FOSS Tools – Animation using Pencil2D

2d

Introduction:

Creating 2D Animation using free and Opensource tool is a rewarding skill for those who wish to become Graphic Designer or a Digital Artist, especially the investment is only a computer and an operating system of your choice and the software part is completely free. With the Free and Open Source Software(FOSS) Movement, great number of software have been developed by communities,  and are given to people at no cost.  And in this post I would like to introduce Pencil 2D, which is simple and easy to use 2D animation tool.

Pencil 2D:

Pencil 2D is a free 2D animation software, aimed at beginners. It has a very small learning curve, so it is ideal for any beginner. Where the user only focuses on the design part, rather than worrying about implementation.

Interface:

GetImage

Pencil 2D’s interface is broken down into 5 main areas. The main area we focus on are the canvas area where we define the animation stage, and the Timeline section where we define the animation.

  1. Menu contains the usual options
  2. Canvas is the part that is going to be focused by the camera. And entire area surrounding the canvas is the stage.
  3. Tools & Properties is where we select the tools and set its properties, like when we select brush, we get to set its property of brush size to be higher or lower using the property section.
  4. Color Selector in this section, there is the color wheel, along with manual color setting option and a color palette. Which will aid in selecting and blending colors.
  5. Animation section is where we bring instruct when the object in the canvas area be articulating. Remember Pencil 2d is used for only simple Timeline or Key-Frame Animation.
Tutorial: Back to School Greetings

Here we are going to create a simple Back-to-School sliding animation. The resource file are available as zip format, having the source image and generated GIF in the link

Step 1: Open Pencil2D and import image using  file > import >image.

 

1-import

 

Step 2: In order to resize the canvas/stage size, double click the camera layer . Enter the size of height and width in pixel unit. 

 

3.Resize canvas

 

Step 3: In order to arrange the image on screen select the camera layer, and in the tools section select hand tool. Now cursor turns to hand symbol, place it on the image and drag. 

 

3.fixing image

 

Step 4: In order to animate using timeline, in the camera layer  timeline, select the 30th frame and add frame using the [+]keys located in timeline window to create a new frame.

Step 5: Select the image and drag it to a different part of the camera area(Refer the gif).

 

4.creating tieline

 

Step 6: In order to preview the animation, press the play button in the timeline section. 

 

5.Preview

 

Step 7: This is the final step where we export the image to either GIF, Video, Sequence Images. Go to file>export>animated GIF(we used GIF format in order to be used in Web).  

 

6.Export

 

Output:

output

Further Reading:

Pencil 2D is a simple tool with a lot of potential, and is best suited for introducing students, beginners not only to Computer Graphics & Animation but also to FOSS and its importance. In this short and simple tutorial only the basics are covered. And the advance part is omitted since it is out of scope of this tutorial, where the importance are given to the introduction of Pencil 2D and animation concepts. For further information regarding the terminologies and advanced concepts please refer the below sites for information.

Links:
  1. https://www.pencil2d.org
  2. https://www.adobe.com/devnet/flash/learning_guide/animation/part03.html
  3. https://www.adobe.com/devnet/archive/flash/articles/concept_tween.html

Web Development Using Chrome Extensions For Smart Schools!

browser-based

In this post, I will introduce the readers to web development extensions tools in chrome browser, which assist in your web development. Weather it is development or practices these quick tools will help you get going in no time. And the best part is there is no complex installs and setups are involved. Everything is done inside the browser ecosystem and is best suited for school labs and introductory summer camps and boot camps.

Goto Google Chrome extension https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/extensions, which google chromes own distribution medium for an extension. And other 3rd party extensions are not allowed to be downloaded and used since it will cause privacy and security issue. Other than chrome distributed extensions, we can run local development extensions for testing our own extensions, which are developed and later uploaded to chrome extensions website.

Without further ado let’s look at how to install chrome extensions.

  1. The first step in order to access the google extensions, we have to log in with our Google account credentials.
  2. Goto https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/extensions, and selected the search bar which is located in the upper left corner.
  3. And in the upper left corner, there is a search bar, it has the support for Google search suggestion
  4. Now search for the extension we are looking for. Which usually displayed on the right side of the page

 

1

Web Maker:

The first and important extension we are going to look at is Web Maker. This is basically a code editor with features. And the main advantages are the ease of editing HTML, CSS, and Js on the same page using split windowed areas and save and load option for later updates and changes. The output screen is to the right by default. We can take screenshots, export our source code and also download our source code for offline integration. And the best part is that we can use this extension offline.

Features:

  1. Fast loading, with save features
  2. Auto code completion
  3. Supports multi stylesheet (CSS, LESS, SASS, SCSS, Stylus) and script (JavaScript, Coffee script, Typescript, ES6) formats.
  4. Able to run in offline mode.
  5. Support for screenshot image and source code exporting

 

2

Color Zilla:

Color Zilla as the name suggests is primarily used for picking colors from the page. And is one of the important tool for the web development. It features a color picker, color mixer, pallet browser and CSS color gradient generator.

Features:

  1. Clean interface, does what it says.
  2. Does not take much space or resource.
  3. Does not need an internet connection.

3

Page Ruler:

Page Ruler application is a screen pixel ruler calculator, used for calculating the width and height of a rectangular area in pixels. It’s simple and elegant interface makes it easy to be used while developing from design (Note: Design-files are given as image files, where developer uses these tools to calculate the height and width between each element). It got width and height assistive tool, where we randomly draw a rectangle grid using the tool. And with the help of the assistive tool which is small squares on the four ends of the main rectangle, we arrange the X and Y coordinate square grid for our required area.

Features:

  1. Easy and simple interface
  2. Assistive tool for precise placement of the grid calculation box

 

4

Chrome Web Debugger:

Chrome Web debugger is an advanced debugging tool, and it features CSS editor, various viewpoints renderer, debugging for media content and a whole bunch of other advanced tools. This tool is bundled with google chrome by default.  And can be accessed by pressing F12 button or, by right-clicking and selecting inspect option.

 

5

Final thought:

Jumpstarting HTML and CSS development for a novice seems to be a lot of work, and using these tools make the workflow easier to a certain extent. Which assist us in the practicing the code and get ourselves familiar, but on longer-run and on real development an IDE is a preferred approach where certain complexities do exist. Whatever the scenario, maybe it development or practice in the school lab, the final word is Practice! Practice! Practice!

The RoI of Digital Transformation in Schools!

Digital-transformation-captio2

Digitalization has become common, it has been widespread that digitalization is not affordable. In simple works obviously, it cannot go afford less, when it is feature-rich and you consider the result and it is undeniably the need of the hour. Have you wondered why firms are investing millions in this digital transformation which is to help the industry, the brand, and the company grow multifold?  The education industry is not an exception.

When your school gets into Digital Transformation there are key takeaways which would surprise you as in management and this article is all about this.
  • Becomes the major and the best investment

It is true that this significant investment would certainly function better than the regular planning and the pushed implementations.

  • Work it out

Certainly, it would become a ‘BiG Win’ when worked out to improve competence and experience the all-new way which has proven success.

  • Efficiency experienced

Analysis of the key metrics which includes the revenues, flexibility in cost reduction and instant collaboration.

Although we are pretty sure what the School Management Software offers and how much of experience has been possessed, we tend to be with less portfolio. The substantial benefits mean the readiness to stay in trend to the digital growth of varied industries that includes education.

Paths to Digitalization

As a school, you need to nail to two prime concepts of transformation which most of them realize when they fail in the traditional methods. Keeping the school goal in line and remembering the value to be created for the stakeholders, it must be measured and implemented.

Point 1:

This is nothing but an effective school management software which would take care of the complete admin stuffs related to schools and it is a good one to keep all the stakeholders integrated into the same page. Relatively, it is these activities which consumes much more time. Here you may become parallax but try to overcome reality. Right from the attendance management to the payroll-management spread across a single software which you get to realize.

Here is the costing:

When you employ a team of admin staffs for the assortment of activity to the lead title and at the same time much works can be handled by a single person.

Point 2:

As the world turns mobile, nothing can be out without a Mobile App, the teachers and the parents are at much convenient to interconnect and communicate. The matrix of communication is possible and hence experiencing no delays or mislaid.  The handy and user-friendly Application allows the teachers to instantly instruct and communicate to the parents. This does not get limited to the academics but also goes a long way in the tracking the child schedule, fees payments and much more.

Researched proof:

The proof of concept dwells in each of the schools with digitalization. As the stakeholders are well engaged, they can see the best is been experienced at the schools.

The children are provided with the required guidance instantly based on their performance chart. The results are seen to improve in each phase and ultimately, the parents are contented. While the teachers do not have to hang around to intimate each student of the class over the updates, they can simply post in the application which again goes to the satisfaction of the teachers.

Decision Makers be fortunate – Revenue up and costs down

As the concept stands to be the foundation with the highest level of performance increase, students’ performance and parents satisfaction. There can be nothing to stop the growth of the school. Ultimately, the development would see amplifying and provides you the new path of growth. The digital maturity is the process of scaling up which would certainly be simple with this high engagement.

Building Value Education and Character Education at Schools!

PPE value education

The achievements at schools would certainly be linked to the later outcomes experienced in life. Character strength should be substantially built-in with the academics and the school achievement would be assessed along with the conduct certification. The grades and the marks are not the ultimate while the primary strength learned and earned should be the character.

Most schools have the system of self-report to measure the level of the 24 character strengths and along with the acknowledgment of their teacher and tutor, it would proceed. So much to discuss over the positive character traits and one thing stormed out and cleared is the initiation to build the positive character building and the efforts to inherit these qualities with the support of the qualified mentors and psychologist.

The character building and positive psychology mean a long way that is been carried in live and they are closely linked to the aspiration and intelligence as well.

The strategies should inline to the development of the character strengths and the components.

The core strength on which these 24-character traits are categorized.
Wisdom:

This directly relates to the knowledge and the cognitive strength which helps in the acquisition of the knowledge and the skill development. The components of character which comes into this category are:

Creativity

Curiosity

Judgement

Love for Learning

Perspective

The strategy and building these skills should rightly start at the early childhood and keep the pace of learning to step up as the child grows. More of living examples and specific skill enhancement have to be inculcated in children.

Courage:

This paves a good establishment to the emotional strengths and it involves ample exercising over the goal accomplishments and meeting the challenges both internal and external to an individual. The components of character which underlies in this category are:

Bravery

Perseverance

Honesty

Zest

Courage can be taught as a foundation which is underlying in most of the stories and handling situations the best manner should be the lesson. This cannot be an emotion but is broadly the reciprocation of all the virtues.

Humanity:

The interpersonal strengths which seek to be empathic and supportive make the most for this category. The various categories in character are:

Empathy

Kindness

Social Intelligence

Humanity is the one essential value to be cultivated in all children. It is the methodical effort and the tendency to be empathetic makes the most. Serving the society can be amplified with the virtue of this value.

Justice:

This shows the civic strength and perfect go for the community. An individual should certainly be well equipped with this character trait. The following are the categories of this segment:

Teamwork

Fair play

Leadership

The unbiased and the judgmental ability makes it most for the life skills in children. This will keep them grow as a good team player, fair enough in all aspects and well bound with the leadership skills.

Temperance:

The extremes need to be handled and the strength to protect comes in the category. The various components that include here are as follows.

Mercy

Modesty

Prudence

Self-regulation

Temperance is much to be trained in the situational behavior and it should clearly be with the modesty in the thoughts and actions. With much self-regulation and being mercy for others which cannot be made in a day but to be taught with role models.

Transcendence:

It shows the strength to connect with the larger universe and to find oneself in it. The components included here are:

Appreciation

Gratitude

Hope

Humour

Religious

Spirituality

The transcendence is the virtue which keeps the individual going far and wide, they would be inherited from the mentors when trained to think with great appreciation and admiration. It also defines to build better hope and zest.

Schools along with the family and the communities are much responsible for building the virtues in the children. Prominently, the most of it to be taught in schools and should be modified and amplified when with families and the community. This is something which cannot be assessed or evaluated but should be observed practically. This is something once learnt is ever learnt and will be possessed with the child as an excellent credit.

Why adopt to Visual Notes and Mind Mapping?

Visual

The categorization is seen up front in all aspects and it is one that drives the human mind as well. As should be the case this article would throw some light on the tuning the minds to achievements.

Most of the learned are seen to follow the general rule and the standardization of ‘More Memory; More Marks’.

How far can it go?

Will it provide significant learning?

Can you analyze what you learned last week and its impact?

The reflection of the learning process is much important and without the element of reflection, the learning would just be an expensive time killing.

The reflection of the learning process is much important and without the element of reflection, the learning would just be an expensive time killing.

Teachers and mentors should encourage the reflective practice to their students in learning and if this reflective practice is missing the purpose of education is not met and what is most missing would be the time invested.

Right in the classroom, the reflection should be imposed on students, in a manner of providing tips to absorb the information and the content with passion, dedication and ultimate retention. Although the teacher takes many measures to structure the lessons and provide the right teaching with examples and sometimes encourage hands-on learning and much more with the activity-based learning. All of these are best methods and yet there is something which is much more effective and essential.

Visual Notes Taking -Absorption of Content

This is the profound way and known as mind mapping which is seen in practice with the intellectuals and this practice helps in reflective learning and knowledge with retention. This is related to art and drawing might be in the mindset of general people but this technique belongs to education. This comes in practice and it is most importantly an encouraging behavior to doodle in the classroom in the sketchbook.

Trigonometry

To bridge the clarification let me give an experience of a high school student who owned a sketch handbook and his style of notes taking would be drawings and I did wonder how it helps but it did wonders. This is the good method to re-cap and it helps to memorize the concepts in a better way.

The complete content-based information is visualized in drawings and it helps to remember not just simple learning but also the high level of understanding. Especially noted is during the time of examination and with the adequate adrenaline rush coupled with the visual notes the quick revision of the content can be obtained in a much shorter span.

Irrespective of the student grades, a shift to the visual learning would help achievement in the long run. Let this serve as an awareness and more of practical observation will be the right strategy to conclude the actual benefits.