GEN 410: The Science of Light, Color, and Motion

Explore the scientific basis of visual perception

Any creative professional—artist, designer, or photographer—creates artwork, images, or animations in a natural world that is governed by the laws of physics. In this introductory science class, students will explore and apply scientific principles that are fundamental to visual perception. Students will learn the scientific basis of key concepts in light, color, and motion, explore research methods to discover how they work, and express this scientific knowledge in their creative work. Students will graduate the course with a solid understanding of how scientific theories, research, and experimental methodology are applied, building a foundation for future learning.

General Education | 3 credits | Next Start:
August 26, 2024
Follow the light

About This Course

Project-Based Learning

In this course, students will develop their understanding of the scientific principles that explain how we perceive light, color, and motion. Students will learn and apply the scientific method as they explore the history and interrelation of scientific concepts in this area. A key focus in the course will be acquiring and demonstrating knowledge by creating visualizations of concepts in this area and relating them to the visual arts.

What Skills Will I Develop?

Students in this course can expect to learn to:

  • Explore and apply scientific principles fundamental to visual perception.
  • Examine the scientific basis of key concepts in light, color, and motion.
  • Demonstrate the ability to understand and examine scientific research methods.
  • Explain, discuss, and present how scientific theories, research, and experimental methodologies are applied.
What Software and Supplies Do I Need?

To take this course, you'll need:

  • Computer with Internet connection.
  • Adobe Photoshop CC or Adobe Illustrator CC

Course Instructor(s)

The course is taught by the following instructor(s):

Course Outline

    1. The Scientific Method

      We will explain the scientific method that is used to validate hypotheses and construct scientific knowledge.

    2. What is Light?

      We will examine the physical nature of light and its characteristics (energy, frequency, and wavelength).

    3. What is Color?

      We will look at the nature of color and how color is perceived.

    4. What are the Sources of Light?

      We will examine the effects created by natural and artificial light sources.

    5. How Does Light Interact with Materials?

      We will explore the phenomena of reflection, absorption, polarization, refraction, and dispersion, with a particular focus on how lenses work.

    6. How is Color Reproduced?

      We will discuss additive and subtractive color systems and the color gamut.

    7. Classical Mechanics

      This section will examine the forces and types of motion that we encounter during daily life.

    8. Modern Physics

      There is more to light and motion than can be explained with classical mechanics, and in this section, we will explore the weird and wonderful ramifications of quantum mechanics and relativity.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How Do The Courses Work?

Our courses are project-based and instructor-led. In each course you’ll complete a series of lectures, projects, discussions, and critiques designed to stretch your creative skills. Weekly assignment deadlines keep you on track, so you can build your studies around your schedule. Two live Zoom meetings in this course provide the opportunity to work 1to1 with your instructor.

Who Are The Instructors?

Our courses are developed and taught by our industry-leading faculty of creative professionals. This means that you’ll learn in-demand skills, get feedback on your work, and build a portfolio of creative work. View our Student Gallery for featured student projects.

When Can I Start?

Classes start January, April, and August, and this course is completed in a 15-week term. This course is part of a Bachelor's Degree program at Sessions College. You can enroll in this course on an individual basis or as part of a program.

How Do I Register?

To register for a program, complete our program application. To register for this course on an individual basis, please contact our admissions team at An Admissions Advisor will contact you to setup your enrollment.

Course Tuition and Fees
Registration Fee* $200
Total Course Price $1100

Registration fees are nonrefundable after 5 days from enrollment.

Is Sessions College Accredited?

Yes. Since 2001, Sessions College has been accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a recognized accrediting agency and is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).