MM125 - Foundations of Digital Media
Introduces the process of digitizing media such as images, audio, and video, and the use of software tools used to manipulate digital media.
After completing this course, students should be able to:
- describe the general process of sampling and quantizing analog media to create a digital representation;
- describe the specific process of digitizing/encoding images, audio, and video;
- use representative digital imaging software to capture and manipulate digital images;
- use representative digital audio software to capture and manipulate audio;
- demonstrate workflows for creating digital media.;
This course requires your attention for at least 7 to 9 hours a week in addition to the three hours a week you spend in class, i.e. reviewing lectures and taking notes. The logic being, if you are a full-time student, "full-time" equates to 40 hours a week (say in a regular job) and a student with a full load, i.e. 12 to 15 credits is considered a "full-time" student. So if you spend 12 hours a week in class, at least 28 hours should be spent outside of class studying, preparing, and completing the assignments.
This class supplies students in the Multimedia Studies concentration in Computer Science/Multimedia Studies and students in the Digital Design concentration in Media Arts with fundamental knowledge of the composition of digital media and the tools used to create digital images, audio, and video. You are required to keep up with the reading, study the lectures, take notes, post to the discussion boards, and complete assignments.
We will be spending one to two days a week in the studio working through various activities designed to familiarize you with the software and common "workflows" used to achieve particular results. The workflows will give you a chance to work with the tools, effects, and processes that are common to particular image, audio, and video applications. The studio exercises will help reinforce the concepts presented in lecture and serve as an opportunity to put various techniques that we discuss into practice.
Please keep in mind creative necessity is at the root of any work that you do. Creative exploration, pushing boundaries, and experimentation are celebrated in this course. Simply jumping through the hoops to complete an activity can only yield average and unthoughtful work. In other words, the workflows you will learn serve merely as a guide or framework for producing more meaningful and/or unique work that has value. This is especially true in the more advanced courses that follow MM125.
Online students are required to download and install software that will allow them to complete the studio exercises. Emphasis will be given to the following software packages on the Mac platform, Adobe Photoshop, Apple Logic Express, and Apple Final Cut Pro. Students can download trial versions of software to allow them to complete the studio exercises. Students can also download "open source " applications for free to their PC or their Mac to complete assignments but note, this may be a bit more cumbersome. Please note that all tech support questions related to installation and maintenance of the application must be handled by the online communities that support those applications. Consider this a part of reading and learning in this course.
Software and Hardware Requirements
- For online students, you need a computer capable of handling processor intensive digital media files. Any relatively new Mac or PC should be fine. As stated, MM125 was initially built around Adobe Photoshop, Apple Logic Express, and Apple Final Cut Pro and it is preferable to have these applications. If however you prefer a PC and/or do not have the applications specified check here for a list of apps that will allow you to complete the studio exercises.
- You will need a high speed internet connection.
- If you are on campus or using a computer that is set up for public access you need a Flash Drive or some sort of data storage to back up your work. Do not trust a public computer when it comes to storing your important work.
- If you are taking the course on-campus, you will have access to EOU's state of the art Digital Imaging Lab and will be issued a code to get access to this lab.
- An EOU email account checked frequently.
Grading Policies and Exams
This course requires students to take exams through Blackboard. Online students will have a one week window to take each exam. All grades are posted in and calculated in Blackboard.
- On-campus students: three absences and your grade will be dropped a letter grade. Five will justify lowering two grades.
- Final Exam (cumulative) - 20% of final grade
- 2 Exams - 25% each of final grade
- Studio Assignments - 30% of final grade
The exam schedule is:
- Exam 1 = On campus: Monday the 5th Week. Online: 8am Monday through 5pm Friday, the 5th Week.
- Exam 2 = On campus: Wednesday the 8th Week. Online: 8am PST Monday through 5pm PST Friday, the 8th Week.
- Final Exam = On campus: Click here for final exam time. Online: 8am PST Monday through 5pm PST Friday, the Finals Week.
Credit for Studio Assignments
Studio assignments must be turned in on time for credit. No late work will be accepted. How do you turn in assignments?
- In the first studio exercises dealing with digital imaging, simply email the requested files to me.
- For the audio/sound assignments you, again, can email me the assignments.
- For the studio exercises that involve video, you will need to post your video to YouTube or Vimeo, then you will need to email me the link to your work.
Text or Suggested Materials
View and take notes on the online MM125 - Video Lectures to gain mastery of the material.
The required text for this course is available on the Internet and is available in several formats. You only need one. "The Digital Media Primer" can be purchased and/or downloaded here:
- http://www.coursesmart.com/digital-media-primer-digital-audio-video/yue-ling-wong/dp/9780132936323 - $45 (download and print)
- http://www.amazon.com/Digital-Media-Primer-2nd-Edition/dp/0132893509/ref=dp_ob_title_bk - $98 (print copy)
- http://www.amazon.com/Digital-Primer-2-download-Edition-ebook/dp/B007O10RBK/ref=tmm_kin_title_0 - $79 (kindle)
The EOU bookstore does not have a copy.
If you are having trouble grasping certain applications, like Photoshop or GIMP for example, I recommend a subscription to lynda.com. This website provides high quality software training for applications like GIMP, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, Garageband, Logic Pro, and others. It's a great resource and I use it when I need to get up to speed on various software applications. Of course you can search out tutorials on the Internet as well. They are plentiful.
Means of Assessment
- Studio assignments, exams, and a final exam will be used to assess mastery of the material.
Brief Outline of Course (subject to change)
- Week 1 - Welcome. What is Digital Media: Analog vs. digital? Encoding: Sampling and Quantizing. Bits and bytes. Base-10 and Base-2. File size. Compression: Lossy versus lossless.
- Lecture: MM125 - Video Lectures#Week One
- Chapter One - Background, pgs. 1-21.
- What is digital media literacy and why is it important?
- What is an analog signal?
- Binary/Decimal Conversions
- Week 2 - Digital imaging. Sampling and quantizing in digital imaging. Bit-mapped images and vector. File Types of Digital Images. Digital Image File Size and Optimization.
- Lecture: MM125 - Video Lectures#Week Two
- Chapter Two - Fundamentals of Digital Imaging, pgs. 23-37.
- Learn the Basics of Photoshop in Under 25 Minutes (VIdeo)
- Your First Rendezvous With Photoshop – Basix (Video)
- Week 3 - Color representation in digital images. RGB, CMYK, CIE XYZ, HSB, and other color models. Reproducing colors in digital images. Adjustment layers. Color channels.
- Week 4 - Scanning. Digital photography. Color and tonal adjustments. Common tools in digital image editing programs—selection, layer, color and tonal
adjustment, fine-tuning specific parts, sharpening. Layers and advanced layers. PPI. Printing. Optimizing images for the Web.
- Week 5 - Introduction to Digital Audio. The nature of sound waves. Frequency and Pitch. Adding sound waves together. Digitizing Sound - Sampling and Quantizing. Nyquist’s theorem. Dynamic Range. Normalizing digital audio. File types, digital audio file size optimization and file types. What is MIDI?
- Week 6 - Acquiring Digital Audio. Basic workspace elements in digital audio editing programs. Basic digital audio editing: re-assembling waveform, changing volume, noise reduction, special effects, downsampling and reduction of bit depth, general steps of digital audio recording touch-up. Music creation: MIDI, loop music, delivery of digital audio, use in video, use in multimedia authoring, for web, audio CD.
- Week 7 - What is digital video. Broadcast standards, past and present. Frame rates. Interlaced versus progressive scan. Overscan and safe zones. YUV, the color format for video. Sampling and quantizing. Measuring frame size and resolution of video. Counting time, SMPTE time code.
- Week 8 - Digital video standards i.e. production standards. Digital television broadcast standards. File types and video optimization. Video file size and data rates. Types of video compression: temporal, spatial, asymmetrical, symmetrical, lossless, lossy.
- Week 9 - Capturing and digitizing video. Types of digital video cameras. Common workspace and workflow in digital video editing programs. Tools and techniques in digital video editing. Output and distribute your final video.
- Week 10 - Deliver and screen the final cut of your trailer. Review.
- Final Exam is cumulative covering all material presented in the course.
- Be sure to visit the disclaimers page for information on academic misconduct and disabilities.