Digital Media Classes at VMCAD – Curriculum

Write your story, sketch your designs, and illustrate the possibilities. Shoot footage, animate characters, edit your movie, add special effects, and deliver it to the world on your own website.

When you learn all of the Digital Media tools, the creative possibilities are endless.

VMCAD’s Digital Media Program is designed for you to be able to do it all. Whether it’s creating and directing your own short film, music video, commercial, 3-D animation or website, we want to help your dreams come true. Our digital media classes are the introduction and education you’ll need to make your visual dreams a reality.

Using the greenscreen production set is one skill you develop in VMCAD’s digital media classes – image.

We thought long and hard and decided you don’t want to spend a lot of time and money studying just one small aspect of the digital media industry. And who knows, what you want to study now may change in ten years, and we want you to be equipped to handle anything that comes your way.

Our 24-month program will teach you video production, 3-D animation, and advanced web design plus all the basics you will need to get started. This makes you more marketable, which to us means better jobs in a shorter time.

Our courses aren’t your average boring lecture classes, that would make us just like everyone else. Here you’ll work in our studio getting real hands-on training in all the technical and creative aspects of the digital media industries.

As fun as it is to read books about this stuff, we think our students would much rather do it.


Program Outline

Select a quarter below to view courses and course descriptions.

First Quarter

Digital Media Overview – BDM100 – 3 credits
Explores the history of film, special effects, animation, computers, communications and the Internet. Students will examine the current role of digital media in the creative and communication industries and research issues involving digital media trends and evolving technologies.

Math I – G143 – 3 credits
Covers the fundamentals of math, including fractions, decimals, percentages, statistics, simple business and consumer math, simple geometry, and basic algebra. This course will develop the basic skills needed to excel in both business and technical studies.

English I – G101 – 3 credits
Explores nine essay styles, reviews grammar and MLA fundamentals, and improves both verbal and written communication skills.

Basic Color Theory – B103 – 3 credits
Covers the origins of color, color consistency, means of expression, formal qualities, color qualities, color temperatures, color perspective, composition, and psychological interpretation.

Second Quarter

Concept Development – BDM110 – 3 credits
Covers techniques for developing original ideas for digital media projects, including short story, animation, and commercial genres. By studying various story structures and creative development processes, students will learn all aspects of storytelling including targeting audiences, story and character development, script writing and pitching ideas.

Digital Imaging – DM195 – 3 credits
Prerequisite: X040
Provides an understanding of composition, design, art, basic color and graphics through a study of various artistic styles and their effects throughout history. These theories are applied through the use of Adobe® Photoshop® as well as Adobe® Illustrator® for images manipulation and creation for digital applications. Students will learn both fundamental and advanced tools and techniques.

Storyboarding – DM200 – 3 credits
Prerequisites: BDM110
Teaches the fundamentals in pre-production design for digital media projects. Students will learn how to develop cinematic sequences, understand shot language, frame composition, and how to communicate narrative concepts visually.

Anatomy and Figure Drawing I – B128 – 3 credits
Prerequisite: Portfolio review or X050
Involves human skeletal analysis and descriptive drawing techniques, to describe and interpret the human form.

English II – G102 – 3 credits
Prerequisites: G101
Revisits key concepts from English 1 and focuses on reading and discussing short stories, poetry and song, film, and a novella.

Third Quarter

Digital Video Editing I – DM205 – 3 credits
Prerequisite: DM195
An introduction to Final Cut Pro by Apple, the industry-leading digital video editing software. Students will learn non-linear editing techniques, asset management, and editing tools including filters, transitions and motion control. Fundamental concepts of editing theory including narrative structure, continuity and juxtaposition will also be addressed.

Web Design I – DM120 – 3 credits
Prerequisite: DM195
A foundation in creating clear, intuitive and well-thought-out web interfaces. This course combines the knowledge of Adobe® Photoshop® with the theories of web usability and logical interface creation. This course explores interface design principles for the web relating to usability, visualization and functionality constructs. Students will design their sites with attention to movement, balance, emphasis and unity. An overview of HTML and CSS will be given in preparation for their next course.

Intro to Flash – DM130 – 3 credits
Prerequisite: DM195
An introduction to Adobe® Flash®, the industry standard tool for creating dynamic multimedia applications. Students will learn fundamental object design, construction, animation and interactive development techniques.

History of Art I – G160 – 3 credits
Analyzes artistic development in architecture, sculpture, and painting from the Prehistoric era to the Gothic period.

Bible History: Old Testament – G163 – 3 credits
Can be taken in lieu of History of Art I (G160)
Covers the Patriarchs and Major and Minor Prophets from Genesis to Malachi and their historical context.

Anatomy & Figure Drawing II – B129 – 3 credits
Prerequisite: B128
A further exploration of drawing techniques that focuses on the human muscular form as a mechanical device. The course focuses on overall muscular definition and analysis, to understand the complexity of the human form.

Motion Graphics – DM210 – 3 credits
Prerequisite: DM115 Photoshop for Digital Video
This course introduces students to Apple Motion, a motion graphics and visual effects design program.  Beginning with the basics of animation, typography, and digital effects, students will build motion projects within time-based digital environments. Students will gain a solid understanding of the application of motion graphics for broadcast animation production, compositing, and special effects.

Fourth Quarter

Motion Graphics I – DM121 – 3 credits
Prerequisite: DM195
An introduction to Adobe® After Effects®; a motion graphics and visual effects design software program. This course emphasizes design beginning with the basics of animation, typography, and digital effects. Students will build motion projects within timeline-based digital environments. In this course, students gain a thorough understanding of input/output techniques, special effects and image compositing.

Web Design II – DM125 – 3 credits
Prerequisite: DM120
A continuation web design knowledge and apply functionality using HTML and CSS. Websites will be built according to web standards with attention to interface functionality and accessibility. Students will learn to use Adobe® Dreamweaver® and Flash® to develop dynamic web content. Students will conceptualize, design, develop and maintain their own interactive multimedia web sites. (An introduction to JavaScript will be given in preparation for their next course.

Photography I – B144 – 3 credits
An introductory course in the applications and use of the advanced digital camera. The student will examine and study the technical workings of the DSLR digital camera and apply this knowledge to achieve a self understanding and confident direction in digital photography. Students will be working in teams on projects that will lead to successful picture taking. This team concept key will let the student work with any image in any mode and create a high level of self expertise and expression in learning the art of photography.

Social Science I – G221 – 3 credits
An introduction to the theory and practice of interpersonal communication, which focuses on learning and applying the skills needed to improve the quality of interpersonal communication and interpersonal relationships with a variety of people.

History of Art II – G161 – 3 credits
Analyzes artistic development in architecture, sculpture, and painting from the Early Renaissance to the Post Modern era.

Bible History: New Testament – G164 – 3 credits
Can be taken in lieu of History of Art II (G161)
Covers the writers of the New Testament and their historical context and the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Fifth Quarter

Digital Cinematography I – DM212 – 3 credits
Prerequisite: DM200, DM205
This course focuses on digital video filmmaking techniques for the creation of short films and documentaries. Students learn concepts of cinematography, including how to operate digital video cameras, direct talent, record sound, set-up basic lighting and fill roles for on-set production. Students will conclude the course by producing a digital short film.

Digital Video Editing II – DM211 – 3 credits
Prerequisite: DM205
A further exploration of editing techniques using Apple Final Cut Pro. This project-based course features client work that will integrate multimedia content such as motion graphics,animated typography, and motion control animation within the digital video environment.

3D Computer Modeling – DM300 – 3 credits
Prerequisite: DM195
An introduction to the basic concepts of creating 3-dimensional objects using a variety of modeling techniques. Using Autodesk Maya, students will learn how to conceptualize, model, texture and light 3D scenes.

3D Flash Animation – DM241 – 3 credits
Prerequisite: DM130
This course introduces students to the art of character animation using Adobe® Flash®. Students will study story development, character design, pre-production visualization, animation principles, cinematic techniques Flash’s animation tools.

Principles of Business – B211 – 3 credits
An introduction to principles of business, corporate structures, terminology, and an overview of the practical aspects of entrepreneurship including branding, advertising, marketing, public relations, and operations.

Sixth Quarter

Digital Cinematography II – DM216 – 3 credits
Prerequisites: DM212
An overview of studio lighting techniques within the context of digital video production. Students will learn both in-studio techniques and on-location lighting strategies. Students will also learn the green screen video process and will conclude this course by producing a multi-layered digital composite.

Motion Graphics II – DM221 – 3 credits
Prerequisites: DM121
Offers in-depth instruction in Adobe® After Effects®. Students will learn 3D applications, building compositions using lights and will further their understanding in compression and delivery methods using Adobe After Effects.

Social Science II – G222 – 3 credits
Takes a psychological approach to explore classic and current trends in organizational communication and human relations in the work environment.

Business Law – B210 – 3 credits
An overview of the American legal system and basic laws that apply to contract sales, copyright and trademark, negotiations, product liability, and setting up a business.

Seventh Quarter

Sound Design – DM235 – 3 credits
Prerequisite: DM205
An introduction to audio equipment and sound production software in order to enhance digital media projects. Projects include a podcast production, music scoring and mixing for video, and creating original sound effects tracks.

Application Development – DM260 – 3 credits
Prerequisite: DM130
Provides students with an introduction to ActionScript, the embedded programming language used in Adobe® Flash®. Students will learn ActionScript to create dynamic, interactive design projects that include media players, games and custom video playback controls.

Digital Distribution – DM270 – 3 credits
Prerequisite: DM211
This course covers a variety of compression strategies needed for preparing digital video for numerous content distribution formats, including Broadcast, Flash, DVD, Blu-Ray and web. Students will understand the broad applications of compressed digital video as an increasingly integral part of visual communications industry.

Economics – G260 – 3 credits
Examines the basic concepts of the economy and their applications to problems and policies.   Concepts include supply and demand, market and prices, income distribution, allocation of resources, contemporary economic issues, and personal finance.

Entrepreneurship – B224 – 3 credits
An intensive business course to assist artists of all disciplines interested in developing arts-based businesses. This course covers topics that impact an entrepreneur’s daily operations including identifying and developing their personal brand, developing strategies for communicating with their target market, identifying a variety of tools for protecting their work legally, raising capital, and accounting.

Eighth Quarter

Digital Media Projects – DM250 – 3 credits
Prerequisite: DM211, DM216
A comprehensive where students conceptualize, design, and produce an independent Capstone Projects by applying the skills and techniques acquired throughout the Digital Media program.

Digital Portfolio Preparation – DM255 – 3 credits
Prerequisite: DM270, DM216
This capstone course teaches students how to prepare their body of work for professional multimedia presentations, optimize content for distribution through various digital media formats and design packaging collateral for digital media projects.