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Welcome to the homepage for the

DIGITAL MEDIA ARTS COURSES

At Santa Cruz High School

Explore careers and develop skills in graphic design, photography, video production, animation and web design at Santa Cruz High School:


Welcome to the homepage for the Digital Media Arts Department at Santa Cruz High School. This website is meant to be an overview of the digital media courses being offered at Santa Cruz High School. Here in these pages you will find course overviews, student work samples, links to resources and information about the instructor.

All the courses listed here are "CTE" or Career Technical Education courses, and are made available to SCHS students through our local Regional Occupational Program.The Santa Cruz County Regional Occupational Program (ROP)provides students with the opportunity to acquire career training and technical skills that prepare them for success in a changing workplace and continuing education. ROP, a Western Association of Schools and Colleges(WASC) accredited program of the Santa Cruz County Office of Education offered in cooperation with county high school districts and the local business community provides job training for youth 16 and older. While there is no formal placement process, follow-up studies of our students indicate program completers have a high rate of job placement.


Recent studies show that our ROP students:

  • Are paid more on their jobs than non-ROP students
  • Are one third more likely to get promoted on their jobs than non-ROP students
  • Are less likely to miss school than non-ROP students
  • Graduate with their class 96% of the time
  • Continue in related further education or an ROP course related job 75% of the time


Visit The ROP Website Visit The SCHS Website

About The Instructor:


Mr. Wilson is a veteran of the creative and corporate communications industry and has worked for companies both large and small since 1996. Mr. Wilson began his career by studying multimedia communications and worked for content producers, start ups and video production companies before becoming an independent contractor. Seth brings to the classroom his expertise in graphic design, illustration, animation, motion graphics, 3D modeling, video production and digital photography as well as his industry experience working for clients such as Seagate, Intel, Microsoft, Sandisk, Stanford University and more.


Courses Taught: Graphic Design(semester 1 and 2), Video Production and Animation(semester 1), Digital Photography(semester 2), Web Design(semester 2). Additionally there is an intensive blended/magnet course for Photography, students meet thursdays and complete work independantly and online during the week, course runs for entire year.


Contact a SCHS Counselor to Sign Up

Study Graphic Design at SCHS:


ROP Graphic Design is a course that explores design principals and the drawing techniques and tools used in computer art and graphics. Emphasis is placed upon the practical aspects of commercial art and how this art is used in publishing, design and illustration, photography and multimedia presentations. A structured approach is used to complete a wide range of projects. The historical, social and cultural analyses of art are explored.

In ROP Graphic Design we begin with simple illustration and image manipulation projects to get students oriented and familiar with the tools we use for creating design, mostly, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.Once students are comfortable working with our software tools we move as studying color theory, principals and elements of design and typography. After tackling design concepts students begin putting their new skills to work with projects such as packaging design, poster design, logo and identity design and more. ROP stands for Regional Occupational Program, we teach skills that students can use to gain employment and give themselves a head start in higher education. Students learn career development skills through research and portfolio development, this is part of all ROP classes. If you are interested in art, graphics, design, computer illustration and want to kick start your career in the creative field, ROP Graphic Design is the class for you. Contact your counselor and sign up early, classes fill quick!


Become College and Career Ready:

ROP Graphic Design assists students to become college and career ready by offering practical hands on course work that focus on skill development. This class meet UC/CSU A-G requirements for "F" Visual and Performing Arts. This course is also articulated with Cabrillo College. Students that complete an extra set of assignments are eligible to petition for DM1 with a grade of A or better and instructor approval. This means that students will receive 4 credits from a Cabrillo College and be able to skip the DM1 class pre-requisite.


Visit The Class Website

Study Web Design at SCHS:


In ROP Web Design, students develop skills necessary for entry level employment in the field of web page design. Students learn to write HTML and CSS, create images, animation and graphics with Adobe Photoshop in order to create imaginative, effective, and professional-looking web pages. These pages will contain hyperlinks, pictures, sounds, video, animations, and files to be downloaded. Extensive hands-on experience using appropriate design principles and tools will provide training in web page design from inception to launch-ready multi-page web sites.

Students begin by learning how to write HTML by hand with a straight forward code editing program. We then move onto enhancing our HTML files with CSS code, which provides a richer look to our webpages through fonts, graphics, gradients, buttons and more. Every student has access to a dedicated computer for completing classwork and we even have online hosting for testing the websites we create. Students also use fun learning tools such as the renowned Code Academy to reinforce their skills in writing HTML and CSS. We then move onto using professional level web development resources such as Bootstrap. By the completion of the semester students will have created several websites, both hand-coded and developed from templates. Students will have a professional looking online portfolio which will be hosted on our own server for testing. If you are interested in taking ROP Web Design see your Counselor and sign up early!



Visit the Class Website

Study Motion Graphics and Video Production at SCHS:


ROP Video Production and Animation is a hands-on course that teaches students the fundamentals of animation, motion graphics, 3D animation, video editing, video production and more. Students work both individually and in groups to complete original content. This course requires a high level of dedication to working both inside and outside of class to be successful.

Students will learn about the cultural, social and historical importance of animation and begin by creating simple 2D animations using pencil, paper and their imaginations. After traditional animation is explored we move on to creating motion graphics with Adobe After Effects. Student will learn the basics of animation through demonstration of tweening shapes, position, opacity and how to adjust velocity. After motion graphics are explored we move onto learning how to incorporate 3D animation with video sources. Students are introduced to using Autodesk's Maya to create simple animations and complete a motion tracking/match moving exercise to merge CGI and live footage together, a staple of modern cinema and television.

Once our animation module is complete students will learn how to edit video and begin creating video projects. Students learn many production techniques involving camera work, editing, timing, sound effects, direction, storyboard creation and more. Students can work in groups or solo for our final video project. This last project is their opportunity to put all their skills to work to create a compelling, professional video production.

Whether you are interested in filmmaking or animation as a career or a focus of interest in higher education, or if you just want to have fun and be creative, this may be the class for you. Sign up early with your counselor, the class fills up fast and is limited to 27 students per semester.


Become College and Career Ready:

ROP Video Production and Animation assists students to become college and career ready by offering practical hands on course work that focus on skill development. This class meet UC/CSU A-G requirements for "F" Visual and Performing Arts. This course is also articulated with Cabrillo College. Students that are eligible can petition for DM34 with a grade of B or better, portfolio score of 80% or better and instructor approval. This means that students will receive 3 credits from a community college and be able to skip the DM34 class pre-requisite.


Visit The Class Website

Study Digital Photograhy at SCHS:


In ROP Digital Photography students will learn the basics of using photoshop as an image editing tool and learn how to use DSLR cameras as they study photographic and artistic principles. Students begin by becoming familiar with our software and hardware, then move on to studying exposure principles, working through multiple exercises in each subject of shutter speed, aperture and ISO. Students also focus on capturing and demonstrating artistic principles through photography and explore dynamic and static composition. Students develop a photo essay as a final project. Students also study subjects such as studio lighting, HDR imagery, photo compositing, multiple and double exposures and more.

As an ROP class we also develop print portfolios, photo blogs and career development work such as writing resumes, lists of references and researching careers in photography or the students area of interest. Guest speakers are often brought in to the class to discuss their work and career and to give advice to young photographers. If you are interested in learning skills that are in demand, developing your own photo style or just to learn cutting edge digital media and digital imaging skills this may be the class for you! Students are encouraged to sign up early with their counselors, as there is often a waiting list for seats in this exciting class.


Become College and Career Ready:

ROP Video Production and AnimationROP Digital Photography assists students to become college and career ready by offering practical hands on course work that focus on skill development. This class meets UC/CSU A-G requirements for "F" Visual and Performing Arts.


Visit the Class Website

This website is intended for students, parents, faculty and administrators of the Santa Cruz School District and Santa Cruz County Office of Education’s Regional Occupational Program.