This BTEC Award runs for one day a week and for two terms. Students wishing to join this course will need to have some experience with Flash animation i.e. the Flash CS BTEC Unit running in September. You will learn to apply these animation techniques, incorporating sounds, buttons, interactivity and even video to create dynamic professional websites that promote your business or top-flight online interactive CV’s, which showcase your talents to future employers. Issues of design and functionality are discussed regularly to give your websites the visual edge needed to compete. This course is primarily design based, but you will also learn how to use the scripting language of Flash CS to add functionality to your sites. Students interested in this course may also be interested in Web Design:Dreamweaver and Photoshop. See listings for details.
What does the course lead to?
Modern employers tend to ask a lot more from interactive media designers and so you may wish to attend the many related courses the college the college has to offer particularly if you intend to enter the workplace. These could include Dreamweaver and Fireworks for web design and authoring, Final Cut Pro for those wishing to gain experience with handling video, (an important part of multimedia production), and Computer Aided Graphic Design.
The college offers a wide range of related courses including Dreamweaver and Fireworks, and for the video enthusiast we offer BTEC DVD authoring award and Final Cut Pro 5. You may also wish to look into out computer aided design courses to increase your portfolio of skills that would be looked on favourably by future employers.
What does the course involve?
We will be using Flash Version 8 on Apple MacIntosh iMac Intel with Operating System 10 (OSX). The classes take the form of demonstrations and exercises that you will be able to recreate. You will then have plenty of time to develop these exercises to incorporate your own creative style. The aim of unit 6 is to give you a wide knowledge of all the drawing/tracing and animation techniques you will need to use in Flash to animate your creations. As you progress to term 2 you will incorporate all the animation techniques learned in term 1 to create a fully operational website for unit 4 (web authoring). In addition you will experiment with basic 'Actionscript' (the programming language of Flash) to make your website functional, and Dreamweaver to publish your finished site to the internet.
What are the main areas of work?
Unit 6 (animation techniques) focuses on the drawing and animation elements of Flash 8. As you progress to unit 4 (web authoring) you will apply the animation skills learnt at the previous unit and incorporate sounds, graphics and navigation systems to build a website and finally experiment with basic Actionscript, the programming language of Flash 8, to bring your projects to a more professional standard.
What are the facilities and equipment like?
At this college we use the very latest AppleMac iMac Intel computers (Mondays) or eMacs (Fridays). Having access to your own computer is beneficial but not a requirement.
How much should I study outside class?
As laid out by the BTEC short course framework the course assessment is broken down into four main areas for each of the two units taught. The pre-production coursework such as research, storyboards and site maps will mostly be completed outside class. Each week there will be new exercises to master and for the core projects of the units will you will incorporate the techniques learned to complete your own animation and animated website assignments. Finally you will complete written assessment/analysis of both of your projects indicating how successful you have been in your production.
How is the course assessed?
The exercises set each week will be monitored to assess understanding. Pre-production work such as research and conceptual designs will be assessed at regular intervals throughout the course and the final projects will be assessed at the end of each term, as well as written evaluations.
Are any course materials online?
Additional books often prove to be a distraction in the early stages, covering work in a different order and including techniques not required. As you progress through the levels you can approach the tutor for advice on relevant additional reading matter on the subject.
What books and equipment do I need?
A notebook and pen is expected of every student at all times. There are worksheet handouts provided each week on the new topics but it is essential that you take additional notes, as it can slow down your work rate if you don’t have your own notes to refer to.