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Digital Design Certificate Program

Dates:

Sept 3, 2013 - April 4, 2014

Location: Online
Hours of Instruction: 138 hours for the full program
Program Fee: $1450 for program or
$400 per individual course
Registration: See Below
Course Policies

 

About the Program:

Over the next decade the demand for designers well-trained in the applications of digital technologies is expected to grow significantly. This will mean expanding opportunities in such fields as website and social media design, advertising, publishing, gaming, and video entertainment. Whether you are a student looking to develop a solid foundation in digital design skill sets or a professional seeking to broaden your capabilities, this 24-week online certificate program will give you a leg up in that direction.

Through video tutorials, interactive media demonstrations and a strong social media component, this curriculum will help you develop a solid understanding of the fundamental principles of digital color and design. Within each course, guided exercises carefully explain the function and application of critical toolsets and individual projects, based on those exercises, provide each student with the opportunity for personal creative expression. Throughout the program, completed projects are uploaded to an online gallery where peer review and instructor feedback are an essential part of the artistic experience.

This online program consists of four 6-week courses, begining in September and completing in April.  Dates for indvidual courses can be seen in the course description section.  All four courses must be completed in order to earn the certificate.

Note:  It is recommended that students begin this certificate program with Fundamentals of Color and Design, beginning Sept 3.  However, it is possible to begin with the second course in the series, Into to Still Image Design, which begins October 14.  Students wishing to complete the full four-course program will need to add Fundamentals at the end of their program.

Course Descriptions:

The Fundamentals of Digital Color and Design

In the digital technology environment, with all of it’s 1’s and 0’s, the designer must have a comprehensive understanding of how color is generated and applied. This course provides an overview of the binary number system, (don’t worry, no heavy math…) and covers the fundamental aspects of color modes, including RGB for light-based projects and CMYK and flat colors for print projects. It explains the basic layout characteristics of pixels and vector-based art, and demystifies the function and application of color channels, alpha channels, composite modes and other color adjustments.  Students should anticipate 3-5 hours per week of study time in this course.  Sept 3 - Oct 11, 2013.

Intro to Still Image Design

This course provides a thorough introduction to digital still image design using Adobe Photoshop, the industry standard design and production software for raster-based images.  Exercises and projects will explore the areas of photo manipulation, composting, and layout design (including text), and will be based on the creative application of production techniques, project planning, and the artistic principles of color theory and content. There will be a student project gallery, critique and feedback areas, and downloadable videos specific to the curriculum. Particular techniques will include layer masks, adjustment layers, blending options cloning, toning, filters, and color correction.   Students should anticipate spending 2 hours on an exercise, 3 or more hours on a project, and 1 hour on  peer review each week.   Oct 14 - Nov 22, 2013.

Vector-Based Illustration

Adobe Illustrator is the leading software for vector-based art creation. Familiarize yourself with Illustrator tools, interface, and palettes. Learn how to draw with the pen and pencil tools, create curves, and select objects, and then combine these with geometric objects. Modify objects with reshape, transform, and arrange commands. Stroke your paths and color your shapes, add type to your designs, and work with layers and filters. Use brushes, gradients, and blends; open and import images from other applications; and learn what file formats correspond to different outputs. There will be a student project gallery, critique and feedback areas, and downloadable videos specific to the curriculum.  Students should anticipate spending 2 hours on an exercise, 3 or more hours on a project, and 1 hour on peer review each week.  Jan 6 - Feb 14, 2014.

Intro to Motion Design

This course provides a thorough introduction to digital motion design using Adobe After Effects, the industry standard software program for visual effects and 2D motion design projects.  Learn the essentials of choosing bit-depth, creating multimedia projects, importing digitized video footage as well as Photoshop and Illustrator files. There will be a student project gallery, critique and feedback areas, and downloadable videos specific to the curriculum. Practical techniques will include viewing and managing footage, setting key frames, working with alpha channels, applying effects, and animating text. Watch demonstrations of nesting pre-compositions, cloning, and time remapping.  Students should anticipate spending 2 hours on an exercise, 3 or more hours on a project, and 1 hour on peer review each week.  Feb 24 - April 4, 2014.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of the program students will have:
• A thorough understanding of the digital color systems
• A solid understanding of the basic toolsets and techniques of Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects
• Enhanced design capabilities in 2D digital design
• Enhanced design capabilities in Motion Design
• Knowledge of applicable technical standards
• An understanding of the project planning process
• A portfolio of still image and motion design projects

Prerequisites:

Basic computer literacy and an interest in art and design for either personal or professional purposes.

Required Materials:

Students can use either a Mac or a PC and need Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and After Effects (any of the Creative Suite versions, or the Creative Cloud).  All other resources will be provided.

View the necessary computer system requirements at http://umonline.umt.edu/tech_support/system_requirements.php.

Certificate:

Successful completion of this program will culminate in an award of 2.3 CEUs and a certificate of completion.

Registration Information for Individual Courses:

The registration fee is $400 for each of the courses in the program. To register, select the link below to add the course(s) to your registration cart and follow the instructions provided to check out and pay. To register for all four courses, refer to the information below about registering for the Digital Design Certificate Program and receiving a discount.

The Fundamentals of Digital Color and Design – Registration deadline: Tuesday, August 20
Introduction to Still Image Design – Registration deadline: Monday, September 30
Vector-Based Illustration – Registration deadline: Monday, December 23
Introduction to Motion Design – Registration deadline: Monday, February 10

Registration Information for the Digital Design Certificate Program:

The registration fee is $1,450 for the Digital Design Certificate Program. To register, select the link to Digital Design Certificate Program below to add the program to your registration cart. Be sure to also select the links to each of the four courses in the program and add them to your registration cart as well. Once you have added the Digital Design Certificate Program and the four courses to your registration cart, follow the instructions provided to check out and pay. You must register for the program and all four courses at the same time in order to receive the discount.

Digital Design Certificate Program – Registration deadline: Tuesday, August 20

About the Instructors:

Instructor Photo: Rick HughesRick Hughes

Professor, Media Arts
University of Montana
Teaching areas: Digital Technology in the Arts, Photoshop

In the Fall of 1998 Rick helped initiate the integration of digital technology and the arts when he developed and taught the first Integrated Digital Art course at the University of Montana.  A year later he developed and began teaching the first Photoshop course, motion design course and web design course in the School.  Rick continued his busy teaching schedule while serving as Director of the School of Media Arts from 2006 through 2012 and for the past two years has served as Director of Academic Affairs for UMOnline. Currently he teaches in the Integrated Digital Media specialization. His primary research areas are online education and the artistic application of digital technology in the Arts.

Instructor Photo: Greg TwiggGregory Twigg

Associate Professor, Media Arts
University of Montana
Teaching areas: Digital illustration, Motion Design

Twigg received a B.A. in Fine Art as a UM undergraduate, and later completed an MFA in the newly developing Media Arts sector. This combination of traditional and more cutting-edge studies has served him well, as he finds numerous ways to weave the two realms into his work.  After graduate school, Twigg worked full-time for a local advertising firm, where, for a year and a half, he sharpened his image and motion software skills. When  the opportunity arose to teach at the university in 2003, he seized it. Though he still keeps his hands in numerous, freelance opportunities, he has a passion and a gift for teaching his skills to others. He seems to truly appreciate being, as he says, "involved in the variety of creative work that students bring to the table" when working in the Media Arts. Awards: 2004 - Two Gold Addys were awarded by the Montana Addys for his animation work with the Montana Repertory Theater on commercials for their productions of "Steel Magnolias" and "A Streetcar Named Desire." Greg also was awarded a Judges Commendation on his animation for "Steel Magnolias." 

  • School of Extended & Lifelong Learning
  • The University of Montana
  • 32 Campus Drive
  • Missoula, MT  59812
  • Phone: (406) 243-2900
  • Fax: (406) 243-2047
  • Email: sell@umontana.edu