Course Title: Create digital visual effects

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2011

Course Code: COSC5382C

Course Title: Create digital visual effects

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5216 - Diploma of Screen and Media

Course Contact : Program Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff


Teacher: Ms Trewlea Peters
Phone: 99258011

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

This course covers the skills and knowledge required to create digital visual effects to simulate physical or natural phenomenon, such as fire, crowds or weather conditions. Compositors are responsible for creatively combining elements into the final image, ensuring that the established style of the project is respected and continuity is maintained. You will use a range of software applications to create and refine digital visual effects.

This course is taught and assessed with CUFPOS401A Edit screen content for fast turnaround.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUFANM402A Create digital visual effects


1 Clarify work requirements

Performance Criteria:

With reference to production documentation , clarify requirements for digital visual effects
In consultation with relevant personnel , clarify work flow sequences to ensure that production schedule deadlines are met
Select software that best suits the type of production and delivery platform for which visual effects sequences are being created
Gather and analyse reference material to help with visualisation of final sequences


2 Prepare components.

Performance Criteria:

Gather all assets for integration and check that they are in the correct output file format
Choose digital visual effects that best represent the vision of scripts, as required
Check that components comply with storyboard requirements
Determine the appropriate methods and techniques to be used for the production of the required digital special effects


3 Assemble previsualisations

Performance Criteria:

Create previsualisation of the required visual effects sequences using the appropriate assets and compositing techniques
Experiment with previsualisation to establish the best results and solve problems that arise during the process of creating the visual effects
Submit previsualisation visual effects sequences to relevant personnel for evaluation and feedback
Match elements as required, such as colour, lighting and camera


4 Produce visual effects.

Performance Criteria:

Create final visual effects
Generate additional required effects to final stage
Render visual effects to desired format
Submit visual effects sequences to relevant personnel for evaluation and feedback by agreed deadlines


5 Finalise visual effects

Performance Criteria:

Respond to feedback by making adjustments to visual effects so that they comply with design and production specifications
Save files to specified storage system accessible to production team
Make back-up copies of visual effects in accordance with enterprise Procedures
Complete workplace documentation as required
Review process of creating digital visual effects and note areas for future improvement

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course you will have developed and applied the skills and knowledge required to demonstrate competency in the above elements.

You will be able to:

  • create a range of digital visual effects sequences that:
    • meet the requirements of a brief
    • demonstrate attention to detail and an ability to refine visual effects to achieve the required creative effects
  • adopt a collaborative approach to work
  • meet deadlines.



Details of Learning Activities

You learn through:
1. In-class activities:
• demonstration and practical application
• teacher directed group activities/projects
• peer teaching, observation and questioning
• group discussion
• class exercises to review discussions
• workshopping of students’ own projects
• analysis/critique of students work

2. Out-of-class activities:
• independent project based work
• online and other research
• independent study

Teaching Schedule

Please note: While your teacher will cover all the material in this schedule, the weekly order is subject to change depending on class needs and availability of speakers and resources.

WeekClass contentExercisesElements


Introduction to the principles and elements of editing. Introduction to pre-visualisation and visual effects. CUFPOS401A (1)
CUFANM402A (1)
Week2Understanding framing and sequences. Breaking down a script and storyboarding. Editing Formative task CUFPOS401A (1)
CUFANM402A (1)
Week3Visual storytelling. Breaking down a script, analysing FX requirements and digital storyboarding. VFX Formative task CUFANM402A (1)
Week4Overview of Final Cut Pro – Importing/exporting, the interface, FCP Preferences, System settings, A/V settings, and Codecs. Creating a sequence from digital storyboard.  CUFPOS401A (2,3)
Week5Capturing and using the three point edit. Editing Formative task CUFPOS401A (2,3)
Week6Adjusting sound, generators, effects and editing tools.  CUFPOS401A (2,3)
CUFANM402A (2)
Week7Capturing and using the three point edit. Adjusting sound, generators, effects and editing tools.VFX Formative Task
 CUFPOS401A (2,3)
CUFANM402A (3)
Week8Fine tuning an edit, mastering sound levels and colour correction in FCP. Creating chapter markers for DVD. Editing Formative task CUFPOS401A (4)
CUFANM402A (4)
Week9Outputting from FCP. Introduction to DVD Studio Pro. Menus, tracks, preferences, settings, working with templates, chapter markers, building and burning in DVD Studio Pro.  CUFPOS401A (4)
CUFANM402A (4)
Week10Interview Productions – Integrated assessment   CUFPOS401A (1)
Week11Interview Productions – Integrated assessment   CUFPOS401A (1)
Week12Interview Productions – Integrated assessment   CUFPOS401A (1)
Week13Log and Capture footage. Start selecting and editing footage from independent Interview production.  CUFPOS401A (2)
Week14Independently edit Interview and receive verbal feedback on rough-cut. Edit rough cut of interview. Edit formative task
 CUFPOS401A (2,3)
Week15Independently edit Interview and receive verbal feedback on fine tuned cut. Fine tune duplicate of rough cut  CUFPOS401A (3)
Week16Master fine-tuned edit and output from FCP. Develop menus, tracks, preferences, settings, template, chapter markers, build and burn Interview in DVD Studio Pro. Submit Interview on DVD Summative task CUFPOS401A (3,4)
WeekClass contentExercisesElements
Week1Masks and Mattes in Motion VFX Formative taskCUFANM402A (2,3,4)
Week2Keying in Motion VFX Formative taskCUFANM402A (2,3,4)
Week3Particles emitters and behaviours in Motion VFX Formative taskCUFANM402A (2,3,4)
Week4Advanced pre visualisation and analysis of a brief. CUFANM402A Summative assessment taskCUFANM402A (1,2,3,4,5)
 Productions BeginYou must attend one of each workshop around your productions 
Week5Pre-visualisation workshop - Working with your DOP to develop script breakdown, shot lists and storyboarding key scenes for your production. CUFPOS401A
Week6Pre-visualisation workshop - Working with your DOP to develop script breakdown, shot lists and storyboarding key scenes for your production. CUFPOS401A
Week7Mastering your production in FCP workshop CUFPOS401A
Week8Mastering your production in FCP workshop CUFPOS401A
Week9Mastering your production in FCP workshop CUFPOS401A
Week10Color workshop  CUFPOS401A
Week11Color workshop  CUFPOS401A
Week12Color workshop  CUFPOS401A
Week13Mastering DVD Studio Pro workshop CUFPOS401A
Week14Mastering DVD Studio Pro workshop CUFPOS401A
Week15Mastering DVD Studio Pro workshop CUFPOS401A
Week16Submit final edit of production on DVD CUFPOS401A

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


You are advised to look at the course Blackboard site for ongoing updated information.

Other Resources


Overview of Assessment

Assessment is ongoing throughout the course and will include both project work and practical exercises that assess skills and knowledge

Assessment Tasks

Assessment tasks in this course are either formative or summative.
Formative tasks provide the basis for ongoing feedback and can be considered as essential building blocks for the more substantial summative assessment tasks. Summative assessment tasks in this unit are graded.

For further information on the assessment and grading criteria, please refer to the course Blackboard site.

To demonstrate competency in this course, you need to complete each one of the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard.

Formative Tasks

Pre-visualisation exercise - digital storyboarding, matching fx with production shots.

Keying - Pre-visualisation in FCP, Keying and colour correction exercise.

3 in class assignments -

- keying and colour correction

- masking and animation

- tracking and particles.

Summative task

Independently develop an effects scene in Motion utilising the footage provided - keying, colour correction, animation, masking, tracking and particles.



Grades used in this unit are as follows:

CHD     Competent with High Distinction
CDI       Competent with Distinction
CC        Competent with Credit
CAG      Competency Achieved - Graded
DNS     Did Not Submit for Assessment

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrated alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency. These are available through the course contact in Program administration

Other Information

Ethics and your work:
In this course you are required to submit work which could be broadcast to a majority audience and would meet a rating of between G and MA (follow the links on The Office of Film and Literature Classification website - to inform yourself of criteria, and also meets RMIT’s
Ethical Conduct requirements (follow the links on the RMIT website- and Australian law with regard to vilification.
It is each student’s responsibility to acquaint him/herself with these regulations before submitting work for assessment.
In line with this requirement the majority content of your film productions must be approved and signed off by your production supervisor (a Screen and media teacher)one month ahead of the first day of photography. 

You will receive spoken and written feedback from teachers on your work. This feedback will also include suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.

Late Submissions
Please advise teacher in advance if an extension of time or special consideration is required for submission of work. Refer to the course blackboard site for policy information including information on late submissions.

Special consideration Policy (Late Submission)
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.
Please refer to the following URL for extensions and special consideration:;ID=qkssnx1c5r0y;STATUS=A;PAGE_AUTHOR=Andrea%20Syers;SECTION=1

RMIT has a strict policy on plagiarism. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview