Media & Film in a Digital Age, Part 1
TU & TH 1:30-5:25pm, Ricardo Miranda

Over the last three decades, dramatic changes in media technology have resulted in a fundamental reconsideration of the once strict borders between print, design, architecture, computational and other media arts. In today's world, being a media- literate citizen requires understanding and being able to communicate using computer graphics and digital media. MEDP/FILMP 150, one part of a 2-semester sequence that introduces students to the practical fundamentals of visual communication, design, digital graphics and illustration, web design, networks, digital photography, and new media art in a lecture/lab format. It is a foundations course in 2D design and computer media presented in the integrated fashion that today's media practitioners work in. Students are introduced to a range of media production equipment and techniques, through lectures, in-class workshops, on-line video tutorials and assigned readings.

Assignments & Method of Evaluation:

All students will create a basic website where they will showcase the work they produce in the course. On their web site, students will write about their class experiences and post their assignments. Entries are due on the date indicated in the homework handouts; please include 250-word text reflection with visual assignments.

Lateness and Absences: Attendance is mandatory. Medical emergencies must be documented to be excused. Three or more absences is an automatic failing grade. Being late to class negatively impacts your attendance record and will damage your grade, two late arrivals equals one absence. Late assignments can be accepted up to one week late but at a full grade reduction.

Materials and Texts

Required Materials:

USB flash drive or external hard drive. BACK UP ALL YOUR WORK!

Required Texts:

We will be using the video tutorial site as our textbook for the semester. Subscription to is available through the New York City Library system. Go to > Sign In (upper right corner) > “Sign in with you organization portal” (under Continue button) > Enter your organization’s URL to log in through their portal: for example “” (for a Brooklyn Library member) > Enter Library Card Number and Library Card Pin and you will have access to the assigned video tutorials. A Kiosk is also available on a first come first serve basis at the Technology Resource Center located in Thomas Hunter, Room 402. You may also choose to pay for a subscription; the cost is $25 a month for the subscription. Required textbook: The Language of Graphic Design by Richard Poulin; ISBN-10: 159253676X, this book provides additional context and examples on subjects covered throughout the semester. It is available in the library and online as a PDF.

Lab and Hunter Assistance

Computer Labs
Besides the grad lab and lounge, there are several labs available at Hunter to complete homework assignments. The schedule for this lab is the following: Monday and Wednesday from noon-5pm and Tuesday and Thursday noon-1:30pm. The schedule will be posted outside the entrance and online. Other labs available: ICIT 10th Floor labs

Accessibility: In compliance with the American Disability Act of 1990 (ADA) and with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Hunter College is committed to ensuring educational parity and accommodations for all students with documented disabilities and/or medical conditions. It is recommended that all students with documented disabilities (Emotional, Medical, Physical, and/or Learning) consult the Office of Accessibility located in Room E1124 to secure necessary academic accommodations. For further information and assistance, please call (212) 772-4857/TTY (212) 650- 3230. If you have registered with the Office of Accessibility, please let me know at the start of the term.

Emergency/Crisis Info: This is a list of numbers, which you can use if there is an emergency or crisis situation on the Hunter campus or if you need assistance at other times.
Security -B125 West - 772 – 4444;
Medical Office - Room 307 North - 772 – 4800 (During business hours) Office of Student Services - 1119 East - 772 – 4882 4891 (crisis counseling available), The Women's Center - 801 East - 772 – 4931.

Reading/Writing Center: Hunter's Reading/Writing center is where students receive tutoring in reading and writing skills, critical reading, and the writing process. Students can apply for a weekly appointment with a tutor and/or use drop-in services during scheduled hours. Students may also attend workshops offered at the Center throughout the academic year.

Course Syllabus

The schedule and course outline is subject to change.

Class 1, Thursday June 1

Course Overview: Visual Studies in Digital Media
Introduction to HTML & DSLR Camera (if time allows)


from HTML Dog: “Getting Started” through “Images” (8 sections, “Next Page” is linked near bottom of each page)
View tutorial video Introduction to HTML (approximately 9 minutes)

From "Photoshop CC 2017 Essential Training: The Basics"
Introduction (approximately 2 minutes)
1. Opening Files (approximately 21 minutes)
2. Documents and Navigation (approximately 20 minutes)

Read from The Language of Graphic Design: 1 Point; 2 Line

Assignment 1: Basic Web Page & Creative Statement, due next class

Class 2, Tuesday June 6

Photography, view lecture
Shooting / Fieldwork with cameras for Assignment 2


From"Photoshop CC 2017 Essential Training: The Basics"
4. Digital Image Essentials (approximately 40 minutes)
5. Cropping, Straightening and Adjusting Canvas Size (approximately 22min)

Read from The Language of Graphic Design: 20 Figure-Ground; 21 Frame

Assignment 2: Portrait, due next class

Class 3, Thursday June 8

Quiz and Workshop, download lesson files


From"Photoshop CC 2017 Essential Training: The Basics"
6. Layers (approximately 30 minutes)
7. Color and Brush Essentials (approximately 9 minutes)
8. Working with Layer Masks (approximately 10 minutes)

Read from The Language of Graphic Design: 22 Proportion; 23 Image

Assignment 3: Photomontage, create a photomontage from 5-10 different photographs, at least half of the photographs used you must have shot. Begin taking photos and bring them to next class. Due June 15th

Class 4, Tuesday June 13


From"Photoshop CC 2017 Essential Training: The Basics"
9. Making Selections (approximately 30 minutes)
10. Local Pixel Editing and Retouching (approximately 18 minutes)
11. Blend Mode Essentials (approximately 6 minutes)

Read from The Language of Graphic Design: 3 Shape; 4 Form

Class 5, Thursday June 15

  • Review & Demo: download lesson files
  • Quiz & Complete work on Assignment 3: Photomontage


    From"Photoshop CC 2017 Essential Training: The Basics"
    12. Smart Object Essentials (approximately 9 minutes)
    From "Illustrator CC Essential Training (2015)"
    4. Working with Layers (approximately 27 minutes)
    5. Drawing Basic Shapes (approximately 44 minutes)

    Read from The Language of Graphic Design: 5 Light; 6 Color

    Class 6, Tuesday June 20


    From "Illustrator CC Essential Training (2015)"
    6. Transforming Objects (approximately 38 minutes)
    7. Working with Fills and Strokes (approximately 42 minutes)

    Read from The Language of Graphic Design: 7 Texture; 8 Scale; 9 Movement;

    Assignment 4: Illustrated Environment: Using Illustrator create a detailed environment, interior or exterior. Photograph a physical environment to use as a template in your Illustration. Use illustration to transform this "real" space into a unique environment. Be detailed and organized by using layers. Due June 29th

    Class 7, Thursday June 22


    From "Illustrator CC Essential Training (2015)"
    8. Working with Color (approximately 25 minutes)
    9. Using the Appearance Panel (approximately 15 minutes)
    10. Creating Complex Shapes (approximately 22 minutes)

    Read from The Language of Graphic Design: 10 Space; 11 Balance; 12 Symmetry; 13 Asymmetry

    Class 8, Tuesday June 27


    From "Illustrator CC Essential Training (2015)"
    11. Working with the Pen Tool (approximately 30 minutes)
    12. Working with Type (approximately 28 minutes)

    Read from The Language of Graphic Design: 24 Pattern; 25 Typography; 26 Grid

    Class 9, Thursday June 29


    From "Illustrator CS6 New Feature
    2. Pattern Creation (watch all three videos in the chapter, approximately 12 minutes)
    From “Illustrator CC Essential Training (2015)”
    13. Using Raster Graphics in Illustrator (approximately 22 minutes) Read from The Language of Graphic Design: 14 Tension; 15 Closure;

    Assignment 5: Pattern & Type - Create a pattern and combine typography with it to create a design with a message. Due July 6th

    Class 10, Thursday July 6


    Generation Like from PBS Frontline, 2014, please watch for next class

    From "Photoshop CC 2017 Essential Training: The Basics"
    13. Essential Transformations (approximately 10 minutes)
    14. Adjustment Layer Essentials (approximately 32 minutes)
    15. Essential Filters (approximately 18 minutes)
    Photoshop Essential Basics, Conclusion

    Read from The Language of Graphic Design:16 Expression; 17 Abstraction

    Assignment 6: Three Options (Due July 13th):
    1. Cut-Up Cinema Animation. Create an animated montage employing at least 10 different images, 1 or more patterns and at least one text element.
    2. Rotoscope animation from video stills
    3. Walk cycle animation

    Class 11, Tuesday July 11


    From "Photoshop CC 2015 Essential Training" (NOTE THIS IS NOT 2017)
    Chapter 23. Moving Images
    Creating animated GIF (approximately 5 minutes)

    Read from The Language of Graphic Design: 18 Tone; 19 Contrast

    Class 12, Thursday July 13