CD224 Digital Imaging and Narrative

SEC104/WED

  • Prerequisite: CD124 Vector Graphics
  • Date & Time: Wednesday 3:10 pm - 6 pm
  • Classroom: Marvin Feldman Center Room 315
  • Semester: Spring 2017
  • Instructor: Christie Shin
  • Email: christie_shin@fitnyc.edu
  • Office: D317
  • Phone: 212-217-5651
  • Office Hours: Mon. 3-5, Wed. 2-3, Thu. 2-3
  • Class Website: ChristieShin.com

Course Description:

This course explores the various methods and purposes of creating digital composites with bitmap graphics using Photoshop. The lecture starts with basic photo manipulations including collage and color corrections. It continues with the use of different selection tools, layers, and masks. Students will learn nondestructive ways of editing in bitmap graphics by utilizing adjustment layers, smart objects, and smart filters. This class will also introduce the core concepts and disciplines of digital storytelling such as sequence, key frames, frame mobility, the idea of infinite canvas, and understanding of timeline. The fundamental knowledge of print and screen-based file preparation including resolutions, dimensions, and output formats will be addressed thoroughly.
There will be a midterm exam that students must pass and it will constitute 15% of the total grade. The test will be the same for all sections.

Student Learning Outcomes:

    Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
  1. understand the principles and processes of bitmap imagery
  2. demonstrate an intermediate level of proficiency in the bitmap imagery program
  3. apply fundamental visual design concepts to create digital image composites
  4. analyze and evaluate digital imagery with visual storytelling
  5. develop, design, concept, and create digital image composites and image sequences

Projects:

  • Project 1: A digital composite for an article (20%)
  • Project 2: Visualizing a human experience in 6 steps (25%)
  • Project 3: Shakespeare in motion (30%)

Unit/Area of Study:

UNIT 1 – SINGLE FRAME DIGITAL COMPOSITE

Core concepts:

Visual communication, digital composite

Week 1-4 (4 lecture/8 studio hours)

Project 1 : A digital composite for an article

Brief:

The project is to create a single frame digital composite for a newspaper/magazine article. Students will learn how to create a compelling message using a combination of photographs and other visual graphics.

Goal:

The goal of this project is to learn how to visually communicate and deliver a message effectively through digital composition.

Subject:

Students could choose one from the three articles provided by the instructor, or select an article of their own.

Process:
  1. Select an article for your digital composite
  2. Read an article and write one sentence defining what you would like to focus on. It can be the core message or a part of a story from the article
  3. Sketch your concept and find image resources for your digital composite. You can do an online search, scan images… etc. It is highly recommended you take photos with your own camera. Please make sure all of your images are hi-resolution
  4. Compose your digital illustration in Photoshop
Duration of the project:

3 weeks

UNIT 2 – MULTI-FRAME DIGITAL COMPOSITE

Core concepts:

Visual narration, master-storyboard, key frame, and frame mobility

Week 5-9 (5 lecture/10 studio hours, midterm)

Project 2: Visualizing a human experience in 6 steps

Brief:

The project is to utilize a multi-frame digital composite as a way of storytelling. Students develop multiple scenes into 6 inter-related visuals to communicate a human experience visually. All the frames must have a consistent tone of voice in terms of the look and feel of the visual style. Each student will begin by writing one sentence about the experience, move to the next step by defining the experience with keywords, and finally, visualize the message in 6 keyframes using only images.

Goal:

The goal of this project is to tell a personal story using multiple keyframes. Students will have a better understanding of the fundamental concepts and techniques of visual narration such as a masterboard, keyframes, and the frame mobility.

Subject:

Visualize a personal experience related to commuting, your hometown, or a place.

Process:
  1. Decide a subject related to a personal experience/memory
  2. Write a short paragraph describing your experience
  3. Break down the message into 6 scenes with keywords and descriptions
  4. Work on the storyboard with visuals based on the keywords and descriptions
  5. Explore a unique visual style to communicate your message effectively
  6. Create dynamic multi-frame digital composites in Photoshop
Duration of the project:

4 weeks

UNIT 3 – MULTI-FRAME STORYTELLING

Core concepts:

Digital storytelling, timeline, sequence, and the idea of infinite canvas

Week 10-14 (5 lecture/10 studio hours)

Project 3: Shakespeare in Motion

Brief:

This project leads to the next level of visual storytelling building on concepts and skills learned from the previous projects. Fundamental motion design concepts are introduced to enhance visual communication. The project begins by visualizing a story in 6 main scenes (keyframes), and continues by them into time-based sequences using Photoshop’s timeline.
Students can approach this project with multi keyframes, a master storyboard, or a panoramic scene. Then, students will frame the sequences (key-framing) and create cohesive storytelling digital composites in motion.

Goal:

The goal of this project is to learn time-based storytelling methods through multi-frame scenes. Students will first complete a set of keyframe compositions, and then turn them to a simple motion piece using Photoshop’s timeline. Students will have basic understanding of time-based design fundamentals and principles including the concept of the infinite canvas and dynamic ways in visualizing a concept. In addition, students will learn how to work with complex layer structures.

Subject:

Shakespeare plays, either an overall theme or a specific message.

Process:
  1. Chose one of Shakespeare’s plays. Summarize an overall theme and come up with a specific message you would like to communicate
  2. Visualize it in the form of a storyboard with your own unique visual language (interpretation) and aesthetics
  3. Break down the message into 6 scenes with keywords and descriptions
  4. Work on the storyboard with visuals based on the keywords and descriptions
  5. Explore a unique visual style to communicate your message effectively
  6. Create a dynamic and effective visual communication piece
Duration of the project:

4 weeks

Grading:

  • 75% Projects (Project 1: 20%, Project 2: 25%, Project 3: 30%)
  • 15% Midterm
  • 10% Class participation, attendance, and professionalism

Department Policies:

Attendance is not optional. If you are going to miss a class, you must contact the instructor via telephone or email ASAP. If a class is missed, it is your responsibility to get information regarding missed assignments and lectures from one of you classmates.

  • Students are required to attend all classes, be on time, and remain for the entire class.
  • Students who are absent for 3 classes will receive a grade of "F."
  • Student who arrives 10 minutes after the start of the class will be considered late
  • 2 late occurrences = one absence
  • A student who arrives over 1 hour late or not returning from the break will be consider absent from the class
  • An excused absence is still considered an absence

Week 1 2/1/2017Wed

P1 WK1–INTRODUCTION

1. Introduction of class, syllabus, projects

2. Lecture

- Introduction to Project 1
- What is Digital Composite?
- Introduction of the bitmap graphics (resolution, file size, file formats, etc.)
- Deconstruction vs. Reconstruction

3. In-class workshop

- Overview of Photoshop interface and features
- Silhouetting methods using selection and eraser tools
- Layers

4. Next week

- Email me three things by tomorrow:
The title of a chosen article
The summary of an article (one paragraph – typed)
Your message–a core concept/focal point that you will create for your digital composite (one sentence – typed)

- Three idea sketches based on your concept
- Visual research (visual assets, moodboard, collection of visual styles, etc.)
- First draft in Photoshop

Week 2 2/8/2017Wed

P1 WK2–INITIAL PROJECT DEFINITION (PROJECT DIRECTION)

1. Lecture

- Digital composite with multiple images
- Understanding masks
- Digital composite with blending mode

2. In-class workshop

- Selections and layers
- Quick selection tool and layer mask
- Gradient layer mask
- Clipping mask
- Transformation
- Review student’s assignment and develop a direction

3. Next week

- Second draft

Week 3 2/15/2017Wed

P1 WK3–PROJECT DEVELOPMENT

1. Lecture

- Digital composite with a single image

2. In-class workshop

- Retouching essential
- Review students’ work-in-progress

3. Next week

- Printout your digital composite on 11 by 17 inches
- Submit the master PSD file in the transport
- Printout the project info on a letter size paper including your name, article name, and your one sentence concept (message)

Week 4 2/22/2017Wed

PROJECT 1 DUE. PRESENTATION/CRITIQUE

1. Lecture

- Introduction to Project 2: Visualizing a human experience in 6 steps

2. In-class workshop

- Define a subject – a short paragraph about your personal experience/memory that you would like to communicate visually in the final work (one paragraph – typed)
- Develop a storyboard as well as text descriptions and keywords (6 keyframes) based on your story

3. Next week

- Completed storyboard
- First frame in Photoshop
- Photo research. It is a mandatory to take photos by yourself and use them as part of your digital composites

Week 5 3/1/2017Wed

P2 WK1–INITIAL PROJECT DEFINITION (PROJECT DIRECTION)

1. Lecture

- Destructive vs. Nondestructive color adjustment

2. In-class workshop

- Adjustment vs. adjustment layers
- How to control affected layers with adjustment layers
- Review students’ assignment and develop a direction

3. Next week

- First draft (6 Keyframes) in Photoshop

Week 6 3/8/2017Wed

P2 WK2–CONTENT DEVELOPMENT, DESIGN/VISUAL DEVELOPMENT

1. Lecture

- Smart objects vs. a normal layer
- Smart filters
- Layer styles
- Blending modes

2. In-class workshop

- Practical usage of smart objects
- Grouping layers and clipping to a layer/folder
- Practical application of layer styles – a cast shadow
- Practical application of blending modes in order to create unique effects on digital composites
- Review students’ work-in-progress

3. Next week

- Second draft (6 Keyframes) in Photoshop

Week 7 3/15/2017Wed

P2 WK3–INTRODUCTION TO STORYTELLING METHODS AND CONCEPTS

1. Lecture

- Artboard
- Concept of a mater-storyboard
- Concept of defining keyframes
- Storytelling as an effective communication tool
- Complex digital composite experimenting with various styles

2. In-class workshop

- How to output multiple segments of a complex digital composition in order to sequentially tell a visual story
- Review students’ work-in-progress

3. Next week

- Final compositions (6 keyframes) in Photoshop

Week 8 3/22/2017Wed

P2 WK4–KEY FRAMES, MIDTERM

1. In-class workshop

- Storyboard preparation in InDesign (place Photoshop files in InDesign and export as PDF for the presentation)
- Review final keyframes

2. Next week

- Prepare your PDF presentation including your name, your one sentence concept, 6 keyframes on a storyboard, and 6 full size keyframes. (7 page pdf in total, 1280 x 720 px @72ppi)
- Printout the first page(storyboard) of your pdf presentation on tabloid (11 x 17 inches)
- Submit all layered PSD files in the transport

Week 9 3/29/2017Wed

PROJECT 2 DUE. PRESENTATION/CRITIQUE

* Please submit your pdf presentation in the transport at least 2 hours before the class starts.
* Please come to the class with the printout of your storyboard on 11 inches x 17 inches paper. Please remember your InDesign document size is 1280 pixels x 720 pixels. That means you have to scale to fit media when you print.

1. Lecture

- Introduction to Project 3: Shakespeare in Motion

2. In-class workshop

- Survey on Shakespeare's plays

3. Next week

- A chosen play
- Define a concept – a message that you would like to communicate visually (one sentence – typed)
- Draft a storyboard with descriptions and keywords based on your concept. A title of a play is on the last keyframe
- Visual research
- First frame in Photoshop

Week 10 4/5/2017Wed

P3 WK1–PROJECT DIRECTION, CONTENT DEVELOPMENT

1. In-class workshop

- Review students’ concept and storyboard draft
- Midterm review
- Defining keyframes on storyboard

2. Next week

- First draft (6 keyframes) in Photoshop


------ Spring break (April 10-16)------

Week 11 4/19/2017Wed

P3 WK2–DESIGN/VISUAL DEVELOPMENT, STORYBOARDING, KEYFRAMING

1. Lecture

- What is visual storytelling?
- The concept of frame mobility
- Understanding the concept of infinite canvas
- Relationship between a stage and camera move
- Camera viewfinder - Keyframing

2. In-class workshop

- Review and continue on developing a master-storyboard and defining keyframes

3. Next week

- Second draft (6 keyframes) in Photoshop

Week 12 4/26/2017Wed

P3 WK3–TIMELINE

1. Lecture

- Timeline introduction

2. In-class workshop

- Basic introduction to Photoshop timeline 1
- Review students’ work-in-progress

3. Next week

- Part 1 due: Final composition before working with the timeline in Photoshop

Week 13 5/3/2017Wed

P3 WK4–STORYBOARD DUE. ANIMATIC

1. In-class workshop

- Basic introduction to Photoshop timeline 2 - Review students’ final composition - Clean-up master PSD file for a final animatic - Create a master psd file and connect at least two keyframes using the timeline in Photoshop

2. Next week

- Set up sequence by placing 6 keyframes on the master psd file using timeline

Week 14 5/10/2017Wed

MOTION IN PHOTOSHOP

1. In-class workshop

- Work on keyframes with Photoshop’s timeline and output as a movie

2. Next week

Please submit all the required files (1, 2, 3, 4) in the transport by 1 hour before the class starts.
1) Your storyboard psd file(s) (final design with layers and without timeline)
2) Your master psd file with timeline (if you used any sound, you must submit the sound clip as well)
3) .mp4 movie
4) Presentation pdf

* Please come to the class with the printout of your storyboard on 11 x 17 inches paper.
* Please remember your InDesign document size is 1280 pixels x 720 pixels. That means you have to scale to fit media when you print.

Week 15 5/17/2017Wed

PRODUCT 3 DUE. PRESENTATION AND CRITIQUE

Keep and backup all the exercises and projects that you have done throughout the semester! You must submit all your projects for the final grade no later than the last day of class (Week 15)