Course Syllabus

ARTC 2210

Section: 1001
Semester: Spring 2017
Lab: 244 Wolfe Center
Time: MoWe 8:30 - 10:50am

Instructor: Aaron D. Brandt
Office: 116A Fine Arts Center In the Grad Lounge
Office Hours:(please email in advance to arrange an appointment)

Course Description

An artistic exploration of 2D paint, image manipulation, and vector based programs using various peripherals such as scanners, tablets, digital cameras, and image capture techniques. Investigation of artistic digital printing technology. Five studio hours. Prerequisites: One or more of the following with concurrent registration in the remainder: ART 1020, ART 1030, ART 1120 or consent of instructor.

Course Overview

In ARTC 2210, you will learn to use the computer as an art tool. The art is the emphasis, and the tools (computer, peripherals, and software) are secondary.

You will explore 2D paint, image manipulation, and create art using vectors and raster images using various peripherals such as scanners, graphic tablets, digital cameras, and image capture techniques. This will also include an investigation of artistic digital printing techniques.

The course emphasizes creative experimentation informed by contemporary research issues and critical theory. Class lectures will include demonstrations, discussions of readings, theory and artwork, and technical exploration. Class time will be available for exploring software and hardware tools and working on projects; outside work will also be required to complete assigned projects.

NOTE: A final grade of "C" or better in this course is required to qualify as a prerequisite for other ARTC courses.


Students will:

  • Use the computer as a tool for creating artwork.
  • Focus on the conceptualization and creation of artwork; attaining expertise in the operation of the software and hardware used in this class is important in acquiring the necessary skills to create the work.
  • Investigate the impact of contemporary digital technology on imagination, narration, mythology, and artistic expression.
  • Build knowledge in the area of contemporary art history and theory as it applies to the course material. Reading and research assignments and class lecture/discussions will be focused on providing students with pertinent art history and theory to enhance the conceptual development of their work on project assignments.
  • Demonstrate a level of expertise, through in-class work and assignments, in the following areas:
    • An understanding of the "anatomy" of a digital image, bitmap vs. vector, including resolution, pixels and bit depth.
    • An understanding of digital images as computer code, exploring ways to manipulate the image by manipulating the code.
    • 2D paint / digital imaging programs, focusing on Adobe Photoshop.
    • Acquisition techniques: including scanning, video capture, digital cameras, and web sources.
    • Output techniques: printers (low and high end ink jet), various paper surfaces, projections, and computer monitor.
    • Conceptual development of artwork.
    • Art History and new media theory as it pertains to project assignment goals including truth in imaging, identity, linearity, and the medium.
    • Critiques - discussion and evaluation of peer work.



Software: In class, we will be using Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud. While this software is available on all the lab computers in the Wolfe center, it is strongly recommended that you purchase a student subscription to to complete work outside of class. If you are a Digital Arts or pre-Digital Arts major, this is the software suite you will be using in most of your other Digital Arts classes at BGSU.

Digital storage: USB flash drive or Firewire External Drive (MUST be formatted for both Mac and PC). You will be expected to have a drive of at least 8GB in size. Work must be backed up regularly: failure to do so is not an accepted excuse for late assignments.

Printing: You will need to make numerous professional prints to fulfill class assignments in the MCaP lab. This is located in the Fine Arts Center room 1026. Anticipate spending at least $100 on printing supplies for this class.

Textbook: There are plenty of online resources for this class, so a physical textbook is not necessary. I do not require a textbook, so that you can more easily afford printing and software.


Information presented in class lectures, discussions and demos is the responsibility of each student. General assignments are mandatory and must be completed and submitted on the required dates and in the proper format. Assigned readings are the responsibility of each student and will be required for class discussion and project completion. Each lecture and discussion requires the student's participation for which a grade will be given. If you miss a day of class, contact a classmate immediately to make up lost work.

The technical aspects of the class are demanding and require that students be self-motivated and independently solve problems. There will be days set aside for working on projects in class, however the majority of our time will be spent on our learning objectives. Make the proper arrangements to work on assignments outside of class.

Students will need to be able to competently write about their projects and readings in a formal way.


This course assumes an interactive approach in its structure and in its presentation, which requires engaged participation from all members of the class. This class is a cumulative experience and necessitates your presence in lab time as well as lecture. Therefore, regular attendance is expected and considered mandatory. If you miss a class, it is your responsibility meet with a classmate or make an appointment with me to get the information. It is also your responsibility to monitor your attendance record in Canvas, and clear up any discrepancies as soon as possible.

  1. You may miss up to three classes with no penalty to your grade (as long as you turn in all assignments on time).
  2. Missing more than 10% of regularly scheduled course meeting times (3 classes) results in the reduction of the final grade by one letter grade, and continues for each additional absence up to the 6th absence. (Formula: absence #4 = -1 letter grade, #5 = -2 letter grades, #6 = -3 letter grades).
  3. Missing more than 20% of regularly scheduled course meetings (6 classes) results in automatic failure for the course. (Formula: #7 = F). 
  4. There are no “excused” or “unexcused” absences. There is only presence or absence. 
  5. Arriving for class late or leaving class before dismissal without permission constitutes a tardy. The accumulation of three tardies is equal to an absence. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class. If a student comes in late, it is their responsibility to make sure I mark their arrival. If you miss half of the class or more, you will be marked absent.
  6. Do not leave class early. Students must clear it with me first or will be marked tardy or absent for that day (depending on how much time is missed).
  7. Attendance at FINAL CRITIQUE is mandatory. Absence, for any reason, will lower the final grade by one letter. No late final projects will be accepted (zero grade).
  8. In the event of a mental or physical health emergency or other similar crisis that may cause a student to miss more than two classes, please set up an appointment with me to discuss options.

Assignments and Critiques

Late Assignments

Grades for assignments turned in up to 24 hours late are lowered 1 letter grade, 1-3 days late is two grades lower, and 3-4 days late is 3 grades lower. No late assignments will be accepted after 4 days. Students will receive a zero (F) for that assignment, but if it is completed it will be evaluated by the instructor. NO LATE FINAL PROJECTS WILL BE ACCEPTED.

  • Exercises focus on technical issues rather than creative content.

    • You may work on exercises during class time, or be required to complete them outside of class.
    • Exercises must be saved as flattened JPGs, and uploaded to Canvas by the due date.
    • Exercises are graded on meeting the technical requirements of the assignment: you must meet all the technical requirements of the exercise in order to receive credit for it.
    • If you miss a class in which an exercise is introduced, it is your responsibility to complete the exercise on your own.

  • Projects focus on your creative use of the technical skills learned in the exercises.

    • There will be scheduled work days in class for projects, but these are to allow you to receive feedback from the instructor and other students; you will not be able to complete projects solely during the class time provided.
    • Projects are highly individual, requiring both creative and technical effort.
    • Projects are multi-part assignments, and all parts count toward the final project grade (not just the finished image).
    • Projects for critique must be saved as flattened JPGs and uploaded to Canvas, AND the original Photoshop (PSD) files as well as flattened JPGs must be uploaded to the homework folder prior to the beginning of class. DO NOT UPLOAD PSD FILES TO CANVAS.


Readings on theory will be online; the URLs will be listed in the assignment on Canvas.

  • Answer the prompts for the assignment completely.
  • Spelling and grammar must be correct, and language usage appropriate for an academic writing assignment.
  • All documents must be turned in on Canvas before the beginning of class.



If you do not attend class the day of a critique, you will receive a 0 grade for critique participation for that project. This class is very dependent on having projects finished for the class critiques: if the student doesn't have the project COMPLETED, they will not be able to completely participate. If the student has extenuating circumstances, please clear them with the instructor ahead of the due date. Medical emergencies are excused, per doctor’s note.

During critiques, I expect each student's full attention and respect. Monitors will be TURNED OFF during critiques. Critiques begin promptly at the beginning of the class.

Final Critique

Attendance at the Final critique is mandatory. Missing the final critique will lower the final project grade by one letter, in addition to receiving a 0 grade for critique participation for the project. NO late Final Projects will be accepted!

Grades / Evaluation

See the Canvas course website for grades and assignment weights.

In this class, a “C” means you have met all the requirements of the assignment, so you must go beyond those requirements to earn a higher grade:

  • A (100-90)
    Excellent - Above and beyond, artistically AND technically
  • B (89-80)
    Very Good - Beyond requirements, artistically OR technically
  • C (79-70)
    Average - Met all the assignment requirements
  • D (69-60)
    Did not meet all requirements
  • F (59-0)
    Project not turned in or completely insufficient

Extra Credit

No extra credit will be awarded.

General Policies


Digital Arts Department Rules

  • NO food or drink in the lab.
  • NO cell phones on during class. ALWAYS remember to turn off (or silence) your cellphone before class.
  • NO sleeping during class.
  • NO student is permitted to disconnect, reconnect, or reconfigure any workstation without the permission of a digital arts professor

Student Projects

Projects created in any Digital Arts course may be used by the Art department for the purpose of promoting the student, the department and/or the university in general. These materials may also be used by the Art department for instructional purposes in future courses. Please inform the instructor if you do not want your projects used.


Any student who wishes to discuss accommodations on the basis of a disability, please come talk to me after class or during office hours. The goal of the Disability Services for Students Office is to help provide equal access and reasonable accommodations to BGSU students with disabilities. Students wishing to discuss their eligibility for such accommodations are encouraged to contact their office at 372-8495 (413 South Hall).

Academic Honesty

Students are expected to maintain the highest level of integrity in their academic work. From time to time, however, issues such as cheating, fabrication or plagiarism in an academic exercise arise. The original jurisdiction and penalty both vary depending on the offense and when it is discovered. Also, there are specific requirements for record-keeping and for notification of the student and academic dean. The complete policy is available in both the Student Handbook (Codes of Conduct) and the Faculty Handbook (Academic Charter).


I reserve the right to change these rules as I see fit in order to facilitate a better learning environment.

Course Summary:

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