Bike Alert wins Guardian reader award

Back in November I was asked to be one of the “cutting edge” developers at the Power of Minds Hack with Honda, organised by BIRTHORDERPLUS, in one word it was” excellent”.

I was fortunate to team up with Emily Christy, Sym Roe and Kevin Fong for a project called Bike Alert, on the day it was voted best in design and now thanks to the readers vote it has received an additional £2000 to be developed further.

You can see the full article on the Guardian website which explain the the whole project here.

I am very excited about the win, I however am having to bow out of the project due to teaching and studying committments, I wish them well and I hope you will check out their work and progress. It is a great project and I hope it will save lives.

Pixelh8 @ Springfield Juniors Web Apps Project Session 1

So today was the start of the the new project with Springfield Junior School, not animation, not game design but web apps. The projects we have done in the past were great but we wanted to do something bang up to date. The school is very fortunate in that it has a few iPads for the students to use and I make apps all the times so I thought why not make some apps. Today was all about introductions and brainstorming dividing the 12 8 to 9-year-olds in to three groups it soon became quite apparent that they already had a good idea of what they want to make and they soon set to work.

We have five weeks to make three web apps and they already have their ideas in place, next week we will look at interface design and start to draw the buttons and the screens for the apps. The ideas are great but you’ll have to wait to see them. It was interesting that they all wanted them to be social apps or at least involve more than one person participating.

Pixelh8, Tic Tac Toe and the student

TICTACTOEI was recently asked to take on a (15-year-old) student for programming by a family friend so I decided the best place to start was Processing. I need to say this right now before I get emails, tweets and various comments, this isn’t the best code in the world as it was gradually built upon and when we started we had no idea what we were going to make. It was a brilliant day and I think he learned quite a lot. Although he knows a fair bit about computers, he runs his own “Minecraft” server and a bit about HTML he hadn’t done any programming like this before.

We started with variables.

int XPOS,YPOS;

and moved on to arrays, multi-dimension arrays, then to booleans and so on.

We then learnt how to draw

//Makes background black
background(0);
//Makes the drawing colour white
stroke(255);
//Fills in shapes with the colour white
fill(255);

//Draws a nice box
line (10,10,290,10);
line (290,10,290,290);
line (290,290,10,290);
line (10,290,10,10);

Gradually the plan moved to turning the box into a grid and the plan was to make a TIC TAC TOE game. We then moved on to “for” loops and loops within loops and then functions. This function clears the board.

void clearBoard(){
for (YPOS=0; YPOS<3; YPOS++){
for (XPOS=0; XPOS<3; XPOS++){
BOARD[YPOS][XPOS]=0;
WIN=false;
}
}
}

We also covered conditionals i.e. ifs and else ifs, this checks for the reset button press.

if (mouseX > 76 && mouseX<223 && mouseY> 322 && mouseY <400){
clearBoard();
}

All in all it was a good four hours of tutoring and I think he was amazed at how these little blocks of code can be put together, you can see the code here and the full .zip file with all the assets here.  We plan to finish the game next Friday, this code does look and finds a winner it just doesn’t do anything with that information yet. We will also try and make it into a web app if possible, well see.

Pixelh8 @ Springfield Juniors Animation Project Session 5 and Video

Today was the final session of the animation group, last week they worked really hard at making all the characters for their scenes today was all about using the animation skills they had learnt throughout the five week course.

Today was run a bit different and for the best, instead of all 12 at once I had one group at a time for 20-25 minutes in which time they had to animate and narrate their clip.

Below is the end result I hope you enjoy it, they were a great bunch of students to work with and they learnt, applied and achieved so much.

I love the fact that when we the student where making Scene three the student realised to make a good fire he needed to make multiple drawing of fires “like what we did with the panels on the robot, we will have to keep swapping them out”.

I love the fact that they were so confident in animating they even added little touches in the background look out for a rabbit in the forest, a mouse on the fire place, look out for the axe being raised as the wolf is chased.

I love the fact that while we were animating one of the boys parents came in to see him complete the work and told me “this is all he has been on about, these lessons, he tells me how different cartoons are made, he loves it, he has been showing everyone in family the other video helped make on the internet”.

How we did it. The course took place over five weeks.

Week one was Silhouette animation and cut out animation we looked at works by Lotte Reigner and watched Charlie and Lola respectively. We also animated a cut-out robot and built a Thaumatrope.

Week two was stop-frame animation we looked at Shaun the Sheep, Trap Door, Morph, Bob the Builder we also made egg box characters and animated them.

Week three was cel-frame animation we looked at Phineas and Ferb, compared first series Spongebob Sqaurepants (cel-frame) to later series 6 (cel shaded animation), we also made Zoetropes.

Week four we planned out the scenes for Red Riding Hood and made all the characters in the cut-out style and stored them together.

Week five we animated and narrated.

I then took all the footage and audio home and edited it and shazam! A masterpiece. It was a great project and I look forward to running simiar workshops with other schools in the future. Be sure to follow me on twitter @pixelh8

Global Games Jam @ University Campus Suffolk

On the 29th of January, 2018 I was asked to be a judge at the Global Games Jam at University Campus Suffolk organised by the staff of the B.A. Games Design course. It was a great event and the ideas were top notch, making the judging quite difficult.

It was also nice to see some of my former students and see how they are progressing as designers and their keeness to point out their use of sound in their new creations. More info on the event can be found here and here with details of the winners.

I wish them all the best and look forward to working with them in the future.

Pixelh8 @ City Hall, London 15th & 16th Feb, 2018

Over the last two days I have been fortunate to have been working with Rewired State and and the Greater London Authority (GLA) at City Hall. We have been creating new and interesting ways to engage the public with the data they collect / collate. It was a new and bold iniative for the GLA to take, but the rewards became apparent as soon as the developers revealed what they were able to create over course of the two days.

It was nice to work with a group of people who are very passionate about the work they do, the GLA staff were helpful, friendly and polite at every stage. Opening up your work place to a group of “hackers” can sound a bit risky but all of the developers/designers brought in by Rewired State soon proved their worth. Tearing through .xls spreadsheets that were too big in some cases to be opened by some software/hardware combinations, the hackers were able to look at the data with a fresh approach, not only to its use but also its possible future collection.

For the event I put one forward one hack on my own and one with Josh Pickett  @lordjawsh on Twitter.

Tree-o-pets

Tree-o-pets was a mobile phone app which allowed users to plant virtual trees using GPS and Augmented Reality. The premise is a simple one you take your phone to a place you want to plant a tree, plant it and return to care for it, you could also share your plants location via Facebook and Twitter. You had to take care of your tree as anyone logging on to the webpage or in to the app could see it’s owner and how well you care for it. The initial data was based on where Mayor Boris Johnson plans to plant his future trees.

Your Journey

I wanted to create a way to explain and to get people to engage with the data the GLA have on various environmental topics.

Your Journey was a 90 second video game on the iPhone which provided as snapshot of the postcode you gave it.

As “Boris” you cycle through the city, collecting rubbish, avoiding potholes and caring for the specially planted “Boris Trees”. The data from the GLA was used to piece together how many trees and how many recycling bins you saw in you 90 second journey. The clouds were coloured and calculated by the air quality data, notable public buildings which the GLA had power consumption date on were also pointed out to you on your journey.

It was lovely to take part it, was also nice to win an award for “Your Journey” for “Most Innovative Use of Environmental Data”. There were some excellent other projects with “100ktrees.com” coming up top trumps literally in the overall best prize. “Got Wood?” was also great social app helping you locate your nearest tree and “check in”. It was a long two days for me commuting from Ipswich and working til very late but it was worth it.

Well done Adam McGreggor @adamamyl and Emma Mulqueeny @hubmum for organising another great and successful event and well done for GLA for taking those bold first steps to opening up the vast amounts of data they have. There were some interesting and useful points very raised by the “hackers” which will hopefully benefit GLA further in their future work.

It was also very nice to work at City Hall.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén