Syllabus- Motion Graphics



Motion Graphics explores the potential of TIME-BASED MEDIA for creative expression and communications within the context of visual art and design. This class will include assignments in moving text and image. We will look at examples of contemporary works and the history of time-based art and design for inspiration. We will explore and work to bring forth the conceptual potential of motion graphics. This course is intended to develop a visual vocabulary and an imaginative approach to motion graphics.


The student will:

  • Learn fundamental principles and theories of motion graphics (CS)
    • Utilize the Elements and Principles of Design to create a portfolio of motion graphics works
  • Develop specific skills, competencies, and points of view needed by professionals in the field of photography (CS)
    • Demonstrate technical skills in software function, composition, and editing techniques
    • Demonstrate skills in the structuring of 4D pictorial space using the elements of design
    • Demonstrate skills for effective presentation by using good craftsmanship
  • Develop creative capacities in artistic photography (CD)
    • Develop a portfolio of work with a personal artistic voice
    • Describe relevant historical and contemporary artists and designers in motion graphics


Our goal will be to attend equally to the formal, contextual, and technical aspects of each subject we address.

Work will consist of:
• in-class studio: short and long-term projects
• out-of-class completion of tutorials
• discussion and critique
• presentations
• viewing of works in various media, in and out of class
• some reading of relevant theories, histories
• research of relevant artists, artifacts for source materials and examples


This course will include lecture style instruction but a majority of the class will use a collaborative student centered approach to obtaining the learning objectives.  It is well documented that teaching others is the best way to retain information; therefore we will take seriously the task of helping those around you.  Additionally we will work to develop a strong working creative community in this class.  I am responsible for leading the development of this community.   I am very invested in your progress towards the learning objectives as I take on the various roles of a teacher: instructor, facilitator, and coach. I am continually developing my courses and instructional strategies for the benefit of all; your feedback will be asked for throughout the duration of this class.


Photoshop CS6: 3D and Timeline features
After Effects CS6
Flash CC
Edge Animate CC

Research techniques and processes
Work-flow for ideation and editing
Web and Video presentation strategies

Collage and Compositing
Information Visualization, Illustration, and Instructional Imagery
Documentary and Narrative

Mobility, Speed, and Network

Art 201 Design Theory and ART 240 Graphic Design 1 are prerequisites for this course. You should have a basic knowledge of Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Experience with video editing software is helpful.


  • Digital storage device 100GB or larger
  • com Premium subscription for 2 months $70
  • Sketchbook and pen/pencil- you must always have your sketchbook in class to take notes. There is a lot of technical information that will not be repeated, and students are responsible for the information presented during demos and lectures.
  • Headphones for sound editing and personal music



The following will be expected of you in this course:
1. WORK: You should expect to spend as much as eight hours a week outside of class on projects (or more if you wait until the last minute). You may be asked to work with a partner on these projects; you will be expected to respect this arrangement by contributing equally and showing up for arranged meetings.

2. PATIENCE: Important to the success of this technology-intensive course is your willingness to adapt and problem-solve in the face of unexpected (even disastrous) technical snafus. You will be expected to demonstrate that you have done everything possible to achieve all projects. Creativity in the face of adversity (even, occasionally, at the expense of departing from stated project parameters) will help all of us in our attempts to explore these media.

3. PARTICIPATION: Attendance is mandatory, and timeliness is important to our staying on schedule – VERY IMPORTANT – for every three sessions you miss your grade will drop a full level (miss three, your grade could drop from A to B, B to C, etc). You will also be expected to contribute to class discussions and critiques through your thoughtful and relevant questions, comments, challenges, suggestions.

4. POLICY: Be aware of the College’s Policy on Academic Integrity + Nondiscrimination as they apply to this class


Your grade in this course will consist of:

Regular attendance is a necessity, as is classroom participation. Both will have a crucial bearing on your final grade.
Excessive absences [3 or more] can lower a grade by one full letter or more.
Three late arrivals to class will constitute an absence.

If you show up without work required to participate in classroom activities, you will be considered absent.

Projects not delivered on time will receive one letter grade deduction for every weekday not delivered.

The artwork created in class will be evaluated and graded according to the following criteria, and is not a relative scale based on the output of the class (i.e. no bell curve guarantee):

60%         Projects (6)

      • Fulfills Project Criteria
      • Skill
      • Creativity
      • Craft
      • Composition & Design
      • Studio Practice

25%         Tutorial assignments

15%         Participation

      • In-Class Exercises
      • Work in Progress Critiques
      • Critique Participation

A outstanding; thoughtful and intelligent ideas presented in a clear, organized, and engaging manner; both concept and execution illustrate critical thinking and engagement with course material. Brings new examples to discussion, extends the course material through discovery and sharing of new relevant material. Goes above and beyond for homework assignments, in quantity, complexity, and competence.
B good; the ideas are interesting and successfully presented; shows potential, but not necessarily distinctive.  talks often in class discussions, shares material with others, spends more time than required for projects, completes them with competence and great time spent.
C mediocre; achieves minimum requirements of the assignment, but not particularly clear, successful, or ambitious.
D poor; does not satisfy the minimum requirements of the assignment; generally unsatisfactory in terms of quality and clarity.
F Total lack of engagement in class-time, meager efforts on incomplete projects.

Numeric evaluation means:

0 – no evidence
1 – Some evidence
2 – Evidence
3 – Quality evidence
4 – High quality evidence

Your final grade will be calculated based on: numeric evaluations (using standard 4 point grade scale) showing signs of improvement, proper completion of all assignments, participation in class discussion and critiques, and attendance.