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Digital Art

Curriculum Overview

The Digital Arts curriculum at the Academy truly fosters the innovative spirit by pairing creativity with the extensive reach of modern capability. By engaging students through the analytical and constructive processes of Art & Art History, while offering hands-on interactivity with modern tools, students utilize their creative and cognitive abilities to develop the skills to provide the current solutions that will create a brighter future. In a Digital Arts classroom, artists are presented with creative challenges which present various opportunities for students to engage through discussion & independent learning to develop thinking strategies, empowerment of identity & self-expression, and gain imperative technological skills which contribute to their success as an artist in the modern age

Class Topics

Digital Art Survey

CREDITS: 0.5 credit per semester


This course is an introduction to digital art and image manipulation. Students will explore the history of digital art forms and utilize digital devices and the Adobe Creative Cloud to create their own original works that can be utilized for print or the web. Through this process they will gain essential exposure to modern computer/technology tools, learning the foundations of file management and computer systems & software, while develop thinking strategies to create original works grounded in multiple digital mediums and formats   This process will include studies in Graphic Design, Digital Photography, Digital Painting/Illustration, Film/Animation, 3D Design & Motion/Web Graphics — studies include programs such as: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, After Effects, Adobe Premiere, Adobe InDesign, & Adobe Animate


CREDITS: 0.5 credit per semester

PREREQUISITE: Digital art survey or Permission of Instructor

This course introduces the history of photography, its progression and its influence into the modern age.  Students will explore many skills and tools including traditional and digital photography techniques & theory, professional digital photo editing/compositing techniques, series development, lighting, studio & setting strategies, and creating special effects. Students will engage deeply with tools such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom and personal devices to create a collection of original high quality images and building a strong personal portfolio portraying original thematic development, high levels of professional editing skill and quality of photo presentation.

MATERIALS REQUIREMENT: Cell phone with Photo Capability or Digital Camera (DSLR Camera with Tripod is Recommended)

Illustration and Graphic Design

CREDITS: 0.5 credit per semester

PREREQUISITE: Digital Art Survey or Permission of Instructor.

This is an intermediate level class which students will gain in-depth knowledge of digital rendering techniques and strategies by creating solutions to real world projects and challenges. Students will be utilizing design thinking & ideation processes to develop original concepts as they explore visual culture, design theory, brand/character development, multi-media communications, product design, digital drawing, public art & architecture. This course further develops a focus on the understanding of multiple file types and digital rendering applications & skills as students gain experience working with raster images, vector design, digital drawing, 3-D Modeling, motion graphics & animation.

MATERIALS REQUIREMENT: Cell Phone with Photo Capability

Film and Animation

CREDITS: 0.5 credit per semester

PREREQUISITE: Digital Art Survey or Permission of Instructor.

In this course, students will study the history of film and animation to develop an understanding of a wide variety of media production tools and approaches. Students will also be engaged with a hands on experience with character/plot development, film analysis, studio strategies, camera techniques, video editing, audio engineering, 2D & 3D animation, and special effects.  During this process students will be exposed to traditional & modern film/animation techniques & theory, commercial advertisements, original character design, storyboarding, stop-motion photography (puppetry & clay-mation), green-screen/digital effects, frame by frame & flash animation, and the building/organizing of digital resources.  Students will be exposed to the use of video cameras, studio lighting, audio/video interfaces/capture devices, drawing tablets, & multimedia software such as: Adobe Premiere, After-Effects, Adobe Animate, Adobe Audition & Photoshop to create their own original & unique video/animations. Students will have a great experience gaining the essential skills necessary to create original & unique video/animations.

MATERIALS REQUIREMENT: Cell Phone with Video Capability or Video Camera


CREDITS: 0.5 credit per semester

PREREQUISITE: Permission of Instructor; Ambition to Create a Memorable School Yearbook 

Students who are motivated to create a high quality yearbook are strongly encouraged to sign up. Students will work closely throughout the year as a group to develop the theme, layouts, and design of our school yearbook.  Students with knowledge or experience in writing, graphic design, and the arts are encouraged to enroll and will make a great addition to our team but no prior knowledge/experience is required. Students will be gaining experience and utilizing online publishing programs, as well as learning techniques utilizing Adobe products like Photoshop or Illustrator to create a high quality school yearbook publication that documents the events of the school year and life at AAW (student life, special events, department recognition, award recognition, assemblies, clubs, art showcases and performances, etc.). Students will also be developing skills in photography, journalism, time-management strategies, graphic design collaboration/team production processes and deadline management. Students will be required to attend assigned events, have organizational skills, participate in collaborative team meetings and meet required deadlines.

MATERIALS REQUIREMENT: Digital camera is suggested, but is not required. Work will be required outside of the classroom.


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