Advanced Digital Imaging

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ART 217

       Course Name: Advanced Digital Imaging

       Credits: 3 (0 lecture; 6 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

ART 216 or Consent of Instructor

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course uses advanced computer methods to cover highly developed techniques of photographic electronic imagery used by graphic designers and photographers to enhance images, including airbrush and shadow making, contour shading and texture additions, retouching, montaging and coloring. Additional content includes examining traditional tasks of line drawing, pattern and texture creation that the computer can produce in exacting detail. Students will use photographs for digitization and computer manipulation. Photoshop used as the main software.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Demonstrate a thorough working knowledge of the advanced features of the software in order to choose the best method to solve graphic problems.
  2. Evaluate photographs and develop an effective plan (workflow) to produce the best results for a given project.
  3. Incorporate advanced techniques in producing digital images from photographs and from images created within the software.
  4. Incorporate the principles of aesthetics into work that demonstrates an evolving style.
  5. Present finished work in a professional manner, both printed and on-screen.
  6. Comply with the moral, legal and social implications of digital imaging.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Workflow
    1. What is workflow?
    2. Adobe Bridge
    3. Elements of the Photoshop Workspace
  2. Retouching and Restoration
    1. Image navigation tips and contextual menus
    2. Types of layers
    3. The “retoucher’s workflow”
    4. Evaluating and adjusting tone
    5. Exposure correction techniques
    6. Combining multiple exposures
    7. Color casts and improving skin tones
    8. Using a MacBeth color checker
    9. Reconstructing a color image
    10. Replacing color
    11. Restoration, repair and rebuilding
    12. Going from color to black and white
    13. Professional portrait retouching techniques
  3. Blur/Sharpen/Reduce Noise
    1. Blurring techniques to create emphasis
    2. Effective sharpening techniques
    3. Sharpening and blurring as special effects
    4. Noise reduction filters in Photoshop and Camera RAW
  4. Painterly Techniques
    1. Create paintings from photographs
    2. Create drawings from photographs
    3. Create original paintings completely from within Photoshop
    4. Create custom brushes
    5. Simulation of traditional darkroom techniques in Photoshop
  5. Automation
    1. Playing, recording and editing Actions
    2. Batch processing
    3. The Image Processor
    4. Contact sheet and picture package
    5. Photomerge (panorama)
    6. Smart Objects
  6. Special Effects
    1. Masking techniques
    2. Building custom Layer styles
    3. Special type effects
    4. Creating and using patterns and textures
  7. Presentation
    1. Techniques for better ink-jet printing
    2. Matting
    3. On-screen presentations

VII.  Methods of Instruction

The course will be presented using a combination of lectures, presentations, demonstrations, and the use of computer workstations in the lab.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Attend all critiques and quizzes as scheduled in the course calendar.
  2. Produce ten mounted 8x10 color images.
  3. Final exam.
  4. Complete all printing and shooting assignments.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

  1. Recommended: Adobe Photoshop Restoration and Retouching, by Katrin Eismann.
  2. CR-R’s (a Flash drive is also useful to save and transport files).
  3. Mount board and white museum grade 11x14" board
  4. Ink jet paper

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

The final grade will be based upon the following elements and their weights:
  1. Quizzes and final exam = 20%
  2. Critiques = 65%
  3. Final Critique = 15%
Quizzes/exams will include both multiple choice items and “hands on” questions.  

The critiques offer the student the opportunity to show and discuss their work with the instructor and the class. This gives each student important feedback on the work presented. At each regular critique, the work presented must matted. At the final critique, students will present all of the work from the entire semester in matted format. Each student will also create a pdf slide show of their work to be displayed on-screen.

XI.   Other Course Information

Please note:
Some of the activities, lectures and assignments in this class may include imagery that is controversial, uncomfortable, shocking, has nudity, and personally unpopular to one's beliefs. If a student objects to this practice, he/she is encouraged to discuss with the instructor early in the semester alternative ways of completing course requirements.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.