Feb 21, 2020  
2019 - 2020 Cowley College Academic Catalog 
2019 - 2020 Cowley College Academic Catalog



3 Credit Hours

Student Level:

This course is open to students on the college level in either freshman or sophomore year

Catalog Description:

CGA 2013 - Introduction to Computer Graphics (3 hrs.)

An introduction to design software for Windows. A hands-on approach to the fundamental concepts and terminology for creating and editing graphics in Adobe PhotoShop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe InDesign.

Course Classification:




Controlling Purpose:

This course is designed to introduce art and graphic design majors as well as the general student to the basic software used in computer graphics: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe InDesign.

Learner Outcomes:

The student will have the rudimentary skills needed to produce basic art and page layouts utilizing graphics software. The student will have the necessary skills for advancement to the Graphic Design courses.

Unit Outcomes for Criterion Based Evaluation:

The following defines the minimum core content not including the final examination period. Instructors may add other content as time allows.

UNIT 1 - INDESIGN: Workspace

Outcomes:   Upon completion of the unit, the students will use the tools available with InDesign.

  • Understand the components of the InDesign workspace.
  • Work with the toolbox.
  • Work with palettes.
  • Use the zoom tool.
  • Use the hand tool.
  • Create multiple views of a document.
  • Navigating to pages in a document.
  • Use the navigator palette.
  • Use InDesign help.

UNIT 2 - INDESIGN: Working with Text

Outcomes:  Upon completion of the unit, the students will be able to successfully create text using InDesign.

  • Use the character palette.
  • Understand leading.
  • Scale text horizontally and vertically.
  • Kern and track text.
  • Create superscript and subscript characters.
  • Underlining text.
  • Use the paragraph palette.
  • Understand returns and soft returns.
  • Work with character and paragraph styles.
  • Use the find/change command.
  • Check spelling.

UNIT 3: INDESIGN: Document Setup

Outcomes:  Upon completion of the unit, the students will be able to create documents using InDesign.

  • Create a new document.
  • Understand master pages.
  • Create placeholder frames on master pages.
  • Understand and create guides.
  • Change the color of guides, margins and columns.
  • Choose default colors for guides, margins and columns.
  • Use the transform palette.
  • Use the control palette.
  • Use the transform palette to transform objects.
  • Create a new master page.
  • Create automatic page numbering.
  • Insert white space between text characters.
  • Insert em dashes and en dashes.
  • Create a new master page based on another master page.
  • Apply master pages to document pages.
  • Place text.
  • Thread text.
  • Modify master page items on document pages.
  • Modify master pages.
  • Create sections in a document.
  • Wrap text around a frame.

UNIT 4: INDESIGN: Working with Frames

Outcomes:  Upon completion of the unit, the students will be able to design a page using frames and the tools available with InDesign.

  • Apply fills and strokes.
  • Use the step and repeat command.
  • Align objects.
  • Distribute objects.
  • Understand the stacking order.
  • Understand layers.
  • Work with layers.
  • Manipulate layers and objects on layers.
  • Select artwork on layers.
  • Select objects behind other objects.
  • Place graphics in a document.
  • Understand the difference between the graphics frame and the graphic.
  • Understand the difference between the selection tool and the direct selection tool.
  • Move a graphic within a graphics frame.
  • Resize a graphic.
  • Use the fitting commands.
  • Wrap text around an imported Photoshop graphic saved with a named clipping path.
  • Semi-autoflow text.
  • Autoflow text.
  • Insert a column break.
  • Insert a “Continued on page…” notation.

UNIT 5:  INDESIGN: Working with Color

Outcomes:  Upon completion of the unit, the students will understand the different tools to apply color.

  • Understand process colors.
  • Understand tints.
  • Create tint swatches.
  • Work with unnamed colors.
  • Apply color to objects.
  • Understand the paper swatch.
  • Apply color to text.
  • Create black shadow text.
  • Modify and delete swatches.
  • Understand spot colors.
  • Create spot colors.
  • Import graphics with spot colors.
  • Create gradients.
  • Apply gradients.
  • Modify a gradient fill using the gradient palette.

UNIT 6: PHOTOSHOP: Photoshop Basics

Outcomes:  Upon completion of the unit, the students will have an understanding of the basics used in Photoshop.

  • Define image-editing software.
  • Understand images.
  • Create a file.
  • Open and save files.
  • Browse through files with Adobe Bridge.
  • Understand Adobe Bridge.
  • Create a PDF presentation.
  • Use Save As versus Save.
  • Understand version cue.
  • Understand version cue workspaces.
  • Use version cue’s administrative functions.
  • Understand bridge center.
  • Use tool shortcut keys.
  • Customize the Photoshop environment.
  • Understand the layers palette.
  • Display and hide layers.
  • Use the history palette.
  • Understand the help feature.
  • Use help topics.
  • Print your image.
  • Understand color handling in printing.
  • View an image in multiple views.
  • Understand closing versus exiting.

UNIT 7: PHOTOSHOP: Working with Layers

Outcomes:  Upon completion of the unit, the students will be able to organize, convert, add, name, delete, and recognize layer types.

  • Understand the layers palette.
  • Recognize layer types.
  • Organize layers.
  • Convert layers.
  • Add layers to an image.
  • Name a layer.
  • Delete layers from an image.
  • Understand selections.
  • Understand the extract and color range commands.
  • Make a selection and move a selection.
  • Defringe layer contents.
  • Understand layer groups.
  • Organize layers into groups.
  • Add color to a layer.
  • Flatten an image.
  • Understand layer comps.
  • Use layer comps.

UNIT 8: PHOTOSHOP: Making Selections

Outcomes:  Upon completion of the unit, the students will understand the proper uses for selection and marquees.

  • Select by shape.
  • Create a selection.
  • Use fastening points.
  • Select, deselect, and reselect.
  • Place a selection.
  • Use guides.
  • Change the size of a marquee.
  • Modify a marquee.
  • Move a marquee.
  • Select with color.
  • Use the Magic Wand tool.
  • Use the color range command.
  • Transform a selection.
  • Understand the healing brush tool.
  • Use the healing brush tool.
  • Understand vignettes.
  • Create a vignette.

UNIT 9: PHOTOSHOP: Color Techniques

Outcomes:  Upon completion of the unit, the students will be able to effectively use color techniques when designing image.

  • Understand color models: Lab, HSB, RGB, CMYK, and Bitmap/Grayscale
  • Change foreground and background colors.
  • Make selections from the color picker.
  • Use the swatches palette.
  • Emphasize an image.
  • Lock transparent pixels.
  • Understand gradients.
  • Use the gradient tool.
  • Customize gradients.
  • Colorize options.
  • Convert grayscale and color modes.
  • Colorize a grayscale image.
  • Tweak adjustments.
  • Manipulate an image.
  • Understand filters.
  • Choose blending modes.
  • Understand blending mode components.
  • Soften filter effects.
  • Balance colors.
  • Find the right color.
  • Use selections to match colors.

UNIT 10: PHOTOSHOP: Placing Type in an Image

Outcomes:  Upon completion of the unit, the students will understand and know the uses of type adding effects to an image.

  • Understand type types.
  • Understand font families.
  • Measure type size.
  • Acquire fonts.
  • Adjust spacing.
  • Understand character and line spacing.
  • Use the character palette.
  • Adjust the baseline shift.
  • Add effects to type.
  • Use the drop shadow.
  • Apply a style.
  • Control a drop shadow.
  • Eliminate jagged edges.
  • Know when to apply anti-aliasing.
  • Understand anti-aliasing.
  • Use the bevel and emboss style.
  • Understand the bevel and emboss style.
  • Understand filters.
  • Create special effects.
  • Produce distortions.
  • Use textures and relief.
  • Blur imagery.
  • Understand text on a path.
  • Create text on a path.

UNIT 11: ILLUSTRATOR: Illustrator Basics

Outcomes:  Upon completion of the unit, the students will have a working knowledge of the basics using Illustrator.

  • Create a new document.
  • Choose color modes and document size.
  • Choose a unit of measure.
  • Understand the Illustrator window.
  • Use quick keys in Illustrator.
  • Understand bitmap images and vector graphics.
  • Activate the fill or stroke.
  • Apply color with the swatches palette.
  • Select and move objects.
  • Group objects.
  • Make a marquee selection with the selection tool.
  • Work with smart guides.
  • Transform objects.
  • Repeat transformations.
  • Use the direct selection tool.
  • Add anchor points.
  • Turn objects into guides.

UNIT 12: ILLUSTRATOR: Creating Text and Gradients

Outcomes:  Upon completion of the unit, the students will be able to create text and use the gradient tool.

  • Create type.
  • Format text.
  • Hide objects.
  • Fill an object with text.
  • Lock objects.
  • Make guides.
  • Use the path type tools.
  • Use the gradient palette.
  • Use the color palette.
  • Add colors and gradients to the swatches palette.
  • Apply fills and strokes to text.
  • Convert text to outlines.
  • Use the gradient tool.
  • Add a drop shadow.

UNIT 13: ILLUSTRATOR: Drawing and Composing an Illustration

Outcomes:  Upon completion of the unit, the students will be able to draw and compose using Illustrator.

  • View objects on the artboard.
  • Draw straight segments with the pen tool.
  • Align and join anchor points.
  • Define properties of curved lines.
  • Convert anchor points.
  • Trace a scanned image.
  • Use the eyedropper tool.
  • Add a fill to an open path.
  • Assemble an illustration.
  • Define joins and caps.
  • Define the miter limit.
  • Create a dashed stroke.
  • Create pseudo-stroke effects.
  • Understand live trace.
  • Trace a line-art sketch.
  • Expand a traced graphic.
  • Trace a photograph.
  • Understand live paint.
  • Understand live painting regions.
  • Paint virtual regions.
  • Insert an object into a live paint group.
  • Expand a live paint group.
  • Understand live painting edges.

UNIT 14: ILLUSTRATOR: Transforming and Distorting Objects

Outcomes:  Upon completion of the unit, the students will be able to transform objects using the transforming tools.

  • Understand the transform tools.
  • Define the point of origin.
  • Work with the transform again command.
  • Use the transform each command.
  • Use the free transform tool.
  • Use the transform palette.
  • Use the offset path command.
  • Use the outline stroke command.
  • Define a compound path.
  • Define a compound shape.
  • Understand essential pathfinder filters.
  • Use the pathfinder palette.
  • Apply shape modes and pathfinders.
  • Define a clipping mask.
  • Use multiple objects as a clipping mask.
  • Create masked effects.

UNIT 15: ILLUSTRATOR: Working with Layers

Outcomes:  Upon completion of the unit, the students will understand all the aspects of working with layers using Illustrator.

  • Create layers and sublayers.
  • Duplicate layers.
  • Set layer options.
  • Select artwork on layers and sublayers.
  • Select all artwork on a layer.
  • Change the order of layers and sublayers.
  • Merge layers.
  • Define sublayers.
  • Work with sublayers.
  • Drag objects between layers.
  • Use the view buttons in the layers palette.
  • Locate an object in the layers palette.
  • Reverse the order of layers.
  • Make layers nonprintable.
  • Work with clipping sets.
  • Flatten artwork.

Projects Required:

There will be one project for each of the three software applications and a culminating project using all three applications.


Contact Bookstore for current textbook.

Materials/Equipment Required:

Access to lab with PhotoShop 5.5; Illustrator 8, and Quark XPress 4.0

Attendance Policy:

Students should adhere to the attendance policy outlined by the instructor in the course syllabus.

Grading Policy:

The grading policy will be outlined by the instructor in the course syllabus.

Maximum class size:

Based on classroom occupancy

Course Timeframe:

The U.S. Department of Education, Higher Learning Commission, and the Kansas Board of Regents define credit hour and have specific regulations that the college must follow when developing, teaching, and assessing the educational aspects of the college. A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally-established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester hour of credit or an equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time. The number of semester hours of credit allowed for each distance education or blended hybrid courses shall be assigned by the college based on the amount of time needed to achieve the same course outcomes in a purely face-to-face format.

Refer to the following policies:

402.00 Academic Code of Conduct

263.00 Student Appeal of Course Grades

403.00 Student Code of Conduct

Disability Services Program: 

Cowley College, in recognition of state and federal laws, will accommodate a student with a documented disability. If a student has a disability, which may impact work in this class which requires accommodations, contact the Disability Services Coordinator.