Instructor: Assistant Professor Dan Fergus
Office: Stewart Hall 130
Office hours: none during the summer, but I'm usually here 10am-5pm on Tues & Thur
Office phone: 320-308-3074 [note that e-mail is a better way to get hold of me]
E-mail : (or) (or) use this handy form
This course will introduce students to advanced digital editing and motion graphic techniques. Students will use Final Cut and Adobe After Effects to create professional-level video productions and products.
- Credits: 3
Upon completion of this course, students will be able to :
- Use Final Cut X for the creation of professional-level video pieces;
- Create complex timeline-based animations using keyframes in After Effects;
- Composite, use effects, and other advanced motion graphic tools and techniques to create television and/or commercial graphics;
- Use motion graphics tools like AE to communicate information to, and about, diverse cultures with sensitivity and appropriateness;
- Final Cut Pro X by Weynand. Peachpit, ISBN-13: 978-0-321-77467-5
- Abode After Effects Classroom In a Book, ISBN-13: 978-0-321-70449-8
- External hard drive.
- Headphones or earbuds.
This course will consist largely of hands-on use of various media programs. Most weeks I will lecture/demonstrate new tools and techniques and students will follow along and complete exercises. In addition there will be several larger projects that span multiple weeks. Although there may be some class given to these projects, it is expected that students will have to work several hours outside of class to complete them.
The SCSU Department of Mass Communications is committed to preserving and fostering diversity and complying with the equity guidelines set up by the university. We recognize diversity in the faculty, staff and students, and strive to enhance the richness offered by this variety. It is important to be respectful of one another's thoughts and ideas. It is expected that students, professor, and guests treat everyone fairly, regardless of gender, class, ethnicity, religion, disability, nationality, or sexual orientation (or anything else for that matter). This is not to say that students should refrain from offering their opinions, defending their beliefs, or arguing against ideas they disagree with; however, it is expected that any such discussions be thoughtful and respectful, as outlined above.
I will make every effort to post copies of class syllabi, assignments, study guides, and other handouts on the web, both at www.danfergusdesign.com/classfiles/ as well as D2L. If you miss class, or lose a handout, you should be able to download a new copy from this site. If you need to get hold of me and you have no access to e-mail, you may contact me via a form from this site (www.danfergusdesign.com/contact.html). Grades will be posted on D2L.
The Internet is a very useful tool for research and in this class in particular we will be referring to it quite a bit. However, it should not be used as entertainment while in class. Students are not be permitted to surf the net, play games, or use e-mail during class time.
To plagiarize is “to steal and pass off the ideas or words of another as one’s own” (Webster’s Dictionary). Students found plagiarizing material from any secondary source will receive a failing grade on the assignment, and may be subject to further disciplinary action. Students should consult with me to verify the proper citation style to be used for specific assignments.
Cell Phones will not be allowed in my classroom unless they are silent. Students are not permitted to talk on cell phones in class.
Project 1: Movie trailer
Students will use Final Cut X to create an original 2+ minute movie trailer for a public domain movie. In addition to technical proficiency, careful consideration must be given to shot selection, pacing, sound balance, and a host of other concerns. The goal is to create a compelling, visually arresting piece that effectively introduces the film and creates a desire to see it in the part of the viewer.
Project 2: Animated PSA for a college diversity group
Students will select from a diversity-minded SCSU organization and/or service (such as the American Indian Center, LGBT Resource Center and Multicultural Student Services), and create a 30-second animated public service announcement, suitable to commercial television. Students will research their chosen group and learn as much as they can about its mission, activities and services. The ad will be created using Adobe After Effects.
Project 3: TV show titles
Students will create the opening titles to a fictional television show (one they create). Students will also shoot their own video. Emphasis will be on the use of text, animation, compositing, and incorporation of original video.
Project 4: TBA
The final project will utilize After Effects special effects tools and techniques. The specific nature of the project is to be determined...
|Project 1: Trailer||20%|
|Project 2: Animated PSA||20%|
|Project 3: TV titles||20%|
|Project 4: TBA||20%|
|Attendance & class participation||10%|
Base Grading Rubric
|Concept /originality||Very original idea. Fresh, and inventive and fun.||Good idea, but not entirely original.||Concept is sufficient to complete project, but it lacks originality.||Concept is a poor match for the assignment and/or a rehash of other people's ideas and images.|
|Design / aesthetics||Project is well designed, attractive, and eye-catching. It makes excellent use of color, typography and effects.||The project is attractive, but one or more design aspects (color, type, composition) could be improved.||The project is has some visual appeal, but multiple design aspects (color, type, composition) could be improved||The project has minimal aesthetic appeal. More attention needs to be paid to color, type, etc.|
|Use of timeline animation||Animation is smooth, complex, well-paced, and makes good use of multiple animation techniques.||While generally good, the animation is a little rough in spots. A greater variety of techniques could be used.||The animation is rough or overly simple. Limited techniques are used.||Very little animation is used, and/or it is of poor quality, demonstrating little skill.|
|Use of video||Shots are all well framed, varied, and eye-catching. Lighting is balanced and focus is sharp.||Shots are mostly well-framed, but could vary more. One or more shots lacks focus or is under/over lit.||There is little variety in shot selection and/or many of the shots are not well composed. Several shots are under or overexposed or backlit or out of focus or all of the above.||The project has no aesthetic appeal; the shots are poorly framed and there is little or no variety. The majority of the shots are poorly lit and/or out of focus.|
|Use of sound||The audio is clear, loud enough and well balanced.||Audio has minor problems with clarity or balance.||Audio is uneven and/or muddy or noisy in places.||The audio is very poor, hard to understand, jarring and inconsistent.|
|Editing||The video is well edited with excellent pacing, well-balanced sound, and clean cuts.||While generally strong, the video has some rough spots—choppy edits, uneven audio or pacing that could be tightened.||The video has numerous sloppy edits, uneven sound, and/or is poorly paced.||The video is a mess of bad editing, inconsistent audio and uneven pacing.|
|Experimentation (trying tools and techniques)||The student took numerous chances and experimented boldly and successfully with tools and techniques.||The student experimented with several tools or techniques with interesting results.||The student mostly played it safe, only trying one or two things.||The student did not experiment with any tools or techniques.|
|Information / entertainment value||The project is very informative and/or entertaining. I held my interest the entire time.||The project is pretty informative and/or entertaining, but it lacks depth.||The project has some good content, but it's getting lost amid boring or tasteless stretches of content, or is too sparse and needs to be developed.||The project has no informational or entertainment value.|
|Diversity awareness||The student demonstrate exceptional knowledge in and sensitivity to the subject. Diversity-related issues were well researched and integrated.||The student showed a basic understanding of the subject and integrated it into the project.||The student's understanding and integration of diversity-related issues is poor. Minimal attempts at understanding were made.||The student did not demonstrate any knowledge of diversity-related issues.|