Digital Media Design is a two-year full time program at Red River College in Winnipeg that teaches graphic design, web and mobile design and development, video and motion graphics, 3D animation, photography and illustration. The program gives students the skills required to obtain entry-level positions in a broad spectrum of new media jobs. DMD is taught in the phenomenal, new Exchange District Campus.
We encourage creativity, professionalism and a strong work ethic. The DMD program teaches both design fundamentals and technical skills. DMD graduates are able to design and build websites and mobile app interfaces, professionally shoot and edit video and photos, create motion graphics, construct complex 3D models and animation, and design graphics for multiple platforms.
The deadline for applications is February 28th. After that, you will be applying for the following year. Apply today!
Once you’ve applied for DMD, you can then begin working on your portfolio assignments. The portfolio requirements/details will be available on this page in early December. We get lots of questions asking “what do you mean by a portfolio?” Basically, we give you some homework to do, which will always include a drawing task, a design task, and a writing task. In addition, we ask you to include a few other samples of work that you’ve done. This could be drawings, paintings, digital creations, 3D works, videos, motion graphics, posters, websites, or just about anything creative.
There is also an optional DMD Portfolio Preparation course that you may take. This course is designed to walk you through the steps of putting together the portfolio.
Every year we get many more portfolios than we have seats, so a team of instructors judge and rank the portfolios. We’re looking for artists first and foremost: drawing and design skills to be specific. Technical or computer skills are also good, but we’ve had our most success with people who have a knack for design and drawing. Generally speaking, about half of the people that submit portfolios get accepted.
Another tip is that it pays to apply early. If more students are accepted than we have seats for, people will be offered seats based on how early they applied. The rest will be wait-listed until the following year. For example, if 45 portfolios are deemed acceptable, and there are 40 seats available, then five people would be first in line for the following year. Typically, a few people are wait-listed each year. So apply early!
The core of the DMD program is rooted in graphic design, and there are several design classes every week for the entire two years. Students also study traditional and digital illustration. Below is an example of a second year design/illustration assignment where students had to make a poster of their favourite movie, TV show, band, or video game.
Here are two terrific demo reels from two DMD students. The first one is from a 3D major, and the second is from a Video and Motion Graphics major. Which one appeals to you?
Ever wonder who designs and builds the graphics for video games? Or have you thought about who creates the visual effects for movies? It could be you. Students in DMD learn to build and animate 3D Computer Graphics. For those that want a career in 3D, we recommend taking the 3D Computer Graphics (3DCG) program after you’ve taken the two-year DMD program.
Above is a sample of some recent work from the 3DCG program. Students in that program first need to take the Digital Media Design program or something similar (which could include having a Graphic Design diploma and/or university Fine Arts or Architecture degrees). Students in the Digital Media Design program often think of this program as a “third year” of DMD, even though is is a stand alone 8 month program.
The 3DCG program teaches advanced 3D graphics focusing on modeling lighting, rendering, compositing, animation and production management. The specific software that is taught includes Maya, Z-Brush, Nuke, and After Effects. Graduates of the 3D Computer Graphics program may find employment in visual effects/film, motion graphics, video game development, 3D simulation and prototyping, medical imaging, and 3D simulation industries.
Web design and development is one of the most sought after skill sets right now. In DMD, you’ll learn how to design and build a website from scratch using Photoshop (to design) and HTML and CSS (to build). You’ll also learn how build websites using WordPress, the world’s most popular content management system. There is a real shortage of people in the industry with great design skills AND great technical skills. Our goal in DMD is to teach you both.
Above, you’ll see some terrific websites created by DMD students in the Advanced Web Design course.
User experience, or UX for short, refers to how a person interacts with a company or brand. This includes interactions with websites, mobile apps, social media, as well as actual face-to-face interaction.
In DMD, we teach the key principles of designing a great user experience. We also teach about responsive web design, or designing for an equally great user experience across a wide range of devices (mobile, tablets, desktops, etc).
In DMD, we teach DSLR cinematography: you’ll learn camera settings, composition, lighting and audio. Here are some samples of students shooting their first DSLR video pieces. The goal here was to focus on composition, movement, natural light, and colour correction. Once students have mastered basic camera and lighting, we move on advanced digital filmmaking techniques with a focus on storytelling.
Here are four samples of students’ first DSLR projects. These were done by Dan Boey (above), and April Dunsmore (below).
There’s certainly nothing wrong with using your phone as your main camera. And apps like Instagram are a lot of fun. But if you really want to take your photos to the next level, you’re going to have to learn how the pros do it. In DMD, you’ll learn to use the manual settings of a DSLR camera to make your pictures come to life. Photography and understanding composition, lighting, and colour are key skills you’ll need as a new media designer. After this course you’ll notice a huge improvement in the quality of your photos — even the ones you take with your phone.
The below pictures were taken in the Photography class, where students learned to shoot in both a studio setting and real world environments.
Photo credit: Brennan Letts (top photo), Lee Christenson (bottom photos)
The DMD program teaches motion graphic design, which nicely complements many of the other skill sets taught in the program: Graphic Design, 3D Animation, DSLR Video, Photography, and Web Design.
We teach a combination of Cinema 4D, Adobe After Effects, and Adobe Premiere. Here’s an example of one of the first Cinema 4D projects. The goal was to begin with a cube which transforms into an object, and then into a second object, and back to a cube. Students are meant to focus on smooth animation and smart camera work.
Photoshop is more than just photography software. It is the most used and most flexible new media tool, used to create graphics for websites and apps, motion graphics and animation, print publications, video games, and film visual effects and matte paintings. Below are some excellent DMD student samples.
In the Photography class, students had to manipulate photos they had taken in order to build a creative self portrait. Check out these terrific results by (respectively) Alyssa Paskaruk, Wlad Riazanov, and Priscilla Hofer.
Here are some samples of the students’ latest work. Their task was to create a 10 second motion graphic that starts and ends with a square. What they did in the middle was up to them (this was inspired by AnimationSequence.com). Students were told to focus on using simple shapes and audio/video synergy to create a compelling motion graphic.
Here are eight films written, illustrated, and animated by second year DMD students. Most animated films take a huge crew many months or even years to complete. These films were made by just one or two people! Of course, they use a relatively simple technique known as “cut out” animation. The students used many of the skills they had learned over two years: illustration, animation, graphic design, screen writing, etc. Have a look. There are several award winners, and one that made it on Vimeo’s Staff Picks.
One of the 3D commercial product renderings from a second year 3D Computer Graphics major. The objective was to go beyond the typical turntable and show off the highly detailed modeling, texturing, and lighting through closeups, multiple camera moves, and cross fades.
It’s worth mentioning that students in the DMD program buy their own Macbook Pro.
Here’s a terrific documentary-style promotional film made by DMD students Jordan Desmoulin and Sean Lehmann. More and more businesses are wanting corporate videos like this for their websites. We will teach you how write, shoot, and edit video so that you can get similar results.
Here’s another documentary that was done as an assignment for the Visual Techniques class, which teaches DSLR video techniques, and how to shoot and edit documentary and corporate video. This piece is a terrific, inspirational portrait of filmmaker Curtis Wiebe, shot and edited by his equally talented brother, Marlon Wiebe.
Produced by DMD students Lena Franford and Cody LeRoy, this showcases our downtown campus and gives you an idea of what it’s like to be a DMD student. It also highlights the terrific video skills learned in DMD. Students learn both DSLR and traditional video techniques to create documentary and corporate videos. Emphasis is placed on the importance of dynamic storytelling that engages viewers.
Gorgeously shot and edited by DMD students Troy Giesbrecht and Graham Dunk using a Canon 7D, this video shows Red River College’s downtown campus and surrounding area at its most beautiful. Check it out.
Students were asked to create a news intro and bumpers using both 3D and 2D for a show called Live at Five. They had ten days to do it. Here are snippets of five of the projects. They used After Effects, Maya, Photoshop, and Illustrator. Which one do you like best?