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Lab Usage, Demo's

Techno-noise Lab Usage Open Lab Demo's Printing

No Noise from Mobile Devices !

These labs should be a noise-free zone. All students should disable the audio on beepers, cell phones, and other devices when entering the lab. There is nothing as distracting to the other students and to an instructor trying to do his work, as buzzes, rings, or little tunes playing loudly from mobile devices, especially if this nuisance repeats periodically.

The only exception to this policy would be a situation in which a student must maintain contact with medical personnel monitoring family members who are seriously ill or have been critically injured in an accident. If you are in such unfortunate circumstances, please alert me to your situation beforehand. If the situation is that critical, you should probably not be in class at that moment, but waiting at the medical facility. Such dire situations definitely warrant an excused absence....

Lab Usage

If you are experiencing difficulties while working with the machines ( especially if it is a problem that recurs repeatedly ) , you should immediately call the instructor or lab aide.

Occasionally, some very skilled computer users register for these classes. For these people, it is important to remember that you are responsible only for doing your work here , not troubleshooting or modifying the machines in any way - this is the task of the instructors and lab aides. The following comments are for those among you, whose skill-level with computers is very high.

Should a situation arise when an instructor may want your assistance in solving a hardware / software problem in-class, he will ask for it. Otherwise...

Under NO circumstances is any student in the lab , apart from the lab aide , authorized to do any kind of exploring modifying, or experimentation with the computers.

Under NO circumstances are students authorized to re-boot machines when a crash occurs - call the instructor or lab aide, first, and explain what occurred immediately before the crash.

Try recalling what you were doing when the crash occurred; as you know, this can help in diagnosing the problem. Chances are that this machine has been causing the same kind of problems for other students. If the instructors are made aware of the kind of crash that occurred, they can take steps to correct the problem so that it doesn't recur.

Re-booting doesn't solve anything - you may get the machine to run, but the source of the problem remains and is likely to return.

Class Use: Under no circumstances is the Computer Art Lab to be used for the commercial production of images - e.g. posters, brochures or other materials, for a paying client. It is for the use of College of DuPage students only, for completing projects for Art 266 - 268.

If you are experiencing difficulties you should immediately call the instructor or lab aide.
Do NOT reboot if a crash occurs - call the instructor.
If problems recur, note what you were doing each time it happened - this can be useful for troubleshooting the system.

Prohibited substances in the Lab:

NO drinks

NO food

NO smoking

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Open Lab

Our new lab complex includes an area for open lab for Computer Art and Technomusicology students ( AC 287 ). Computers and a large format scanner will be available to all students in the program. Note that during school business hours ( 9 - 5 , M - F ), students must first check in at Arts Center Room 160 to access the lab. Check the door regarding open lab hours.

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In-Class Demonstrations

To reiterate the Course Description:

"...this is not a computer science course, nor is it a training class in the use of a particular software program. It is a fine art studio class which uses digital tools as the medium for artistic expression."

I intend to cover aspects that I deem necessary for basic understanding and use of the devices and software found in this lab.

It is incumbent upon students to use the Open Lab during the first few weeks, as much as possible, to become comfortable with the equipment. You can also practice Windows file management on the computers in the Academic Computing Center.

Macintosh enthusisasts can hone their Photoshop skills on the Macs in the Seaton Center. Photoshop is Photoshop, whether you're on a Mac or PC - it looks and acts the same.

The general premise for demonstrations, is that they should be interactive: students will watch the procedure as I perform it, as it is projected on the wall. They in turn will work through the procedure with me.

While demonstrating, I will avoid a meandering free-for-all that gets into extraneous topics. I've found that students get more out of a demonstration when it proceeds step-by-step. This helps to maintain continuity and attention. I will be happy to answer questions at the end, or repeat parts of the procedure for those that need to see it again.

But during the procedure itself, please try to keep up with the group and follow the steps in order. Also, realize that something that is puzzling to you during any specific step of the process, will often become very clear when we reach a later step. Should something go terribly wrong, do inform me of it at that point. Otherwise, maintaining the momentum of the demo will be my top priority.

I will concentrate on the aspects that you need to know, to get the programs to work. I will only cover those things that will be covered on the test. Remember, the most important part of this class is what you produce with the tools at hand....

I have recently updated all help files, to make it easier to find the help you may need. Also remember that Photoshop and Painter both contain powerful help features, found in their respective Help menus.

I am accustomed to teaching business professionals about Photoshop in a software-tutorial setting. However, this approach cannot be used here , because the main emphasis is on the aesthetics and meaning of the creation of art.

We're just using some high-tech media here; otherwise, we will be having the same sort of discussions as my drawing or painting classes. Therefore, students should be reading and thinking about the required text, The Blank Canvas:Inviting the Muse by Anna Held-Audette.

You should also be looking at, and thinking about, the work of other artists - in art galleries, museums, or art-history books. The most critical aspect of this class is what you do with the tools at your disposal, not learning a laundry-list of items in the "Image" menu...

You will soon be receiving some print-outs which will discuss various aesthetic issues, so that we can begin having art-related discussions about your works-in-progress.

I suggest that you use all the varied resources at hand, including software-tutorial texts if you need them, and work with the program(s) as much as you can. If you consistently have a problem with some aspect, or if you have a recurring difficulty, write down what happens ( or does not happen ), as specifically as you can, and present it to me.

An easy way to do this is to type it out in Windows' Notepad ( found under the Accessories group in the Start Menu ), and save the file to the Zip or floppy disk that has your homework project on it. I can then help you resolve it.

In general, however, after I have presented material, and given you time to work with the new information, I will encourage you to dive in and work through the procedure just demonstrated, to get you to really start focusing on the correct procedures for tools you are using.

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Printing and Printer Policy

Students who wish to print, should be aware that we must charge for printing. The cost of consumables ( ink, print media ), is such that providing free printing would cause the cost of enrollment in the class, to increase dramatically.

In the past, students could print at any time, and many chose to "put it on their tab". This policy unfortunately was abused. Several quarters ago, the cost of supplies used by all computer art classes totalled $ 400.00, of which only $ 50.00 has been paid to date.

We thus have had no choice but to require payment from students before printing. We can no longer "put it on the tab" because a laissez-faire policy seems to lead to abuse. Currently, students who wish to print, must be ready to pay in cash or with a personal check or money order, before printing.

For the many students who have consistently, and promptly, paid their printing bill in full, we apologize for this inconvenience. We cannot, however, allow a $ 350.00 bill for supplies, to remain unpaid, or to grow even larger than it is currently.


Charges for the ink on the Epson printers are 5 cents per square inch. So, for example, if you print a 7" x 10" image, the cost for ink will be 7 x 10 x .05 = $ 3.50. Note that this does not include paper, which you must supply yourself. ( see below )
Epson Stylus Color:
This printer makes astoundingly gorgeous prints, using archival ink. We strongly recommend buying archival paper - that is, paper that theoretically retains the image without fading, for a very long period of time. Since the Epson uses archival ink, it makes no sense to make a print on cheap copy paper - that can be done anywhere, on any inkjet printer...

Students must bring in their own paper for using this printer - any archival, printmaking or watercolor paper will do. ( As long as you can flex it easily - very thick paper, will not pass through, and can damage the printer ).

Here is a short list of some very good archival papers:

  • Arches 88: brilliant white, smooth. Ink sits on surface of the paper - good for crisp lines.
  • Arches Cover: more absorbent
  • Rives BFK: like Arches Cover but more intense white
  • Somerset: smooth
  • Stonehenge
  • Copperplate: intaglio paper, absorbent

You can obtain archival papers in most art stores - the Carlson chain in DuPage county, Dick Blick, or, if you're in Chicago, Utrecht or Genesis are good choices. Graphic Chemical Inc., in Villa Park, is a primary supplier of printing papers and other printing supplies for the entire nation, and stocks a large supply of various papers.

For more information about archival papers, see the thorough explanation about printing papers at the Graphic Chemical, Inc. site. The above link is configured to open in a separate browser window, so you can return to this page by closing the other window when done.

Note that most printing paper comes with a deckled ( torn ) edge, which you will need to trim before placing it in the printer. Otherwise, the printer will jam. We can use paper cutters in the art studio labs downstairs to do the trimming.

Also note that you should not get anything thicker than 140 lb. weight paper. Anything thicker could possibly cause jams.

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Liberal Arts · I.C. 2070 ·
Updated 15 Dec 00