The Mac Lab

Archive for January, 2009

Heading in the Right Direction

by on Jan.31, 2009, under Blog

underground_gallery_smYesterday we had a terrific presentation from the Art Institute. When the presenter spoke of scholarships, I didn’t want to interrupt to tell the kids that one of our former students landed $50,000 in AI scholarships a few years ago. One of Kyle R’s entries is shown at left.

On the subject of entering, remember that you can’t win anything without dropping your name into the hat. I’ve posted about a competition and issued a challenge to you. The latter was the impetus for this post because I found this image on this morning’s Best of the Week. (I’d link to the original artist but it’s a 404 from another blog.) The headless Obama portrait made my synchronicity detector twitch. I mean, consider the student project I featured in yesterday’s post. How many reconstructed shirts have you seen lately? I love little coincidences like that. It’s almost as if the universe is trying to get your attention – trying to let you know that you’re on the right track.

And because AI has gotten ink the past few days, I should mention that we’ve also had presenters from Platt College and The Academy of Art in to talk to the kids this year. FIDM will join the list in two weeks.

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Use Your Head!

by on Jan.30, 2009, under Blog

shirt_smThink about it. We’ve been talking about running with this new idea of a responsible, student-driven, standards-based instructional model in the Mac Lab. For this to work you have to hold up your end of the deal. You’ve watched this movie, right? Have you followed through with identifying the standards you met? Sarah has. She’s identified a number of VAPA and CTE standards right here.

I know I don’t have to warn you about copying and pasting Sarah’s standards and claiming them as your own because your projects are different than hers. And besides, it’s just possible that she may have missed several standards that also relate to the her project. Can you find at least three standards she may have overlooked?

There’s no escaping the responsibility you must embrace in order to maintain your creative freedom in the Mac Lab: You are required to be familiar with and to identify and document the standards you meet in every project you work on from this point on. Don’t be surprised if (read: when) I toss out a number of standards that you must meet in a project of your own choosing.

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Spinning Into Control

by on Jan.29, 2009, under Blog

fair_smIt’s been a whirlwind journey (Mariam B) through the first few weeks of the new year in the Mac lab. The kids are wrapping up their projects, will upload today, and begin presenting on Monday (I forgot we have an Art Institute rep visiting the class tomorrow). Details about the nature of the current project may be found here. Yes, you now need to dive into the VAPA and CTE Standards to identify which ones you met in this assignment. Think of it as a treasure hunt! Right-click to download both sets of standards as you’ll be using them the rest of the year. Here’s a movie to help you understand what I’m asking you to do. Freedom has a price. If you need more time, I’ll give you one day next week to identify, document, and upload info about the standards you met with this project.

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Attacking 3D with a Passion

by on Jan.28, 2009, under Blog

3d_attack_smOur latest classroom edition of 3D Attack Magazine is in the Resources folder. (Thanks, Tavy!) There are, as always, great articles, tutorials, and resources. Make the most of this month’s issue. Drop by the 3D Attack Forum to pick up even more info.

And no, that’s not the cover of the January issue you see at left. That’s Luke P’s mock-up using a composite Alex created combining a Chevy he modeled, a photo he took (out in front of the school), and his considerable Photoshop skills… though I still think the car needs a someone behind the wheel. 😉

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Riding the Cinema 4D Camera

by on Jan.27, 2009, under Blog

abyanim_promo_smTrevor C. has been rendering different versions of this scene after school each day. He’s not there yet but the idea has a lot of potential. I’m really curious about his claim that all the organic shapes were generated using only 3 splines. I’m going to have to learn that trick!

Anyway, here’s one of his test renders. We use an amazingly simple Photoshop technique to enhance and compress the render. Only works in CS3 and 4 (I think) but it’s golden. I’ll record a quick tutorial and post it here tomorrow morning.

As promised, here’s steps one, two, and three to enhance and compress the original video. And here’s the video that popped out the other end of the settings I used in Photoshop. Now we just have to figure out how to make those stars stop flickering…

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