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Top 10 Media Design Courses You Can Audit For Free

Media design is the application of visual elements to create print, online and mobile media. Media design could be of special interest to videographers, photojournalists, creative directors as well as social media managers. The following are some courses ranging from animation to graphic design and image-making for beginners as well as for those who might have some experience in media or visual designing.

Introduction to Real-Time Audio Programming in Chuck

This online beginner’s course will help students learn about Chuck, digital arts, computer programming, sound design, and coding techniques. The course is being offered by the California Institute of Arts and can be completed in 8 sessions with 6 hours every session. In this course, students will learn how to use Chuck and program in C++ and Java and create digital sound instruments that will help them have complete control over the sound and audio. The course deals with topics like multithreading, signals, events, sound file manipulations, sound, waves, unit generators, etc. all in the context of Chuck programming.

Explore Animation

This course is for beginners and does not require any prior knowledge about animation. Students will be able to create animations using the animation techniques learned in this course through regularly used tools and applications. The course is being offered by National Film and Television School and can be completed in 4 weeks, with 3 hours of study each week. Using their own creations and animated films that they have drawn inspiration from, instructors of the course will teach students about stop motion or stop-frame animation, 2D or cel animation, big-scale animation in the real world, CGI or 3D computer animation.

Introduction to Graphic Design

In this course, students will learn about Cubism, Futurism, Dada, Typography, Publishing. The course is a beginner’s level course and is being offered by Maryland Institute College of Art. The course can be completed in 7 sessions with 6 hours per session. The course is a part of the Graphic Design History and Methods program. In this course, students will learn about the history of art and mass media while also learning about the origin of graphics, art, text, etc. Students will learn about mechanical abstractions and photomontage, the practicality of typography, communication across the world, and cultural revolutions.

How to Make Image Editing Selections in GIMP

This short course is a 1-hour guided project that will help students how to make geometric selections, freehand selections, and selections based on color in GIMP. Students can have a look at all the steps that will be implemented while teaching this course on the page beforehand. Some skills that will be developed during the course are digital art, marketing, GIMP, and graphic design.

Working with Time and Motion

This intermediate online course will teach students about videography, motion, and photography. The course is being offered by the School of Visual Arts and can be completed in 5 sessions, with 6 hours per session. In this course, students will learn how to set in motion by shifting from photography to videography. Students will learn about the different types of motions, creating mood, meaning and purpose, managing focus along with light and sound. Students will also get some hands-on experience with filming interviews and b-roll shots and will understand how different elements come together and create meaning for viewers.

Digital Design

This is an introductory course in digital design technology and will help students understand the basics as well as develop skills required for computer-aided design as well as animations. The course is being offered by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and can be completed in 5 weeks. In this course, students will learn how to make physical simulations of real-life situations, manipulate static and animate people so that they make realistic movements, make such people also interact with 3D objects, etc. Students will get hands-on experience on how to apply these skills to manufacturing, robotics, movies, toys, games, and other related fields.

Web Design: Strategy and Information Architecture

This intermediate-level course will help students learn how to design contemporary and interactive user pages. The course is being offered by the California Institute of Arts and can be completed in approximately 13 hours. Students will learn to work with Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Indesign, and Treejack while also learning the difference between native apps and websites, user personas and site personas, user testing, and also the difference between agile vs. waterfall approaches. Students should ideally have some experience in graphic design and would like to learn how to develop user interfaces for apps and web design.

Introduction to Imagemaking

This course is a part of the Graphic Design Specialization that is being offered by the California Institute of Arts and can be completed in 14 hours. This is a beginner’s course in which students will work with Adobe Indesign, art, creativity, and graphics. In this course, students will learn how to make images for graphic design and also how to make, manipulate, and arrange images to create compositions. Students will also be able to expand their visual vocabulary so that they can easily communicate with other professionals in this field. The interesting part about the course is that the images made by students will be used to make a book from them.

Motion Design: Animated GIFs

This intermediate-level course will teach students how to create GIFs using Adobe Photoshop. The course is being offered by the Ringling College of Art + Design and can be completed in 4 sessions with 8-10 hours per session. Students will learn about composition, design, sequencing, and storyboarding. Students will learn how to shoot GIFs in makeshift studio settings. They will also learn how to use Adobe Photoshop to create, edit, and export their GIFs in the 4th session of the course.

Ideas from the History of Graphic Design

This course is a part of the Graphic Design Specialization being offered by the California Institute of Arts and can be completed in approximately 9 hours. The course focuses mainly on 4 key time periods or themes from the history of design. The course is ideal for anyone interested in learning about visual culture and analysis or emerging designers entering the field. Students will learn about early mass marketing, the Bauhaus, modernism in America, and Graphic Design Radicalism.

The language of instruction for all the courses is English with subtitles in different languages available for some of the courses. While some of the courses can be audited for free a few may require some enrollment fee. Financial aid may be available for some of the courses.

About Mihika Pal

Currently pursuing a Masters in Business Administration with focus on Sales and Marketing, Mihika also has a background in Hotel Management. Beside her studies Mihika is passionate about writing and organizes social activities at her university.

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