Level 3
Unit No:
Guided learning hours:
42 hours


Learners will understand how digital graphics and animations are used and their characteristics. They will also learn how to design and use digital formats to create graphics and animations for different audiences and purposes.

Unit Learning Outcomes


Understand the uses and characteristics of digital graphics and animation

Uses and applications of digital graphics and animation: education, entertainment, advertisement, marketing, scientific visualisation, creative arts, gaming, simulations.

Content and format characteristics: target audience, purpose, e.g. education, entertainment, illustration, target platform, target medium (print/digital).

Raster images: compression (lossy, lossless), file formats, 2D arrays, dimensions, sampling, colour modes, bit depth, resolution, compression (lossy, lossless).

Vector images: points, lines, curves, polygons, file formats, geometrical primitives (points, lines, curves, polygons), paths, nodes, voxel.

Bit depth: sampling, bits per pixel (BPP), monochrome, 256, highcolour, truecolour.

Colour space: greyscale, RGB (red, green, blue), YUV (luminance and chrominance), HSV (hue, saturation, value) Image capture: scanners, digital cameras, resolution (pixels per inch), storage (memory, file size, asset management).

Optimising: target destination, bit depth, resolution, dimensions, intended image output (print/digital).

2D and 3D digital animation techniques: key frames, tweening, motion capture, wire framing, coordinate systems (2D and 3D), environmental physics, behavioural animation.

Assessment Criteria

  • 1.1

    Evaluate the uses and applications of digital graphics and animation for different purposes.

  • 1.2

    Explain the processes and techniques used to produce, store and represent graphics and animation in digital format.


Be able to design and refine digital graphics and animation

Ideas: brainstorming, moodboards, thumbnail sketching, concept art.

Techniques and processes to consider: digital processing and editing techniques, compression formats and techniques, quality characteristics, e.g. image quality, compatibility, user experience, usability.

Legal and ethical guidelines to consider: copyright, ethical issues, e.g. representation (race, gender, religion, sexuality), decency, libel, intellectual property rights, privacy, security, use of content by others.

Design documentation t include: requirements of the brief, including audience, purpose and requirements, research, file naming and storage/backup location, sources of images, product designs.

Intended platform/media for delivery:

Hardware requirements: specification of target platform, input, processing and output requirements, specialist input devices, e.g. motion capture, virtual reality, laser scanning, CT scanner, specialist output devices, e.g. virtual reality, e-paper, holographic, locater devices, e.g. absolute or relative, direct or indirect, discrete or continuous.

Software requirements: tools required, file formats, types and sizes, compatibility, codecs.

Technical constraints: file types, software licensing.

Reviewing and refine designs: improve the quality, effectiveness and appropriateness of designs, gathering feedback from client/uses, showing evidence of communications with client, e.g. email, verbal communication, scheduling and documenting meetings, agreeing and adjusting timescales, refining ideas and solutions, updating design specification documentation.

Assessment Criteria

  • 2.1

    Generate ideas for digital graphics and animation, taking into account legal and ethical guidelines.

  • 2.2

    Create design documentation for digital graphics and animation to meet requirements.

  • 2.3

    Refine designs in response to feedback.


Be able to develop and review digital graphics and animation.

Digital graphics and animation processing tools and techniques.

Graphic tools: freehand, grouping, colour balance, filters, selection, hue and saturation, masking, layering, retouching, opacity/transparency, editing and combining paths.

Animation tools: frame rates, onion skinning, tweening, transitions, camera angles, movement, picture duration, rendering.

Storing digital graphics and animation: file formats, compression, target device/platform, user requirements, quality characteristics, storing and using other digital assets, e.g. audio, video, hardware and software requirements.

Graphic processing and editing techniques: translation, scaling, rotation, composite transformations, 3D viewing, file size, e.g. quality of image, frame disposal, aut crop.

Compression formats and techniques.

User experience: quality, compatibility, usability, hardware requirements, software requirements.

Review digital graphics and animation: quality, suitability for audience and purpose, suitability against the original requirements, technical constraints, strengths and potential improvements, optimising digital graphics and animations, e.g. paltering frame rates, exporting to different file formats, updating/replacing assets, applying different tools or effects, using different compression methods.

Quality of digital graphics and animation (measured against requirements): image quality, sound quality, special and visual effects, accuracy, compatibility, usability, stability, functionality, costs.

Assessment Criteria

  • 3.1

    Develop digital graphics and animation in line with guidelines and requirements.

  • 3.2

    Document digital graphics and animation processes and techniques used during development.

  • 3.3

    Review the quality of digital graphics and animation against requirements.