lack of effort.

F (below 60%)              Fails to meet requirements of Assignment/Not turned in on time

I don’t use Canvas for much, but Assignment grades will be posted there. You MUST also check your Tulane email regularly, as this will be the main way for the university and I to get in touch with you outside of class. You login to Canvas using your Tulane email. Login at

Plagiarism and copyright
All work turned in for this class must be yours created for this class alone. Previous assignments or  joint assignments, completed for two classes, are not acceptable. Failure to comply with this expectation will result in a failing grade. Any copyrighted material used in your work should be released for your use, fall under fair use, or be open for creative use (such as Creative Commons) AND should be credited properly.

A student with a disability that qualifies for accommodation should contact the Office of Disability Services on the web here or by phone (504) 247-1774

This is a list of numbers that you can use if there is an emergency or crisis situation in the lab or if you need assistance at other times.
University Police (UP), Campus Police Building, (504) 865-5911
Student Health Services 504-865-5255