New York City of Technology –
Department of Entertainment Technology/ Emerging Media Technology

Game Design and Media Skills Lab

MTEC 1001 – D302
Room V314
Fall 2018/ Monday and Wednesday / 10:00 – 11:15 AM
Instructor: Chloe Smolarski

Open Lab Course site:


This 3-hour lab consists of a series of workshops that offer supportive instruction and training in a variety of software programs, digital tools, and platforms. These workshops are introductions to the programs and tools for digital imaging, graphics, video, sound, and interactive design. Specifically, students are work with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, After Effects, Audition, and Unity. The workshops are designed to foster a culture of collaboration and sustainable learning communities.

Students are expected to complete a series of guided assignments that cultivate digital skill sets as well as offer conceptual frameworks, which lend themselves to interactive storytelling and game studies. Active participation in class is required as well as timely completion of assignments.

Students will be maintaining Open Lab portfolio blogs in which they post all assignments. Students are also required to reflect on each post and discuss in writing their ideas, and challenges in completing the assignment.

This is a portfolio-based class and in order to complete the course successfully, students are required to have uploaded all assignments to their online portfolio and to have actively participated in critiques and class challenges.

Students will become digital citizens, learning to use the fundamental tools of digital production and online culture. This course offers an overview of 2D, 3D and interactive software that students will need as they pursue their studies in the Emerging Technology Program. In addition, yhey will develop online research skills associated with a culture of lifelong learning and understand the importance of staying current with-in a field, which is constantly developing.

This class follows New York City College of Technology attendance policy. If a student is absent s/he is expected to make up the work in a timely fashion. If a student knows in advance that they will not be able to attend please inform the instructor via email. While it is understood that people are not always able to come to class due to illness or the equivalent, it is critical that the student understand that technical instruction is scaffolded and that it is their responsibility to learn the materials they have missed.


Readings and resources will be provided by the professor and posted on the blog.

Students should have a Google account in which they upload all in-process work. It is important not to save items on the desktop as the computers are swiped clean everyday.


70%     On-line portfolio
5%       midterm
5%       Final Project
20%     Class Participation and critiques

Each project will receive a split grade, which reflects technical proficiency and concept development.

By the successful completion of this course, students will be able, at an introductory level, to:
1. Demonstrate how design principles and storytelling methods relate to the development of project concepts.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the representation of abstract ideas in 2D, 3D and time-based forms.
3. Demonstrate a basic comprehension of digital tools pertaining to still images (Vector and Raster), Video, Sound and Interactivity
4. Demonstrate an understanding of the iterative making process, using incremental methods such as prototyping and testing.
5. Demonstrate an ability to apply obtained knowledge to other contexts including programs and platforms.
6. Archive work in a reflective manner for an online portfolio. This will include writing clear analysis about the projects.
7. Demonstrate an ability to recognize the importance of innovation, creative thinking, risk-taking, and experimentation.
8. Demonstrate an ability to speak about their work as well as the work of their peers in an analytical and constructive manner.

Course assignments are subject to change and adjustments.

Assignment Instructions Software Learning Objectives Design/concept objectives Due
Open Lab Portfolio/Customizing WordPress Introduction to Course

Using City Tech’s Open Lab create a Word Press blog.

Creating blogs, evaluating and customizing templates, uploading media, toggling between visual and HTML Emphasis on Professional presentation – and personalizing the design 08/29
Logo Project –

3 Variations: white background /black background and transparent background

5in X 5in

export as .png

Design a logo that represents you. You may only use black and white. Introduction and navigating the Adobe Illustrator environment, understanding difference between raster and vector, creating scalable objects, basic vector tools including shapes, brushes, direct select, fills, strokes, text as object, exporting .png Composition, negative and positive space, design with a message 09/06

(follows Monday schedule)

Vector Silhouettes

10 in X 15 in

Using a minimum of 3 layers and the pen tool trace a dynamic figure (athlete/musician) making a silhouette. Mastering vector drawing with the pen tool (curves and angles). Understanding color information, RGB, CMYK, swatches, libraries, gradient, transparencies Common Vector work Flows and best practice, exploring the vector aesthetic 09/17

(no class September 10th)

Hyper Realism and decontextualizing the Normal – A series of 3 images

8.5 in x 11

Combine at least two images to create a surreal scene. Consider the light source and creating shadows. Downloading large images, Understanding resolution and dpi, subtracting and adding to and from selections, quick mask, layer masks, custom brushes, adjustment layers (nondestructive), clone tool Understanding best practice with-in a Photoshop environment. Playing with Context, creating and shifting meaning through combining images

Image mining and Creative Commons


(no class September 19th)

Photo correction Take an old picture that has been destroyed and repair it. Histograms, levels, curves, healing tools, content aware Manipulating images and attention to detail 09/26
Album Art/ CD Cover Create a CD cover for either a fictional or actual group Text in Photoshop, clipping masks, implementing previous tools Concept development Considering the relationship between music and image. 10/010

(College Closed – October 8th)

Critique 10/15
Sound Mash-up Class Challenge – Group work – spooky sound design

Create a mash-up using two or more songs, or spoken word. (Secrets)

Using Audacity or Adobe Audition create a mash-up, basic tools, basic, effects including pitch, speed and tempo, sound transitions, exporting .wav/mp3/m4a Introduction to sound, Remix culture, open source, copyright issues 10/24
Movie Trailer Class challenge – music video

Using two or more films, games, etc. create a trailer. Consider the sound track and the title.


Introduction to editing in Premiere. Organizing clips, Importing, in and out points, sequences, editing tools, transitions, text, non destructive adjustment layers, basic color correction, effects with key frames, cropping, opacity Remix culture, open source, copyright issues continued 11/12
Introduction to After Effects Create a moving 15 second PostCard


Introduction to the After Effects environment: special effects, motion graphics, text in motion. Composition, importing, keyframes, masks, effects, tracking, keying, text animation, transitions rendering  timeline, 11/29
Maya, 3D modeling To be announced
Unity Project – Solar System Using provided assets and C# code create a Solar System. The earth should rotate and orbit around the sun. The moon a child of the earth should rotate around the earth.   Or create your own Solar system. Introduction to the Unity 5’s environment and interface including skyboxes, objects, sound assets and components. Workflow and best practice. Finding resources on line. 12/10

(Dec 12th no class)

Final Critique 12/17 – 12/20