when the sky is darkest you can see the stars. except beijing is polluted. :)

Category: FA 7 (page 1 of 3)

Animation Project Ignite Week – define and inquire

I decided to do an animation for my Ignite Week personalize it. I decided to use a few videos to do this as well as tutorials. I decided to do this because I want to pursue animation as a possible career choice and I need more experience in it.  I used these two tutorials:


Of course, you might be wondering, what is Toon Boom? I’m using Toon Boom Harmony for my animation. It is really hard to use and I’m just using the trial version as Toon Boom can be quite costly (73$ a year, wow). If I’d really want to pursue animation, I could download a free program like Blender or pencil 2d.

I decided to do some storyboarding. I’m planning to only finish about 20 seconds but the full animation is something I can pursue out of school. Toon Boom works sort of like with keyframes and regular frames. I also can use pegs to create character rigs.

While drawing all of this, I ran into a few problems, such as how to use keyframes and such. It was confusing to say the least. The program does look complicated but I figured out some hotkeys to use. Toon Boom is more like actual flipbook animation. Nevertheless, I continued with my animation.

I have a plan for the week to finish the sketch and then layer over it and possibly finish it with a white background. But if I really wanted to take it above and beyond I could add a background and some shading. That’d take some time, so I want to get the main animation done first. Getting a sketch done is presentable enough. I really enjoy my animation so far, so it’d take some time.

I’d really look forward to the end project!


Blog Post 4 – Improvement

So we’ve pitched to our mentor and investor. So the question is, what do they think? We pitched to Mrs. Ridlon and she gave us many great ideas as well as questions and things we hadn’t acknowledged originally.

Of course, we’re going to continue with our idea of tags. We are still going to be selling to teachers and moving forward with our idea and expanding. Also, I think it is a good idea to keep discussing with our team. However, I believe that there are numerous things we could improve on. One contender is our price, as we will have to keep in mind the cost of labor and other materials that we didn’t acknowledge at first. I think we should keep the price at 5 but that may minimize our profits. Another thing we should improve on is the variety of things we are selling ,as we should sell in different colors (maybe?) or use different icons.

There are some ideas I am considering, such as for bilingual tags to make the text bigger and on different sides, since French and Spanish teachers seem to teach both languages. Another thing I might do is change the way the icons are displayed as well as the material I am using. I know how to use the laser cutter which is good, but I may have to do changes based on our prototype. I want to expand the audience we are marketing to and I also want to just expand our product as well.

I will show you the icon prototypes next week hopefully.

Blog Post 3 – Social Entrepeneurship

So right after we surveyed teachers, we needed to find a cause to write our mission statement. Well, for some weird reason, we named our company/team Sustainablue. I don’t know why, but in our initial sketch, we wanted to help ocean plastics and the fact that our product is 100% recyclable and does not pollute.

After a bit of discussing with our team members, we came up with our mission statement. It is “Creating ecological organizational tools for a more organized community and cleaner ocean”. I feel like this accurately acknowledges our product and what it’s used for and the cause it advocates for. However, we are not a non-profit so we may have to keep some profits (?).

Each of our own team members have their own responsibilities. Elizabeth is the one in charge of financing, Manjishtha’s the one in charge of marketing, while I’m in charge of design.

I’m the one in charge of design because I am experienced with Illustrator and have used it many times, while I also understand how to make things look aesthetically pleasing and “clean-cut.” Along with this, I am able to find icons to use for our project while I also have the original files for the product.

Next, we have to do our elevator pitch. (and do the logo!)

Blog Post 2 – Social Entrepeneurship

We decided to survey a number of MS teachers (however the form is huge) and here are the answers we got (click to enlarge):

Survey results

Accordingly to our current survey count, approximately 21/32 people were interested in buying our product. Half of the people we interviewed gave us some recommendations and ideas they would possibly want for the product. The spreadsheet is quite large so as such we only put around half of the total number of people we interviewed.

I really like the support we got from MS language teachers to include the tags with bilingual labels. This would certainly allow them to be used for more teachers and help students learn languages. Also, a lot of the teachers who wanted these labels were ES teachers so we may adjust the market. We also learned from students that they would not have an interest in this product supply-wise but would really enjoy tags for their own belongings. I wonder why the counselor in 8 does not want the tags, and is it possibly because they already have them? Also I wonder why there’s a variation in price ranges, because some are extremely cheap while others are a bit more expensive and what they are pricing for the various items (bundles, 10 tags, 1 tag, etc.) As of this data, we’ve changed our product a little bit more to fit their needs, by making instrument tags and belonging tags.

Blog Post 1 – Market and Initial Idea

Initial Sketch



Our team (Manjishtha and Elizabeth) noticed that some teachers have labels when some don’t, while other teachers need new labels. The labels help teachers identify supplies in the classroom. However, some of the examples we saw were not eco-friendly, like some were laminated and printed. So, we decided we would make ours sustainable and eco-friendly.

While we were doing that, we got a few ideas. Some of them are instrument labels, luggage tags, and bathroom and PTA passes. We want teachers to buy our product and maybe parents and children as well (especially for the luggage name tags.)

They are going to be based on this project I did a while back.. We can use felt as the base and cardstock in the front. Also, instead of pipe cleaners, we’re using string as it is easier to attach and doesn’t damage the labels. We are going to be using Illustrator as our main program.

I can’t wait to see the final results!


Science Inquiry Project – Data Collection Update 5

March 7
Wenyu River

It’s March, and the winter has not left yet (the groundhog was wrong)! We didn’t see any bugs in our quadrant 1. Quadrant 2 was nowhere to be seen except we felt the crunchiness of the dying leaves beneath our feet. Although we did not see any bugs, this data collection wasn’t for nothing. We now have a visible trend, with our predictions being somewhat accurate. Our predictions were that the number of arthropods during winter would decrease, and that has proven to be true, with a smashing 0 on everything.

updated data table

On a happier note, life is springing back. Along the riverbank, many people reported seeing spiders crawling about in the grass. We actually managed to catch a few, five to be exact. The first one seemed to be missing a few legs. This is a sign that bugs will be returning soon, which will give a little more insight into our trends for this year.

Spooky scary spiders send shivers down your spine

waohhhh its me


Express It: Reflection

Overall, I really enjoyed this project. I really liked drawing and planning my skateboard and seeing the finished product. I was very proud of it, and I really like the work and effort I put into the skateboard + its finishing touches.

My Process
I started off with a prototype. This was a paper cut out with my planned design on it. This was Develop and Plan.  Second, I then copied my design to my board after using the paper cut out as a reference. I used graphite paper to trace it onto my skateboard. This was Create and Improve. After that, I duct taped out my caracal and then spray painted a gradient from blue > orange > red. After that, I used paint markers to create my design, orange with white and the flowers. There was one thing I could have done, which was coloring it first before outlining it. Because I didn’t do this, the paint markers ended up smudging. Then, there was a challenge. I didn’t like the other side of my skateboard and so I spray painted over it with a dark blue. I sprayed too much and ended up making it drip; it had an uneven texture. I sanded it down, and then repainted it. I added wheels, and then it was finished 🙂

Skills I learned
I learned a lot of skills during this project. I learned how to spray paint and learned how to use other materials, such as paint markers, and using masking tape to spray over the subject without spray painting it.

There was a lot of things I enjoyed. I really enjoyed working on my skateboard and painting it, and I also really liked the gradient I made. However, the whole experience was the highlight and I feel really proud of my skateboard.

Ignite Week Media

Ignite Week Media

My prototype and the other board

Prototype design transferred to wood

spray painted the background

finished top

finished bottom

Express It: Create and Improve

Day Four – Almost Exhibition!

What worked and what didn’t?
Well, a lot of things worked while some didn’t. I really worked hard on the caracal, but it smudged and as a result, it became brown. I fixed this problem by swatching the paint pens, since the paint pens had absorbed the black ink and I needed to wash it out.  I was very excited when my design didn’t get blocked by the wheels, since it’s considerably near the wheel area.

What was most challenging and how did you overcome this?
The most challenging part was when I spray painted, both times. The first time, I had to duct tape my entire design so I could spray over it, and the second time I sprayed too much and it dripped, dried and then I had to sand it down, creating the scratchy texture you see right now. I fixed this by waiting for it to fully dry and then I painted over it. It’s not the best solution, but it works. 🙂

How will you use feedback to improve your design?
I can do this by asking peers what would go well or not, such as outlining the caracal. If someone can tell me how to properly spray-paint, maybe my board wouldn’t have that texture. People can teach me a lot of things, and also suggest new things for my board.

Test your design with your audience.
I don’t know if we’re auctioning to students or teachers, but first of all, a lot of people in the class liked the design and enjoyed it. As a board, I didn’t try it yet but I tried an unpainted board. The only thing I noticed that was a bit offputting was that it was slightly weak and didn’t turn that well.

How did your prototype help your final design?
Well, to use my prototype, I used paper and traced over my design. It was quite pretty, and the prototype helped me center the caracal’s face and copy it effectively. It also let me copy the same design and redraw it which could help me color it better.

Make It, Express It

Day Three of Ignite Week
I’ve gotta say, making a skateboard is very exciting. I’ve finished the background for my main design, which is a gradient of dark blue > orange > red, with a sun. This technique to spray paint it without ruining the subject was to tape it up. I spray painted over the tape, but I spray painted too much, and it started dripping. That’s why there are some drip marks, but I managed to cover most of it with red paint marker.  It was fun as well. Another thing I started noticing was that as I was painting the caracal, some of the black paint marker came off and smudged with my orange. This was a problem, as my paint marker started to paint brown. This problem could’ve been avoided if I painted the subject before applying the black parts. I solved this problem by taking a piece of paper and swatching it until it became its original color.

A lot of people have come and looked at my design, including my friends and everyone else in the project. They gave me advice as well as tips for how to blend paint markers.

So far, Masterpiece with a Message has been pretty fun. I hope that I can re-spray the top of the board to a dark blue/black, but we’ll have to wait until I finish the main design.


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