Paul Kopco's teaching website

 MCOM 315 - Computer Production & Imaging

MWF 1:00 - 1:50, Jonas 207 · Spring 2014
Instructor: Paul Kopco
Office: Jonas 108C
Office Hours:
  • Monday: 10:00 - 10:50 & 12 - 12:50
  • Wednesday & Friday: 10:00 - 10:50
Phone: 642-6503


  • MyGraphicsLab - course ID kopco88607 -
  • MyGraphicsLab Adobe Photoshop CC Classroom In A Book w/printed book & e-text by Adobe Creative Team


  • USB flash drive with at least 4GB capacity
  • CD-RW (rewritable CD) or DVD-RW (rewritable DVD)

    Students will be responsible for maintaining current backup copies of all work. Loss of your data due to accidental erasure from your working lab computer will not be an acceptable excuse for projects being turned in late or not at all.


  • To work with Adobe Photoshop to manipulate images and study production techniques. A 30-day trial version of Photoshop Creative Cloud is available here. To use Creative Cloud programs at home, a subscription is necessary. Student pricing is available from Adobe.
  • To continue the development of a sense of design and an understanding of the elements of design.
  • To push the limits of the studentīs project concepts and to acquire further skills with professional software design tools.

Grading Policies:

The following will determine the final grade:

MyGraphicsLab quizzes to Section 3 - Topic IO - 10%
Midterm exam - 20%
Midterm project - 20%
MyGraphicsLab quizzes from Section 3 - Topic CM to end - 10%
Final exam - 20%
Final project - 20% (15% artwork - 5% essay)

This course utilizes MyGraphicsLab, which includes an online version of the textbook. (This MyGraphicsLab course also provides training for the Adobe Certified Associate certification exam.) Topic quizzes will be a component of your grade. You may take the topic quizzes as many times as you want. You will need to study the presentations and videos, do the readings (if any), and do the projects for each topic in order to maximize quiz results The projects are not to be submitted -- they are to be done in order for you to master concepts covered in the quizzes.

How the MyGraphicsLab topics relate to the Adobe Photoshop CC Classroom In A Book chapters:

1.0 Setting Project Requirements
  • Your Audience (YA)
  • Copyright Rules (CR)
  • Project Management (PM)

2.0 Identifying Design Elements When Preparing Images
  • Image Size & Resolution (IS)
    • Chapter 2: Basic Photo Corrections
    • Chapter 5: Correcting & Enhancing Digital Photographs
    • Chapter 8: Vector Drawing Techniques
    • Chapter 13: Preparing Files for the Web
  • Design Principles (DE)
  • Digital Imagery (DI)
    • Chapter 5: Correcting & Enhancing Digital Photographs

3.0 Understanding Adobe Photoshop
  • The Interface (IN)
    • Introduction: Getting Started
    • Chapter 1: Getting to Know the Work Area
  • Layers & Masks (LM)
    • Chapter 4: Layer Basics
    • Chapter 6: Masks & Channels
  • Importing, Organizing, Exporting, & Saving (IO)
    • Chapter 5: Correcting & Enhancing Digital Photographs
    • Chapter 8: Vector Drawing Techniques
  • Color Management (CM)
    • Chapter 5: Correcting & Enhancing Digital Photographs
    • Chapter 14: Producing & Printing Consistent Color

4.0 Manipulating Images
  • Working with Selections & Filters (WS)
    • Chapter 3: Working with Selections
    • Chapter 5: Correcting & Enhancing Digital Photographs
    • Chapter 8: Vector Drawing Techniques
    • Chapter 9: Advanced Compositing
  • Transforming Images (TI)
    • Chapter 3: Working with Selections
    • Chapter 6: Masks & Channels
  • Color Correcting & Retouching Images (CC)
    • Chapter 5: Correcting & Enhancing Digital Photographs
  • Drawing, Painting, and Type (DP)
    • Chapter 1: Getting to Know the Work Area
    • Chapter 7: Typographic Design
    • Chapter 11: Painting with the Mixer Brush

5.0 Publishing Digital Images
  • Preparing Images for Web, Print, & Video (PI)
    • Chapter 10: Editing Video
    • Chapter 13: Preparing Files for the Web
    • Chapter 14: Producing & Printing Consistent Color

The midterm and final exams will be in MyGraphics Lab and will be based on the MyGraphicsLab quiz questions. Each exam will consist of a web-based component and a hands-on project component, which will be averaged together for a composite exam grade. The exams are graded starting at 100%, the normal maximum if you answer all the questions correctly.

Participation in class and on the course Facebook page is essential to success in this course. Students will be asked to discuss their own work as well as to critique the work of others.

Grading Scale: 10-point scale.
A=100-90, B=89-80, C=79-70, D=69-60, F=59-0

The projects will be graded on:

  • Adherence to the instructions and requirements of the project
  • Demonstration of the principles of graphic design as presented in the text and in class
  • The amount of effort put forth on the project

You will complete a tutorial project in each chapter of the book. In addition to these chapter projects, which will not be graded, two major projects will be completed during the course for grading purposes. They will be handed in as original multi-layer files in Photoshop format (with the normal PSD filename extension — not JPG or PDF) for evaluation. If you strictly follow the instructions and meet the requirements for the projects as stated below, as well as demonstrate acquired graphic design principles, you will receive a grade of A, but the lowest A (90%). The grade will decrease from there for every instruction not followed or requirement not met.

  • The first project, due at midterm, is to produce a CD or DVD cover for an album or movie of your choice, either real or imaginary.
    • The artwork must be in the form of a collage with a minimum of 5 overlapping images on different layers and of varying opacities, plus an additional sixth layer for text. Images on individual layers must overlap other images on other layers.
    • It must be at a minimum resolution of 200 ppi. Images from web sites are not allowed since, at 72 ppi, they are not of sufficient resolution for printing. However, high-resolution images from stock photography web sites may be used.
    • An existing CD or DVD cover can be measured for sizing (5in x 5in is close enough).
  • The second project, due at the end of the term, is to produce an 11in x 17in poster to promote the CD/DVD created in the first project (for example, a poster announcing the time and place for a concert, or a "buy it here" poster for a CD or DVD store).
    • Like the first project, it must be in the form of a collage with at least 5 overlapping images on different layers and of varying opacities, plus a text layer, at 200 ppi. Images on individual layers must overlap other images on other layers.
    • Again, 72 ppi images from websites are not allowed.
    • The composite, flattened image of the CD cover can be one of the 5 images for the poster.
    • The poster should obviously be related to the album in look or theme, but cannot be just a larger version of the CD cover.
    • The student will incorporate elements of design as presented in Contrast/Repetition/Alignment/Proximity class presentations and discussions.
    • The student will choose a rhetorical device as the basis of their project as presented in the language as a model for graphic design class presentation and discussion.
    • The student will write an essay describing in detail how these design and rhetorical elements have been used in the project and the reasons behind their use. There must be at least 5 paragraphs (which may consist of from one to several sentences):
      • one paragraph for each graphic design principle describing how you have achieved contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity in your project (4 paragraphs total)
      • note that the alignment and proximity presentations mainly apply to text, not graphics -- contrast and repetition can apply to both text and graphics
      • one paragraph detailing which rhetorical device you chose, why you chose it, and how it is clearly demonstrated in your project

Course Schedule:

The focus of the class will be on learning and using Adobe Photoshop. Tutorial projects will be created and critiqued in class. The lesson schedule must be followed closely to enable learning all required content in the time allotted for the semester.

Students using the Jonas 207 Mac lab at BHSU must follow these rules:

  • If you are unsure of something, ask!
  • You may not move any hardware or change the setup of the lab in any way.
  • To conserve consumables such as paper and toner, please print only when absolutely necessary.

ADA Statement

Reasonable accommodations, as arranged through the Disabilities Services Coordinator, will be provided students with documented disabilities. Contact the BHSU Disabilities Services Coordinator, Mike McNeil, at 605-642-6099, (Woodburn 134), fax number 605-642-6095, or via email at for more information. Additional information can also be found at

Freedom in Learning

Under Board of Regents and University policy student academic performance may be evaluated solely on an academic basis, not on opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards. Students should be free to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion, but they are responsible for learning the content of any course of study for which they are enrolled. Students who believe that an academic evaluation reflects prejudiced or capricious consideration of student opinions or conduct unrelated to academic standards should contact the chair of the department in which the course is being taught to initiate a review of the evaluation.

In this course you are expected to perform to the utmost of your abilities in an honest and sincere manner. Cheating & plagiarism will not be tolerated. Academic misconduct will be dealt with per SD Board of Regents regulations.

Save this page as an Acrobat PDF file

green line