Monday, August 28, 2017

Practicum Fall 2017

Course Description:
This course is designed to train senior students who wish to get into the entertainment industry; this includes game, film, and animation. Students will create a series of images that will supplement their senior thesis project. Students will learn how to work as a professional concept artist or art director as they plan and execute these key concept paintings. In addition to developing storytelling and compositional skills in their sketches and designs, students will learn to polish their paintings and create a cohesive presentation of their thesis. Successfully managing time/schedule to deliver finished artwork by the deadline is a crucial lesson in the course.

  • Implement foundational skills in your designs and renderings for visual development and storytelling
  • Learn to find design and compositional solutions through an iterative process
  • Develop composition skills and storytelling in your sketches and comps
  • Successfully manage your time to deliver finished artwork on or before a deadline
  • Learn how to be professional with clients from their feedback on your progress
  • Learn to seek inspiration by searching for reference in a range of fields
  • Learn to take risks and be creative, while creating a cohesive series of images for a given project
  • Learn to communicate both environment and character design through compelling illustrations
  • Improve the quality of your paintings
  • Demonstrate independent problem solving skills

  • Attendance: Attendance is critical to learning and academic success; students are therefore expected to attend all class meetings. During Fall and Spring semesters, students who incur more than two absences in a course that meets once per week, or more than four absences in a course that meets twice per week, will fail the course, barring exceptional circumstances as determined by the Chair. (During the 10-week Summer semester, the threshold for failure is more than one absence in a course that meets once per week, or more than two absences in a course that meets twice per week.) Exceptional circumstances include, but are not limited to: death in the family, serious medical conditions, hospitalization, observance of religious holidays, and some approved disability accommodations. Students wishing to claim exceptional circumstances must provide the Chair with appropriate documentation. At the Chair’s discretion, numerous absences due to exceptional circumstances may warrant course withdrawal or failure. Three tardies (including arriving late or leaving early) equal one absence.
    Student Behavioral Expectations: As members of the Otis College community, students are expected to behave responsibly at all times. The College expects and trusts its students to be honest in their studio, classroom, and community endeavors. Students are expected to assist in maintaining an environment that supports effective teaching and learning, and a culture of civility and respect for others. Any behavior that disrupts or interferes with the functioning of a classroom, studio, or College-sponsored off-campus venue may therefore result in students being asked to leave the class. In addition, students may be subject to disciplinary action as per the Student Code of Conduct and/or have their grade lowered in the course.

    Disabilities and Accommodations: Students with a documented disability should contact Students with Disabilities Services (SDS) before accommodations are needed (telephone 310-846-2554; e-mail SDS will verify documentation (or advise students as to the proper documentation needed) and send a “notification letter” to the relevant faculty. No faculty member can give accommodations without an official written request from SDS. Retroactive accommodations are not provided. All discussions will remain confidential. For additional information, please visit:

    Plagiarism: Plagiarism occurs when a person deliberately uses another person’s concepts, language, images, music, or other original (not common knowledge) material without acknowledging the source and/or making substantial modifications. While referencing or appropriating may be part of a studio or Liberal Arts and Sciences assignment, it is the student’s ethical responsibility to acknowledge and/or modify the original material. Specific examples of plagiarism include:

  • Submitting someone else’s work in whole or part (including copying directly from a source without documentation and/or alteration, or turning in studio work that is not your own).
  • Having someone else produce, revise, or substantially alter all or part of a written paper or studio assignment.
  • Cutting and pasting any textual or image-based work from the internet without proper documentation or clarification of sources.
  • Failing to cite sources. Proper citations in MLA style and a Works Cited page must accompany all papers. Guidelines to proper citation are available in The College Writer’s Reference and through the Otis Library website.
  • Using the writing, editing, or creative services of another person who quantitatively and/or qualitatively revises the paper and/or studio work significantly.
  • Allowing an editor to change so much of a paper that it is no longer the student writer’s work.
Instances of alleged plagiarism are reported to the Academic Integrity Committee for review. For a complete description of the Academic Integrity Committee process, please link to

Late Assignments/Work Policy:

An absence (exceptional or otherwise) does not excuse the student from the assignment. A student’s inability to obtain the missed assignment is not excused. Computer crashes, the press of other projects, an alien ate your homework, etc. are not acceptable excuses for late work. If you are absent on a day an assignment is due, I will accept it via email on the day it is due with a hard copy to follow. If you are absent on a day we have oral presentations, I will try to schedule you in at the beginning of the next week’s class. Students are expected to spend a minimum of X hours per week on projects outside of class. All assignments are due on the specified dates. A late project is marked down one grade (A to A-, B+ to B, etc.) per week. But all assignments must be completed even if that means turning in a project late and receiving a grade of F.

Requirements for Assignments:
The work (comps, drawings, interim rendering progress) should be presented in digital format (.Jpeg uploaded in class blog site – see link below) each week.
In-class review will be done individually or on digital projector.
Mid-term / Final will require students to present their work on color printouts. (Matte-paper only)
Size specification will be given out to the students before the due date.
Grading Breakdown:
Assignments 1, 2 & 3 20% each
Attendance 20%
Progress / Participation 20%

Otis Grade Scale by points:
A 4.0 (95-100) C+ 2.3 (74-77)
A- 3.7 (90-94) C 2.0 (70-73)
B+ 3.3 (86-89) C- 1.7 (67-69)
B 3.0 (82-85) D 1.0 (60-66)
B- 2.7 (78-81) F 0.0 (59 or below)

Grading Criteria:
You must do and hand in all parts of all of the assignments to PASS the course. An “A” or “B” requires substantially more effort.

A special note about participation: Participation is a very important part of this class. Everyone’s opinions, questions, observations, stories, and experiences are valued. You cannot receive an A in this class if you do not participate in class discussions, one on one or otherwise. 

Tutoring: Otis provides an excellent tutoring program, free to all students, located in the Student Resource Center (out the front doors, then left and left). They offer drop in tutoring (when available), appointments, and online tutoring.

The Digital Media Department also offers free tutoring covering the various software programs we use. You will receive information on the tutors during the first month of classes. Please come to the office to fill out a tutoring form if you require services.