Online Time-Based Media Course course at Sessions College

Online Time-Based Media Course

3 credits

DIG 209: Time-Based Media

Advanced projects in digital media and movie making

This creative online time-based media course explores storytelling and allows students to integrate 2D animation, 3D animation, motion graphics, and video in an advanced After Effects environment. You will emerge with both a solid grasp of movie making techniques and a varied portfolio including a commercial, movie credit sequence, a dramatic short story, a visual illustration of a complex idea, a movie trailer, and an abstract tone poem. The course will explore useful techniques for research, scripting, and storyboarding with reference to film, television, and Web-based movies.

Course At A Glance

Course Features

  • 100% online
  • Project-based
  • Instructor-led
  • Credit-bearing: 3 Credits
  • Classes start January, April, and August


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

Course developed by: Chris Ward

Take this course as a standalone or as part of the following program(s):

Course Projects

    1. Timing and Narrative Theory

      What is time-based media, and what does it mean to you? You'll begin your course with an investigation of the difference between objectively measured time and time as it is experienced and represented in our media. We'll explore fundamental concepts for obtaining and retaining viewer attention and look at how it is implemented in such narrative devices as the three-act story and the movie trailer.

    2. Reference, Inspiration, and the Concept

      In a world full of original creation and endless variety, how do we differentiate ourselves from the pack? First by understanding where we are in the pack: identifying our skills, cataloging our references and inspirations, and thinking hard about our concepts. This lesson will focus on how to infuse projects with conceptual depth, emotion, and inspiration, working within constraints.

    3. Visual Development and Planning

      When you have big digital media projects ahead of you, you need to make sure that you aren't getting bogged down in the details of the work too early on. In this lesson we'll look at how iterative design workflows can help the creative process. We'll talk about how to translate scripts into a visual lexicon and address strategies for visual development.

    4. Organizing Assets and Testing Pipelines

      With a little bit of research, a well-organized suite of assets, and a throughly tested production pipeline, you can have a clear vision of how to synchronize your best ideas with your most practical solutions. That's what we're going to explore in this lecture, as we share experiences planning, shooting, and editing a music video for an iconic indie label.

    5. Scene Setup and Execution

      How far would you go to get a shot right? Or, to put it another way, how right does a shot have to be—the visuals, the sounds, the movement—to tell a story? In this lesson we will explore strategies for roughing out compositions and setting up cameras in both live action and animation. The use of primitives, color, key poses and silhouettes as well as sound editing will be discussed.

    6. Editing and Working with Clients

      In our final lecture, we're going to discuss the editing process (including how it blends into the critique and client communication process), but we're not really going to talk much about where to click in your non-linear editor of choice. Instead, we're going to focus on how you can edit your way to the best story possible.

Sample Student Work

Christ Dipasquale video work by Chris DiPasquale

Course Outcomes

What Are The Course Projects?

Creative video production and editing projects include a movie trailer, an inspirational video, a
PSA video, and a music video.

What Software or Supplies Do I Need?
  • Computer with Internet connection (broadband recommended).
  • Adobe Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects, and Animate CC.
  • Autodesk Maya (optional)
  • Digital drawing tablet (such as a Wacom tablet) recommended.
  • Access to a digital video camera and ability to connect it to a computer to capture footage.
  • Basic experience in the above software and digital media skills.
What Will I Learn?

Students in this course can expect to learn to:

  • Apply conventions and development strategies for the following digital media genres: movie trailers, public service announcements, music videos, commercials, and short films.
  • Develop an understanding of fundamental concepts for obtaining and retaining viewer attention.
  • Apply the three-act story structure as a basic narrative device.
  • Use conceptual thinking to solve artistic problems.
  • Evoke feeling within narrative contexts using visual lexicons.
  • Collect and organize inspirational sources with a reference library.
  • Apply linear and iterative workflows to large creative projects.
  • Use visual development strategies to translate written concepts into visual narratives.
  • Develop an understanding of pipeline and R&D workflow strategies.
  • Participate and collaborate in online digital media communities.
  • Apply advanced techniques for timing, pacing, rhythm, and leading the viewer in digital media compositions.
  • Develop an understanding of previsualization and revisualization techniques for project management.

Getting Started

Course Registration

  • Classes start January, April, and August
  • 3 Credit Course
  • Project-Based: Exercises, Discussions, and Critiques

Course Tuition and Fees
Registration Fee* $200
Total Course Price $1730

Registration fees are nonrefundable after 5 days from enrollment. All tuition includes a digital materials fee for course content.

Course Registration Form

To register for this course, use the form below to enter your information and desired start date. An Admissions Advisor will contact you to arrange payment and provide you with an Enrollment Agreement.

PD: Course Registration

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What Are The Courses Like?

Our courses are project-based. In each course you’ll enjoy a series of lectures, projects, discussions, and critiques designed to stretch your creative skills, earning college credit for your completed course.

How Much Time Do I Need?

Classes start January, April, and August, and this course can be completed in a 15-week term. College credit from this course can be applied to a range of degree and certificate level programs at Sessions College.

Who Are The Instructors?

Our courses are developed and taught by our faculty of professional artists, designers, and photographers. This means that you’ll learn in-demand skills, get feedback on your work, and build a portfolio of creative work.

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).