Over five days at a multimedia workshop at Aiken Technical College last week, instructor Valerie Johnson introduced a group of teenagers to a variety of programs – digital drawing, digital imagery in Photoshop, Flash 2-D and video editing.

“It was great, a lot fun and a learning experience for everybody,” said Johnson, a USC Aiken graduate in May with a degree in fine arts technology.

ATC has offered a number of camps for middle and high school students in recent years. This is the first time the college decided on multimedia, said Yolanda Drayton, operations manager for the Training and Business Development Division.

“We’re trying to make it congruent with our disciplines here, as we offer the same programs on what these students are getting,” Drayton said. “We’re glad to have Valerie, who could show Photoshop to the students and what they can do with pictures.”

A South Aiken High School graduate, Johnson got involved with the National Art Honor Society. She credits teacher Linda Muse for her support; when Johnson held her first art show at USCA earlier this year, Muse called to congratulate her, because she hadn’t forgotten her former student.

Johnson also learned much from studio art professor Al Beyer and graphic design professor Dr. Michael Fowler.

“I did painting and digital illustration,” she said. “Dr. Fowler knew I was graduating and found every kind of job opening. He was a great help for me in getting the camp at Aiken Technical College.”

The students learned about Photoshop and animation from the ground up, said Sarah Przywara, a South Aiken junior.

“My favorite was Photoshop, learning how to do all the layering and manipulating programs,” she said.

The students also used Adobe Premiere Pro – creating short video sequences with layering of photographs, sequences, video and audio. They could cut the video in parents you want to be heard, Przywara said.

“It was a lot of stuff and challenged, but fun to learn it all,” she said.

Senior writer Rob Novit is the Aiken Standard’s education reporter and has been with the newspaper since September 2001. He is a native of Walterboro and majored in journalism at the University of Georgia.