Graduate Motion Graphics → Fall 2018 GD 5569 → 3 Studio Credits

Spence Nelson, Brown 403, snelson01@mica.edu


Project 1:

Music + Motion

  • Sep 11
  • Sep 18
  • Sep 25
  • Oct 2
Project 2:

UI Walkthrough

  • Oct 2
  • Oct 9
  • Oct 16
  • Oct 23
  • Oct 30
Project 3:

Self-directed Final

  • Nov 6
  • Nov 13
  • Nov 20
  • Nov 27
  • Dec 4
  • Dec 11

Course Description

This course focuses on time-based design elements of space, pacing and motion as they relate to graphic communication. Students gain a solid foundation in After Effects and the principles of motion design. Projects are grounded in iterative development of storyboards and rough cuts that inform the production of short (10–30 second) videos. Students will learn to collect, combine, and composite original visual and audio materials and to access “creative commons” materials. Projects include an abstract music video, a proof-of-concept for an interactive app or installation, and a third creative project. Throughout the course, hands-on demos enable students to experiment with diverse tools and techniques. Students are encouraged to focus projects around their thesis work or other self-determined endeavors. A LAPTOP IS REQUIRED FOR THIS COURSE.


Wednesdays 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Brown Building, Room 413

Office Hours

All meetings, office hours and workshops listed in this document are subject to change. For the most current information always check the detailed schedule in the ‘GD MFA Appointments’ Google Calendar. If you are not a GD MFA student, send me an email to request access to this calendar.

Required Materials

  • Laptop
  • Headphones
  • Adobe After Effects


All communication outside of class will be via MICA email, so be sure to check your email daily, especially the night before class in case of cancellations or other last minute changes.

Learning Outcomes

  • be able to understand and utilize the core principles of motion
  • be able to work confidently with motion graphics software
  • be able to edit and incorporate audio into motion work
  • be able to approach unfamiliar software with confidence
  • be able to use traditional tools in unexpected ways

Academic Policies

Americans with Disabilities Act

MICA makes reasonable academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. All academic accommodations must be approved through the Learning Resource Center (LRC). Students requesting accommodation should schedule an appointment at the LRC (410-225-2416 or e-mail LRC@mica.edu), located in Bunting 110. It is the student’s responsibility to make an accommodation request in a timely manner. Academic accommodations are not retroactive.

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS)

Students are responsible to follow health and safety guidelines relevant to their individual activities, processes, and to review MICA's Emergency Operations Plan and attend EHS training. Students are required to purchase personal protection equipment appropriate for their major or class. Those students who do not have the proper personal protection equipment will not be permitted to attend class until safe measures and personal protection are in place.


Each discipline within the arts has specific and appropriate means for students to cite or acknowledge sources and the ideas and material of others used in their own work. Students have the responsibility to become familiar with such processes and to carefully follow their use in developing original work.


MICA will not tolerate plagiarism, which is defined as claiming authorship of, or using someone else's ideas or work without proper acknowledgement. Without proper attribution, a student may NOT replicate another's work, paraphrase another's ideas, or appropriate images in a manner that violates the specific rules against plagiarism in the student's department. In addition, students may not submit the same work for credit in more than one course without the explicit approval of all of the instructors of the courses involved.


When an instructor has evidence that a student has plagiarized work submitted for course credit, the instructor will confront the student and impose penalties that may include failing the course. In the case of a serious violation or repeated infractions from the same student, the instructor will report the infractions to the department chair or program director. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the department chair or program director may then report the student to the appropriate dean or provost, who may choose to impose further penalties, including expulsion.

Appeal Process

Students who are penalized by an instructor or department for committing plagiarism have the right to appeal the charge and penalties that ensue. Within three weeks of institutional action, the student must submit a letter of appeal to the department chairperson or program director, or relevant dean or provost related to the course for which actions were taken. The academic officer will assign three members of the relevant department/division to serve on a review panel. The panel will meet with the student and the instructor of record and will review all relevant and available materials. The panel will determine whether or not to confirm the charge and penalties. The findings of the panel are final. The panel will notify the instructor, the chairperson, division, the student, and the Office of Academic Affairs of their findings and any recommendations for change in penalties.

Title IX Notification

Maryland Institute College of Art seeks to provide an educational environment based on mutual respect that is free from discrimination and harassment. If you have encountered sexual harassment/misconduct/assault, please know that there are multiple ways to report it and you are encouraged to do so (www.mica.edu/equal_opportunity). If you require academic adjustments due to an incident involving sexual harassment or discrimination, please contact Student Affairs at 410.225.2422 or Human Resources at 410.225.2363. Please be aware that in order to meet our commitments to equity and to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and guidance from the Office for Civil Rights, faculty and staff members are required to report disclosures of gender based discrimination made to them by students. However, nothing in this policy shall abridge academic freedom or MICA’s educational mission. Prohibitions against discrimination and discriminatory harassment do not extend to actions, statements or written materials that are relevant and appropriately related to course subject matter or academic discussion.

Students with Extended Illness or Cause for Legitimate Absence

In the case of extended illness or other absences that may keep the student from attending a class for more than three meetings, undergraduate students must contact the Student Development Specialist in the Division of Student Affairs or have an official disability accommodation letter issued by the Learning Resource Center that specifically addresses class absences. For students who have not been approved for academic disability accommodations, the Student Development Specialist will work with the student to determine the cause and appropriateness of the absences and subsequently notify instructors as necessary. Graduate students must contact the instructor, program director, and the Office of Graduate Studies. Students in professional studies programs must contact the Associate Dean for Open Studies. The appropriate administrator will facilitate a conversation with relevant faculty to determine whether the student can achieve satisfactory academic progress, which is ultimately at the sole discretion of the faculty member.