VisCom 3008: Digital Interaction Design
Instructor: Judd Morrissey
Thursday 9-4

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the realm of interaction design. The fundamentals of programming are covered, exploring the syntactical and mathematical rigors of the process while pursuing the expressive potential of self-generated code. Additionally, the class will address the emerging possibilities of dynamic environments. How is the composition and structure reinterpreted when all elements of a project can be manipulated in real-time? How are predetermined hierarchies disrupted by user input and computer-triggered random events? How is the reading of information altered when touch, sight and sound are mixed together? How can designers create responsive, innovative and satisfying 4D experiences?

Expected Preparation

Prerequisite for this course is Computer as a Motion Graphics Tool, VisCom 2503. It is expected that you have a solid understanding of Flash's animation capabilities.

Course Requirements:
It is very important to attend every class. Most topics build on previous lecture material; missing a lecture will reduce your ability to successfully complete assigned projects. Punctuality is expected. If you are more than 20 minutes late, you will be marked as absent. If you miss more than three classes, an automatic No-Credit will be given.

The bulk of your grade is based on the quality and creativity of your work. Other factors that affect your grade are attendance, class participation, presentational skills and motivation. All projects must be submitted on time. Carefully determine the scope of each project and effectively use your time so that you can complete the work on schedule.

Technical Texts
Actionscript for Flash MX: The Definitive Guide, Colin Moock (required)
Macromedia Flash Advanced, Russel Chan

Six technical homework assignments:

Movie Clip Hierarchies
Properties and Events
Conditional Statements and Variables
Real-Time Motion

Two projects:
projects are to be proposed by the individual and critiqued by the group at mid-term and end of semester.

Weekly Schedule

week 01: August 28
Flash review, frame actions, movie clip hierarchies
download file for in-class demo

Exercise (homework one): Create a system or machine (movie clip) made up of three interrelated components (child clips). The components should be performing the same action (undergoing the same property change) at different rates. The speeds of the three components should be proportional.

week 02: September 4
Homework assignment one due
Loading external movies(.swf and .jpg files), targeting movie clips, movie clip properties and events

Exercise (homework two): Building upon last week's movie clip assignment, create a system of multiple movie clips or movie clip clusters. The system needs to address, in some way, each of the following relationships: simultaneous/proportional (such as three movie clips turning at different speeds, in a ratio of 6:3:1), active/passive (the property changes of the "passive" clip(s) are controlled by another dominant clip), and interactive (sensitive to the user). Think about the relationship between form, content, and the behavior of your objects.

download week02 demos

week 03: September 11
Homework assignment two due
screenings of interactive work
Programming logic, conditional statements, variables
download template for demo
screenings of interactive works
review target variable demo

Exercise (homework three): Using the coding methods we have covered in class, create a Flash movie in response to your experiences with the following stimuli:

1. site: We will write for approximately 15 minutes at a specific location. Begin with an attempt to transcribe the space in language, taking note of each of your senses. How does navigation take place within the space: is there an entry-point, an exit, a frame, a pace? Think about the space as material to collect. Take an inventory of objects, letters, words, sounds, colors, textures.

2. text (nyTimes): Leni Riefenstahl, Film Innovator Tied To Hitler, Dies at 101*

The movie should be responsive to the decisions of the reader/viewer.

*if you do not have an account for nyTimes archive, complete their form for free access.

download week03 demos

week 04: September 18
Homework assignment three due
Review of datatypes, introduction to textfields, string properties and methods
discussion of project one
demo: string properties & methods
assignments: review automatic typing demo
mid-term project sketch
bring in one piece of work that interests you (not made by you) to share with the class.

download week04 demos

week 05: September 25
Programmatic Text
Project One: presentation of project sketches
demo: text input/output
Links contributed on week05:

pur l'agence interactive
best flash: v2
tony garcia
naztke 2002

download week05 demos

week 06: October 02
programmatic animation

download week06 demos

week 07: October 09
Publishing from Flash, work in class

week 08: October 16
presentation of project and critique

week 09: October 23
Homework assignment 4 due
objects---colors, strings, sounds

download and review demo for next week's class

week 10: October 30

Arrays, functions, dynamic text

download and review demo for next week's class

Exercise for week 11: Objects

Using the final demo from week 10 as a starting point for you exercise, build a movie that implements the TextFormat object to create the following effects:
1. a string of text that grows, letter by letter, over time
example: a)word b)word c)word, etc.
2. a string of text that appears to type itself
example: a)w b)wor c)wor d)word

week 11: November 6
Homework assignment 5 due
narrative logic, simple games

week 12: November 13
drawing programs, simple trigonometry

download in-class demo

week 13: December 04
One-on-one meetings, Lab time

week 14: December 11
final presentations and critiques