Undergraduate Degree




DM2012 Art, Technology and the Image

[Studio Contact Hours: 39 hours; Pre-requisites: NIL; Academic Unit: 3.0]



NIL (A basic knowledge of Photoshop is recommended)

Academic Unit


3 AU

Course Description


Learning Objective

Through lecture-based teaching to introduce to students from an arts or science background to how these two disciplines inform each other. This course will be a focus on the science and art of the still and moving image.


Technology is not just a thing that an artist uses. It actively shapes the form and function of the art, and in doing so affects the way that we see the world around us. We are now in an age when technology is able to claim more of a purchase upon the visual realm and the things that it can do can seem almost beyond belief; from the visual pyrotechnics of films like Lord of the Rings through the digital manipulations evident on Deviantart.com to the generated wonders of Finding Nemo. The worlds of cinematography and photography have been the most affected by this change and anyone who practices in these fields would benefit greatly from knowing more about the relevant technologies. Similarly, anyone who studies computer graphics or computer vision would benefit from a knowledge of the centuries-old art traditions that inform current practice.

Course Outline




• Intro to course

2 - 6

• Art and Technology:

- A history of art and technology

• What is a computer?

- Computation, algorithms, Moore’s Law etc

• What is art?

- Culture, history, West / East etc 

• Image capture:

- Digital: Optics, sensors, coding, noise, dynamic range etc

- Perception: the eye / the brain etc

• Photoshop: 

- its history and its effect upon the cultural realm

• Colour: 

- Colour for painters: pigment, brushes, glazes etc

- Colour for digital artists: colorimetric, colour space, colour management etc

• Line:

- Traditional drawing: points, lines, curves etc

- Vectors graphic: Beziers, strokes, selections etc


• Mid Sem review of assignments

8 - 12

• Motion:

- What is special about motion

- Traditional cinema: the Zoetrope, Muybridge etc

- Digital cinema: codecs, re-timing, post production magic etc

• Form:

- Traditional sculpture: 3D form transfer, carving / modelling etc

- 3D modelling: computer graphics, rendering, the uncanny valley etc


• Final review of assignments

Learning Outcome

The students will have a basis understanding of the mutual dependencies that exist between art and technology. The art student will be introduced to the fundamentals of the digital world and the computer science and engineering student will be introduced to the fundamentals of art practice. Both will benefit from a mutual engagement with each other.

Student Assessment

  1. Final Assessment: 30%

  2. Continuous Assessment: 70% (of which at least 15% is participation)

Continuous assessment components may include:

  • Studio-based exercises and projects

  • Individual, group and team-based assignments



  1. Rudolph Arnheim, Art and Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye, University of California Press

  2. b. Rudolph Arnheim, Visual Thinking, University of California Press