Course Title: Digital Compositing

Part A: Course Overview

Course ID: 001868

Course Title: Digital Compositing

Credit Points: 6

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


345H Creative Media


Sem 2 2006

Course Coordinator: Dan Torre and Marsha Berry

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 9826 9925 2592

Course Coordinator Email:;

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Successful completion of the Advanced Diploma of Multimedia.

Course Description

This course will enable students to develop an understanding of Visual Effects.

Through theory and practice this course will introduce the student to the art of Digital Composting and Digital Visual Effects.  Working with digital video, animation, and digital still imagery, and using a variety of post-production tools students will explore the practice of seamlessly layering imagery from disparate sources to create a believable new time-based environment.  In addition to gaining professional skills in the area of compositing and digital effects, students will be encouraged to experiment with new and creative approaches to this rapidly expanding art form. Film and animation theory, and language, and the history of compositing will also be considered.

This course will build on the students’ basic conceptual skills and production skills gained in the previous semesters of Video and Animation. It will also build on knowledge acquired across all courses within the previous semesters of the program, and the student will identify and develop the necessary conceptual skills and software requirements necessary to further engage the time-based medium.

This class will allow students to further explore the unique properties of visual as well as the relationships that may arise with other creative mediums. Student will develop critical, conceptual and practical skills appropriate for expanding their understanding of production skills within the context of Visual Effects.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Visualise, structure & author time-based media:

-Generate concepts pertaining to visual effects
-Utilise visual aids in pre-production drafting
-Fluent usage of relevant time-based software applications

Develop and explore linear & non-linear spaces through spatial and aural mediums:

-Exploration of temporal arts & design
-Develop an understanding & appreciation of Visual Effects technique, theory & conventions
-Apply original, creative & innovative solutions to individual project outcomes

Define & develop methodologies of storytelling & narrative structures for multimedia:

-Analysis and critique of published works
-Develop professional objectivity in analysis and critique of individual outcomes
-Exploration of devices used within contemporary Visual Effects

Apply authoring systems for effective multimedia outcomes:

-Publish and incorporate visual effect work using distributable medium
-Capitalise early software skills & explore limitations

Production, organisational, time and information management skills:

-Meet deadlines
-Successful project outcomes

Apply, manipulate and combine media:

-Prepare visual, audio & text based material
-Collect, create, evaluate & edit content
-Experimentation with visual media

Investigate problem identification and innovative creative solutions:

-Respond creatively to project briefs
-Explore and experiment with multiple possible outcomes
-Research alternative solutions to problems

Ongoing analysis development and application of conceptual processes:

-Develop creative conceptual responses to a brief
-Explore and apply creative solutions
-Analyse concepts and possible design solutions

Develop skills of self motivated learning and critical appraisal:

-Complete projects assigned out of class time
-Involvement in peer & individual based critique
-Appreciation and articulation of constructive criticism

Initiate, identify, define, evaluate & apply research methodologies:

-Actively identify, record & incorporate visual & conceptual influences

Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:

a.     Gain a broad understanding of visual effects theory and practice.

b.    Critically appraise and evaluate the work of others in the area of visual effects.

c.     Exhibit a practical working knowledge of the relationship between a variety of production tools and processes

d.     Estimate the time and labour implications of producing a variety of media projects

e.     Appreciate the conceptual, narrative and aesthetic possibilities within the area of visual effects

f.     Analyse and apply appropriate pre-production processes

g.     Respond creatively to assignments

h.     Develop confidence in presenting work in group situations

Overview of Learning Activities

This subject will be taught as a series of weekly lectures, demonstrations, workshops and group discussions.

Following the lecture presentation of the weekly topic, a supervised workshop will be available where students can apply and practice the techniques demonstrated in the lecture. Consultation is available on an individual and/or group basis in these sessions, during which students can nominate areas where they require further assistance. Group discussions will involve analysing both student and professional work. During the course students will be expected to demonstrate their work-in-progress for peer review.

The learning approach in this course will be student-centred and project based. Students will be expected to utilise the processes of creative, analytical and critical thinking, at an individual and group level through critiques, reviews and discussions. The exploration of existing examples, theories and new developments within the course will be essential to allow students to develop their knowledge base of skills and creative strategies. Students will further enhance their knowledge through practical application, providing creative, conceptual solutions to production problems.

Within a supervised computer laboratory workshop will be available where students can immediately apply the techniques demonstrated in the lecture or workshop. Student will be encouraged to present their concepts and productions to these workshops for class discussion and problem solving

Student will be required to complete a range of productions, these will require students to respond creatively to assignments and to develop a professional practice within time constraints and to produce work of a high standard.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be provided with necessary documentation describing deliverable items for final assessment including specific instruction and required formats.

Many of the resources students will be expected to use are computer-based or computer peripherals and these resources will be provided in the school’s computer laboratories.

Students may need to use digital content acquisition tools such as cameras and sound recording equipment: these will be available for student-loan; students will organize the loan of such equipment themselves from the school’s equipment store.

Students should make uses of wider university resources such as its libraries, their print and audio-visual collections and, if appropriate, the University’s Learning Skills Unit.

Overview of Assessment

The components within this course carries their own individual assessment criteria. Final production must clearly demonstrate a high level of creativity and originality as well as diligence toward and pride in the overall quality of the student’s own work.

This course is designed in such a manner that the skill-sets acquired throughout the entire program culminate together, propelling the student toward creative and innovative realisations of given assignment briefs based upon relevant industry work practices.