Fall 2024 - IAT 100 D100

Digital Image Design (3)

Class Number: 5965

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 4 – Dec 3, 2024: Thu, 12:30–1:50 p.m.



This is a project-based course that introduces the theory and hands-on practice of art and design in digital media. As the introductory course in IAT, this course teaches the core fundamental principles in 2D visual design, sequential and animation design. Students learn the fundamentals of digital photography and vector image creation. The theory is contextualized in contemporary new media design practice and is broadly applicable across disciplines. Breadth-Humanities.


Digital Image Design is a project-based course that introduces the theory and hands-on practice of art and design in creative media.  In this course, students will be introduced to communicating through Visual Media. Through the three phases of the course, students will learn the basics of visual composition, sequential art, and motion design. Theory and practice are contextualized in contemporary media design practice and are broadly applicable across disciplines.

Projects are both individual and team-based. Students are encouraged to adapt experiences from their own lives to project guidelines. Previous creative or technical skill is not required. However, students who have prior creative or technical skill will find challenges in finding a deeper level of engagement with theory and practice.


Course Objectives

This course is intended to:

- Provide students with a foundation in visual literacy for still, sequential and timebased images.

- Introduce media art as part of a diverse history that includes, fine art, design, technological development and psychology

- Encourage students to assess and articulate intention in design media through written and verbal critique

- Improve production value through iterative design practice, technical experimentation, and peer evaluation

- Provide students with an introductory skill set in professional media arts software that are used for bitmap, vector and animation design.


Learning Outcomes

By completing this course, it is anticipated that students will be able to:

- Apply visual literacy and design skills to still, sequenced and timebased images using professional software.

- Communicate story and message through visual design.

- Critically evaluate visual media and design in their own work and in that of their peers.


  • Assigments 15%
  • Labs 5%
  • Quizzes 5%
  • P1: Film Stills: Visual Storytelling For the Entertainment Arts 20%
  • P2: Graphic Novels: Sequential Visual Storytelling for the Entertainment Arts 25%
  • Project 3 - Motion Graphic 30%


*This is a draft of the assignment themes and the grade breakdown. Assignment weights and themes will be announced on the first day of class.



This course uses Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and After Effects software. Software is available for your use in SFU computer labs.   The school doesn't provide Adobe licenses for personal computers. If you wish to access Adobe outside of school, it will be your responsibility to purchase and install it.  There are other free software that are similar to Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, such as Figma, Pixlr, Inkspace, Gimp etc.  You will be responsible for learning these platforms if you choose to use them for homework.  There is no free software comparable to Adobe After Effects.  Please consider if access to software will be an issue for you before registering for the course. 

The course textbook "Picture This" by Molly Bang is also available as an ebook through the SFU Library.  You can decide whether to purchase your copy or use the Library copy.  Access to Library copies cannot be guaranteed. 

All other content required for this class will be provided via CANVAS.


Bang, Molly. Picture This: How Pictures Work. New York: SeaStar Books, 2000.


Eisner, Will. "Comics and sequential art : principles and practices from the legendary cartoonist." New York : W.W. Norton, 2008.

Bang, Molly. Picture This: How Pictures Work. New York: SeaStar Books, 2000.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the term are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.