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FIT2012 Flash animation and applications - Semester 1, 2014

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, practical development processes, the integration of mixed-media assets, interactive design and animation for digital media and different technologies for product deployment. Students will create content-rich interactive CD-ROM and Web-based products using industry standard authoring tools and will gain an understanding of the role of digital media within the broader technology environment.

Mode of Delivery

Caulfield (Day)

Workload Requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 12 hours per week comprising:

(a.) Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • One 1-hour lecture
  • One 3-hour laboratory

(b.) Additional requirements (all students):

  • A minimum of 8 hours independent study per week for completing lab and project work, private study and revision.

Additional workload requirements

Broadly the time required to complete this topic is shown in the following table, but note this is just a rough indication. You may need to spend more time on some activities depending on your background and knowledge. In addition, you need to spend extra time on assignments and review.

Attending lectures and reviewing notes (2 hours)
Doing activities in lab classes (3 hours)
Major Project Development (6 hours) 
Contact - i.e: e-mail, consultation, etc. (30-60 minutes) 

Total (12 hours)

Unit Relationships

Prohibitions

FIT1035, IMS2402, MMS2402
This unit is prohibited to all students enrolled in the Bachelor of Information Technology and Systems multimedia development major.

Prerequisites

FIT1012

Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer

Caulfield

Cheryl Howard

Consultation hours: By Appointment Only

Tutors

Caulfield

William Lay

Consultation hours: By Appointment Only

Ruben Hopmans

Consultation hours: By Appointment Only

Matthew Kairys

Consultation hours: By Appointment Only

Your feedback to Us

Monash is committed to excellence in education and regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through the Student Evaluation of Teaching and Units (SETU) survey. The University’s student evaluation policy requires that every unit is evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys. The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

For more information on Monash’s educational strategy, see:

www.monash.edu.au/about/monash-directions/ and on student evaluations, see: www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/quality/student-evaluation-policy.html

Previous Student Evaluations of this Unit

The lectures are still a "bone of contention" with the students, with attendance being less than ideal. So, in consultation with the other lecturers delivering this unit, the previous version of the lectures have been removed and a new interactive approach has been implemented. In the lecture, students engage with interactive activities to consolidate the weekly concepts/topic covered working through collaborative discussion and practical examples, before attending the labs. In the labs, the application of these concepts is easier when working through the practical and project-related material.

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

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;
  • the Adobe Flash authoring environment for CD-ROM and web based systems development;
  • techniques associated with digital video, images and sound and the appropriate application of these for use in CD-ROM and web development;
  • the formal process undertaken for preparing and documenting the various development stages of a multimedia system;
  • how to achieve a range of special effects which are commonly required for advanced interactive design in multimedia systems;
  • fundamental programming techniques and how to carry this knowledge across multiple languages.
Developed attitudes that enable them to:
  • outline strengths and weaknesses of information technology in the context of the development and use of multimedia systems;
  • make informed decisions on the most appropriate blend of tools and technologies to support a given multimedia system requirement;
  • formulate constructive criticism within the construct of critical analysis.
The skills to:
  • apply advanced interactive design techniques to a multimedia system using a time/frame based authoring environments;
  • use a blend of industry standard multimedia tools and products;
  • further enhance and refine user interface and navigational design and creativity skills in multimedia systems;
  • specify an appropriate tool set for developing and supporting advanced features/functionality in a multimedia system.
Demonstrated the teamwork skills necessary to:
  • build confidence in formal presentation techniques presenting personal ideas, research concepts and developmental progress;
  • discuss and share developmental processes and techniques within an informal populated environment.

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 Basic Flash Animation Techniques  
3 Introducing ActionScript 3.0 and Navigation Structures Design Specification Document
4 Programming Basics with Decision Structures In-class tasks Weeks 4-8
5 Strings, Arrays, Input and Data Validation  
6 Loading External files (TXT/XML), Utility Functions Splash Animation, GUI & Navigation Prototype
7 Building Dynamic Interfaces, Tracking User Interactions, Scripted Animation  
8 Collision Detection, Custom Events, Introducing Timers  
9 Using Components, Data Objects and Saving Data Game Analysis Report
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 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.

Teaching Approach

  • Lecture and tutorials or problem classes
    This semester students will be introduced to programming, design and development aspects of the unit as preparation before attending the lecture and lab sessions ("flipped" classroom approach). In the lectures students will examine and explore the concepts covered in greater depth through interactive learning techniques (eg: discussion, worked examples, etc.). In the labs students will then apply their learning to various prograaming tasks related to their major project.
  • Laboratory-based classes
    This approach is hands-on learning where you interact with fellow students in a laboratory workroom. Techniques will be demonstrated and then problems for you to solve will be presented. New skills and techniques will be added each week, culminating is the presentation of a major application, submitted at the end of the semester.

Assessment Summary

In-semester assessment: 100%

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Flash Development Project 80% By 10pm Friday of required submission week (3, 6, and 12)
Game Analysis Report 20% By 10pm Friday of Week 9

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Policy

Assessment Tasks

Participation

There is an expectation that all students will attend lectorials and labs, to participate in the duscussion and activities conducted during them. 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 Splash Animation + 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 Splash Animation will demonstrate your skill in applying Flash animation techniques to produce a variety of different animation effects.

    The Completed Functional Project, developed according to the project specification documents submitted in Week 3. Each scenario requires that you successfully integrate the specified project enhancements as described in the Project Brief.
    Weighting:
    80%
    Criteria for assessment:

    The practical project will be developed in the Flash CS6 authoring environment using techniques covered during the semester. The practical project will be worth 80% of the final grade. The marks for the project will be assigned as follows:

    Project Design (40)

    15 marks     Project Design Specification Document submitted in Week 3. The criteria for this component will include:

    • structuring the specification document correctly covering the required sections
    • well-designed storyboards including detailes notes for development of the project (template provided)

    25 marks     Splash Animation / Navigation / GUI Prototype submitted in Week 6. The criteria for this component will include:

    • a 5-10 second animation to introduce your project using at least two different animation techniques
    • demonstration of an appropriate navigation structure for the project with the navigational elements functioning
    • appropriate interface design and theme development of the project's graphic assets

    Project Implementation (40)

    15 marks     Successful completion of in-class project related tasks to be demonstrated during Weeks 4-8 in scheduled labs.

    25 marks     Successful integration of all the scenarios into a single 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/interfac
    • all internal and external assets must be organised in a logical structure
    • successfully integrate and demonstrate various Flash features
    • the project working without error demonstrating logical and efficient coding with all extraneous code eliminated
    • the quality of solutions demonstrating the effective use of programming and interactive strategies
    • the appropriate application of good programming practices
    Due date:
    By 10pm Friday of required submission week (3, 6, and 12)
    Remarks:
    Full details are available in the individual document briefs that are available for download from the MOODLE site.
  • Assessment task 2
    Title:
    Game Analysis Report
    Description:
    The Game Analysis Report is a 1000-2000 word report on the analysis and evaluation of a game. The report requires the analysis of various aspects of a game including an overview, a navigation diagram, the media used, user interaction and feedback, game responses and performance, potential programming issues and enhancements to improve the game play. 
    Weighting:
    20%
    Criteria for assessment:

    The game must be selected from the website provided. The report is worth 20% of the total marks, using the following marking criteria:

    • document presentation, formatting and length (including spelling and grammar)
    • the inclusion of all the appropriate sections of the report
    • the quality of the analysis given on the features and issues with the game selected
    • the inclusion of appropriate examples and/or screenshots to illustrate the various points being discussed
    Due date:
    By 10pm Friday of Week 9

Learning resources

Monash Library Unit Reading List (if applicable to the unit)
http://readinglists.lib.monash.edu/index.html

Faculty of Information Technology Style Guide

Feedback to you

Examination/other end-of-semester assessment feedback may take the form of feedback classes, provision of sample answers or other group feedback after official results have been published. Please check with your lecturer on the feedback provided and take advantage of this prior to requesting individual consultations with staff. If your unit has an examination, you may request to view your examination script booklet, see http://intranet.monash.edu.au/infotech/resources/students/procedures/request-to-view-exam-scripts.html

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/student-academic-integrity-managing-plagiarism-collusion-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.

All software required for use in this unit can be accessed from allocated campus labs/tutorial rooms.

The software used in this unit consists of:

  • Adobe Flash CS6 Professional
  • Adobe Photoshop CS6
  • Adobe Illustrator CS6

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

Foundation Flash CS5 for Designers by Tiago Dias and Tom Green, Friends of Ed (2010) with files for the exercises available from: http://www.friendsofed.com/download.html?isbn=1430229942 (also available in the Library)

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

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

Other Information

Policies

Monash has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and to provide advice on how they might uphold them. You can find Monash’s Education Policies at: www.policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/academic/education/index.html

Key educational policies include:

Faculty resources and policies

Important student resources including Faculty policies are located at http://intranet.monash.edu.au/infotech/resources/students/

Graduate Attributes Policy

Student Charter

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.