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FIT1035 Digital media authoring - Semester 2, 2013

This unit provides a focus on specialist tools and techniques that are used for developing content-rich interactive multimedia systems using Adobe Flash. This unit will cover fundamental multimedia principles and best practice theory, the application of practical development processes, the integration of mixed-media assets, interactive design and ActionScript programming for digital media and different technologies for product deployment. Students will create content-rich interactive applications and/or web-based products using an industry standard authoring tool, Adobe Flash, and will gain an understanding of the role of digital media within the broader technology environment.

Mode of Delivery

  • Caulfield (Day)
  • Sunway (Day)
  • South Africa (Day)

Contact Hours

3 hrs lab/week, 1 hr seminar/week

Workload requirements

Students will be expected to spend a total of 12 hours per week during semester on this unit.

This will include:
Lab: 3 hours per week
Seminar: 1 hour per week

and up to an additional 8 hours in some weeks for completing lab and project work, private study and revision.

Unit Relationships

Prohibitions

MMS2402, FIT2012, FIT9028

Prerequisites

FIT1002 or FIT1040

Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer

Caulfield

Cheryl Howard

Consultation hours: By Appointment only

South Africa

Gregory Gregoriou

Consultation hours: By Appointment only

Sunway

Sylvester Orimaye Olubolu

Consultation hours: By Appointment only

Tutors

Caulfield

Cheryl Howard

Consultation hours: By Appointment only

William Lay

Consultation hours: By Appointment only

Matthew Kairys

Consultation hours: By Appointment only

South Africa

Gregory Gregoriou

Consultation hours: By Appointment only

Sunway

Sylvester Orimaye Olubolu

Consultation hours: By Appointment only

Academic Overview

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this unit students will have -A theoretical and conceptual understanding of:
  • information technology and the software tools as they relate to (and are used in) multimedia systems, specifically using the Adobe Flash authoring environment for application and web-based systems development;
  • the formal process undertaken for preparing and documenting the various development stages of a multimedia system;
  • techniques associated with digital video, animation, images and sound and the appropriate application of these for use in application and web development using a range of special effects which are commonly required for advanced interactive design in multimedia systems;
  • how to extend fundamental programming techniques and apply this knowledge across multiple languages.
Developed analytical skills that enable them to:
  • outline strengths and weaknesses of information technology in the context of the development and use of multimedia systems;
  • formulate constructive criticism within the construct of critical analysis to make informed decisions on the most appropriate blend of tools and technologies to support a given multimedia system requirement;
  • specify an appropriate tool set for developing and supporting advanced features/functionality in a multimedia system.
Developed practical skills that enable them to:
  • apply advanced interactive design techniques to a multimedia system using a time- frame-based authoring environments;
  • further enhance and refine user interface and navigational design and creativity skills in multimedia systems;
  • write code to assist in advanced system interaction with the programming language ActionScript.

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0   No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
1 Overview of the unit Assignment overview Development projects  
2 Using Flash Symbols and Flash Animation Basics  
3 Project Decomposition, Navigation Structures, Classes and Pseudo-code  
4 Programming Basics, the document class, using the API doc and debugging Design Specifications Document
5 Custom Events, Broadcast Messaging, Tracking User Interactions  
6 Loops, strings, arrays, data objects, loading text/XML data  
7 Building Dynamic Interfaces, Keyboard Interactions and Timers  
8 Movie Clips States, Scripted Animation and Collision Detection, Advanced Custom Events Splash Animation, GUI & Navigation Prototype, Class Diagrams
9 Using Components, Data Objects and Saving Data  
10 Loading External Files (SWF) and Project Construction Techniques  
11 Using Sound Objects and Video in Flash  
12 Flash tricks and tips Project wrap-up Exam Preparation Completed Final Project
  SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken in SWOT VAC
  Examination period LINK to Assessment Policy: http://policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/
academic/education/assessment/
assessment-in-coursework-policy.html

*Unit Schedule details will be maintained and communicated to you via your learning system.

Assessment Summary

Examination (3 hours): 40%; In-semester assessment: 60%

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Flash Development Project 60% By 4pm Friday of the specified weeks 4, 8 and 12
Examination 1 40% To be advised

Teaching Approach

  • Problem-based learning
    This teaching approach allows students to develop practical solutions to problem- or case-based scenarios, in which students are encouraged to take responsibility for organising and directing their learning with support from their tutors and peers.
  • Seminars
    This teaching and learning approach provides facilitated discussion of concepts and issues raised by the students during the tutorial/lab session.

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Policy

Faculty Policy - Unit Assessment Hurdles (http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/staff/edgov/policies/assessment-examinations/unit-assessment-hurdles.html)

Academic Integrity - Please see the Demystifying Citing and Referencing tutorial at http://lib.monash.edu/tutorials/citing/

Assessment Tasks

Participation

Students are expected to participate in and contribute to the discussion and activities conducted in at least 80% of the weekly seminars. These activities are designed to help you understand the various aspects covered in the unit and will help you successfully complete your assignment tasks.

  • Assessment task 1
    Title:
    Flash Development Project
    Description:
    The practical project will be developed using the Flash CS5+ authoring environment. The development of this project will be over the semester with 3 major development milestones – the Interface Design Specification Document, a Navigation and GUI Prototype with a Development Strategies document and the Final Project. Full details are available in the individual Project Brief documents available on Moodle.

    The Project Interface Design Specification documentation is designed to outline the interface and interactive design of the project. Part of your final assessment will include how well you develop your project in accordance to what you stipulate in this document.

    The Navigation/GUI Prototype will demonstrate how you have structured your project and show the majority of your interface design. The prototype should include a clearly defined internal structure on the time line (as demonstrated in tutorials), clearly show the main screen elements of the project, and an example of each major screen of the project. The Development Strategies document should outline how you plan to develop your project including a breakdown of each screen and the assets required.

    The Completed Functional Project, developed according to the project specification documents submitted in Week 3. Each scenario requires that you successfully integrate the 2 or more project enhancements as described under the individual project scenarios.
    Weighting:
    60%
    Criteria for assessment:

    The practical game project will be developed in the Flash CS5+ authoring environment and worth 60% of the final grade. The marks for the assigned game development project are as follows:

    Project Design (25)

    10 marks      Interface Design Specification Document submitted in Week 4.The criteria for this component will include:

    • structuring the specification document correctly covering the required sections
    • well-designed storyboards including appropriate notes for development

    15 marks      Navigation/Graphic Prototype with Splash Animation and Development Strategy Documentation submitted in Week 8. The criteria for this component will include:

    • demonstration of an appropriate navigation structure for the project with the navigational elements
    • a completed “splash” animation demonstrating various animation techiques
    • appropriate interface design and theme development of the project's graphic assets
    • documentation that includes class diagrams and an outline of the approach intended when developing the project 

    Project Implementation (35)

    5 marks     Successful completition of in-class project related tasks to be demonstrated during Weeks 4-8 in scheduled labs

    25 marks     Successful integration of selected scenario enhancements submitted in Weeks 12.The criteria for this component will include:

    • the project working without error demonstrating logical and efficient coding with all extraneous code eliminated
    • the use of both document and custom classes, demonstrating the appropriate integration of 3 or more types of interaction
    • the quality of the project solutions including the effective use of classes, functions, decisions, loops, arrays and object-oriented principles
    • the appropriate application of good programming practices including the use of commenting, appropriate naming conventions, meaningful variable and function names, code re-usability, etc.

    5 marks     Successful integration of all the scenarios accessed from a menu-driven Flash movie submitted in Week 12. The criteria for this component will include:

    • a fully functional Flash movie structure using appropriate timeline structures
    • appropriate interface design and theme development including the overall look-and-feel of the project's graphics/interface
    • all internal and external assets must be organised in a logical structure
    • successfully integrate and demonstrate various Flash features
    Due date:
    By 4pm Friday of the specified weeks 4, 8 and 12

Examinations

  • Examination 1
    Weighting:
    40%
    Length:
    3 hours
    Type (open/closed book):
    Closed book
    Electronic devices allowed in the exam:
    None
    Remarks:
    The examination has 3 parts:
    1. Various Multiple Choice / Definitions / Short Answer question formats drawn from textbooks, lecture / lab notes (36% of total)
    2. Code Sequencing / Fill in the Blanks / Pseudo-code / Coding question formats scenarios drawn from lab demonstrations and discussions (40% of total)
    3. Scenario Design and Development questions drawn from principles and practices covered in lectures (24% of total)
    Examples of these question formats will be provided in the final lecture in Week 12 and as quizzes on Moodle throughout the semester.

Learning resources

Monash Library Unit Reading List
http://readinglists.lib.monash.edu/index.html

Feedback to you

Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:
  • Informal feedback on progress in labs/tutes
  • Graded assignments with comments
  • Quiz results
  • Solutions to tutes, labs and assignments

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Assignment submission

It is a University requirement (http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/conduct/plagiarism-procedures.html) for students to submit an assignment coversheet for each assessment item. Faculty Assignment coversheets can be found at http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/. Please check with your Lecturer on the submission method for your assignment coversheet (e.g. attach a file to the online assignment submission, hand-in a hard copy, or use an online quiz). Please note that it is your responsibility to retain copies of your assessments.

Online submission

If Electronic Submission has been approved for your unit, please submit your work via the learning system for this unit, which you can access via links in the my.monash portal.

Required Resources

Please check with your lecturer before purchasing any Required Resources. Limited copies of prescribed texts are available for you to borrow in the library, and prescribed software is available in student labs.

The software used in this unit consists of:

  • Adobe Flash CS5+ Professional (version CS6 in in the Labs)
  • Adobe Photoshop CS5+
  • Adobe Illustrator CS5+

30 Day Trial/Evaluation versions of the named software can be downloaded for personal use if necessary from the following websites:

  • http://www.adobe.com/  

Student-priced full versions of the software can also be purchased through:

  • http://www.edsoft.com.au

Recommended Resources

ActionScript: Your visual blueprint for creating interactive projects in Flash CS4 Professional by Rob Huddleston, Wiley (2009)

Visual learners can get up and running quickly on ActionScript programming skills for Flash CS4+. If you're a programmer who learns best when you see how something is done, this book will have you up and running with ActionScript in no time. Step-by-step, two-page lessons show you the core programming foundations you must master to create rich application and Internet content using the preferred language for working with Flash. The visual approach breaks big topics into bite-sized modules, with high-resolution screen shots to illustrate each task.

Foundation Flash CS5 for Designers by Tom Green and Tiago Dias, Friends of Ed (2010)

This text focuses on the use of the Flash tools and design techniques that can be applied to them. The exercises provide a wide range of interesting tricks, tips and techniques – more than can be covered by this unit, without getting hindered by the technical aspects of Flash’s authoring environment. Working through the exercises of one chapter each week will significantly increase your animation and design skills, and provide you with a solid foundation for the integration of assets with ActionScript 3.0.

Files for the exercises can be downloaded from: http://www.friendsofed.com/download.html?isbn=1430229942

Flash CS5.5 The Missing Manual available from http://fbooks.ueuo.com/digital-media/flash-cs5-5-the-missing-manual/

Other Information

Policies

Graduate Attributes Policy

Student services

Monash University Library

Disability Liaison Unit

Students who have a disability or medical condition are welcome to contact the Disability Liaison Unit to discuss academic support services. Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs) visit all Victorian campuses on a regular basis.

Your feedback to Us

Previous Student Evaluations of this Unit

The most common theme in previous student feedback indicated that many enjoyed the assessment tasks - particularly being able to select a project to develop and given the creative freedom to explore the features of Flash. The unit focuses on using practical activities both in the lecture and in the tutorials to help students understand complex programming principles and practices before working them into their assignments.

Student feedback has also informed improvements to this unit including ensuring a better balance between the design and development aspects of producing a complete interactive/multimedia application. The assignments have been redesigned in order to be better aligned with the concepts taught.

If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to
https://emuapps.monash.edu.au/unitevaluations/index.jsp

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