Course Title: Refine digital art techniques

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2018

Course Code: VART6442C

Course Title: Refine digital art techniques

School: 320T Architecture & Urban Design

Campus: Brunswick Campus

Program: C5359 - Diploma of Graphic Design

Course Contact: Alistair Briggs

Course Contact Phone: +61 9925 9446

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Ned Jobson

Nominal Hours: 80

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

None required.

Course Description

In this course you will develop the skills and knowledge required to refine your techniques in working with digital media. You will develop your own digital style through a body of creative work, this will be achieved by a process of research, refinement and evaluation of techniques.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUADIG508 Refine digital art techniques


1 Research digital media ideas and techniques

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Support professional practice by expanding own knowledge of historical and contemporary digital media practice

1.2 Research ways that other artists have used different digital media techniques

1.3 Investigate how particular digital media techniques work to achieve different technical effects

1.4 Evaluate the relationships between digital media techniques and ideas

1.5 Adapt and use relevant ideas and approaches with consideration of intellectual property requirements


2 Select digital media techniques for refinement

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Consider the opportunities offered by different digital media techniques

2.2 Determine limitations and constraints of particular techniques

2.3 Select digital media techniques for refinement


3 Consolidate digital media technique to professional level

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Establish and follow safe work practices for selected techniques

3.2 Develop increasing confidence and skill through practice and experimentation

3.3 Proactively identify and resolve technical problems in digital media projects based on developing expertise

3.4 Challenge and test ideas, and allow new and unpredictable ideas to emerge

3.5 Evolve ideas and other professional skills through ongoing experimentation with technique

3.6 Develop own ways of working with techniques to create individual style

3.7 Create a coherent body of digital media work that shows command of selected digital media technique


4 Evaluate own digital media technique

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Evaluate development of own technique with others and seek feedback

4.2 Seek and participate in conversations that challenge and explore different concepts and approaches

4.3 Reflect on the particular ways that experimentation with different techniques has informed own work

4.4 Identify ways in which technique may be further developed as part of a professional practice and build ideas into future work

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

Learning activities will take place in a studio and computer laboratory using industry standard tools and resources. You will complete exercises and industry style projects. You will also be required to undertake independent study.

In class activities will include:

  • demonstrations and presentations by teacher
  • peer teaching and class presentations
  • group discussion
  • review and revision
  • peer learning
  • teacher directed group activities/projects
  • ‘workshopping’ of student projects including peer/lecturer feedback

Out of class activities will include:

  • independent project based work
  • online tutorials and activities
  • independent research
  • studio practice
  • review and revision

Teaching Schedule




Session description



Practitioners (and Photoshop review)

In this session, we will review Photoshop and you will upload one of your exercises as part of Project 1.



Basic masks

Basic masking techniques in Adobe Photoshop.



Complex masks, blending modes

In this session, we will look at more complex masks




A bit of revision, we will look at Smart Objects, and a practice with compositing.




Creating an original composited image in Photoshop.



Compositing (continued)

Project 1: Compositing is due this week. A quick excursion to prepare for Project 2.

Project 1 due


Project 2: Research, Quantity & Title

Identify techniques, practitioners and develop ideas.



No class Public holiday



 Mid semester break

Project 2: Product Illustration

Enhance and manipulate a product shot. Create an abstract background that focuses attention on the product, and integrate the separate elements together



Project 2: Background & integrate




Reflection, submission

In this session, you will reflect on your process and ready your files for submission. Project 3 introduction.

Project 2 due


Research ideas and techniques

Begin by researching techniques to help fulfil your ideas. Distil your research into a sketch. A draft is due next week.



Production and progress

Submit research. Submit a draft for peer feedback – this could be a sketch, a rough or your work in progress.



Production & Self-Assessment

Check work so far against the assessment rubric. Submit a draft. Project 3 is due next week.




Prepare files for submission and assessment.

Project 3 due


Assessment week

Resubmission for previously unsatisfactory work. Interviews with individual students (by appointment only) may be necessary during the week.



Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Dewis, G 2014. The Photoshop Workbook: Professional Retouching and Compositing Tips, Tricks, and Techniques, ebook, Peachpit Press, viewed 24 January 2016, .

Faulkner, A and Chavez, C 2015. Adobe Photoshop CC Classroom in a Book (2015 release), ebook, viewed 21 January 2016, .

Leonard, N and Ambrose, G 2012. Basics Graphic Design 02 : Design Research : Investigation for Successful Creative Solutions. AVA Publishing.

McClelland, D 2015. Photoshop CC 2015 One-on-One: Fundamentals, online course, viewed 11 February 2016, .

Other Resources

Prescribed Texts

There are no compulsory prescribed texts in this course. This course has recommended books listed under ‘References’

You are advised to look at the Learning Hub at myRMIT site for ongoing updated information. A range of learning resources and references are provided throughout the year.

You will require a personal storage device and tools as outlined in tool kit list.

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems and access to specialised facilities and relevant software. You will also have access to the library resources.

Amongst the library’s electronic resources is the ability to access for online tutorials and lessons. You may be given these tutorials (and other resources) to supplement your classroom learning. The University Library has extensive resources for Design students. The Library has produced a subject guide that includes quality online and print resources for your studies. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help via your Liaison Librarian

Overview of Assessment

Assessment is on-going throughout the course. Assessment tasks will require you demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills through practical projects and/or exercises.
The assessment tasks are:
Learning exercises

An assessment charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.

Assessment Tasks

Tasks in this course are either formative or summative. Feedback throughout the course may be written, verbal or a combination of both.
Formative tasks provide the basis for ongoing feedback and can be considered essential building blocks for the more substantial summative assessment tasks and you should engage in all formative tasks.
This course has 3 Summative Tasks, all of which must be completed/submitted. Each task has an allocated percentage of the total grade. You are required to demonstrate all learning outcomes to a satisfactory standard.

Project 1: Masks & Composites

Submit a folio of tasks to demonstrate abilities with masking and compositing in Adobe Photoshop, identify practitioners and correctly reference images. While it does not count toward your grade, it counts toward evidence of competency, so each piece must be done to a competent standard.

The aims are

  • Evolve and refine digital media technique through a demonstrated process of experimentation
  • Research digital media technique in the broader context of other artwork and artists
  • Use safe and sustainable work practices.

Due week 6.

Project 2: FMCG Assets

Redesign artwork for two assigned albums, and adapt the artwork for online music viewers. Complete a process document to record research, ideation, collaboration with others and the final outcome. The aims are

  • Evolve and refine digital media technique through a demonstrated process of experimentation
  • Develop individual style in own work
  • Produce a coherent body of professional artwork that includes the use of well-developed digital media technique
  • Research digital media technique in the broader context of other artwork and artists
  • Use safe and sustainable work practices.

Due week 11

Project 3: Portrait

Using techniques discovered through research, manipulate a photo in Adobe Photoshop to look like an oil painting. The image will be included in a photobook and online exhibition. The theme is The 1980s. The aims are

  • Evolve and refine digital media technique through a demonstrated process of experimentation
  • Develop individual style in own work
  • Produce a coherent body of professional artwork that includes the use of well-developed digital media technique
  • Research digital media technique in the broader context of other artwork and artists
  • Use safe and sustainable work practices.

Due week 15 

At the completion of the course, grading will be offered in addition to, and after, competency based assessment.

Grades which apply to courses delivered in accordance with competency-based assessment, but which also use graded assessment are:
CHD Competent with High Distinction
CDI Competent with Distinction
CC Competent with Credit
CAG Competency Achieved - Graded
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did Not Submit for Assessment

Assessment Matrix

An assessment matrix demonstrating alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency is available from the course contact person (stated above).

Other Information


The major aspect of your learning experience involves studio based exercises, demonstration and production. It is strongly advised that you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity for success.



You will receive verbal and written feedback by teacher on your work. This feedback also includes suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects. 


Student Progress

Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy to assist you to achieve your learning potential. Student progress policy



When submitting work for assessment you are required to complete a declaration of authorship. This must be done for every summative assessment task. This statement acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications. For non-digital submission use the printed form provided. For digital online submission please use e Submission process. Information regarding the eSubmission process


 Special Consideration Policy, Late Submission & Extensions

All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level.

If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension. Pick the following link for details on applying for Special consideration

Reasonable adjustment is available and may be applied through the Special Consideration process. Any student seeking an extension, should aim at doing so a minimum of 2 days before the deadline. Work submitted late and without an extension at any point will incur late penalties in accordance with university policy. If you require an extension you must complete an extension form with evidence supporting your application and hand this to your instructor. Further links  Application for extension of time


On Time Submission and Impact of Late Submission

On time submission is an important factor in your assessment. Employability skills are embedded in all courses and these include Planning & Organising and Self-management. For this reason, late work impacts on your overall grade for each assessment task.

The following adjustments for late submission will be made: Work submitted late will be assessed for competency only. Submissions are only permitted during the period that the competency is scheduled.


Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy go to Academic Integrity. Academic Integrity


Course Overview: Access Course Overview