Course Title: Create digital visual effects

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2017

Course Code: VART6431C

Course Title: Create digital visual effects

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5361 - Diploma of Screen and Media (Interactive Media)

Course Contact: Program Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nuwan Rohitha
ph: 9925 4815

Kieran Doolan
ph: 9925 4110

Nominal Hours: 70

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


Course Description

In this course you will gain the skills and knowledge required to use a range of industry software applications and material from various sources to create and refine digital visual effects sequences for projects in film, television or digital media productions, including games.

It applies to individuals who combine elements into the final image while retaining the established style and continuity of the project.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUAANM402 Create digital visual effects


1. Clarify work requirements

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Clarify requirements for digital visual effects with reference to production documentation

1.2 Clarify workflow sequences in consultation with relevant personnel to ensure production deadlines are met

1.3 Select software that best suits the type of production and delivery platform for which visual effects sequences are being created

1.4 Gather and analyse reference material to help with visualisation of final sequences


2. Prepare components

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Gather all assets for integration and check they are in the correct output file format and do not infringe copyright laws

2.2 Choose digital visual effects that best represent the vision of scripts to create optimum visual impact

2.3 Check components comply with storyboard requirements

2.4 Determine appropriate methods and techniques to create required digital visual effects


3. Assemble previsualisations

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Create previsualisation of required visual effects sequences using appropriate assets and compositing techniques

3.2 Adopt safe ergonomic practices when using screens and keyboards for extended periods of time

3.3 Experiment with previsualisation to establish the best results and solve problems that arise during the process of creating the visual effects

3.4 Submit previsualisation visual effects sequences to relevant personnel for evaluation and feedback

3.5 Match elements as required, such as colour, lighting and camera


4. Produce visual effects

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Create final visual effects

4.2 Generate additional required effects to final stage

4.3 Render visual effects to desired format

4.4 Submit visual effects sequences to relevant personnel for evaluation and feedback by agreed deadlines


5. Finalise visual effects

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Respond to feedback by making adjustments to visual effects so they comply with design and production specifications

5.2 Save files to specified storage system accessible to production team

5.3 Make back-up copies of files, and save and store visual effects using appropriate output file formats and standard naming conventions

5.4 Review personal performance and the process of creating digital visual effects for improvement

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this competency, you will have developed and applied the skills and knowledge required to use software applications to create and refine digital visual effects sequences for projects in film, television or digital media productions.

Details of Learning Activities

In class learning activities may include, but are not limited to:

• lectures and/or lab work
• teacher directed group activities and projects
• concept development of group and individual projects
• group discussions and class presentations
• peer and teacher feedback
• WIP (work in progress) reviews
• self directed online, library and industry research
• self directed project production work and reflection
• class excursions to events and locations outside of RMIT

Out of class activities may include, but are not limited to:

• maintaining secure daily backups of all assessment and project data
• accessing online tutorial resources
• self directed online, library and industry research
• self directed project production work and reflection

Teaching Schedule


CUAANM402 Create digital visual effects


Class content


Wk 1

After FX interface, animate basic transformations - Introduce A01 - Cut Out Shapes


Wk 2

Compositions, layers, additional keyframe techniques - Research initial concept and design development for A01 - Cutout Cycles Motion Design


Wk 3

Manage transparency, masks, mattes and stencils. Intermediate renders.


Wk 4

Project structure, broadcast specifications, rendering, compression, mastering. Present final concepts and 12 frame storyboard.


Wk 5

WIP review – Present your progress with A01 - Cutout Cycles Motion Design - Complete Knowledge Quiz 1

A01 - Cutout Cycles Motion Design

Wk 6

A01 review and project feedback.

Motion tracking and time manipulation


Wk 7

Importing artwork as a composition. Working with animated strokes and masks.


Wk 8

2.5D Workshop - Developing and preparing assets for parenting and grouping


Wk 9

2.5D Workshop - 3D cameras, lights and workflow


Wk 10

WIP review – Present your progress with A02 - Nodefest Ident - Complete Knowledge Quiz 2

A02 - Nodefest Ident

Wk 11

A02 review and project feedback.

Compositing workshop - Rough edit footage, pull greenscreen keys, build rough composite.


Wk 12

SHOOT -  Collaborate with poetry students to record media for A03 - Motion in Poetry


Wk 13

Production time - A03 - Motion in Poetry

WIP review - Receive and incorporate feedback for your project


Wk 14

Production time - A03 - Motion in Poetry

WIP review - Receive and incorporate feedback for your project


Wk 15

WIP review – Present your progress with A03 - Motion in Poetry - Complete Knowledge Quiz 3

Scheduled review and feedback of all assessments

A03 - Motion in Poetry

Wk 16

A03 review and project feedback.

Scheduled review and feedback of all assessments


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts



The University Library has extensive resources. The Library has produced a number of subject guides that includes quality online and print resources for your studies. The Library provides guides and subject specialist help via your Liaison Librarians.

Other Resources

Students are encouraged to make full use of class time, open studio time and University computer lab resources. Please consult the RMIT University web site for details of access times and locations.

Other required resources include, but are not limited to: an A4 or A3 visual diary, drawing materials (pencils of various grades (1B & 2B), erasers, coloured pencils and pens, graphic markers such as Copic brand) broadband internet access, suitable digital media storage such as a portable hard drive or USB flash drive, with at least 64Gb capacity.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course is ongoing throughout the semester. Your knowledge of course content is assessed through participation in practical exercises, knowledge assessment tasks and practical team based projects.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment for this course is competency based. To show competency, you must complete all assessments to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback from the teacher at the conclusion of each assessment task. Once you have demonstrated competency, you will receive a grade for A03 and for the course.

Late submissions or submissions that do not reach the required standard, may be assessed Not Yet Satisfactory. You will receive resubmission instructions via email, myRMIT or LMS feedback. Resubmissions must occur within a week of this notification.

Graded assessments which are resubmitted, are eligible for CAG (Competency Achieved Graded) only.

Please refer to the assessment brief for full assessment criteria or assessment rubric. All assessment documents are available on the course LMS page through MyRMIT.

A01 - Cutout Cycles Motion Design
Source Creative Commons images to create a simple “cut out” 2D animation, in the style of Terry Gilliam or The Beatles “Eleanor Rigby”. Demonstrate your understanding of the elements and principles of design, and basic transformations in After Effects. In addition, complete Knowledge Quiz 1.
Ungraded - Due week 5

A02 - Nodefest Ident
Create a 15 second video ident (no longer, no shorter!) Include the NODE Logo and this year’s theme of DOTS. In addition, complete Knowledge Quiz 2.
Ungraded - Due week 10

A03 - Motion in Poetry
Collaborate with poetry students to create animations illustrating their poetic works. In addition, complete Knowledge Quiz 3.
Graded - Due week 15

Graded assessment in this course uses the following grades:

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

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant unit of competency.

The assessment matrix for this course can be found on Blackboard through myRmit, or from your teacher.

Other Information

Please refer to the RMIT student page for extensive information about study support, assessment, extensions, appeals and a range of other matters:

Cover Sheet for Submissions:

You must complete and sign a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work, including online submissions.


Your learning experience will involve class-based teaching, discussion, demonstration and practical exercises

It is strongly advised that you attend all timetabled sessions. This will allow you to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring you the maximum opportunity to complete this course successfully.

Assessment Feedback:

You will receive spoken and written feedback on all your work. Where relevant, this feedback will also include 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 designed to assist you in achieving your learning potential.

Adjustments to Assessment (eg. applying for an extension of time):

If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment satisfactorily by the due date, you can choose to apply for an adjustment to your assessment. RMIT University offers a range of adjustments designed to support you in your studies, including an extension of time to complete the assessment.

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.

Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning:

Credit transfer is the recognition of previously completed formal learning (an officially accredited qualification).

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is an assessment process that allows you to demonstrate competence using the skills you have gained through experience in the workplace, voluntary work, informal or formal training or other life experiences.

Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) RCC applies only if you have previously successfully demonstrated competence in a unit of competency, and now require to be reassessed to ensure that the competence is being maintained.

Please speak to your teacher if you wish to discuss applying for Credit Transfer, RPL, or RCC for the unit(s) of competency addressed in this course.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview