There are basic exercises, obligatory for all students,
and a final assignment, where you have a choice
between three productions, each with a different supervisor.
In addition, as explained in the guidelines, all students must write an essay,
and give a presentation in class.
For deadlines, see the schedule.
There will be periodic checks on the status
of your work.
Each year there will be recommended themes.
In the visual design course there are basic exercises, obligatory for all students,
and a final assignment, where the student has a choice
between three productions.
- develop a logo
- create a sign
- design a collage
- write a story
For the final assignment, there is a choice between the following assignments:
developing a house style,
creating a non-linear visual story, and
designing a suitable game environment
For this assignment) the students are allowed to work in groups.
However, the contribution of each individual must be reflected
in his/her own portfolio.
The first requirement when working in an area such as visual design
is that you acquire sufficient self-discipline to find
the challenge in the assignments and to complete the tasks involved.
Since a department of computer science is not the natural habitat
for a course in visual design, I have laid down some strict rules:
- be present -- 2 omissions max.
- be in time -- hard deadlines
- be online -- have your portfolio available
- be creative -- don't steal without a reason/mentioning
- be smart -- there is no 2nd chance
These rules may well apply when you work,
after you graduated, as an individual designer/developer
or as a member of a team in some agency.
To finish this section, I may remark that
design is an interesting field, full of implicit
(not always so obvious) wisdom
and apparent paradoxes.
Whatever you do, deliver! Silence is lethal.
And, as another item of colloquial wisdom, be authentic, but only if possible!
research directions -- on creativity
One of the assignments in the visual design course
is an essay.
As one of the recommended topics we have a reflection on
theories of creativity.
As such it is not a training in creativity.
This section contains some random thoughts on the processes and products of
design, and ends with the provoking statement
there is no theory of creativity.
You may, however, try to find some counter-arguments,
for example in the line of [Similarity].
Multimedia is a promising technology, and (nowadays) affordable.
So we see that multimedia
(which includes 3D-graphics, video and sound)
is increasingly being used, also in information visualisation.
But what is it good for?
To quote [Magic]:
multimedia's promise is terribly generalized,
it simply lets you do anything.
As with any new technology, the early multimedia
productions (in particular CDROM and CD-I)
were not optimal with respect to (aesthetic) quality.
To quote [Magic], again:
shovelware -- multimediocrity
... far from making a killing, it looked as if the big boys ...
had killed the industry by glutting the market with
Perhaps the industry in the late eighties did not
have the right business model.
But, then again, what are the chances of multimedia
in our time.
One more quote from [Magic]:
if multimedia is comparable to print then yes,
we'd be crazy to expect it to mature in a mere ten years.
So now, in the new millenium, we are (sadder and wiser)
in a position to approach the effective deployment
of multimedia afresh.
What we look for is aesthetic quality.
How do we find it?
Easy enough, just be authentic.
"Learning how to not fool ourselves is, I'm sorry to say, something that we haven't specifically included in any particular course that I know of. We just hope you've caught it by osmosis."
Authentic in creating multimedia means, apart from
not fooling yourselves, that you must become aware of the
message orinformation you want to convey
and learn to master the technology to
a sufficient degree.
But beware, an effective multimedia presentation
is not the same as scientific argumentation:
the media equation
We regularly exploit the media equation for enjoyment by the willing suspension of our critical faculties. Theatre is the projection of a story through the window of a stage, and typically the audience gets immersed in the story as if it was real.
These quotes, as well as the following one have been taken from
an online essay on eliminating complexity
which provides an argument against inessential gadgets
and spurious complexity and bells and whistles
in whatever you can think of,
including user interfaces and scientific theories.
Back to the subject,
what does master the technology to a sufficient degree
Just remember that what you do is a form of engineering.
"engineering is the art of moulding materials we do not wholly understand ... in such a way that the community at large has no reason to suspect the extent of our ignorance."
A. R. Dykes.
In other words, learn the tool(s) that you are using
to a degree that you master the basics and easily
cut through its apparent magic.
theories of creativity
Producing multimedia, in whatever form, has an element
But, given the need for aesthetic quality,
whatever way you approach it, there is an element of creativity.
That means, you're in for a challenge.
And, to quote [Magic],
The best thing is to empower yourself.
But before you can do that, you need to understand
what you are doing -- which is a surprisingly novel thing to do.
Now it is tempting to look for a set of guidelines and rules
that give you a key to creativity.
So let me be straight with you:
there is no theory of creativity
On the other hand, there are techniques for producing ideas.
And some recommend a sequence of steps, such as:
chew it over;
incubation, let it rest;
verification,does it work?
And in addition, still following [Magic],
there are some general rules:
- if you aim to please everybody, you will please nobody
- constraints come with the territory, you must learn to love them
- emotional charge is the key to success
Now, if you'd ask me, I would say, just
make your virtual hands dirty.
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