MCOM 315 - Computer Production & Imaging

Summer 2014
Instructor: Paul Kopco
Office: Jonas 108C
Phone: 605/642-6503


  • MyGraphicsLab - course ID kopco47206 -
  • Adobe Photoshop CS5 Classroom In A Book by Adobe Creative Team (online version included with MyGraphicsLab enrollment)


  • The midterm and final projects, which are discussed below, can be large files, since you need to send me your original multi-layer files with embedded scans in Photoshop .PSD format for evaluation. Follow the instructions on this page to submit your projects.


  • 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 studentĀ“s project concepts and to acquire further skills with professional software design tools.

Grading Policies:

The following will determine the final grade:

MyGraphicsLab quizzes 1 to 6 - 10%
Midterm exam - 20%
Midterm project - 20%
MyGraphicsLab quizzes 7 to 12 - 10%
Final exam - 20%
Final project - 20% (15% artwork - 5% essay)

This course utilizes MyGraphicsLab, which includes an online version of the textbook. 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 and do the projects for each topic in order to maximize quiz results. These sample projects are not to be submitted -- they are to be done in order for you to master concepts covered in the quizzes.

MyGraphicsLab Registration Instructions

To register for MCOM 315 Photoshop CS5 - Summer 2014:

  1. Go to
  2. Under Register, click Student.
  3. Enter the appropriate course ID: kopco47206 (you can copy and paste it from here). Then click Continue.
  4. Sign in with an existing Pearson account or create an account:
    • If you have used a Pearson website (for example, MyMathLab), enter your Pearson username and password. Click Sign In.
    • If you do not have a Pearson account, click Create. Write down your new Pearson username and password to help you remember them.
  5. Select an option to access the online course:
    • Buy access online using a credit card or PayPal.
    • If available, get 17 days of temporary access. (Look for a link near the bottom of the page.)
  6. Click Go To Your Course on the Confirmation page. Under MyLab / Mastering New Design on the left, click MCOM 315 Photoshop CS5 - Summer 2014 to start your work.

To sign in later:

  1. Go to
  2. Click Sign In.
  3. Enter your Pearson account username and password. Click Sign In.
  4. Under MyLab / Mastering New Design on the left, click MCOM 315 Photoshop CS5 - Summer 2014 to start your work.

Additional Information

See Students > Get Started on the MGL website for detailed instructions on registering with an access code, credit card, PayPal, or temporary access.

If, after reading through all these directions, you have any further questions about registering for the course, email me at

How the MyGraphicsLab topics relate to the Adobe Photoshop CS5 Classroom In A Book chapters:
  1. Photoshop Interface
    • Chapter 1: Getting to Know the Work Area
      • Starting to work in Adobe Photoshop
      • Using the tools
      • Using the Options bar and other panels
      • Customizing the workspace
      • Tool panel overview
  2. Adobe Bridge
    • Chapter 1: Getting to Know the Work Area
      • Opening a file with Adobe Bridge
  3. Selections
    • Chapter 3: Working with Selections
  4. Layers and Masks
    • Chapter 4: Layer Basics
  5. Camera Raw
    • Chapter 5: Correcting and Enhancing Digital Photographs
  6. Retouch and Sharpen
    • Chapter 2: Basic Photo Corrections
    • Chapter 5: Correcting and Enhancing Digital Photographs
  7. Adding Emphasis
    • Chapter 6: Masks and Channels
  8. Type
    • Chapter 7: Typographic Design
  9. Adjustments
    • Chapter 9: Advanced Layering
      Adding an adjustment layer
  10. Creating Composites
    • Chapter 4: Layer Basics
    • Chapter 10: Advanced Compositing
  11. Paint and Gradients
    • Chapter 4: Layer Basics
    • Chapter 11: Painting with the Mixer Brush
  12. Output
    • Chapter 13: Preparing Files for the Web
    • Chapter 14: Producing

The midterm and final exams will be in MyGraphics Lab and will be made up of the MyGraphicsLab quiz questions. On the exam day specified in the course schedule you will have access to the appropriate exam. You may only take it once and you will have one hour from the time you start the exam to finish it.

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 online topic and in each chapter of the book. In addition to these sample projects, which will not be graded, two major original 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 grading. 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):
      • at least 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 apply to text, not graphics -- contrast and repetition can apply to both text and graphics
      • at least one paragraph detailing which rhetorical device you chose, why you chose it, and how it is clearly demonstrated in your project

Course Schedule:

The course schedule must be followed closely to enable learning all required content in the time allotted for the semester.

If you have any questions regarding this course, email me at the address at the top of the page.

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.


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