CS2C: Multimedia Production


Course Details for Fall 2014/Winter 2015

Learn to use various popular multimedia technologies like Photoshop, GarageBand, and digital camcorders to complete a number of hands-on projects in image, audio, and video editing. There will be weekly homework assignments that will each take at least 2-3 hours to complete, as well as a Final group project.

  • Fall 2014 Class Times: Wednesdays, 4-6pm (This class is intended for RCCs, but exceptions can be made with instructor's permission.)
  • Winter 2015 Class Times: Sections held in various residential clusters (ask your RCC for details). Dorm section sizes are limited to the number of cluster computers plus any personal Apple computers students bring in to section. A section for grad students and students not in a house with a section can attend class on Wednesdays, 4-6pm, in Lathrop 180 with Erin Scott, Multimedia Services Manager.
  • Fall 2014 Office Hours: Tuesdays 4-6pm, Fridays 3-5pm in the Lathrop Library Tech Lounge.
    Winter 2015 Office Hours: By appointment with your section leader. Students may also drop into Media Open Office Hours with Erin Scott on Tuesdays, 4-6pm and Fridays, 2-4pm.
  • Prerequisites: None. Familiarity with Macs is a plus.
  • Credit Basis: If you sign up for 2 units, you must satisfactorily complete all creative Project assignments. If you sign up for 1 unit, you must satisfactorily complete all Tutorial assignments. If less than 50% work is received by end of quarter, you automatically receive a No Credit.
  • Materials: Course materials will be made available to you through http://coursework.stanford.edu once you are registered.

Register for the Winter 2015 offering of CS2C by going to Axess (listed under Computer Science as "2C: Multimedia Production"). For Winter 2015 section, check with your RCC to see if CS2C will be offered in your own residence. Enrollment is limited. Please email multimedia@stanford.edu if you have any questions.

The Final Project will be a short feature video (under 3 minutes) that tells a story and makes use of techniques learned in CS2C over the quarter. You are encouraged to try doing the video in a creative format or genre, like a mockumentary or action flick. Your actual multimedia projects will also need to be submitted according to the assignment specifications in CourseWork for the project to be considered complete.

Syllabus: Schedule and Topics

Welcome to Multimedia Production / Music Composition in GarageBand (Week 1)

Video Pre-Production (Week 2)

Photo Enhancement in Photoshop (Week 3)

Video Production (Week 4)

    Image Compositing in Photoshop (Week 5)

    Video Editing in iMovie '11 (Week 6)


    Audio Editing in GarageBand (Week 7)

    Video Peer Review and Critique (Week 8)

    Video Peer Review and Critique (Week 9)

    Showcase (Week 10)

    • Due: Final Audio and Video Project on YouTube
    • In Class: CS2C Project Showcase
    • In Class: What now? Overview of features we didn't cover and other multimedia applications: Dreamweaver, Flash, Illustrator, Keynote, After Effects and Motion
    • HW: Exit Survey (10)


    Tutorials are learning materials for your benefit and you are responsible for knowing and applying the material contained within, but if you are taking the class for 2 units, your tutorials will not be graded. (If you are taking the class for 1 unit, all tutorial assignments will be verified for completion.) Your creative Projects will be graded on the basis of content and presentation in the following areas:

    • Completion: Submitted all work required for assignment as specified.
    • Planning: Did the necessary planning / storyboarding before recording and importing content.
    • Good source material: Clear audio, high-resolution images, well-lit and stable video.
    • Originality/Creativity: Work represents fresh ideas and sufficient efforts in exploring the tools. (Infomercial videos are generally not considered original. Applying a single filter to a photo is not considered sufficiently creative.)
    • Technique: Applied techniques learned in tutorials.
    • Continuity: Story forms a cohesive whole.
    • Pacing/Timing: Parts that don't contribute to the story are edited out.
    • Citations: Non-original work is only used with permission and properly credited.
    • Polish: No obvious errors (flubbed dialogue, audio pops, typos).
    • Organization: Project files were easy to find. Files and layers were labeled clearly.

    Students with Documented Disabilities

    Students who may need an academic accommodation based on the impact of a disability must initiate the request with the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) located within the Office of Accessible Education (OAE). SDRC staff will evaluate the request with required documentation, recommend reasonable accommodations, and prepare an Accommodation Letter for faculty dated in the current quarter in which the request is being made. Students should contact the SDRC as soon as possible since timely notice is needed to coordinate accommodations. The OAE is located at 563 Salvatierra Walk. Phone: 650-723-1066

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: What kind of work will we do in this class?
    A: This is a multimedia production class, with a focus on learning new technologies and creating original work. There will be weekly homework assignments that will each take at least 2-4 hours to complete. You will be required to complete all of the creative production assignments to pass the class if you are taking the 2-unit version.

    Q: How is the class graded?
    A: You will receive credit for the course when all of the creative production assignments are completed according to the grading rubric outlined above in the Grading section and turned in via CourseWork. Effort will be strongly considered in the grading, as we believe all students are capable of vastly improving on their ability to learn and harness multimedia technologies, regardless of one's background. In some cases, if the work you do does not fulfill the requirements of the assignments due to lack of apparent effort or careful reading of the instructions, you will have to improve your work and resubmit it.

    Q: Do I have to do original work, or can I make remix videos and music, etc?
    A: Any work for which you do not own the copyright will not be considered as part of your projects for the purpose of grading. For example, if you decide to incorporate movie clips from box office hits into your video project, none of those portions would be counted as actual work by you, and if more than 10% of your submitted video is suspected to contain copyrighted work for which you do not possess a license to use, you will not receive credit for the assignment and will be asked to redo the assignment. Similarly, if music or soundtracks you submit contain more than 10% copyrighted work for which you do not have license to use, you will be required to resubmit for credit. Similarly, an image of a box office movie poster with a few Photoshop filters applied to it will not be accepted as adequate project work. So our recommendation is that you just start with original source material to avoid all of this hassle. You can always check with the course committee to see if there may be any problems with the project you have in mind. http://library.stanford.edu/libraries_collections/copyright_reminders is also an excellent resource for more information.

    Q: Can I work with a partner or a group?
    A: Yes, every student is expected to collaborate with fellow classmates in their section. You are expected to plan and shoot scenes of the film together, though in larger sections it is perhaps advisable to split off into two or three distinct groups. So go out and shoot your big action scene together. Of course, don't forget to include the appropriate credits in CourseWork! Projects that diverge from this plan must be pre-approved by the course committee to ensure that everyone does their fair share of multimedia work to receive credit.

    Q: Is there a lab fee?
    A: There is currently no lab fee for the class. We will be teaching you about various free Stanford resources prepared for your use. However, some students discover that they would prefer to purchase their own external hard drive or even a new Mac as they get more involved with multimedia projects!

    Q: I want to use my own laptop, but don't have all of the software for this class. What can I do?
    A: First of all, you'll need a Mac for all assignments except for the Photoshop and Storyboarding assignments. Every Mac these days comes with the iLife package already, so you may just need Photoshop, which can be downloaded and used for 30 days through Adobe's Creative Cloud software subscription service. Subscriptions can also be purchased with an educational discount.

    Q: I'm having trouble uploading my projects to CourseWork. What's wrong?
    A: Image, audio, and video files are often huge, and CourseWork limits web-based uploads to 40MB. The next best place to upload your project files is the CS2C Drop Box. It allows uploads up to 600MB large and is a secure space where only the instructor can read the files once they are uploaded. (Other people can see files listed, but can't open them.) Video drafts and revisions will be be uploaded to YouTube.

    Q. How do I get help for my projects?
    A. If you are taking a section in a dorm, your RCC section leader is your first resource. However, there are additional avenues to get technical support and project help. The Tech Desk consultants in Lathrop Library work next to the Multimedia Studio at Lathrop Library can provide support for Apple iLife and other software applications. The Hume Writing Center now offers Digital Media Consulting to help you strengthen the rhetoric and presentation of your multimedia projects. Bring your questions about how to improve the effectiveness of your storyboards, image compositions, and audio mixing to get your message across. Finally, you should always feel free to contact the CS2C staff with your questions.

    Q: I'm loving this stuff! Where can I learn more?
    A: We recommend starting with lynda.com tutorials - Stanford has a site license for lynda.com now, and it's a GREAT place to start! In addition to the wealth of information available by just searching Google for things like "Photoshop tutorial", you have access to tons of full electronic versions of textbooks if you are a Stanford affiliate. From the Stanford Library's E-Books and E-Texts page, check out Books24x7 and Safari Tech Books! You can also click for a list of recommended books and gear for multimedia production. If you want to take more in-depth classes to boost your multimedia skills to the next level, check out the offerings by the Digital Media Academy, which hosts many week-long summer classes at Stanford! A Adobe also provides their own resources, as well.