Archive for August, 2009

HNC Interactive Media

August 31, 2009 Leave a comment

This is the first time we’re offering this new(ish) qualification at Carnegie College, replacing the old HNC/D Interactive Multimedia Creation.

I’m teaching 2D Animation F209 34, which is great because I wrote the Coleg Pack for the unit, so I’m quite comfortable with the content.

Spent todays class demonstrating the animation process using materials from my time working on Ruftoon Zoo with Ink Animations/Channel 4. Check this tutorial site called Move It which was designed as part of the project.

I also started showing the students how to do simple animation in Adobe Flash – frame-by-frame animation and basic motion tweening. We made some waving stick men, a flying saucer and a haunted house with flying bats (reminiscent of the old Scooby Doo intro sequence).


Digital Media Computing (Level 6 Higher)

August 30, 2009 Leave a comment

I am currently only doing one unit with this group, Animation Fundamentals F1KB11. I’m personally not keen on this unit as it requires too many repetetive tasks in creating digital images and focusses less on animation.

My class are making a Christmas e-card with Adobe Flash and Photoshop. They will use drawing tools to draw a number of toys which will be loaded into Santa’s sack via a conveyor belt. Santa’s sleigh will then speed off into the night sky, followed by the e-card’s message.

I really hope we can finish this for Christmas so we can use the e-cards for real. We’ll host them on the web and send e-mail links to friends, family and colleagues to show off what we’ve achieved.

NQ and City & Guilds Photography

August 30, 2009 Leave a comment

City & Guilds group are doing the Darkroom Printing unit. During the first week I covered health and safety in the darkroom and demonstrated the process of making a print from a negative. 4 students successfully made their first print in the darkroom while the remainder of the class worked through activities in a booklet on monochrome printing. Students have to make six prints which must belong to a specific theme. Next week we’re going to start taking portrait and group photos, concentrating on using available light and reflectors.

The NQ Photography group are doing Intro to Digital Photography D0F711 and Digital Imaging D7yF12. We looked at camera hardware, features and terminology and also discussed a series of good and bad photographs, with students voting for their favourite photos and justifying their choices. In Digital Imaging we used Photoshop to perform basic adjustments to a series of photographs, adjusting brightness/contrast, colour balance, sharpening/blurring and also cropping. Next time we’ll be looking at the software involved in the digital photography process and moving on to more complex Photoshop manipulations.

NQ Graphic Design Project

August 30, 2009 3 comments

This semester I’m teaching 4 units on the NQ Graphic Design and New Media course (National Certificate Art & Design framework) – Exploratory Media Handling F5CJ 12, Colour F5CE 12, Animation Skills F5BT 11, Digital Media F5CH 12.

I’ve decided to combine these into a single project which will involve the marketing of a new mobile telephone brand.

For each unit students must create some kind of advertising material for the new brand, which can be from a huge range including magazine ads, animated TV advert, web advert, promotional flyer, phone top-up card design, novelty/gimmick item, product packaging, etc.

Each mini-project will require the students to conduct some research, mindmap their ideas, produce preliminary sketches and designs, utilise a variety of traditional and digital media, experment with colour, produce their finals, then evaluate their work.

During the first week the students have undertaken the following activities:

Charcoal drawing – drawing a face and learning about the proportions of the face. Learning about charcoal techniques such as blending and using stencils. Using light and shade and monochromatic/duotone colour schemes.

Line drawing – copying and enlarging part of a pre-made line drawing using pencil. The students then embellish the image with something of their own, such as adding a person or object, or adding detail that isn’t in the original. Learning about scale and proportion, and using the imagination.

Creating a zoetrope – cutting out and constructing a zoetrope (Victorian animation toy) from a template. Learning about following instructions and basic animation principles such as frame rate and frame-by-frame animation.

Constructing a colour wheel – 6 groups of students create a section of the colour wheel by cutting and pasting coloured objects and shapes from magazines onto an equilateral triangle. Pure colours go on the centre, lighter colours towards the base, darker to the point. Colours at each side of the traingle should blend with the neighbouring colours. Students learn about hue, saturation, brightness (or value) and primary/secondary colours and other colour schemes, as well as cooperation and group working.

Research – looking at existing mobile phone adverts, examples of traditional animation techniques and animation processes.

Assessment – students to mindmap ideas for a simple traditional animation such as flipbook or zoetrope which is to be used in advertising a mobile phone brand. Students also produce some preliminary ideas and sketches for discussion the following week. Students are given an example so they see the level of detail and amount of work that is required.

What am I teaching, and how?

August 30, 2009 Leave a comment

This year I’m planning to keep a blog of classroom activities, partly as an aide-memoire for myself, but also as a way of sharing tips or ideas with others. Please feel free to leave comments or suggestions and make this more than a one-way process.

I’m a lecturer at Carnegie College in Dunfermline, Scotland, and I teach on the following programmes:

NQ Graphic Design & New Media (NC Art and Design framework)

NC Digital Media Computing (level 6, Higher)

NQ Photography

City & Guilds Photography (Level 1)

HNC Interactive Media

HND Photography

HNC/D Visual Communication

These are the units I’m teaching during the first sememster (August 2009 – January 2010):

  1. Exploratory Media Handling F5CJ 12
  2. Colour F5CE 12
  3. Animation Skills F5BT 11
  4. Digital Media F5CH 12
  5. Animation Fundamentals F1KB 11
  6. Introduction to Digital Photography D0F7 11
  7. Digital Imaging D7YF12
  8. Darkroom Printing City & Guilds 109
  9. 2D Animation F209 34
  10. Art & Design Context DV5R 35
  11. Digital Imaging Project DX33 35
  12. 2D Computer Animation for Visual Communication: Advanced DX3D 36
  13. Visual Communication: Graded Unit 2 F0H9 35

Please contact me if you’re teaching any of these units and have any ideas, tips, examples of best practice – you can leave a comment on the blog, catch me on Twitter @camaxwell or e-mail me cmaxwell at carnegiecollege dot ac dot uk

Categories: teaching

Harnessing Social Networks – Mari Smith at Carnegie College

August 27, 2009 2 comments
Colin Maxwell with Mari Smith at Carnegie College, August 2009

Colin Maxwell with Mari Smith at Carnegie College, August 2009

Mari Smith, the ‘Pied Piper of Facebook’ dropped in to Carnegie College today to give students and staff advice on harnessing the power of online social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

Describing herself as a Scottish-Canadian-American Relationship Marketing Specialist, Mari was quick to spot the potential of online social networks for business use, and now offers social media consulting services all around the world.

At Carnegie College Mari offered students advice on how to use social networking to help them find employment and to widen their social network. She also offered advice on how to keep certain online information private and how to manage online contacts more effectively.

Mari is on a whilstle-stop tour of Scotland and is also attending the Edinburgh Coffee Morning on Friday 28th August before jetting home to California.

New to WordPress

August 27, 2009 Leave a comment

On a personal recommendation from Mari Smith (social networking guru – I’m now going to blog on WordPress rather than Blogger. Mainly because it has better support for add-ins, multimedia, etc.

So here goes…

Categories: Uncategorized