All posts provided by J. Mezei

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." - Scott Adams



This course will develop students' artistic knowledge and skills by introducing them to current media arts technologies and processes. Student learning will include the analysis, appreciation, and production of media art, using a variety of traditional techniques (e.g., photography, film, photocopy art, video, analog sound recording) and emergent technologies (e.g., computer, digital camera, scanner, multimedia, animation).

Media arts education focusses on the practical skills and theoretical knowledge needed to communicate ideas, feelings, and beliefs to specific audiences, and even interact with them. This course affords a context for reflecting and creating, as well as for interpreting and discussing the cultural, historical, and social contexts of current and emerging media art processes. Active participation and study in this course will allow for imaginative self-expression and will foster self-developent while preparing students with skills and knowledge for lifelong learning and participation in the wider community.
— Ontario Curriculum, The Arts, 1999.



Wednesday, September 3rd

what are the elements and principles of design?

elements     principles

Elements and Principles Assignment 

- with a partner divide up the elements so you each have 3 to work on

- use flickr for your photo sources and be sure to record the photographers names in a word document for each photo you choose.


Thurs, Sept 4th

Elements and Principles - PHOTO GRID ASSIGNMENT

- Photoshop introduction, cropping & selecting

photo grid - elements and principles

Friday, Sept. 5th

Today we are going to continue building our element - combined with one principle grids

- your goal is to create 3 different grids  ( 3 elements matched up with 3 principles)

- once you are finished please answer the question at the end of your handout from yesterday in your Media Arts Journal

Monday, Sept. 8th

Saving your work!!! - save all of your photo grids as  PDF files  into a folder in your drive called PHOTO GRIDS

-choose your best one and print a copy in black and white to then put into your media arts journal

- also save a PDF version of your grid (the one you printed) in the shared drive under room 174 - mezei marking folder ** do not save a photoshop file into this folder

- Begin Still Image Unit - A closer look at Photography

- What is a Photograph? Lesson and intro to research assignment

Tuesday sept 9th

-work period to do research for your Photo Theory Presentation

-each person must produce at least one page of information based on the questions they are covering, this is minimum, there will be photos included (obviously) 

-your information needs references, so make sure to copy and paste the links of the sites you are using to get your information and images from

- todays class you will use to gather your information independently and tomorrow you will collaborate with group members to put your research into a handout and presentation format. 

Wednesday Sept 10

- work period: work on completing your research for the Photo Theory Project

- this should be done in a word document and saved into a folder on your drive called "Photographic Theory Project"

*if you complete your research begin working on the group handout and or presentation (using Prezi OR power point)

THurs Sept 11

- work period to complete Photo Theory Project - together with your group creating the presentation (prezi or powerpoint) and then also your handout ( 1 page - front and back) - each member has half a page of research to contribute

Fri Sept 12

-presentations for Photo Theory Project

Monday Sept 15

print off research from Photo Theory Project - put into your media arts journal

Build a Pinhole Camera      - video    - we are painting the interior and exterior of our boxes

(this is the second step) - firstly, we want to make an x and find the approx centre of the box to cut a square space into with our xacto knife. 

- exposure times and calculating your F-stop

- what do we want to see in a negative, and a positive? - dense blacks, white whites and a range of mid tones

Photo Classifications  - find an example of each in magazines - put in your Media Arts Journal

Bonus video: how does a camera work illustration?

Sept 16 - 19th

calculate your F-stop - distance from front of camera to back divided by the pinhole diameter - look at the f stop chart on the handout from yesterday to see how long you will open your shutter for when taking pictures

-IN THE LAB: Step one- camera basics 

Step two- take a look at this handout - Photographic Classifications

there are several types of photographic classifications. Create a flickr account *write the login information down and find 5 examples of each type of photo classification listed and shown in the handout link above.

classifications: Close - up, Long Shot, High Angle shot, Low Angle shot, Creative use of lighting, placing the subject in front of the light shot, soft focus shot, framing shot.

Save the images to a folder in your personal drive called "Photographic Classifications"

Open a word document to put each of the images into this document along with the photographers name and the type of photo classification. i.e.  " Close up by; Kenny Toe

Dark Room Crew: tape metal piece with pinhole inside the camera, make a tape shutter for the outside, tape any potential leak areas. roll two pieces of tape to put at the back of the camera so that you can stick a piece of photo paper to the back of the camera in the dark room.

- create 2 negatives. If your first negative does not produce a clear image with white whites and dense blacks discuss with Ms. Mezei to determine a new exposure time.

Mon, Sept 22

computer lab - get your pinhole cameras back and make sure everyone has at least one negative successfully done

*tomorrow we will be back in the lab to make one contact print for each person (using the negative you got with your camera) - make sure your name and the proper calculation for your f-stop is written on the back of your camera.

LESSON - Photoshop fun - VEGFRUITHEAD - learning to use the Quick Selections tool, zooming, transforming and understanding layers in photoshop. Demo, then do it together, then begin!


- you can begin this project once you show me you have completed camera basics and the photo classifications assignments from last week.


TUES, sept 23, 24, 25

WHAT is a contact print?

- in dark room - make one time test strip and one contact print from your negative

- COMPUTER LAB: work on finishing camera basics - photo classifications and Vegfruithead Project.

- look at cropping images - Image Cropping exercise


Monday, Sept 29

Try a new feature in photoshop called: Replace Colour

this video shows you how to replace the colour of whatever the image may be: replace colour video

Activity: Create a Food Scape



Along with the Replace Colour tool you will be using some of the tools we have already learned like the quick selection tool as well as zooming in and out.

**if you didn't finish your Vegfruithead from last week you can work on finishing that today instead.

Tues, Sept 30

Important Considerations for Portrait Photography: Composition, Cropping, Staging & Lighting

Intro Culminating for Still Image Unit - Portrait Triptych - begin creative process by brainstorming - do the personality questionnaire to help you come up with a theme/ ideas about yourself to focus on for your portraits, find 6 resource imagesonline (please reference where you get them) in a word document you can print today and put into your Media Arts Journal. These should be images that show good composition, cropping, interesting staging and or interesting lighting.

- crop your positive image from the Pinhole Camera project and mount onto the provided black paper. Then paste them all (negatives, test strip and mounted positive into your Media Arts Journal. Hand in with your Pinhole camera Rubric.

Wed, Oct 1

1 -lesson how to replace colour in photoshop

2 *print and then glue your camera basics answers into your media arts journal

3*create a portrait project folder to save all files related to this project into

Portrait Project - finish your questionnaire, find 5-6 inspirational images online that show ways you are considering to take your own photographs (considering interesting lighting, unique compositions- space around you the figure or face, interesting props)  - save the links and images into a word document called "portrait project brainstorming" What is your theme? all 3 pictures are related to you in some way, perhaps your favourite thing to do is eat food, so you might have 3 images of yourself eating but they have to be somehow different (lighting, compositions, camera angles) 

examples: your theme could be things you like, dislike, heroes, your favourite personality trait, etc.

- brainstorm your ideas in your media arts journal explaining what plans you have for ways you want to shoot each of your 3 ideas -when done show to me and you can get a camera/ iPad to start photographing each other 

- you will need your images by next tuesday so you are ready to edit next week

- we will be taking photos for the rest of this week, when you have all of the photos you need you can return to the lab  and import them, and save them as JPEGs and work on any of the following; vegfruithead, food landscape, OR begin playing around with editing some of the photos you have taken.

4) Create a dropbox account -

- things you save here can be accessed from anywhere, so if you take pictures at home, you can save them in your dropbox and then just login at school to use them for this assignment 

Thurs, Oct 2

Step 1) finish your brainstorming/ planning for your Photography Portrait Project - save 5-6 inspiration/ idea images into a word document, then write a few sentences about your plan for your pictures - what types of camera angles will you use? what type of lighting situation do you need? *this is part of your mark for this project

Step 2) work on finishing Vegfruithead first, then if time try to create a Foodscape using the quick selection tool and colour replace tools. 

Step 3) if done the above try:   A new tool: Layer Masking in Photoshop Elements 8

* why use a layer mask instead of just erasing parts of an image once placed on another image to reveal the layer below??? well because the only way to undo this is to go into your undo history. A layer mask allows you to make edits, but go back and forth between adding and subtracting areas without actually making any real edits to the photo. This is called "non-destructive editing."

video tutorial 1       video tutorial 2   another example (different version of photoshop but gives you the idea) video tutorial 3

Each video shows a slightly different way of doing the same thing, try whichever makes sense to you. The best way to learn is by trying... ask your neighbours for help if you see that they get it.

Activity: Try to use the layer mask by getting 2 images from the internet. One image with some sort of texture, and one just a picture of a person.  

Mon, Oct 6th

- take photos, import photos into your "Portrait Photography Project" folder, save as JPEG's

- can play with editing techniques you have learned so far and or work on your food scape or begin editing the photo's you will use for your Portrait Project.

- Once you have imported your images as JPEG's you want to bring them into photoshop files - open each file with the following dimensions and resolution:  size: 7" x10" or 10" x7" (can be horizontal or vertical) and then make sure to set the resolution to 300

- Portrait project due date - Wed, Oct 15th - in class gallery and discussion

Tues- Fri Oct. 10th

-working on importing and editing your photos for the Portrait assignment.

THURS:  the following students: Gunner, Dan, Michael, Chris, Brandon, LeeAnne and Brittney E all have photos saved in folders on LeeAnne's drive. LeeAnne please login and let one person from each of these two groups use a jump drive to get these photos they need from your computer. Thanks!

You will find yours and Brittney's as well.

** if done all your importing, and editing (make sure to take your time and do a good job and try a variety of things, use the tools you have learned and try to figure out new ones if you can)

you can work on your Foodscape if everything else is finished and you can also work on a new challenge:

gather several images of various tools (hammer, wrench, nut, bolts etc) - save a minimum of 8 images into a folder within your "Media Arts folder"  call it RobotToolGuy. Open the images of  tools you found and use the quick selection tool to cut them out and place them in an interesting and creative way to create a robot/ character. (you can use each tool image several times)

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 9.00.06 PM.png

TUES, Oct 14 - Wed oct. 15th

- Finish up editing for Portrait Assignment

- if done working on any of the selection assignments not yet done; Vegfruithead, Foodscape or Robot Tool Guy

Thurs, OCT 16-17th

- Reflective Paragraph: Write a paragraph explaining the creative process you used to create your images. What lighting considerations did you think of? What things did you think of in terms of the setting/ background for each image? Did you crop your image to make the composition more effective? How did you use photoshop to enhance/ edit your image?

- critique a peer's finished portrait

(hand in the following: rubric, Reflective paragraph, brainstorming and photo source list and your critique)

- begin search for Canadian War/ Remembrance images 

Mon, Oct 20th

- Begin Remembrance Art Assignment 

Lesson - review how to get and save images from flickr

- in PHotoshop - demo how to select part of image, paste into new layer and have something in between - allowing colour change for different parts of an image (while layers below could be black and white, or all colour and the isolated part could be black and white)

- looking up and saving images on Flickr - Creative Commons License images

-  based on your topic/theme find 15-20 images and save high quality JPEGS to a folder called "remembrance art" in your personal drive space. Remember to record all artist/photographer's names in a word document along with the title of the work and the type of license given.

- Begin merging images you have to create a Photomontage

First check out some examples: example 1 example 2 example 3 example 4 example 5

- print portrait assignments

Tues, -Friday Oct 24th

-Work on Remembrance Day photomontage project 

-what is the creative commons? 

Get ready to print:

- save your photoshop image as a JPEG

- Open COREL DRAW - Open a NEW file - save as "REMEMBRANCE POSTER" and then go to FILE IMPORT to open up your JPEG - make the page orientation the way you would like it

- Add Text to your poster if you would like - you do need to add the creative commons license for the images you have used and or at least the photographers name

Mon, Oct 27

creative commons?  - do these questions - save to your space in your remembrance art file

Tues, Oct 28th- 31st


Creating a Narrative

Oscar-nominated animation:

PART 1-independently create a narrative

         step one- character profile (create new or from movie) - in a word doc - new folder "NARRATIVE"

PART 2 - collaboratively create another narrative using found images

Your classroom is now ready for your students to log in.

 GO TO: and enter the class code rm174 to begin.

Mon, Nov 3

Forest Man  - watch this short documentary

kickstarter questions -  answer these questions in a word document and print off your answers to hand in by the end of the period.

Tues Nov 4-6th

Working on Bitstrips narrative, Creative Commons Questions

- how does sound influence your experience as a viewer of film

-pairing images with sound - what sound does the image evoke? or listen to sounds and think about what images come to mind

- free creative commons sounds found at: ccmixter

Mon, Nov 10th - Nov 14th


The animated GIF PROJECT


Jim Mezei GIFs

Kellen Hatanaka GIF  and another

how to create an animated gif using Photoshop elements


USING PHOTOS   and another

Drawing GIFs   one example    William Kentridge example2      a longer video example of a drawing in photoshop

Creating and Animating a Character in Photoshop OR Animating text in photoshop

my example:

gif guy

some other options you could try to use to make a gif:

Monday, Nov 17 - 21

This week's project: Make a 30 sec short film:

take a look at this example:  30 second film example   (shows use of a variety of camera angles)

You will create a 30 second film. First step is to read about the various camera angles/ movements filmmakers use when creating movies. Please read the following handout on CAMERA ANGLES.

The assignment sheet for this project is here: 30 Second Short Film

The first step in creating this film is to make a storyboard - while you may choose to work with a partner you each must first come up with at storyboard for a potential scenario you could film. In this storyboard you must indicate what type of camera angles you will plan to use. PRINT OFF this STORYBOARD TEMPLATE

FILMING SCHEDULE - plan to film your footage at home or at school by the start of class this Wednesday so you can put your film together starting Wednesday and finish by the end of class Thursday. You could begin filming today if you finish a storyboard and show it to the teacher.

******your animated GIF's - should be finished or close to, on tuesday we can finish up those who just need to be saved for web (or you can do that today - follow the instructions on the handout - or ask a classmate as several people have done theirs).   If you are importing images you need to shrink them and put them into a file where you create the file size - as indicated on your handout should be 4x4" with a resolution of 72dpi.

how to import video

Monday, Nov 24th

- work on editing video footage for 30sec film assignment - when done and ready to hand in, print off rubric (part of assignment sheet - link above) and hand in with the storyboard you made for your film.


Taking a further look at Stop Motion Animation in the form of CLAYMATION

Storyboard template

Moving Image Culminating Task: Claymation 

Tues, Nov 25th - CLAYMATION


Claymation is one of many forms of stop motion animation. Each animated piece, either character or background, is created out of a malleable substance, usually Plasticine. The clay characters are animated through photographing single frames of action and sequencing them together.

*we just finished making mini stop motion animations with the GIF's you created. (single frames that are put together in sequence to create the illusion of motion).  

 Some examples of STOP MOTION animation with great sounds, and clever camera angles:

Kiersten Lepore’s “Sweet Dreams”:

Kiersten Lepore;s “Bottle”:


Examples of Claymation - interesting clay manipulation for facial features and clay(plasticine) blending

Allison Schulnik’s “Hobo Clown”:

Allison Schulnick’s “Mound”:

 Classroom Critters;


Mario Brothers claymation:

Dec. 1-5

Narration - tell a story considering the components of Narrative. Work with a partner and choose the best story or combine elements of each to use to then create a story board to lay out the plan of your claymation. Begin designing your set.

Dec 8-12

Build Set and use plasticine to build your characters. Once completed begin photographing each of the scenes laid out in your storyboard plan. Remember the goal is take 600 or more pictures consider the frame rate average is typically around 12 frames/ second.

Dec. 16 - 18th

Finish off your claymations by uploading them to youtube and then importing that file into Adobe Premiere where you can add sound files to enhance your short film.


*if finished you need begin creating a WIX website. Choose a topic of interest and do some research and find images and videos you can organize into a clever layout on your newly created website.


January 5th - return and begin Culminating tasks

Website Portfolio design & one more Media Art piece

Culminating task

my WIX website example:

MOn January 12th - continue with culminating tasks this week

adding your stop motion animations: Links to all of them below


Matt and Vanessa:

Dove, Megan and Julia:



Cole and Dylan:  

one part:

part 2:

Chris, Jake and Brandon:

Mariah and Faith:

Daniel, Gunner and Michael:

Sam Moore and Jordan:

Janelle and Larissa:

Rachel Porenta:

Brittany Palmer:

Brittney E and LeeAnne:

 Maddi and Abbie: