Algonquin College Graphic Design Program Computer Graphics Course Curriculum Algonquin College Graphic Design Program Computer Graphics Course Curriculum


DSN1562 Computer Graphics One



Alain Paradis

Course Description

The field of computer graphics consists of page layout, illustration and photo manipulation. Page layout is the hub for illustrations and photographs. Purpose-built instructional web pages, in-class and video tutorials guide students through the process of building electronic documents in Adobe InDesign, containing images edited in Photoshop and custom digital illustrations created in Adobe Illustrator. Activities include learning common technology-related terminology, organizing graphics files and fonts, illustrating digitally and editing photographs which they integrate into page designs.


This course consists of in-class lessons. At each class, we will practice software skills once together, then you will perform them on your own. These classes are meant to be formative in nature. Every few weeks, you will independently complete all the skills practiced to date during one class.

Attending each class is imperative. See the attendance policy.

Day One

Mac OS Adobe Creative Cloud
Congratulations on being accepted into the Graphic Design program at Algonquin College. We have a number of topics to cover in our first Computer Graphics class.

Drawing with Shapes

Adobe Illustrator
Using Illustrator's shape tools to draw can be an effective way to create smooth paths and predictable results. We can go much further than simply dragging shapes. There are a number of keyboard shortcuts that can help us create well-formed objects.

Pen Tool

Adobe Illustrator
The Pen Tool is one of the trickiest tools in Illustrator. It's also one of the most fundamental to vector drawing. You need to do your time with the tool in order to tame it.

Setting Type

Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Illustrator is pretty good at setting type. It's no InDesign, but it can set point type, area type, type on a path and more. What's really great, is that you don't always need to draw a box to type.

Colour Spaces

Adobe Illustrator
Illustrator is a go-to application for print design as well as design for the screen. Depending on your intent, you'll need to make decisions about colour. We'll learn to create and edit global, spot, RGB, CMYK colour swatches in Illustrator.

Gradients & Blends

Adobe Illustrator
Create, edit and apply gradients to strokes and fills in Adobe Illustrator.

Illustrator Fundamentals

Adobe Illustrator
This is a summative assignment which includes all the Illustrator skills you've learned to date. Follow the instructions on this page carefully.

Our First Layout

Adobe InDesign
In our introduction to page layout in InDesign, we'll build a single-page layout promoting Apple's Mac Mini desktop computer. We'll build this as a template so that it's easy to update for future products.

VW Layout

Adobe Photoshop Adobe InDesign
Use the provided files to build the Volkswagen advertisement according to the included PDF design guide. Again, we're building an InDesign document in a way which will make it easy to edit.


Adobe Photoshop
Selecting pixels is central to editing in Photoshop. Leveraging the characteristics of the photo is critical to getting a good selection. From there after, you can target selected pixels for editing. All this is done in a non-destructive workflow.

Intro to Layer Masks

Adobe Photoshop
Layer Masks are arguably the most powerful, most frequently used tool in the whole Photoshop universe. We'll create pixel-based Layer Masks to achieve different results.

Masking Hair

Adobe Photoshop
Before you can correct, you must select. This is a time-tested saying amongst Photoshop pros. Learning to make accurate selections of complex and detailed objects in Photoshop is a life-long learning process. We'll continue that here.

Retouching Fundamentals

Adobe Photoshop
We'll use the Clone Stamp Tool, the Healing Brush and Content Aware tools to remove blemishes from a photograph.