Media Tech Syllabus (JOUR2063)


Date Description
week one

Introduction to computer graphics

  • file types: tif, jpg, gif, bmp, pct, png
  • always include file extensions
  • raster vs. vector graphics
  • What does Photoshop do?

Journalistic ethics and photo manipulation.

Is it OK to manipulate news photos? A little.

  • Crop
  • Resize
  • Render to black and white
  • Do minor color or lighting corrections for clarity.
  • But never change skin tones or other characteristics that describe a person by gender, physical condition, age, race or ethnicity.
    What do I mean? Look at OJ from a long time ago. (Opens in new window.)
  • NEVER change the aspect ratio of a photo.

Every good journalistic picture tells a story.
And every good advertising picture is a love story.

week two


  • Selection tools.
  • Gradients and paint bucket.
  • Using rulers
  • Flipping and rotation
  • Cropping
  • Project: Magritte's Pipe
    Selection, isolation, recoloring, layers, more.
  • Project: Make a flyer
    Selection modification, isolation, layers and layer styles.
    Color and type can support your ad concept.
week three


  • Cropping and straightening
  • Project: Photo repair
  • Adjustment layers
  • Duotones
  • Knockouts
  • Project: Save the whales. It's a PSA!
  • Introduction to masking layers

What makes a compelling photo? Balance, composition. color. Fixing exposure, lighting, other photo repair.

High resolution photos yield a far better result than low resolution web photos. For this reason, we won't be doing much with stuff from the internet. Also because it's not exactly legal.

Now that you know what you're doing, let's fix your photos. First -- what's your purpose? To promote? Or to portray?

week four


  • Brushes
  • Displacement maps
  • Project: Waving flag
  • Project: Does this dress come in pink zebra print?
    (Color and print variation for sales sites and other purposes.)
  • Fills and shadows, pivot points, multiply, more
  • Project: Old-timey photo tinting (Because you can.)
  • Layer styles and blend modes
week five


  • Photo manipulation
  • removing and adding photo elements
Okay. Let's go there: fashion photography manipulation. Is it ethical? Is it sexist? Let's talk about that. Can you do it? Yup.
week six

Catch up and review. Tutorials

week seven

Photoshop test

week eight


  • Tracing
  • basic tracing exercises
  • Project: Cartoon logo from scratch (
  • Using text in Illustrator
week nine


Technical stuff. NEVER change a logo shape or aspect ratio.

  • Shape tools
  • Shape manipulation
  • Shape warping
  • Lines vs. shapes
  • Open vs. closed paths
  • A couple of quick logos
week ten


  • Fills
  • Symbols (The day of 10,000 logos)
  • Gradients
  • Introduction to the pathfinder
week eleven


  • Expanding, grouping and other delights
  • Graphic styles
  • Compound paths and fills
  • Compound paths and knockouts
  • Meshes and warps
  • Let's make some more logos
week twelve


  • 3-D rendering and symbol mapping
  • Project: A bowl of fruit
    Now let's cover the bowl with logos. Or put a brand tag on that apple. Because it could be useful.
  • Quick and dirty design in Illustrator
  • Let's make an advertisement. Or two. Or three.
week thirteen


  • Infographic charts & graphs
  • Infographic charts with symbols
  • Project: building neighborhoods with numbers
week fourteen


  • Quick & dirty Flash output using Illustrator
    (Flash and Java script don't always work on phones, so we need to limit this stuff to non-essential info.)
  • Catch up and review
week fifteen


  • We always find something we want to play with and this is the week for that.
week sixteen

Tutorials and Illustrator test



Files and links

Random lecture notes here

Class policies

Kim Martin