Course Description

In this second semester of the multimedia course sequence, students will develop, design and produce their own advanced interactive projects. Media theorist Lev Manovich claims we are living in 'Generation Flash'. Low bandwidth Internet connections created a demand for lightweight vector graphics software spurring a new aesthetic sensibility. Flash is an authoring environment that allows artists to weave together traditional linear animation, user interactivity, object-oriented programming and multimedia (video, sound, etc) blurring the lines between art, design and computer programming. In this class we introduce the fundamental principles of Flash animation and basic Action Script. Prerequisite: COMM 225.

Learning Goals

  • You will be able to integrate many forms of digital media into cohesive multimedia projects using the Macromedia Flash authoring environment.
  • You will use basic principles of computer programming to add interactivity to your projects.
  • You will be able to present and articulate your creative ideas to others.
  • You will be able to take ideas through a complete design process from concept to production.

Textbooks and Materials

USB Flash Drive (256MB or bigger) - OR - portable Hard Drive - OR - ZIP Disks

required texts:
all required readings will be available online or handed out in class

Optional texts:
Macromedia Flash MX 2004: Visual QuickStart Guide by Katherine Ulrich
Macromedia Flash MX 2004 Hands-On Training by Rosanna Yeung
Adobe Illustrator CS Hands-On Training by Jeff VanWest
Illustrator CS: Visual QuickStart Guide by Elaine Weinmann, Peter Lourekas

Grade Weights

Participation: 25%

A large amount of class time will be dedicated to group critiques, team projects and class discussion. I encourage you to take an active role in contributing to make our class a fun and dynamic place to be.

Projects: 50%

You can't learn multimedia passively or wait until the end of the semester to cram for an exam. To learn this stuff you have to make things! Multimedia production involves a complex spectrum of techniques & software. If you do each project you will do well. If not, you will fall behind rapidly.

Final Project: 25%

This project will be self-initiated and should integrate many of the skills you will learn this semester. When the time comes I will help to suggest possible topics and approaches. You will have the option of working individually or collaborating with other students.


  • Plan ahead! Multimedia projects can be incredibly time consuming and occupy a lot of time outside of class. Don't leave things for the last minute.
  • Attendance is essential to succeed in this class. The skills and techniques taught are cumulative - they build upon previous ones. Missing just one week can make it very difficult to catch up. You will also note that class participation makes up a sizable percentage of your final grade - if you are absent you cannot participate and your grade will suffer.
  • Save different versions of your projects and save often. Make back-ups of your files.
  • Work in the lab with a friend - when learning new technology, 2 brains are usually better than one. You are welcome to work on your assignments at home but many students use the lab in room 556. Lab hours will be posted after the first week of classes. Students may not use the lab when another class is in session. If the lab is locked during you may get a key from the Security Desk.

Attendance Policy

Attendance will be taken in each class. You are allowed one unexcused (no questions asked) absence, after which your final grade will drop substantially with each absence. In the event that an extraordinary circumstance will require you to miss a class, please let me know in advance by email.


Students with disabilities who require reasonable accommodations or academic adjustments for this course must either enroll in the Program for Academic Access or register with the Office of Student Support Services. For any accommodation, the instructor must be presented with either a letter from the Assistant Director of the Program for Academic Access or an Accommodations Card from the Office of Student Support Services during the first week of classes.

Academic Honesty Policy

MMC fosters an academic community where students and faculty work together to create a learning experience that imparts knowledge and forms character. To achieve this, the College requires all members of the community to adhere to the policy of Academic Honesty that can be found in the Student Handbook, the College Catalogue and on the College website.