a
Digital Media

Professor Daniel J. Falabella, Ph.D., Chair
Associate Professor Matthew Garrison, M.F.A.
Assistant Professors Jocelyn Kolb, M.F.A. and Wil Lindsay, M.F.A.


Combined Major in Digital Media

The digital media combined major can be combined with any other major. The digital media curriculum consists of core courses, courses in a chosen focus area and a senior seminar. The core courses cover digital theory and history with industry standard technology in relation to art, design and special effects. Students can then choose to pursue a focus area that deals with art, communications or computer science. The digital media capstone is a senior seminar where students develop a portfolio of professional-quality projects demonstrating their creative and technical potential to employers, clients, curators, collectors and graduate schools.

Throughout each course, students are assigned creative exercises, readings and projects designed to develop production skills and challenge intellectual and aesthetic assumptions.

Digital media enables students to become leaders in their given vocation, to empower them with state-of- the-art technical knowledge and foster an individual's creative vision.

Digital media prepares students to successfully pursue careers in the expanding field of digital production and art direction. Students are trained for a number of careers that include, but are not limited to the following:

• 3D animation, digital character development and virtual cinematography
• Digital video and special effects
• Interactive media and CD-ROM construction
• Digital fine art, design and installation
• Web site development
• Computer gaming
• Art direction and media production

Requirements

Core Courses

• Computer Graphics Art and Design (ART 265) (counts as General Studies Foundations Fine Arts) Note: ART 265 is a prerequisite for all digital media courses
• Digital Video I (DIG 201)
• Digital Literacy (DIG 265)
• Illustration & Design (DIG 270)
• Visual Programming (DIG 380) (counts as General Studies Foundations Quantitative Reasoning)
• Web Design (DIG 315)
• Senior Seminar (DIG 420)

Focus Area -- Two courses required

Art Focus

  • Design (ART 103)
  • Modern Art & Design Concepts (ART 256)

Communications Focus

  • Writing for the Mass Media (COM 222) (Prerequisites are waived for digital media concentrators)
  • Writing for Public Relations (COM 327) (Prerequisites are waived for digital media concentrators)

Computer Science Focus

  • Game Programming (CSC 383)
  • Game Design (DIG 383)

A course cannot count for both a Digital Media Focus Area requirement and for a requirement for the student's other combined major.

 


 

Interdisciplinary Major in Digital Communications

The Digital Media and Communications programs offer an interdisciplinary major focused on the study of Digital Communications.  Beyond a traditional pairing of two “combined majors,” this interdisciplinary course of study will develop students who are well-versed in the theory and practice of digital communications and have the skills to excel in the rapidly changing media industry. This major will appeal to students who wish to apply their writing skills and industry knowledge through online and broadcast media and will equip Albright graduates for careers in digital journalism and marketing, corporate communications, and public relations, among other fields. Courses emphasize the broader history and social effects of media and digital culture as well as theories guiding digital production and advertising, such as semiotics and media convergence. Theory is put into practice through specialized courses in writing, digital production, research, illustration and design, and experiential opportunities such as work with campus media and internships with regional publications and agencies. 

Digital Communications Curriculum

The Digital Communications major is grounded in theory, social impact, and industry practice and extends practical experience in both writing and visual design and production, culminating with two senior-level courses.  Students will take:

  • 6 theory/social impact/industry practices courses
  • 3 writing courses
  • 3 visual design and production courses
  • 2 senior-level courses

Theory / Social Impact / Industry Practice

Required:
COM260/DIG260: Communication Theories in the Semiotics of Digital Media
DIG201: Digital Video
DIG265: Digital Literacy
COM250: Mass Communication & Society
COM/DIG 333: Practicum
DIG301: Video Production II

Choose one:
COM317: Public Relations & Advertising
COM321: Media History
COM320: Freedom of Expression

Writing

Required:
COM222: Writing for Mass Media

Choose two:
COM315: Public Affairs Reporting
COM319: Feature Writing
COM327: Writing for Public Relations & Advertising
COM390: Multiplatform writing

Visual Design & Production

Choose One FOCUS:
FOCUS 1
DIG315: Web Design
DIG383: Web Design II
FOCUS 2
DIG270: Illustration & Design
DIG383: Design II

Senior Requirement
COM480: Senior Seminar in Communications
DIG420: Capstone

 


 

Interdisciplinary Major in Digital Studio Art

The interdisciplinary major in Digital Studio Art, offered with the Art Department, is grounded in theory, visual communication, social impact and industry practice.  It provides practical experience in writing and visual communication, design and production.

Requirements:

  • ART 101 Drawing
  • ART 103 Design
  • ART 113 Sculpture
  • ART 215 Video and Filmmaking
  • ART 216 Photography
  • ART 256 Modern Art and Design Concepts
  • ART 265 Computer Graphics
  • ART 400 Studio Topics
  • DIG 265 Digital Literacy
  • DIG 270 Digital Illustration and Design
  • DIG 315 Web Design
  • DIG 420 Senior Seminar
  • IDS 252 Aesthetic Rebels in Film and Art

 

Interdisciplinary Major in Digital Video Arts

The interdisciplinary major in Digital Video Arts, offered with the Theatre Department, prepares students to hone their theatrical creativity for careers in film and new media.

Requirements:

  • ART 265 Computer Graphics (Required General Studies Foundations Fine Arts)
  • THR 101 The Creative Process
  • THR 150 Acting Studio I
  • THR 213 Audio Technology 
  • THR 280 Script Analysis
  • DIG 201 Digital Video I 
  • DIG 265 Digital Literacy 
  • DIG 300 Digital Media Production
  • DIG 301 Digital Video II
  • MUS 241 Electronic Music I
  • THR 252 Acting for the Camera
  • THR 361 Screenwriting
  • ARA 390 Project Management
  • THR/DIG 382 Internship
  • DIG 420 Senior Seminar

 

Interdisciplinary Major in Game and Simulation Development

A combined offering from the Computer Science and Digital Media departments

Integrating computer science, digital media, mathematics, music and physics, this interdisciplinary major will teach you how to utilize software engineering principles to implement game and simulation technologies.

Moreover, you’ll benefit from a liberal arts approach to game and simulation development. In addition to studying programming, artificial intelligence, game engine development, and industry-standard software packages, you’ll learn from a curriculum expressly structured to strengthen creative and critical thinking, oral and written communication skills, and personal, social and global awareness. The result is an education that positions you to be competitive in a rapidly expanding field.

Outcomes

  • Application of software engineering skills to game and simulation development
  • Increased creative and critical thinking skills
  • Strengthened oral and written communication abilities
  • Heightened personal, social and global awareness

Possible career fields

  • Software engineering
  • Software development
  • Computer science

Program Curriculum

  • ART 265 Computer Graphics
  • CSC 141 Foundations of Computer Science I
  • CSC 305 Data Structures
  • CSC 311 Gaming Physics and Math
  • CSC 372 Graphics Programming
  • CSC 391 Mobile Programming
  • CSC 491 Client/Server (Networking for Games)
  • CSC 491 Artificial Intelligence Programming
  • DIG 280 Game History and Development
  • DIG 310 Introduction to Game Design
  • DIG 311 Experience Design
  • DIG 320 Simulation Design
  • DIG 380 Visual Programming
  • DIG 470 Game Production
  • MUS 231 Music and Audio Design for Games

Students interested in this major should contact Professor Dan Falabella.

 

 

Courses

ART 265
Computer Graphics Art and Design
Computer Graphics is a combined studio/lecture course providing instruction in the use of industry-standard digital media tools. Students learn from the perspective of an artist and designer the essentials of digital still image creation, graphic design and digital animation. This course not only provides students with a strong technical foundation, but it also introduces students to the concepts intrinsic to art and design in the digital age.

DIG 201
Digital Video
This hands-on course introduces students to the concepts and technological knowledge that support the fields of digital video, script writing, lighting and non-linear editing. Students work individually and in groups on a series of short video productions using the Final Cut Pro Suite, an industry standard editing and special effects software package. Cinematic history, aesthetic philosophy and key applications are taught through class demonstrations, exercises and lectures. Digital skills and a personal vocabulary are developed further through class critiques and individual instruction. Prequisite: ART 265

DIG 230
3D Animation and Special Effects
This studio provides instruction in the use of industry-standard digital animation, special effects and conceptualization applications. Students learn from the perspective of a digital media designer/producer/director the essentials of creating virtual environments, characters and special effects. Emphasis is placed on the foundations of modeling and animating in the 3D virtual environment, preparing each designer to tackle more advanced modeling and animation methods known by professional artists. In conjunction with becoming familiar with the foundations of Maya, students develop the critical skills necessary to accurately assess the impact that digital tools have on the ways in which visual messages communicate, influence and inform our cultural and intellectual contemporary landscape. Prequisite: ART 265

DIG 265
Digital Literacy
This course introduces students to the concepts and technological news driving digital media. Students investigate the new aesthetic tradition inherent in digital culture, gaming, instant messaging, artificial intelligence, computer graphics, digital design and the Internet. Digital history, aesthetic philosophy, and key applications are examined through class lecture and studio projects. Students are expected to consider these concerns while formulating their work. In-class critiques and individual instruction are used to refine student work. Prequisite: ART 265

DIG 270
Digital Illustration and Design
This course will cover the use of art and design as creative tools in mass communications and art media. Through creative design projects and discussions/critiques, students will create raster and vector imagery to populate original print-ready designs. Upon completion of the course students will have technical skills (Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator) sufficient to design, illustrate and professionally package press ready projects, as well as understand design, composition and conceptual integration of text and imagery. Prequisite: ART 265

DIG 280
Game History and Development
This class will explore the history of digital game design as well as the technologies, culture and social-sphere that surrounds it. The course will cover digital and electronic games and platforms, as well as the tools of development employed in their creation. An exploration of the relationship between these elements and their influence on contemporary game design and culture will be central to the course. Prequisite: ART 265

DIG 300
Digital Media Production
This course provides an intensive hands-on investigation into a wide range of digital production tools. Skills are honed as students develop their creativity within the context of specific software applications. Students create new work for their portfolios with an emphasis on individual objectives and specific areas of interest. In addition to studio work, students examine pertinent readings in digital media and visual communications through papers and classroom discussion. Readings and essays also provide a theoretical framework for effective communication in individualized projects.

DIG 301
Digital Video II
This course is an opportunity for serious video students to hone their skills as an editor, director and cinematographer through the development of ambitious projects. Sound and cinematography are integrated into the concepts inherent in their productions. The screen functions as an immersive, temporal canvas where students in Digital Video II develop their green screening techniques and integrate special effects software into their productions. The primary software in Digital Video II includes the advanced application of Final Cut Pro with After Effects and Motion. Students are expected to write, storyboard, edit and shoot their productions. Outcomes of the course consist of work to be included in student portfolios for graduate school and potential employment, as well as the ability to critically think about their work in relationship to other artists and in relationship to their own objectives as an artist and filmmaker in the digital age. Prerequisite: DIG 201

DIG 310
Introduction to Game Design 
This course will explore the practice and theory that surrounds interactive game design.  The course will focus on the principles of game design, the social and cultural context of games, and the application of these concepts.  Particular attention will be placed on individual creativity, the collaborative design process, and an understanding of the meaning of "gaming" and "play" in contemporary culture. Basic prototyping and design software will be used as a part of this course. Prerequisite: ART 265

DIG 311
Experience Design and Narrative 
This class will introduce students to new ways of thinking about interactivity and storytelling.  Students will analyze how the interactive structure of an experience creates narrative.  Focus will be placed on non-linear narratives, online interactive storytelling, alternative reality and narrative structures in game systems. Students will research the history that led to these genres and create their own interactive experience as part of the class. Prerequisite: DIG 280, DIG 310

DIG 315
Web Design
This class integrates Macromedia Flash MX with other applications resulting in web-based design and animation for online distribution. This course aids students in the development of their work within a professional standard emphasizing the concept of form and function. Students are taught appropriate history, aesthetic philosophy and key applications through class lecture and studio projects. They are expected to consider these concerns while formulating their work. In-class critiques and individual instruction are used to refine student work. Prequisite: ART 265

DIG 320
Simulation Design 
The Simulation Design Class will explore how programmers and designers can manage the simulation of small and large-scale systems and environments in both games and applied-simulation fields. A focus will be placed on the frameworks used in these simulations, including design of rule-systems, asset management, and managing out-of-simulation input.  Prerequisite: DIG 280, DIG 310

DIG 330
3D Animation II
This studio course is a combination of hands-on exercises and in-class research designed for ambitious animators already familiar with working in the three-dimensional realm in AliasWavefront Maya and/or other 3D applications. This course introduces new methods of creating and manipulating both polygonal and nurb shapes developed by 3D artists who have researched for years to find the best methods of achieving effects and models. Students also learn the native language of Maya, MEL, by hands-on use for specific special effects. By exploring such methods, students are able to choose and acquire their own techniques, and gain control of the 3D world at the professional level.
Prerequisite: DIG 230

DIG 370
Game Production Capstone 
The Game Production course is designed to give participants an understanding of the digital game production process, from a product's inception to its public release.  While learning the methods, tools, and techniques used by game development teams, the class will create a real-world product, test it, market it, and release it to the public.  Aspects of design, aesthetic, interface, monetization, and social and cultural context will all be considered. Prerequisite: DIG 310, 311

DIG 380
Visual Programming
This course targets an audience of individuals within the context of the visual arts who are interested in creating interactive and visual work though writing software but who have little or no prior programming experience. Many people think programming is only for people who are good at math and other technical disciplines. In this course, we will be extending the programming space to engage people who think differently, people with visual and spatial minds. The language used is called processing. This language makes it possible to introduce software concepts in the context of the arts and also to open arts concepts to a more technical group.  Satisfies the General Studies Foundations Quantitative Reasoning requirement.

DIG 420
Senior Seminar
This course is meant as a rite of passage from an undergraduate student to a professional working in the field or a scholar and artist pursuing graduate studies. The faculty works closely with students in the creation of a portfolio showcasing each student's work while demonstrating aesthetic and critical thinking. Writing assignments, resume´ construction and art and design coursework augment the senior seminar experience. Students must utilize all their talents, creative thinking, and honed craft when creating work for group critiques.

DIG 470
Game Production
This course is designed to give participants an understanding of the digital game production process, from a product’s inception to its public release. While learning the methods, tools, and techniques used by game development teams, the class will create a real-world product, test it, market it, and release it to the public.  Aspects of design, aesthetic, interface, monetization, and social and cultural context will all be considered. Prerequisite: DIG 310, DIG 311

MUS 231
Music and Sound Design for Games and Video
This class will examine the creation and application of music and sound design as used in contemporary games, video, and other digital media.  A focus will be placed on the relationship of audio to user experience and as a method of feedback in traditional and non-traditional gaming systems.  The student will learn how to mix and synchronize soundtrack elements to video.  Both the development process and consideration of final product will be explored.  Prequisite: ART 265

top