Digital computer technologies offer capabilities that extend the creative vocabulary of the artist in the areas of film and video production and promise the possibility of distinctly new modes of communication. Visual Communication in the Image introduces students to digital tools in the context of traditional film and video techniques for storytelling. Students will investigate the basics of communicating ideas and visions using multimedia software applications (primarily Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Director, and SoundEdit16) to manipulate and present images and sound. Each student will have the opportunity to produce personal narrative, documentary, or experimental works on the computer while applying established film technique and theory. These works will range from self running "slide shows" to interactive works. Students will also maintain a production journal of their works in progress, learn the use of flow charts and storyboards, and cover technical and aesthetic issues including graphic and interactive design. Hands-on production work, readings, and demonstrations will provide instruction and practice in the effective use of these computer applications and technologies.
There are four sections of the course this Spring 1997 semester - two are taught by me, Joe Citta, the other two are taught by Fred Hecker.
I wrote an article called Learning to Communicate through the Still Image (In Action) on the course which appears in the Fall 1996 issue of NYU's Connect Magazine.
Required Text Books
Director 5 Demystified by Jason Roberts, Peachpit Press
Photoshop 3 for Macintosh: Visual Quickstart Guide by Elaine Weinmann & Peter Lourekas
Recommended Text Books
The Photoshop Wow Book by Linnea Dayton & Jack Davis
If you have trouble getting started with Director, I recommend:
Director 5 for Macintosh: Visual Quickstart Guide by Andre Perdisky, Peachpit Press
Students will be required to purchase Zip disks as storage media for their multimedia projects. Syquest 270 meg disks are an alternate option.
Assignments will include:
Computer lab work can be done in room 828 and at the ACF - 35 West 4th Street, 2nd floor. At both locations computer time can be signed up for. Check schedules and times at both locations.
This project should present a sequence of primarily still images that communicate a narrative or documentary - it may include sound and transitions.
This project will communicate a narrative, documentary, or experimental project, and be more open to individual interpretation with some basic limitations.
The mid-term must be completed by the individual - the final can be done in teams if desired.
Include readings, storyboards, flow charts, and small projects. The class will have its own Web Site (you are looking at it) - each student will be required to have at least one image which they have manipulated, and one Shockwave movie. Both should be accompanied by a short text on that the student was trying to convey and what techniques he/she used to accomplish the end result.
Each student (or pair of students) will be required to present one talk/demo to the rest of the class on any related subject. The topic of the presentation must be pre-approved by the instructor and the entire class is expected to participate in discussion.
Each student is required to keep a journal of their work. It must be a loose leaf binder and should contain at least one written entry per week. Personal experiences (good and bad) including suggestions and criticisms should be documented for periodic review by the instructor. It should include plans for mid-term and final project, as well as self criticisms of same after they are handed in - what worked, what didn't and why, etc. It can be looked at as a "diary" of individual progress in the class as well as containing class handouts and storyboards/flowcharts. The journal must be brought to every class and will be looked at by the instructor periodically.
Grades will be based on effort, prompt attendance, mid-term and final projects, journals, weekly assignments, presentations and class participation.
Absences - the instructor must be advised of any necessary absences at least 24 hours before the class absence. If a class is missed, it becomes incumbent on the student to acquire any handouts and complete any assignments that were handed in.
Important note: Like most production classes, this production class requires that the student invest a great deal of time in addition to normal class time. A minimum of 4 - 6 hours per week of work outside of class is required to successfully complete this class - in most cases, considerably more time is needed.