UCLA Design Media Arts

Summer 2020 — Session C

August 3rd - September 11


Class Sessions

Monday & Wednesday 9AM-12:45PM
Zoom Link Here | Password: 24

Recorded Lectures


Hirad Sab (he/him/they/them) (
Dalena Tran (she/her/they/them) (
Office hours by appointment


This course is an introduction and integration of traditional design tools, camera, and digital technologies for application to multidisciplinary visual thinking, design, communication, and art. Throughout the quarter we will examine the language and histories of moving images and how artists have contributed to and utilized them in their work. We will explore, compare, and contrast industry-standard/normative approaches with radical/experimental takes of these various media. Our aim is to establish a rich understanding of the complex and evolving environment in which artists and designers have been creating moving image art. Students will explore technical, critical, and creative tools to realize moving-image projects and to gain a deeper understanding of moving images as a medium of expression and communication. In a series of mini-assignments and group projects students will explore and study the following:

  • Principles of moving images: timing, perspective, change, and aesthetics.
  • Fundamentals of motion and animation: attributes, keyframes, interpolation, and blending.
  • The basics of digital moving images: codecs, resolution, raster/vector, and conversion.
  • Means of exhibition and presentation: screening, immersive environment, web-based, and projection mapping

We will explore the field through lectures, readings, screenings, discussions and student presentations. By the end of the quarter, students should have gained basic production and postproduction skills as well as a good understanding of the key concepts relevant to contemporary film, video, new media, installation and animation.

Submission Guidelines

Students submit their minitasks and projects to the DMA Cloud server. This is how we will access, review, and grade your assignments. DMA Cloud is accessible remotely through a web interface, as well as locally in the studios during class.

You can access the submission directory using the following breadcrumbs:
file.dma Home > myClasses > 120-24 > drop



  • A stable internet connection and a focused working environment
  • a personal computer (with a webcam and ideally headphones)
  • Blender for 3D computer graphics
  • Davinci Resolve for editing & post-processing
  • A Zoom account
  • A Discord account
  • Either a Vimeo or Youtube account


Grades will be determined according to the following breakdown:

Project grades take into account conceptual, technical, and visual development as well as rigor and creativity. Outstanding or exceptional work will receive As, good work will receive Bs, sufficient work that does nothing more than meeting the requirements will receive Cs.


You get one unexcused absence, no questions asked. Each unexcused absence after that will result in one full letter grade deduction. Three unexcused absences will result in a failed grade in the class. If there is an emergency and you must miss class, email us before class. Absences will not be excused after the fact except in extreme circumstances. Illness requires a doctor’s note. If you are more than 10 minutes late, you will be marked tardy. Three tardies result in one unexcused absence. Any disputes should be discussed with the us within two weeks.


Participation is critical to passing and enjoying this class. Do the work, share your thoughts, ask questions, prepare for class meetings & discussions, offer feedback during critiques. This class is meant to be a safe space in which you feel encouraged and supported in learning and taking creative risks. This means being aware and considerate of different backgrounds, perspectives, and identities. Respect each other and this space we are building together. Don’t assume, ask. Remain open, be willing to take responsibility, apologize, and learn. Help each other in this. If you have concerns, please let us know.

Discord Server Interaction

Ongoing weekly discussions and participation in the Discord server is required. We will use Discord to gather & share resources, respond to readings and peers' works, and to share your work in progress.

Each week should feature at least:
  • Link to your minitask/project with a short description of your learning process, concept, challenges, and triumphs. This way your work is contextualized for your peers in relation to your creative inputs and the readings.
  • Respond to at least two of your peers' minitasks and project submissions.

Readings & Discussions

During the quarter, you will be assigned readings on a variety of topics. The readings are intended to familiarize you with some of the relevant discussions that relate to moving images. We will discuss our findings and thoughts of the readings with our peers in class. Your participation in these discussions matter. The discussions serve as a dialectical engagement to learn from one another and explore the readings in conversation. Moreover, the readings serve as a foundation for discussing the screenings, which are purposefully picked to convey some of the ideas from the readings in practice.


Projects are due at the start of class on the date assigned. Projects may be turned in up to one week late for a one letter grade deduction off the project grade. Work that is more than one week late will not be accepted. If you are absent, you are still expected to turn in projects online by the deadline. Extra time will not be given for work lost due to save issues, software errors, computer crash, etc. You should regularly backup your files on your desktop, online, and/or on an external harddrive or USB stick in case your computer is lost.

Commitment to Diversity and Safer Spaces

We understand the classroom as a space for practicing freedom; where one may challenge psychic, social, and cultural borders and create meaningful artistic expressions. To do so we must acknowledge and embrace the different identities and backgrounds we inhabit. This means that we will use preferred pronouns, respect self-identifications, and be mindful of special needs. Disagreement is encouraged and supported, however our differences affect our conceptualization and experience of reality, and it is extremely important to remember that certain gender, race, sex, and class identities are more privileged while others are undermined and marginalized. Consequently, this makes some people feel more protected or vulnerable during debates and discussions. A collaborative effort between the students and instructors is needed to create a supportive learning environment. While everyone should feel free to experiment creatively and conceptually, if a class member points out that something you have said or shared with the group is offensive, avoid being defensive; instead approach the discussion as a valuable opportunity for us to grow and learn from one another. Alternatively if you feel that something said in discussion or included in a piece of work is harmful, you are encouraged to speak with the instructors. (tx voidLab!)

Disability Services

UCLA strives to make all learning experiences as accessible as possible. If you anticipate or experience academic barriers based on a disability, please let me know as soon as possible. It is necessary for you to register with the UCLA Center for Accessible Education so that we can establish reasonable accommodations. After registration, make arrangements with me to discuss how to implement these accommodations.

Land Acknowledgement

The University of California, Los Angeles occupies the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary Lands of the Tongva and Chumash peoples. Our ability to gather and learn here is the result of coercion, dispossession, and colonization. We are grateful for the land itself and the people that have stewarded it through generations. While a land acknowledgement is not enough, it is the first step in the work toward supporting decolonial and indigenous movements for sovereignty and self-determination. Read more about what land you’re occupying.

This online syllabus has adapted code & text from Lauren Lee McCarthy's DESMA 28 as an effort to not reinvent a pretty reliable & awesome wheel.


The schedule and program are tentative and subject to change. As the course moves forward based on your feedback and collective input we will attempt to modify the schedule as needed. However for the time being this is an outline of the quarter.

Week 0: Before We Begin

Week 1: How to Motion

Week 2: Content and Time

Week 3: Encoding and Post

Week 4: Compositing & Post-Processing

Week 5: Presentation and Exhibition

Week 6: The End is Nigh


Wed - September 16

  • DUE: Final Project @ 9am; Class Session 11AM-1PM
  • Final Project Critique (2 hr 30 mins)
  • Website Launch
  • Launch Party


Projects are due at the start of class on the date assigned Projects may be turned in up to one week late for a one letter grade deduction off the project grade. Work that is more than one week late will not be accepted. If you are absent, you are still expected to turn in projects online by the deadline. Extra time will not be given for work lost due to save issues, software errors, computer crash, etc. You should regularly backup your files on your desktop, online, and/or on an external harddrive or USB stick in case your computer is lost.

Midterm Project: Audio-Video (DUE Mon Aug 24th)

Final Project: Open License (DUE Wed Sept 16th)


Your final project is an open investigation of your interests and the techniques learned throughout the course. As usual, it must be paired with audio and sound, which can be musical, ambient, environmental, or experimental. The required length of the project should be longer than your midterm video. You are free to explore any topic that interests you. These can range from exploration of advanced and experimental techniques, software and frameworks that were not touched on in the class, social and political issues, personal and interpersonal investigations, investigations of aesthetics, etc. Collaboration, invention, and exploration are highly encouraged, as such you are free to join groups of 2-3 people for your final project. However, if you wish, you can work on the final project individually.

  • Create a general idea based on your interests.
  • Your project must synthesize the course materials and techniques.
  • Your project must respond to some of the subjects discussed in the class.
  • Your final projects will be exhibited online on a dedicated website.
Project Submission Specs:
  • Due Wed Sept 16th Before 9am
  • Title your work
  • Select a still frame (1920x1080) of your work to use as the cover
  • A text description detailing the idea and concept of the work with a minimum of 300 words
  • Compress your final video, title + 300 word description, and selected still frame into a .zip and name it (
  • Upload your final video to Youtube or Vimeo
  • Share your video link, your video title, and 300 word statement on our Discord (#final-project-submission)
  • Be prepared to talk about your project in our final critique and celebration September 16th 11 am-1pm
Nightly Render Shifts Sign-Up
Last updated: 09/09/2020