AB in Multimedia Arts in the Philippines

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Program Overview

Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Arts (AB MMA) is a four year degree program designed to equip students with knowledge and skills in multimedia design and development.

The AB MMA program covers core skills in communications, programming and graphic design, combined with digital media and the internet. It is a mix of IT and audio visual arts and offers students course cycles in computer graphics, 2D and 3D animation, video production and digital photography, digital sound engineering, and game authoring.

Subjects and Curriculum

The AB MMA curriculum contains both General education subjects (English, Math, Filipino, Social Sciences and Humanities) and Professional subjects.

Examples of Professional subjects include:
  • Basic drafting for multimedia arts
  • Broadcasting principles and practices
  • 2D graphics and 2D animation
  • 3D graphics and 3D animation
  • Advertising Principles and Practices
  • Video Editing and Production
  • Communication Media Laws and Ethics
  • Media Management and Entrepreneurship

Elective subjects like photojournalism, radio and television production techniques, online multimedia journalism, principles and practices and organizational communication may also be integrated in the curriculum for some schools.

The BSAMT program is taught through a variety of teaching methods: classroom lectures, hands-on practicum exercises and multimedia projects. In addition, students are exposed to an internship allowing them to apply learned multimedia skills as interns within a commercial organization.

Is Multimedia Arts a profession?

A graduate of AB in Multimedia Arts will most likely be employed in the graphic design, multimedia, advertising and animation fields. These careers are considered professions because they require a specialized set of knowledge and skills.

Some of the responsibilities of people employed in the graphic/multimedia/animation fields include:
  • Designing computer-based, Web-based, or multimedia-based layout, graphics, animation, video, sound and/or content for use in presentations, video productions, multimedia programs, Web sites, CDs, DVDs, emails, and other electronic media
  • Creating two-dimensional and three-dimensional images
  • Working with client to compile specifications
  • Conceptualizing and drawing out sketches
  • Assembling, typesetting, scanning and producing digital art
  • Developing layout designs
  • Collaborating with commercial printers regarding format and print specification
  • Providing technical consultation
  • Creating and installing special effects
  • Producing multimedia campaigns
  • Handling budget and scheduling for campaigns

What are the admission requirements for the AB in Multimedia Arts program?

Requirements at each school may differ, but these are the common requirements:
  • Must be a high school graduate.
    Those who did not complete high school education may opt to first attend Alternative Learning System (ALS) and pass the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) to qualify for college. However, some universities only offer selected courses for PEPT passers.
  • College entrance exam: must pass the college entrance examination with a specified rating set by the school.
  • Interview: must pass the interview conducted by the college dean/faculty.

What skills, traits and attitude will help you succeed in this course?

  • Artistic Skills – the ability to express ideas creatively, translate concepts, feelings, and visions into useful visual material; being artistic is an advantage because the program entails a lot of activities requiring one to create projects related to multimedia and graphic design
  • Creativity – strong conceptual skills and the ability to quickly develop creative solutions to visual communications problems.
  • Freehand skills – the ability to draw, sketch and paint.
  • Technical skills – knowledge of design techniques, computers and electronics used in the creation of visual imagery and other conceptual and production techniques in media development.
  • Computer and software proficiency – the work involved in multimedia is highly technical and it is done mostly with the use of the computer so it is very important to be proficient with the use of a computer. Knowledge on important computer software like Photoshop, Flash, After Effects and other graphics-producing software are also very essential.
  • Communication skills – the ability to speak and write English proficiently.
  • Being detail oriented – the ability to notice and identify even the most minute problems.

How difficult is AB in Multimedia Arts?

AB in Multimedia Arts is fairly difficult. The program is highly technical; most work is done with the use of a computer and other technological devices. This is coupled with complex software programs so you have to be quick in catching up and learning to use new tools. Even if you are artistic but if you lack the necessary knowledge on creative productivity tools and software, you won’t make it very far. Familiarity of graphic design softwares such as Photoshop, Illustrator and among others is very important to succeed in this course.

How long does it take to complete the AB MMA program in the Philippines?

The AB MMA program takes four years to complete (Note: this may change due to the K-12 integration). The program may be completed in a shorter time in schools that follow the trimestral curriculum.

Internship Program

A student of the AB MMA program is required to attend an internship program in a commercial organization. During the internship, students are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge and practice their skills in actual settings. The internship program is done under the supervision of a faculty member as well as a designated authority in the company (See sources 1 and 2).

The number of hours required for the internship varies from one school to another.

Career opportunities for AB MMA graduates

  • Jobs related to multimedia, graphic design and animation

    • Entry Level jobs

      Jobs requiring no prior to minimal level of experience:
      • Web Designer – determines and develops the look and feel for web sites, and is responsible for site navigation, design and visual execution.
      • Logo Designer – provide a new and innovative way to express the key points of a company through an image.
      • Illustrator – conceptualize and create illustrations that represent an idea or a story through two-dimensional or three-dimensional images.
      • Visual Image Developer – professionals who make use of illustration and other methods of developing images such as photography, 3D modeling, and image editing.
      • Graphic Designer – responsible for the design of graphic applications such as collateral material, environmental graphics, books and magazines, corporate identity and branding, film tinting and multimedia interfaces, from concept to completion.
      • Package Designer – utilizes technical skills aside from graphic design such as knowledge of cuts, crease, folding, nature and behavior of the packaging material such as paper, corrugated sheet, synthetic which may need the use of 3D application
      • Visual Journalist – also known as Infographic Artists create information graphics or Infographics; visual representations of information, data or knowledge.
      • Layout artist – deals with the structure and layout of images and text in a pleasing format. This can include magazine work, brochures, flyers, books, CD booklets, posters, and similar formats.
      • Content Developer – a generic term used for describing illustrators, visual image developers, and multimedia developers in software and web development.
      • 2D animator – focus on creating characters, backgrounds, and scene transitions, bringing creative ideas and concepts to life. 2D animators revolve around designing and producing images.
      • Color Key Artist – create background paintings and color keys that production, materials, and lighting teams use for animated features, television series, and animated shorts.
      • Stop Motion Animator – use models, puppets, or clay to create animated features, television commercials, and branded entertainment; combines the art of photography, narrative ability, and the ability to manipulate lighting and calculate angles to create stop motion animation without digitally manipulating it.
      • Cartoonist – draw animated cartoons, prepare model drawings, and sketches of characters, and draw special effects for animation projects.
      • Storyboard artist – draw scenes by hand or computer intended for animated features, films, television commercials, and music videos.
    • Mid-Level Positions

      Require trainings and prior job experience of a few years:
      • Senior Graphic Designer – the senior designer is responsible for the design solutions from concept to completion. In some firms, a senior designer directs the work of one or more junior designers, who generate comps and create layouts and final art. In some cases, senior designers do not manage staff, but are designated ‘senior' because of their authority in design decision making.
      • Graphic Design Educator – transmit their skills and knowledge to students in post-secondary design programs. They implement effective educational strategies through course and curriculum development, assessment methods, course management and liaison with industry.
      • Brand identity developer – concerned with the visual aspects of a company or organization’s brand or identity. A brand identity design is the visual element that represents how a company wants to be seen; it is the company’s visual identity, and is how a company illustrates its ‘image.’
      • Broadcast Designer – a person involved with creating graphic designs and electronic media incorporated in television productions that are used by character generator (CG) operators.
      • Interface Designer – interface designers are graphical user interface (GUI) layout artists, they are employed by multimedia, software, and web development companies. Because interfaces may require hundreds of assets, knowledge of how to automate graphic production may be required.
      • Effects Animator – create effects based on concept art and design from art departments. They use 3D lighting and effects and compositing tools to achieve the desired look.
      • Flash Character Animator – create animation for online and offline marketing including web sites, eContent, banners, multimedia CDs, and multimedia presentations. They also create animation for software such as educational software or games.
      • Film and Video Editor – responsible for the cutting, assembling, and processing of film footage for multiple forms of digital media such as television shows, movies, and music videos.
      • 3D animator – design complex graphics and animation in film, video, computers, or other electronic tools and media for use in products or creations, such as computer games, movies, music videos, and commercials.
      • Multimedia Developer – multimedia developers may come from a graphic design or illustration background and apply those talents to motion, sound, or interactivity. Multimedia developers may also image edit, sound edit, program, or compose multimedia just as multimedia specialists.
      • Art Director – art directors make sure that illustrators and production artists produce and complete their work on time and to the creative director or client's satisfaction.
      • Office Manager – the office manager for a design firm takes care of the office administration and clerical functions, such as supply inventory, invoicing etc.
    • Advanced Positions

      Require years of extensive experience and practice:
      • Motion Designer – creates complex graphics, animation and live video content for a diverse array of media, including smartphones, handheld electronic devices, the web and television, among others.
      • Lead Animator – oversees a team of animators. This person delegates responsibilities and ensures the successful completion of an animation project.
      • Compositor – one of the most important players in the production process. They are responsible for helping create the final finished animation or film project by detecting errors and developing compositing strategies, which results in an overall balanced look.
      • Animation Director – recruit and coordinate animation teams. They manage teams from the beginning to the end of productions. They work with the director (the person that manages the production overall) by interpreting briefs and communicating them to the animation team.
      • Design/Creative Directors – the creative head of the firm, advertising agency or in-house design department and has final creative authority. Key responsibilities can include the development of graphic design, advertising, communication and industrial design
      • Design/Project Manager – manages the creative staff, evaluates its work, ensures that projects meet the requirements of the design brief and are completed on time and within budget. A design manager may work in a corporation and manage the hiring of design firms and the use of their design services.
      • Print Production Manager – responsible for managing the process (i.e. bids, scheduling, production and delivery) of producing publications, from concept through production, including photography, separations, four-colour press work as well as digital production.
      • Web producer/Manager – organizes web development teams and ensures adherence to budget, schedule and design of web site development.
      • Brand Strategist/Consultant – combine business strategy with brand management expertise to ensure the creation of consistent, powerful brand experiences relevant to client' target audience.
  • Jobs not related to the AB MMA program that graduates can apply to

    • Call center agent – answers phone calls and inquiries of clients and provides customer support, usually to people from other countries
    • Administrative Staff – personnel responsible for the organization and management of office duties and tasks; positions that include office secretary, personal assistant and office clerk
    • Freelancer working online – doing online jobs for clients abroad, such as data entry, article writing, SEO, customer support, administrative support etc., which mainly depends on your skills

Reviews of AB in Multimedia Arts graduates:

J. E.
◈ Studied AB in Multimedia Arts
◈ At De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde
◈ Graduated 2011

list bulletAbout my college education: Pursuing Multimedia Arts in De La Salle - College of Saint Benilde is a growing, popular course among youth today who are highly-inclined to technology, the Internet, and gadgets that pave the way for their interests to grow in Photograhy, Graphic Design, Web Design, and so on.

Being a creative/design-related course, DLS-CSB surprisingly does not (but should) administer a 'talent test', unlike other art-related courses in UST or UP that require you to have some skills in drawing or conceptualizing. With this, just about anyone (who can afford to pay the hefty tuition fees - and it is a trimestral course) even without the right skills, passion or interest in the design field can be accepted in the course. Be prepared to have a lot of classmates who are quite a bit lost and seem not-quite-right to be taking this course - they aren't as passionate, or creative and cannot perform well in skill-reliant classes (i. e. drawing, painting, photography, etc. ) and not to mention, being in an environment of mediocrity is not exactly healthy for someone who is highly interested and passionate for art and design. Saying this, it is not uncommon for students to shift courses after a year or two, realizing that this isn't right for them. However this can be avoided if there was a talent test to be administered upon application.

Multimedia Arts, as a course, to put it shortly, can be compared to a giant Internet tutorial. Multimedia arts focuses on teaching one skills he or she needs to perform in an 'acceptable' level a variety of mediums and fields in the creative industry: Graphic Design, Photography, Video, 2D and 3D Animation, CAD, Audio, etc. A time frame of 3 years and 2 terms (around 6 months) is the designated duration of the course. In that span of time you are expected to learn some basic art skills (drawing, painting, etc. ), take a few art history, business and conceptualization classes, successfully operate a handful of computer programs while producing a project/plate every week or so for these classes. Multimedia Arts is a jack-of-all-trades, master of none type of course. You get to do and experience everything, but in the end, you can't really say most graduates have found and developed their true strength.

To survive in Multimedia Arts, you don't actually have to be extremely creative and imaginative and skilled. It's a course that tolerates mediocrity, and being so-so is not unusual. To pass, and graduate, most of all you have to manage your time wisely, finish all projects on time and learn how to juggle your schoolwork. To pass, it helps if you don't miss any classes and requirements. Multimedia Arts calls for diligence, patience, and hard manual labor. It is not a course that requires you to think much, but requires more execution.

In hindsight, Multimedia Arts in DLS-CSB is a good 'crash course ' in everything multimedia, like a sampler of sorts. However, you come out quite half-baked after, so it's advised to pursue another course after MMA that specializes in what really is your forte, if you really have the passion to become really GREAT at what medium you pursue.

list bulletMy current job: I am currently a freelance graphic designer.

list bulletAm I using what I learned in college: Multimedia Arts is a very practical course since it teaches you valuable skills in terms of operating computer programs necessary in the design industry. However, if you're quite a resourceful individual who is a fast learner, then the internet will be a realm of possibilities and will be a more affordable source of information - there are so many resources online that can teach you how to operate these computer programs. With enough time, diligence and hard-work, that is.

Yes, I am using what I have learned. However there always seems to be a lack in the thinking/conceptualization skill that is required to be successful in the creative, design-related career and it's what most people from MMA lack. MMA graduates' strength lies in execution, and falls a bit short in conceptualization.

list bulletHow long did it take to find a job: After graduation, a regular desk job never really attracted me as much, and earning independently through semi-regular projects has deemed to be more rewarding for me in both experience and financial gain. I have been freelancing while pursuing my college degree.

list bulletDo I recommend studying Multimedia Arts: As far as employment opportunities - Yes I will recommend it. As the demand for aesthetic value in every industry grows, graphic designers will always be needed. There will always be a marketing team in need of a graphic designer in every industry imaginable.

As a fulfilling/interesting career - Yes, definitely. A career as a creative - for a creative person - is ideal. Work is definitely easier if it comes natural to you. A career in the creative industry sometimes (if you're lucky) allows you to veer away from a routine, making your career interesting and rewarding, and not at all monotonous.

Salary Level - YES. Design in this country might be quite undervalued in terms of compensation, but multimedia designers earn quite well/better than an average desk/paper-work job because it is skill-based and concept-based - assets that not your average employee can execute.

However the real moneymaker lies in career possibilities in the creative field in other countries (where they put more value in aesthetics). Multimedia designers abroad are compensated extremely well in other, first-world countries (i. e. Switzerland, Australia, Europe, Singapore, etc. ).
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