General Info

Instructor: Rafael Macho
rafaelmacho [at] ucla [dot] edu

TA: Lauren McCarthy
laurmccarthy [at] gmail [dot] com

Class: Tuesday, Thursday, 9:00 – 11:50 AM, Broad Art Center, Room 4220
Office Hours: Tuesday 12:00 – 1:00 PM, Room 4220 (Rafael)
Friday 12:00-1:00 PM, Room 3211 (Lauren)

Course Description

Studio, six hours; outside study, nine hours. Preparation: completion of preparation for the major courses. Enforced requisites: courses C101 or 104 or C106, and 154A. Integration of print and digital information technology, with continued emphasis on fully integrating visual vocabulary with mastery of conceptual and creative procedures. P/NP or letter grading.

Class Structure

Classroom time will be used primarily to review work either as class discussion or individual meetings. Every week you will have a new assignment due the following class. Work is to be presented according instructions by 9:00am.

Class Description

In this class students will be introduced to strategies of visual communication through kinetic elements, focusing on form, speed, rhythm, orientation, color, texture, and quality of motion. Students will explore the typographic language in a variety of exercises dealing abstractly or concretely within motion. Through analyzing contemporary and historical examples, such as film and TV titles, music videos, commercials, video art, as well as exemplary typography work in print design, students will develop their own potential for expression trough dynamic typography.

The first four exercises are quick projects focusing on learning how to express of visual communication concepts through motion and sound. These exercises will progress along with to the learning curve of the software After Effects in order to let student refocus their creativity and take control of the technical aspect. For the final project each student will create a project based on the theme “alphabet from A to Z” using various techniques including motion and sound. For each letter, the student will visualize a word with the starting letter. Students will realize a project while sustaining a chromatic constancy, with transition and rhythm. These assignments deal with control of the time, chromatic constancy, editing, and the visual typographic representation in time and space. It is advised to limit the use of software tools and to concentrate on the concept. The entire semester focuses on the software Adobe After Effects as a recognized plate-form tool, in combination with editing tools such as Premiere or Final Cut.

Other software must be discussed with the instructor specific to the current exercise if allowed. Production techniques may range from filmmaking digital or film, hand draw animation, stop motion animation to editing video footage.

Each student will give a research presentation about a designer and discuss his or her contributions to design, animation, and typography.


15%: Participation, Attendance, and Research Report.
60%: Exercises 1, 2, 3, and 4 (15% each).
25%: Final Project

Projects will be evaluated based on their concept, aesthetic qualities, and execution. All exercises must be completed in order to pass the course. Late assignments will reduce the assignment’s grade by one partial grade (B to B-) each class day they are late. Exercises are only considered as complete when they are accessible from the course website. Attendance is mandatory. More than two absences without the instructors’ permission (medical certificate might be requested), will lower the participants final grade by one unit (e.g. an A will become an B). With each additional unexcused absence, the grade will drop an additional unit. Three times running late will be considered as one unexcused absence. All exercises must be completed to pass the course. In addition, participants must attend at least three DMA sponsored lectures during the quarter.

See assignments for information about the required exercises and projects.


Required Tutorial: Total Duration: 9 hours | Level: Beginner
Chapter 1-9 | 3h 43m total | by April 15, 2010
Basic After Effects CS3 (or CS4) from

Required Reading: “How To Be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul”, by Adrian Shaughnessy.

Recommended Readings: Tibor Kalman, Milton Glaser