Wednesday, February 29, 2012

REMINDER - Vote for the BEST IDEA - "Great Ideas for Teaching With Adobe Products" Contest


Greetings everyone!

Here are the entries for the "Great Ideas for Teaching With Adobe Products" Contest! Vote for the BEST IDEA via the Google Form listed at the end of this blog post.

Thanks for your support! :)

The contest ends on March 4, 2012! Please type any questions in the comment section below.

Drs. Edwards and Helvie-Mason

SUBMISSION A - Surreal Animation
Idea Category: Classroom Ideas (Face-to-Face or Hybrid)

Adobe Product: Photoshop

How the Adobe Product Was Used: Students create the animation in Photoshop and then export the video to be edited in either MovieMaker or Premiere Elements.

Idea Description: Students collaborate in pairs to create an animated dream-like surreal animated collage using Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft MovieMaker or Adobe Premiere Elements. Students will compare and contrast the concepts of dream-time or the subconscious in work created by Aboriginals and the 
Surrealist movement with an emphasis on Salvador Dali and Frida Khalo. 

View examples here:

SUBMISSION B - Smart Boards And Adobe Connect

Idea Category: Online Instruction/E-Training

Adobe Product: Adobe Connect

How the Adobe Product Was Used: We use adobe connect for education,  for IT remote help, and inter-departmental online meetings

Idea Description: Adobe Connect is a powerfull virtual classroom application which is very suitable for distance learning university programmes. But  in math involved lectures it should be improved that the whiteboard pod can  recognize the math writings turns them into regular math equations and formulas which is input via a smart board. Also the chatpod should be improved for written math conversation between students and the lecturer. For example when i write a latex code between a tag it should render the formula and shows the actual equation.  This should be improved because smart boards are not so smart to recognize the handwritten formulas.

SUBMISSION C - Mobile Game Design Using Flash and Photoshop

Idea Category: Classroom Ideas (Face-to-Face or Hybrid)

Adobe Product: Photoshop, Flash

How the Adobe Product Was Used: 
We use Photoshop to create the graphics that we use inside Flash.  We especially use it for creating seamlessly tiling textures for use in a blitting tile based game engine.  We create sprite graphics that we can use for our character and projectile animation needs.  We use the tools in Photoshop to understand how both additive and subtractive color theory works and pixel density affects the clarity  and sharpness of images and graphics used for projected display and print media.

We use Flash to understand animation, from keyframes to tweening, timing and secondary motion.  We come to grips with the advantages of vector graphics and the drawbacks in terms of performance.  We explore the use of Action Script 3 extensively for use in animation, interaction and game design.  We finish by publishing our files for use on the web, stand alone PC through AIR and for mobile devices through Android and iOS releases.

Idea Description: I currently teach a class in Game Design.  I use Photoshop and Flash almost exclusively to bring the concepts taught in the class to life.

We first take a crash course in Photoshop, learning how the program's tools and functionality work to understand color theory, image resolution and raster graphics.  We create projects that are directly applicable to our game development by learning how to make seemlessly tiling textures, using layers to seperate out parts of a character for use in animation and building graphical user interfaces and heads up displays from scratch.

Afterwards we delve into the world of Flash where we explore all the options and tools that it presents to understand how framerate can affect animation.  We discuss using keyframes to build animations and using tweens to move from keyframe to keyframe.  We explore the differences between vector and raster(bitmap) graphics, the advantages and disadvantages of each as it pertains to game development(especially for mobile devices).  We discover the display list and how we can use it for different effects. We import graphics from Photoshop and become aware how easily we can update our movie clips, character animations and textures while moving from one program to the other.

Once we have become familiar with the graphic and animation capabilities of Flash we then dive into Action Script 3.  We use this as a base to begin learning object oriented programming.  We begin by studying the fundamentals of variables and functions and continue on towards building custom classes and interfaces that allow us an amazing level of interaction and complexity between our existing graphics and user input, be it through keyboard, mouse or touchscreen.  Flash using Action Script enables us to consider new ways to bring ideas to life, where Adobe has opened every creative avenue and inroad is an opportunity for a budding game designer to express themselves in an ever expanding marketplace of potential.  

Our final project is to take the Flash projects we have worked on and publish them for use on both Android and iOS devices.  The ease with which we are able to do this through Flash has really motivated my students' desire to learn how to develop games using the Adobe products.  The time is ripe to take advantage of such a rich feature set to not just build our dreams into reality, but to carve out careers and a deeper appreciation for the world we live in.

Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.
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