Course Title: Create digital visual effects

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2013

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: Janis Lesinskis



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


Overview of post production process and the role of editor and VFX producer. Introduction to post tools and environment. 
CUFANM402A (1)
2Understanding framing and sequences. Visual storytelling. Breaking down a script, analysing FX requirements and digital storyboarding.


formative assess task1: storyboard, design folio


CUFANM402A (1, 2)
3Workflows and pipelines. Ingest and outputs. FX processes.formative assess task2:
File import for compositing.
CUFPOS401A (2,3)
4FCP set up, System settings, A/V settings, and Codecs. Creating a sequence from digital storyboard.formative assess task3: workflowCUFPOS401A (2,3)
5Post production methods and techniques CUFANM402A (2)
6Refining work. CUFANM402A (3)
7Fine tuning an edit, mastering sound levels, intro to colour correction in FCP. CUFANM402A (4)
8Deliverables: Outputting from FCP CUFANM402A (4)
9Individual appointments discussing interview structure and overlay to reinforce story.Editing Formative task
10Interview Productions – Integrated assessment  
11Interview Productions – Integrated assessment  
12Interview Productions – Integrated assessment  
13Log and Capture footage. Start selecting and editing footage from independent Interview production.  
14Independently edit Interview and receive verbal feedback on rough-cut. Edit rough cut of interview.  
15Independently edit Interview. Fine tune duplicate of rough cut  
Week16Deliverables: Master fine-tuned edit and output from edit suite.  
WeekClass contentExercisesElements
1Keying methods and strategies
 CUFANM402A (2,3,4)
2FX methods reviewed. CUFANM402A (2,3,4)
3Combining FX methods. VFX + physical FX. CUFANM402A (2,3,4)
4Testing and refining FX. CUFANM402A (1,2,3,4,5)
5Presentation of VFX trials.VFX Summative assessment tasks: 1 & 2CUFANM402A (1,2,3,4,5)
6Compositing VFX materialVFX Summative assessment tasks 1 & 2CUFANM402A (1,2,3,4,5)
 Productions Begin  
7Pre-Production, Production and post production period FX breakdownsCUFANM402A (1,2,3,4,5)
8Pre-Production, Production and post production period FX design


CUFANM402A (1,2,3,4,5)


9Pre-Production, Production and post production period FX pre vis & trialing


CUFANM402A (1,2,3,4,5)


10Pre-Production, Production and post production period FX productionCUFANM402A (1,2,3,4,5)
11Pre-Production, Production and post production period FX deliverables

CUFANM402A (1,2,3,4,5)

12Pre-Production, Production and post production period FX integration

CUFANM402A (1,2,3,4,5)

13Rough Cut feedback FX integration

CUFANM402A (1,2,3,4,5)

14Rough Cut feedback FX quality checks and approvals

CUFANM402A (1,2,3,4,5)

15Meet deliverables requirements. FX refinements and corrections

CUFANM402A (1,2,3,4,5)

16Submit edited master and documentation. Picture Locked. FX locked

CUFANM402A (1,2,3,4,5)

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


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

Other Resources

You will require your own media storage and back up equipment.


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

You will need to complete a series of production tasks during class and also take responsibility for post production of two productions to complete this course.

Assessment tasks in this unit are either ungraded or graded. Ungraded tasks provide the basis for ongoing feedback and can be considered as essential building blocks for more substantial (graded) assessment tasks.

To demonstrate competency in this course, you will need to complete the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback on all assessment.

For further information on the grading system and criteria used, please refer to the course blackboard site.

Grades used in this unit are as follows:
The following grades are applicable to Summative assessment tasks and apply to courses delivered in accordance with competency-based assessment, but which also use graded assessment:
CHD Competent with High Distinction
CDI Competent with Distinction
CC Competent with Credit
CAG Competent achieved graded
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did Not Submit

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. 

The major learning experience involves studio based exercises, demonstration and production. It is strongly advised that students attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

Cover Sheet for Submissions
All students must complete a submission cover sheet for each piece of submitted work.

Plagiarism - RMIT has a strict policy on plagiarism. For more information on this policy go to Academic Integrity

All students have access to the myRMIT copyright shell. The myRMIT copyright shell contains information on copyright, plus also examples on how to use copyright works as part of your projects and assignments.

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:

Student Progress Committee
This committee promotes the early identification of students who are not achieving acceptable academic performance. The committee provides identified students with assistance and seeks to ensure such students are aware of the range of support services available to them at the University. Student Progress Committee (SPC)

Student Feedback
Students are offered opportunities to provide feedback through a variety of mechanisms including online surveys conducted at the end of each course or semester, student complaints and Student Staff Consultative Committees

Course Overview: Access Course Overview