IMA’s Tools

The Interactive Media Arts program is a course at Assiniboine Community College. It covers a wide variety of material in many different applications that can achieve all kinds of results.

The majority of applications we use in the IMA program are all a part of Adobe Creative Cloud. So far the only exception is in Web Design. For creating images we use Photoshop and Illustrator, for creating videos/animations we use Premiere Pro and After Effects, for audio we use Audition, and for layouts we use InDesign.

Photoshop, in the most simple of terms, is a much more refined and complex version of Paint, but it has much more than just brush and eraser tools. There are dozens of tools and dozens more complicated features.

In Illustrator you can make images in a much different way than Photoshop. As you zoom in on an image, you will eventually zoom in far enough to see that the image is made up of squares. But images created in Illustrator are made of vectors and no matter how far you zoom in, they won’t blur until you export them. Illustrator does have less complicated filters and editing tools than Photoshop since working in vectors works a computer much harder than if it was using pixels.

Premiere Pro is meant for lengthier and more professional productions such as movies, shows, and documentaries. It has many tools, some in common with Adobe Audition but only the most basic. Since they are all a part of Adobe though, they all work well together and you can easily edit a sound in Premiere using Audition.

After Effects is meant for smaller animations or productions such as simple commercials and animations. It is simpler and easier to use than Premier Pro since in After Effects you are usually making the footage yourself where as in Premiere Pro you are primarily editing already acquired existing footage.

Audition is meant for all sorts of audio editing or creations. You can lengthen or shrink, cut or add, simplify or complicate any sounds you want. Programs like this are how movies create incredible roars for non-existent creatures by layering over and prioritizing aspects of similar real life creatures. You can also use Audition to turn certain sounds into something completely different than the original.

InDesign isn’t particularly meant for anything specific. You can use it to quickly put together a general layout for a website or brochure, or use it to make every page in a book look similar with the same formatting quickly.

The variety of applications we use is amazing and each of them are so incredibly complex with endless ways to utilize them.

Adobe Creative Cloud Programs

Throughout my high school career, I never once considered going to design school. I never took any classes in school that had anything remotely related to this program so coming into this was a big change in gears for me. Sure I would attempt to draw doodles on the side and paint sunsets for paint night but other than that, my skills were very limited. Unless the KidPix program I played on in Elementary school counts?

Learning Adobe Illustrator has been one of my favourite tools that we have learned how to use, along with After Effects, and Photoshop. I often find myself in my spare time going into some of these programs and playing around with them. Finding new buttons to play with, since there’s so many. Testing out different secret brushes I find or new tools I discover. Adobe Illustrator is like your digital pencil and paper, though actual pencil and paper are always quicker to get your ideas out. It’s so fun to experiment with the different drawing techniques and effects to achieve the perfect look that you couldn’t do on paper. Adobe also has a neat feature where you can import your physical drawings as graphics to draw with digitally. 

After Effects is a designers key to start learning animation. While you probably can’t create Disney/Pixar level animation with it, it’s fun to try and it’s a great tool to start understanding how animation works. Creating title sequences for popular movies and tv shows can be recreated with After Effects and enough patience. It’s neat to see a finished product that you’ve made that people recognize, or a concept that you’ve originated yourself.

Photoshop being used on a Mac. Photo by Tranmautritam from Pexel

Photoshop is basically the definition of image manipulation. A cat head on a shark? Photoshopped. Unrealistic celebrity pictures? Probably photoshopped. It’s a great tool for photo editing, collage making, and image manipulation. Postcards, posters, birthday cards, just about anything can be made with the help of Photoshop. While I don’t think Photoshop is the most exciting of the programs, it is the most versatile out of the three I think that can be used for more things. 

Illustrator and Photoshop combined are a power house for graphic design. While Illustrator and After Effects are best for animation and titles. The skills I’ve learnt this far into the program are skills I never thought I’d learn to do. The old days of iMovie slideshows and iPod drawing apps are long gone with these programs and tools they all provide to create the best work.

design on the computer

Affinity V.S. Adobe

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign… These are our Industry Standard programs for design illustration, and layouts… but why? There are so many alternatives out there for cheaper, and that have better features. There are several companies that are constantly developing and improving their programs. So the question is: will Adobe be able to keep up and keep their users invested even with the high monthly or yearly fee? Or will they get ran over by competitors in the next ten years?

Adobe programs are taught in design and art schools for good reason. A very large portion of the creative media industry makes use of these programs everyday. There is a major discount for students and teachers which influences the continued use of it in schools. Adobe is professional, and has many good related services for licensing fonts, choosing the right color palette, and stock images. They’re all at the fingertips of anyone with a Creative Cloud subscription. But there are many downsides to Adobe.

Issues with Adobe:

If you’re using older versions of Photoshop, Adobe can sue according to an email many users with older versions received. I highly doubt they will sue every person, but nevertheless the intent is there. Let people use their ancient CD’s man.

Subscriptions partially make sense. They prevent piracy, makes getting updates for programs much easier, and lowers the price overall compared to their old box set says Adi Agashe. But what will they do when a competitor offers a one time purchase for every update? Affinity is around the corner, and that’s exactly what they’re doing.

Here’s why Affinity is charging in like a ox:

Within five years, Affinity has been catching up to Adobe’s tail, and excelling in some ways. The price point is a huge deal. All of Affinity’s programs are a one time cost of $69.99 for each. They only have 3 programs out at the moment; Affinity Photo, Designer, and the newest one, Publisher. These three are all comparable with Photoshop, Illustrator, and Indesign.

Affinity Designer Interface

Most of the IMA students are aware of the great capabilities of the Adobe programs, but there are many great things in Affinity’s software as well.

A few features Affinity has over Adobe from the help of Photography-Raw, and Affinity Revolution:

  • Affinity has the feature that saves your undo history even after the app is closed, so you can go back to a version if need be
  • Live brush preview; so when you hover your brush over something, you can see the changes it will make
  • Live previews for blend modes and gradients
  • More customizable interface
  • Cheaper

Affinity is constantly improving, but Adobe is still a powerhouse. Both are great in their own ways. I think Adobe needed this competition to hopefully push them further, but I hope to see Affinity take the crown some day.

What are your thoughts on emerging programs in our creative field?

What’s So Great About the IMA Program?

The Interactive Media Arts program at Assiniboine Community College is a wonderful program for those looking to expand their horizons and make a name for themselves in the interactive media business. From audio editing and media writing to video editing and graphic design, the Interactive Media Arts program provides students with the vital skills that they’ll need if they want to become successful moving forward in an electronic media career.

Interactive Media Arts Logo – by Merissa Mayhew

The future of business is online, so the IMA program is the perfect way to secure an important set of skills in order to give yourself a prosperous future. Throughout the course you will learn essential skills such as writing professional emails, filling out incident reports, and creating an in depth resume to help you secure jobs in the future. You also learn job specific skills such as video editing and capturing, audio editing and capturing, website design standards and coding, and understanding as well as making art. The skills you are taught are industry standard skills and will prove to be very useful assets to anybody looking for a future job in interactive media.

Throughout the course you will also learn how to use industry standard tools and programs to create your online media such as, but not limited to:

  • Adobe Photoshop – used for professionally editing visual digital media using various tools to achieve the desired outcome when making flyers, posters, advertisements, various other marketing materials, and essentially any other content that could use a touch up. Photoshop is useful for miniscule edits to make your media more appealing as well as large scale projects where you create your own masterpiece.
  • Adobe Illustrator – useful for creating your own assets and designs for anything ranging from icons and logos to full on works of art. If you are particularly fond of creating your own personalized art in a digital medium it is one of the best tools that you can have in your repertoire.
  • Adobe InDesign – InDesign is a perfect tool if you want to design a layout for an article or other form of print or online text, it does one job, but it does it very well.
  • Sublime Text – it is one of many tools used for website design and coding, allowing the user to input their code and test it out online, it doesn’t do anything special, but it is a very useful program nonetheless.
  • Adobe Premiere Pro – an extremely useful tool for video editing that provides you with everything that you need to create an amazing video masterpiece. Premiere Pro allows the user to cut, combine, add effects to your videos, and export your videos to a whole bunch of different formats.

The IMA program is a fun and informative way to gain knowledge on different media making techniques and strategies and I would highly recommend it to anybody looking to get into a job in anything related to interactive media.

Great things about Assiniboine Community College’s Interactive Media Arts program.

This is the official logo for the Interactive media arts program.

The Interactive media arts program is a great choice for graduating high school students that want to attend Assiniboine community college if your interests include:

  • Gaming – 3D, VR (Virtual Reality) or Game developer
  • Art – Logo and Icon design, digital art.
  • Coding – Website development, website coding in html and java script.
  • Video: editing-capturing
  • Music – audio editing
  • Website Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Photography
  • here are some of the Adobe Creative Cloud apps you will be familiar within the Interactive media arts program.
  • Acrobat DC – for reliably viewing, printing, and commenting on PDF documents.
  • After Effects – for creating motion graphics and visual effects for film, TV, video, & the web. 
  • Audition – is used for Mixing, editing, and creating audio content.
  • Bridge –  asset management app
  • Dreamweaver – is for Designing , coding, and publishing websites.
  • Flash Builder – an eclipse platform that speeds development of rich Internet applications and cross-platform desktop applications
  • Flash – for using content created on the Adobe Flash platform, including viewing multimedia contents.
  • Illustrator – used for creating logos and icons
  • Incopy – It works with Adobe InDesign. When InDesign is used to publish printed material, including newspapers and magazines.
  • Lightroom -image organization and image manipulation.
  • Muse – is an offline website builder that allows to create fixed, fluid, or adaptive websites without having to write the code. 
  • InDesign – used to create posters, flyers, brochures, magazines, newspapers, presentations, books and ebooks.
  • Photoshop –  raster graphics editing and image editing
  • Premiere Pro – Video editing
  • Speed Grade – is a colour grading application that delivers layer-based colour correction, mostly for editors, filmmakers and after effect designers.
  • Stock – royalty-free stock images, photos, graphics, vectors, video footage, illustrations, templates.

The Interactive media arts program changes frequently to better reflect the Interactive media industry to help better prepare the students for Assiniboine Community College.

Here is some reasons why the IMA program is helpful for finding a career.

  • A chance to indulge your creativity and help your designs stand out to gain industry attention – assisting you on fulfilling your full potential.
  • Connecting you to the industry – helping you get familiar with how the industry works for future employment.
  • To help excel in multimedia career – gets you familiar with skills in the Interactive media industry.
  • To become a content creator – gives you the necessary skills to create your own online content and get revenue.
  • Learning how to make your art leave an impact in the industry – learning how to make meaningful and impactful art.
  • Opportunities for a job in the work field – the practicum that comes in the second year of the program helps you gain industry knowledge.
  • Preparing you for your future – helping you get the skills that help you get employed.
  • Finding out what you wanna excel at in the IMA program – helps you find your strong suit for the Interactive media arts program and increases your proficiency.

The Interactive media arts program is a great way to gain industry knowledge and for your future employment in the career you choose.

Why Adobe Creative Cloud is so great

Are you tired of having to pay for individual Adobe Programs because of how expensive each application is? Do you ever think, “I wish there was a way to get more out of my money by just spending a bit more money for something bigger and better?” Well I have a solution for you! Adobe Creative Cloud. Adobe Creative Cloud is an application which everyone in the Interactive Media Arts program whether Interactive or Media all have and all need to purchase in the beginning of the program in the first semester. This application has all of your graphic designer, video editing, web design and many other needs along with mobile applications.

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