multimedia @ VU
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talk show tell print




There are basic exercises, obligatory for all students, and a final assignment, where you have a choice between three productions, each with a different supervisor. In addition, as explained in the guidelines, all students must write an essay, and give a presentation in class. For deadlines, see the schedule. There will be periodic checks on the status of your work. Each year there will be recommended themes.

basic exercises

Each individual student must:

  1. develop a logo
  2. create a sign
  3. design a collage
  4. make a photo sequence

You will be allowed one opportunity for revision, based on the (peer) reviews.

theoretical reflection

You must:

In the second half of the course, you will likely be invited to present your thoughts.

final production

Choose one of the following assignments:

For the final assignment(s) your are allowed to work in groups. However, the contribution of each individual must be reflected in his/her own portfolio.

Before you start working on the final production, you must (as indicated in the schedule) obtain approval from your supervisor by submitting a sufficiently detailed concept/plan.


The overview presents the text of each individual assignment.

assignment(s) -- logo:

obligatory: creative technology

Develop a logo expressing:

For example, the right to speak freely might be expressed by some sign or symbol with iconographic meaning.
Literature: Tristan Manco, Street Logos, Thames and Hudson

assignment -- sign:

the listed examples may not be chosen!

Create a sign expressing a prohibition of some kind. As a suggestion, You may, not exclusively, choose from:

For example, a don't spit on the street campain was held in China, during the outburst of SARS. This resulted in signs, similar to non-parking or no-smoking signs.
Literature: 1000 signs, Taschen Verlag

assignment(s) -- collage:

Design a collage using a mixture of images and text. Create a composition that is in some way meaningful (for yourself), and indicate briefly what that meaning is.

You are free in the choice of technology and tools. However, if you use a dynamic technology make sure to incorporate screenshots to illustrate the various shapes.

As technology, you may choose from:

visual design labs

A collage is one of the basic exercises at the average art school. Remember, that although it is a formal, abstract exercise, it is therefore not necessarily meaningless.
Literature: Aaron Betsky, with Adam Eeuwens, False Flat -- Why Dutch Design is so Good, Phaidon

assignment(s) -- essay:

In the course of working on the exercises, consulting the literature and listening to the guest speakers, you must develop the skill to formulate your thoughts on design. The essay does not have to be very long. Five pages is enough.

The following subjects are recommended for your essay:

You are encouraged to find your own subject. Don't stick only to guidelines. It is often more helpful to discuss examples of good or bad design.

The essay must be part of your portfolio and must be readable online. Don't waste printer resources!
Literature: of your choice.

assignment(s) -- present:

To formulate your thoughts on paper is one thing. To speak out in front of class another. Prepare a presentation (in for example powerpoint) to clarify your findings and ideas in a lecture of at most 10 minutes.

Keep in mind that:

  • you must speak clearly
  • your presentation must match your verbal utterings
  • you must be able to answer questions
Also the presentation must be part of your portfolio.
Literature: your own essay

assignment(s) -- house style

Develop a house style and a web site for a conference or a similar event. In designing, be aware of:

  • the stakeholders involved with that particular event,
  • the look and feel of the (related) material, and
  • the end-users that are to be addressed.

Further indications will be provided during the course.
Literature: if nothing else, google!

assignment(s) -- visual story

supervisor: J.F. Hoorn
Develop a non-linear visual story. As an outline of the tasks:

  • choose or develop a story plot,
  • create the visual (and textual) elements, and
  • implement the system that allows the user experience the story interactively.


assignment(s) -- game environment

supervisor: A. Eliëns
In designing a game environment, there are several options, dependent on the track your are most comfortable with.

  • style -- develop concept, plot and visual assets for a game of choice
  • content -- develop environments, models and animations for a game of choice
  • effects -- develop models, textures and special effects (shaders) for a game of choice

It is recommended to work together and create an actual game, using a suitable mix of technologies.
Literature: multimedia/software


You are also encouraged to consult the references in introduction multimedia.

recommended literature

  • David Dabner, Design and Layout: Understanding and Using Graphics, Quarto publishing inc. (14.99)
    Nederlandse versie: Design en Lay-out: Grondbeginselen van de Grafische Vormgeving David Dabner, ISBN 90 5764 326 X, VU boekhandel: Librero speciale prijs 7,95 Euro
  • Simon Danaher, Digital 3D Design, Thomson 2004
  • David Santiago Creating 3D Effects for Film, TV and Games, Thomson 2005
  • Tristan Manco, Street Logos, Thames and Hudson
  • 1000 signs, Taschen Verlag
  • Aaron Betsky, with Adam Eeuwens, False Flat -- Why Dutch Design is so Good, Phaidon
  • J.F. Hoorn (2002). A model for information technologies that can be creative. In T. T. Hewett, & T. Kavanagh (Eds.), Proceedings of the Fourth Creativity and Cognition Conference, Loughborough, UK (pp. 186-191). New York: ACM Press. (powerpoint and example)
  • S. St-Laurent, Shaders for Game Programmers and Artists, Thomson, 2004
  • A. Eliëns, Computational Art, First Int Symposium on Electronic Art, Leonardo Supplementary Issue, Pergamon Press 1988, pp. 21-26 (OCR-ed with support of Niek de Moel)
  • A. Eliëns Creativity: reflection and involvement, Ninth Int Conf of Aesthetics, Dubrovnic, August 1979

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