ARTC-201 Computer Graphics 1

Catalog Description: This introductory course in digital image-making surveys current digital tools and techniques used in the computer graphics field. Through assigned projects, students will develop an understanding of common computer-based graphics and design workflows. They will also learn skills to develop their ideas into a graphic format. The class will be divided into production, lecture, and critique time.

Instructor Information: Professor Ryan Seslow

Office Location: Remote / Zoom


Class Website:

Office Hours: Remote via Zoom – By appointment or directly after class on Mondays (e-mail me for appointment)

Course information Term and date: Fall 2020

Course Name, Number & Section: ARTC-201-M02 Computer Graphics I

Credits: 3

Meeting Times: Mondays, 8:00 AM–12:00 PM via Zoom

Building & Room Number: Remote via Zoom & Class website for Fall 2020

Prerequisites & Co-Requisites: none

Recommended Texts (Not Mandatory)

Caplin, Steve. How To Cheat In Photoshop CC: The art of creating realistic photomontages. Routledge, 2013. ISBN: 978-0-415-71238-5

Danea Lisa, Photoshop CC Bible. Wiley & Sons, 2013. ISBN: 978-1-118-64369-3

Smith, Jennifer, Adobe Illustrator CC Digital Classroom. Wiley & Sons, 2013. ISBN: 978-1-118-63971-9

Course Introduction: This course introduces students to basic concepts in 2D digital imaging and communication design. Students will explore creative possibilities using professional software (Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator); hardware (a scanner, digital camera, tablet, and printer); and creative processes (drawing, painting, collage). Through the use of these tools and techniques, students will develop their own individualized approaches in developing concepts and creating meaningful images and successful communication designs. In addition, students will be informed about fundamentals of digital art production through exposure to terminology, technical concepts, and contemporary and historical artworks. The class will be divided into production, lecture, and critique time.

Student Learning Outcomes: Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a familiarity with the fundamental tools of Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator

2. Demonstrate a working knowledge of hardware, image creation and manipulation, single and multi-page layout designs, and technical considerations for exporting to print and online media.

3. Develop and apply creative thinking to imagery and design principles that will help explore, progress, and refine their visual style.

4. Identify unique advantages of each software tool, input devices, and exporting methods to later apply in more advanced courses.

5. Present visual solutions and support them verbally in a professional and effective way.

Methods of Assessment Will Include:

1. Weekly exercises & Bi-weekly Projects

2. Post-project Critiques & Presentations

3. In-class Project Development

4. Final Projects (complexity of imagery, problem-solving skills, level of technical skills, development of personal style/individual approach is evaluated)

Description of Assignments:
2–3 projects will be devoted to each software package (Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator). As each application is introduced, hands-on exercises will cover technical skills that lead to artistic projects incorporating critical thinking skills and concepts. These exercises will be followed by a more in-depth application of tools and techniques discussed in class.

Grading Formula:

Individual Design Projects (4-5): ———— 60%

Mid-semester & Final Project: ———————- 30%

Attendance & Participation: ——————- 10%

Schedule of Dates and Topics:
Topics / Assignments

Week 1: Introduction to Mac OS X, Photoshop, Graphic Assets – Pen Tools, Selection techniques, layers, sizing, resolution, mode – Good basic practices and conventions for digital imaging Photoshop

Project #1: Photo Collage / Digital Illustration

Week 2: Photoshop: Photo editing and retouching – Levels, color, saturation – Clone stamp, spot healing brush

Continue working on Photoshop Project #1

Week 3: Critique: Photoshop project #1 Creative image manipulation – Layer masks, blending modes, other adjustments and options – Smart objects

Photoshop Project #2: Two Portraits: The Model & The Monster – Portrait Degeneration & Recreation

Week 4: Critique: Photoshop Project #2 Two Portraits: The Model & The Monster – Layering line, color, and texture – Isolating elements via channels – Brushes and pencil tool Photoshop

PS Project #3 (mid-term project): Animated Portrait Illustration (Theme TBD)

Week 5: Photoshop: GIF creation & exporting – Frames via layers – Output on the web / file formats

Continue working on Photoshop Project #3

Week 6: Mid-semester Critique: Photoshop project #3 & any revisions from previous projects

Week 7: Intro to Adobe Illustrator – Document setup – Selection and pen tools – Making shapes and patterns Stroke/fill – Customizing text

Illustrator Project #1: Vector Icons, Glyphs, Symbols & Forms – Color Theory

Week 8: Continue: Illustrator Project #1 – Importing images, live trace – Paths and masks – Align, arrange, pathfinder, shape builder tool – patterns & more 

Illustrator Project #2: Expanding Forms – Design Your Own Brand

Week 9: Illustrator: – Graphic styles, appearance – Optimizing for web/print Continue

Illustrator Project #2: Design Your Own Brand Continues

Week 10: Presentation: Illustrator Project #3

Class Collaboration project / Final Project Introduction

Week 11: Zines, applications, techniques, distribution – lay out options.

Final Project work sessions

Week 12: Continue work on final project

Continue Final Project work sessions

Week 13: Continue work on final project

Week 14: Final Project Critique

Assignment details are subject to change. Any changes will be sent as a Canvas announcement, which get sent automatically to all students’ NYIT email. As well as posted to the class website. Exams and Quizzes Final artwork presentations and critiques serve as exams and quizzes.

Assignment Submissions: When your assignment / assignments have been completed please add them to our class google drive shared folder here:

*Please make sure to create a folder for yourself with your first and last name and please name your files with your name – Example file name(s) look like this below:

Ryan_Seslow_Assignment#1.JPG  – Ryan_Seslow_Assignment#1part2.JPG

Attendance Policy:
Please attend all classes.

Library Resources All students can access the NYIT virtual library from both on and off campus at The same login you use to access NYIT email and NYITConnect will also give you access to the library’s resources from off campus. On the upper left side of the library’s home page, select links for “Find Resources”, “Research Assistance”, “Services”, “Help”, and “About”. Using “Quick Links” on the right-hand side of the home page will also assist you in navigating the library’s web pages. Should you have any questions, please look under “Research Assistance” to submit a web-based “Ask-A-Librarian” form.


Additional Resources for Further Learning:,, Youtube

If you would like additional help in the course, please contact your instructor for guidance. You are also encouraged to use NYIT’s academic support services: the Learning Center, the Writing Center, the Math Center, and Brainfuse (online tutoring, 24/7). For more information and links to the individual centers, see:

Withdrawal Policy:  A student may withdraw from a course without penalty through the end of the 8th week of class during a 14- or 15-week semester and through the 8th meeting during an 8-week course cycle. After this, the student must be doing passing work in order to receive a W grade. Students who are not passing after the 8th week or equivalent will be assigned the grade of WF. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the instructor of his/her intention to withdraw from a course. If a student has stopped attending class without completing all assignments and/or examinations, failing grades for the missing work may be factored into the final grade calculation and the instructor for the course may assign the grade of WF. The grade of F is used for students who have completed the course but whose quality of work is below the standard for passing. Withdrawal forms are available in departmental offices and once completed must be filed with the registrar. Students should be reminded that a W notation could negatively impact their eligibility for financial aid and/or V.A. benefits, as it may change the student’s enrollment status (full-time, part-time, less than part-time). International students may also jeopardize their visa status if they fail to maintain full-time status.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism Policies:

Each student enrolled in a course at NYIT agrees that, by taking such course, he or she consents to the submission of all required papers for textual similarity review to any commercial service engaged by NYIT to detect plagiarism. Each student also agrees that all papers submitted to any such service may be included as source documents in the service’s database, solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of such papers. Plagiarism is the appropriation of all or part of someone else’s works (such as but not limited to writing, coding, programs, images, etc.) and offering it as one’s own. Cheating is using false pretenses, tricks, devices, artifices or deception to obtain credit on an examination or in a college course. If a faculty member determines that a student has committed academic dishonesty by plagiarism, cheating or in any other manner, the faculty has the academic right to 1) fail the student for the paper, assignment, project and/ or exam, and/or 2) fail the student for the course and/or 3) bring the student up on disciplinary charges, pursuant to Article VI, Academic Conduct Proceedings, of the Student Code of Conduct.

Cheating on an examination in this course will result in a zero for the examination and the matter will be reported to the appropriate college authorities as per the Student Handbook. A second incident of cheating on an examination will result in failure for the course.

Support for Students with Disabilities:

NYIT adheres to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504. The Office of Disability Services actively supports students in the pursuit of their academic and career goals. Identification of oneself as an individual with disability is voluntary and confidential. Students wishing to receive accommodations, referrals and other services are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services as early in the semester as possible although requests can be made throughout the academic year.