Digital Media Arts 262- Image Processing for Digital Video

Digital Media Arts 262- Image Processing for Digital Video

Digital Media Arts 263- Digital Video Compositing

Orange Coast College

Spring 2004

Wednesdays: Lecture 12:30pm-2:35pm, Lab 3:30-6:35pm, plus 3 hours and 20 minutes arranged

Instructor: Hillary Mushkin


Office phone: (714) 432-5539

Office: Room 335 in the Art Center building

Office hours: Mondays, 1:10 - 1:30pm; Tuesdays, 3:10pm – 4pm, 6:05pm – 6:30pm; Wednesdays, 11:30am - 12:30pm, 2:35pm - 3:30pm, 6:35 - 7:05pm. During my office hours, I am usually in the DMA lab if I am not in my office.


The course provides an introduction to digital video compositing as an art form through individual production and lessons in media history and theory. Included will be demonstrations, screenings of video art, film and television clips, project assignments and class discussions. Students will be introduced to editing and compositing using After Effects along with Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator and sound editing software. Technical instruction will be augmented with discussions of style, technique, approach, content and context. Emphasis will be on art/experimental genres and related film and television forms. For most projects we will look for examples at the work of contemporary and earlier 20th century artists and filmmakers and will critique student projects as a class. At the completion of this class you will leave with practical tools, ideas and opinions about digital video compositing as an art form, giving you a basis for the continuation of your art practice and enabling you to expand your investigations beyond the classroom.


Grades are given for each of the assignments in this course. Grades for late assignments are reduced by one full letter grade each week they are late. Work done by someone other than yourself will be considered plagiarism and will result in a failing grade.

Each project will be graded based on the information following. Judgement of your work as “outstanding”, “good”, “average”, or “limited” will be made in relation to the work of your peers and your personal history. So if you are doing less than most students in the class, your grade will reflect this. If you are doing more than most students in the class, your grade will reflect this. If your work improves substantially over the semester, your grade will reflect this.

A Outstanding: Complete following of project directions/requirements, development of work beyond minimum requirements, outstanding creativity and technical proficiency, high level of participation (this includes seeing me during my office hours).

BGood: complete following of project directions/requirements, good creativity and effort, technical proficiency

CAverage: following most project directions/requirements, average creativity, technical ability.

DLimited: following some project directions/requirements, limited creativity technical ability.

FFailing: Incomplete or missing course work.

Your grade will be based on the following percentages:

23Basic Motion Graphics Video

23Poetry Video

24Your Choice


10screening summaries

10participation in critiques and discussions

100 Total


More than 1 absence without written proof of medical excuse from a doctor will result in a reduction of your final grade. Being late (arriving after role is taken) or leaving more than 15 minutes early will be counted as 1 absence. If you miss a lecture but attend the lab on the same day, you will be marked absent. If you plan to miss lab on the same day that you attend a lecture, you must arrange it with the instructor in advance. Each unexcused absence beyond one will reduce your grade by 8.7%. You are responsible for keeping track of how many absences you have. If you have 4 unexcused absences you will receive a failing grade. If you decide to drop the course, please inform the instructor and file the appropriate papers.

If you miss class, you are required to get information for missed lectures. Do this during my office hours.

Students are responsible for all topics covered in lecture and must be able to demonstrate knowledge in these areas by the next session. Please take the initiative to meet with the instructor to review problems, questions. Your lab aids are available for technical help as well.


email account (Free - ask the instructor or lab tech to help you set one up)

Lynda Weinman, After Effects 5.0/5.5 Hands On Training. Peachpit Press, Berkeley, 2003. (This book is not available at the bookstore.)

Available at the bookstore:

Antony Bolante, Adobe After Effects 5 for Macintosh and Windows: Visual QuickPro Guide. Peachpit Press, Berkeley, 2002.

letter sized notebook with lined paper

2 mini-DV tapes (minimum number)

1-2 additional mini-DV or Hi-8 tapes (minimum number)

Some other places which carry videotapes:

Fry's Electronics and Costco in Fountain Valley

A-VIDD Electronics, 3920 Gilman St., Long Beach, tel. (562) 498-7776,

Tape Resources (mail order), (800) 827-3462


David Bordwell & Kristen Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction. (5th Edition) McGraw Hill, NY, 1997.

Includes essential information on both traditional and experimental film production and analysis.

Micheal Rush, New Media in Late 20th Century Art, Thames and Hudson, London, 1999.

Traces threads of history from early 20th Century avant-garde film, Marcel Duchamp and Fluxus to 1960’s –present multimedia performance, video art, video installation, and digital art.


Fee for optional use of DMA equipment: $60. An additional consumable materials fee of $10 is required, paid to the accounting office when you register. You must have a valid DMA ID card to work in the lab. You receive a card when you have paid the optional fee. Students have two weeks to pay fees. Estimated cost for the course $175.


You should expect to spend a MINIMUM 3 hours and 20 minutes each week in addition to 3 hours of scheduled lab time each week on assignments.

Each time videos or films are screened, one page of typed, double-spaced comments on those videos/films is due the next class meeting time.

2/4Week 1

Lecture: Intro. to the course. What is After Effects? What is compositing and motion graphics? How are they different from Final Cut Pro and narrative forms of film/video? How is it used with other software and with what hardware? Screen some commercial and experimental/art examples.

Lab: Intro to the lab, equipment and software. Intro. to After Effects (chapters 2-4 in HOT).

Homework: Write screening comments, buy books, disks, video tapes. due 2/11.

Begin HOT chapters 2-4. due 2/18.

2/11Week 2

Lecture: Intro. to the After Effects interface, the project, composition window, video frame size and time code (Chapters 2-4 in HOT). Intro. to the Basic Motion Graphics video project including basic principles of design found in motion graphics. Screen examples. How to storyboard.

Lab: Continue with topics from the lecture. Do HOT chapters 2-4.

hw: Do HOT chapters 2-4 due 2/18.

Brainstorm for Basic Motion Graphics video, storyboard it. Storyboard due 2/18.

Bring in your favorite motion graphics due 2/18.

2/18Week 3

Lecture: The timeline, keyframes, animation, layer properties (HOT chapter 5), making and using Photoshop and Illustrator files, title safe. Look at your favorite motion graphics.

Lab: Do HOT chapter 5, present Basic Motion Graphics storyboard, begin collecting and making graphics for Basic Motion Graphics video.

hw: Do HOT chapter 5 due 2/25.

Continue Basic Motion Design video. Video due 3/10.

2/25Week 4

Lecture: Playing with time, keyframe interpolation, previewing (HOT chapters 6-7), output to tape. Review online/offline media files.

Lab: Do HOT chapters 6-7, work on Basic Motion Graphics video.

hw: Do HOT chapters 6-7 due 3/3.

Continue Basic Motion Graphics video. Video due 3/10.

3/3Week 5

Lecture: Intro to Poetry video assignment, screen examples, do writing exercises.

Lab: Work on Basic Motion Graphics video.

hw: Finish Basic Motion Graphics video. Video due 3/10.

3/10Week 6

Lecture: Critique Basic Motion Graphicsvideos.

Lab: Lecture on layers, editing layers (HOT chapter 8). (Follow along?)

hw: Do HOT chapter 8 due 3/17.

Find text for Poetry video, storyboard. Due 3/17.

3/17Week 7

Lecture: Parenting and effects (HOT chapters 9 and 10).

Lab: Do HOT chapters 9 and 10, present Poetry video storyboard, begin editing Poetry video.

hw: Do HOT chapters 9 and 10 due 3/24.

Work on Poetry Video. Video due 4/21.

3/24Week 8

Lecture: Masks and Track Mattes (HOT chapters 11 and 12).

Lab: Do HOT chapters 11 and 12, work on Poetry video.

hw: Do HOT chapters 11 and 12 due 4/7.

Work on Poetry Video. Video due 4/21.


4/7Week 9

Lecture: Audio demo (HOT chapter 15).

Lab: Do HOT chapter 15, work on Poetry video.

hw: Do HOT chapter 15 due 4/14.

Work on Poetry video. Video due 4/21.

4/14Week 10

Lecture: video screening, software review.

Lab: Work on Poetry video.

hw: Finish Poetry video. Video due 4/21.

4/21Week 11

Lecture: Critique Poetry videos.

Lab: begin brainstorming for final project, storyboard, create shot list, locations, and other pre-production for Your Choice.

hw: finish pre-production for Your Choice. Storyboard due 4/28.

4/28Week 12

Lecture: 3D layers (HOT chapter 13).

Lab: Do HOT chapter 13, discuss storyboard for Your Choice

hw: Do HOT chapter 13 due 5/5.

Work on making graphics, shooting and capturing footage for Your Choice assignment. Rough cut due 5/12.

5/5Week 13

Lecture: Expressions (HOT chapter 14).

Lab: Do HOT chapter 14, begin editing Your Choice assignment rough cut.

hw: Do HOT chapter 14 due 5/12.

Edit Your Choice assignment. Rough cut due 5/12.

5/12Week 14

Lecture: Students demo favorite effects and techniques, review Your Choice rough cuts.

Lab: Continue work on Your Choice assignment

hw: continue work on Your Choice assignment due 5/26.

5/19Week 15

Lecture: Students demo favorite effects and techniques, review Your Choice rough cuts.

Lab: Continue work on Your Choice assignment.

hw: Finish Your Choice assignment due 5/26.

5/26Week 16

Lecture: Your Choice critique.

Lab: Your Choice critique.

Digital Media Arts 262- Image Processing for Digital Video

Orange Coast College

Fall 2003

Wednesdays: Lecture 12:30pm-2:30pm, Lab 3:30-6:35pm, plus 3 hours and 20 minutes arranged

Instructor: Hillary Mushkin


Office phone: (714) 432-5539

Office: Room 335 in the Art Center building

Office hours: Wednesdays, 10:00am - 12:30pm, 2:30-3:30pm; Thursdays, 12:05pm - 12:50pm. During my office hours, I am usually in the DMA lab if I am not in my office.


You should expect to spend a MINIMUM 3 hours 20 minutes on assignments outside of class time each week. You will be doing tutorials and making videos of your own.

Tutorials: Save your completed tutorials on your firewire drive and turn a copy in on the class server.

Video Projects: Put finished videos on the class videotape before the lecture meeting of the due date. Leave 5 seconds of black tape between your work and the video before yours on the tape. You must also keep a copy on your own tape. Keep to the time limits required in each assignment.

Please schedule an appointment with me if you would like additional time to discuss your work. It can be especially useful to talk prior to embarking on the final project.

Screening Comments:

Each time videos are screened, one page of typed comments on those videos written in an essay format is due the next class meeting time.

Take notes in class to help answer the following questions in your comments. Identify the following for at least two videos screened:

1. What is the title of the work and who is the artist?

2. What is the subject and style of the video?

3. What is the artist's intention? In other words, what do you think s/he trying to communicate?

4. What specific formal aspects (color, lighting, sound, mise-en-scene, camera movement and framing, pacing, sequencing) help to convey these ideas, or which ones distract from them?


max. running time 5 min.

Screen size 720x480

This video may be silent or have music. If you use music, I suggest you stay away from music with lyrics.

In this video project you will use the After Effects tools you have learned to date to explore the formal (abstract) qualities of motion graphics/animation. You will compose graphics you make in Photoshop or Illustrator into an animated sequence, using color, shape, motion, pacing, rhythm and composition within the frame to create a video with varying texture.

You can approach this as a musical composer approaches composing a score, where you create segments of varying moods and textures much like verses, a chorus, a bridge, and changes. Repetition of forms will create rhythm and begin to define each segment.

You may use a piece of music as a guide. For example, you can assign a graphic to each instrument in the musical composition. When the instrument plays a note, the graphic can appear, move and mutate to express the notes being played by each instrument.

Keep in mind the following basic formal properties of motion graphics.

Rhythm and Momentum/Pacing

Repetition of forms will create rhythm and begin to define each segment.

As you create segments of a certain mood, they can change and evolve over time to create momentum.


Angular movements tend to be more edgy, while smooth/curved movements tend to be more soothing.

Fast/abrupt changes/transitions are more disruptive, while slow/smooth changes are more calming.

Fast movement can be exciting/anxious, slow movement can be more meditative.


Bright colors can be strong/exciting/loud, muted colors can be more sedate.

Warm colors (yellows, reds, oranges) come forward and excite, cool colors (blues, blue/greens, purples) recede and sooth.

Shape and Scale:

Angular shapes may be more edgy, curved shapes may be smoother.

Sharp shapes may be harder, blurry shapes may be softer.

Large shapes can dominate the scene, especially if they are also saturated and warm.

Small shapes can punctuate if they are alone in a large field of color, or can dominate if there are many shall shapes shown at once.

About making graphics:

Your screen size is standard DV 720x480pixels. You should make your graphics 720 x 534 pixels to prevent distortion that happens when you translate from digital to DV format. See page 65 in the AE Visual Quick Pro Guide for more information on this.

Put a title at the beginning and credit yourself at the end as the video maker.


max. running time 5 min.

no pre-recorded music

In this project you will create a video based on a piece of writing not originally intended as a script. Here you will practice your After Effects skills by combining graphics with video footage and audio that you make yourself. You will use the abstract formal devices covered earlier in the course along with representational imagery to express the meaning of the text of your choosing. (I strongly suggest that you include the text in your video, either as graphics or voiceover or a combination of these two.) You will learn to create metaphorical relationships between the text, its meaning, and the visual content. The final product will be a poetic vision that expresses the meaning of the text through imaginative metaphors and comparisons.

The idea:

• Your first step is to choose a piece of writing that inspires you.

• You may use something you write yourself, or something by someone else.

• It can be a poem, song lyrics, excerpt from a book, speech, or any other text, as long as it is not a play (stage or screen). If you use something written by someone other than yourself, you must credit the author and source of text in your video.

• The text must inspire you to create video images that complement it, but preferably not illustrate it. In other words, choose a piece of writing that you associate images and sounds with that are not the same as the words.


• Write the text on a piece of paper, or print it out from the computer.

• Write a list of all the thoughts, emotions, and images that come to mind as you read through it. Describe sounds, pacing, rhythm, movement, colors, and degree of light or darkness that characterize the mood of your subject.

• Make a list of things that you could videotape which have these characteristics. This will be your shot list. It could contain as few or as many as you like, depending on your subject. For a mood like "anxiety", you might want to shoot several speeding, high contrast, loud things for a fast paced video. For a mood like "calm" you might shoot only a few slow moving or static things in pastel colors. Or you might make a video that combines or contrasts moods.

• Try to come up with at least one image and sound or emotion for each line of the text. Since you are not using synched sound, (the pictures will be paired with sounds shot separately), you can create unique combinations of images and sounds.


• Draw a storyboard that lays out how you see the text described through the images and sounds. The storyboard must include written or drawn descriptions of your plan for cinematography(camera movement, lighting), mise-en-scene(production design, color, costume) and sound.