Monday, 27 February 2017

Scratch

UPDATE 3/3/17: Videos should now be enabled.
Over the next few weeks you will learn how to use Scratch, creating algorithms to control features on screen ... then apply this to your own game concept ... before joining up with others to form a company and create marketing materials for your company stall at a games expo event!

LESSON 1 GOALS:
Using the video resources at https://scratch.mit.edu/help/videos/, create projects which include these elements - save each time you do a new step under a new name (that means you start from Scratch each time!).
Read carefully the instructions below; do not move on until you've fully read + understood the instructions for each step.

For Step 1 you need to click Join Scratch. For Step 2 etc you need to click CREATE, then immediately name the new project. Once you have you can click FILE-SAVE (or download to PC), and save it in your SCRATCH/EXPERIMENTS folder.



STEP 1: SET UP A SCRATCH ACCOUNT + LOG IN
Save any login info you need somewhere you won't lose it - you could send yourself an email, or use the contacts function with your school gmail to save this.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Sweding


Sweding is a term that came from the film Be Kind Rewind, where Jack Black and others did zero-budget spoof remakes of existing films. Swedes are short, featuring well known scenes and characters, and use daft props in place of SFX/CGI.
Here's the film trailer, followed by a sample of its Ghostbusters swede:




There are many examples of swedes online; here are a few examples:
Transformers:

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Analysing fonts

When you're designing or analysing a text, whether thats a Word or Publisher document, a Photoshop image (perhaps a poster), website/web page, whatever it may be, one of the most important factors will be your font. The choice of font (and its size, colour, case [ie use of capitals] and any effects such as bold, underline or Italics) for any aspect of the text will help suggest:
  • the target audience, always the most important consideration
  • the tone: some fonts have a fun feel, others more serious
  • different fonts also help to distinguish separate sections
Two useful words here: serif and sans-serif. Serif fonts have 'curly bits' or bits sticking out (as the Wiki puts it, 'the small lines tailing from the edges of letters and symbols'); sans-serif fonts are simply made up of smooth lines and don't have serifs!

This is a serif font. (Often used to set a serious tone, which is why Times New Roman is the default font in Word!)
This is a sans-serif font. (Often used to set a light, fun tone: Comic Sans is the classic example)

Lets consider how this works with a screenshot from three websites: the BBC Health website; Kids Against Tobacco Smoke; Dr P Body's Learning/Fun Center.



Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Search engines + narrowing results

There are many competing search engines, each using slightly or radically different techniques to come up with their results. There is one globally dominant company, and we easily understand what is meant if someone suggests we 'google it'! However, even Google has more limited success in some countries such as China.

There are some files you need to access at Y:\ICT\KS3\Year 7\The Internet.

The links below will help you to explore and differentiate between the competing search engines, and understand how to get better, more specific/relevant search results.

Click here for an interactive demo of how Boolean search terms work
Some of the techniques for better search results we'll explore include...
  • using the minus sign: a search for salsa finds everything to do with food and dance; if we only want the food-based reults we change our search to -dance salsa. The Boolean operator NOT also works like this: salsa NOT dance will achieve the same results.
  • using the asterisk (SHIFT+8) symbol: if we search adam ant we get 5.2m hits, but if we search adam ant* we get 31.9m hits. Why? Because the * tells the search engine to include all words starting with ant, which is useful here because Adam Ant was originally in a band called Adam and the Ants! You use the * if there are several relevant variations of one of your search terms
  • adding more words: we're usually looking to reduce the number of hits to get more relevant results, and adding more words usually does this. headlines 2000 gets 195m hits; headlines year 2000 reduces this to 132m; uk headlines year 2000 reduces this to 102m
  • word order: whichever words we put first are ranked as more important in the search, which is why I put uk first in the above example!
  • speech marks: if we put "" round words the search engine will look for that exact phrase. "adam ant" gets half as many hits as simply adam ant, and they're more relevant
  • and finally... The Boolean operator AND tells the search engine not to simply look for web pages with any of the words in the search phrase, but to look for results with all of the terms you put AND between. So, if I search for uk newspaper headlines year 2000 I get 153m hits. If I amend this to uk AND newspaper headlines year 2000 I only get hits which have both UK and newspapers: I now get 144m hits. The search uk AND newspaper AND headlines AND year 2000 gets 104m hits. If I amended this to headline* it jumps up to 365m!
Look at the four results screenshots below: which one do you think returned the most useful answers?




Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Yr7: DTP2 Creating a Menu

For this task you will be applying the Publisher tools we looked at in the previous lesson:
  • opening a document
  • changing the page setup from the default portrait to landscape
  • adding text
  • making text box borders visible (+ selecting colour)
  • adding WordArt
  • inserting + resizing images
  • cropping images
  • grouping and ungrouping objects
  • changing the order of objects, eg sending an image to back sets it as your document background
  • using the taskbar to change the background
You can use some of the screenshots below to help refresh your memory! EXTENSION: You could also find a long document with instructions on many other aspects of Publisher here (right-click to save, Ctrl+click to open in a new window/tab).
We will be creating a menu for your Come Dine With Me dinner party, in a booklet (an A4 landscape document split in two).
First we'll create a list of what goes into a good menu - we can use some of these examples to help with this.

STEPS IN THIS TASK:
  1. Note the features of a good menu
  2. List your 3-course menu (starter, main, dessert - if you want to extend yourself you could add vegetarian options!)
  3. Find + save (or copy/paste into your document) photos for each course
  4. Set up a new landscape A4 blank document
  5. Set it to 2 columns (see the screenshot below!) - splitting your page creates two panels. (Alternatively we could try some of the brochure entries from the new document section of the task pane)
  6. Insert another page (so you have 4 panels to work with; if you don't you only have 2 panels to work with)
  7. Pick a background - and apply it to both pages!
  8. Use some scrap paper to roughly sketch out/list what will go on each panel
  9. Design the front panel
  10. Check off the key features as you do them: cover page (the invite, a pic of your home [any house will do]), menu (each course with photo/s), map + directions to your house, dress code or theme, arrival/start time etc)
Photos of the food, a nice cover?
Again, photos of the food feature!
7ADM suggested the following should feature in a good menu for your Come Dine With me evening:

1:FOOD DETAILS:
  • the 3 courses
  • key ingredients of each course (+ if something like a curry, the type of curry)
  • any accompaniments (eg rice, potatoes [roast, boiled, mashed etc], salad)
  • vegetarian alternatives could be given
  • info on whether nuts, dairy or gluten has been used for allergy sufferers
  • pictures of the food
  • funny names might be given, eg Colin's Curry or Larry's Lasagne
2:DRINK DETAILS:
  • cola, fruit juice, blends etc
3:ADDRESS/MAP + PIC OF HOUSE:
  • no need to use your actual address, any Ilkley street address would do
  • use GoogleMaps to create a map (take a screenshot using the Capture programme: START - ALL PROGRAMS - ACCESSORIES)
4:TIME TO ARRIVE + THEME/DRESS CODE:
  • there is often a theme (eg the 1950s, Disney characters etc) or a dress code (eg black tie, evening wear, ... Disney characters/fancy dress! etc)
  • you could illustrate this with a picture
  • although the programme wouldn't, you could also add contact details if you wish - though with e-safety in mind, again don't use your actual contact details!
More detail/choices on this, but note the nice logo + contact details!
Pic of the place, nice subheadings - but this wouldn't work in a one-fold brochure!
You can find other examples by googling something such as 'dinner party menu'.

Here's some reminders of how to access certain Publisher tools:
CREATING 2 COLUMNS
 CHANGING YOUR BACKGROUND COLOUR/PATTERN

 EDITING WORDART TEXT
 CHANGING THE PAGE SETUP TO LANDSCAPE


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Yr7: DTP1 Intro to Publisher

In this lesson we will look at some of the key tools in the desktop publishing (DTP) programme Publisher, part of the Microsoft Office suite. When you're creating a poster for other subjects you should use this instead of Word!
STEP ONE: OPEN PUBLISHER + SET UP A BLANK PORTRAIT A4 DOCUMENT
I will demonstrate this first, then ask you to follow these steps.
(i) Open Publisher from the Microsoft Office folder in Start - Programmes
(ii) Either select File-New or find the icon for blank A4 (portrait) document from the opening selection of choices.
(iii) Task Pane - close it! Now work out how to reopen it!
(iv) Click View - Toolbars and look at the options. Remember this - if you accidentally close a toolbar you need, you can reopen it from the same place.

STEP TWO: ADDING TEXT
(v) Try to type into your document and see what happens. A stamp for anyone who can write their own name in their Publisher document within the next 60 seconds!
The main solution is to add a text box: either click the text box icon on the Objects toolbar OR click Insert - TextBox
(vi) Add a new text box with instructions on how to add a text box!
(vii) When you've done this, save your Publisher document as "1st Publisher Doc". As we work on, keep pressing CTRL + S.

STEP THREE: ADDING IMAGES
Publisher has some stock images ("clip art"), and you can of course google for and save images then insert them. Lets take a screenshot to help us remember where we found the text box option:
(viii) Find and open the Capture programme (Start - Programmes - Capture). Select the 3rd option, the rectangle with the dotted outline, to select an area to save (drag the mouse to select). Save it, and insert the image (Insert - Image), resize it and reposition it.
(ix) Also insert a piece of clipart, resize and reposition.

STEP FOUR: WORD ART
Lets use Word Art to add more text as a title. We also find this on the Objects toolbar.
(x) Use this to type in My 1st Publisher doc. Experiment with the options!

STEP FIVE: GROUPING + CHANGING ORDER
If we want to move 2 or more objects (text boxes, pictures, etc) around at the same time, so they stay in the same relative position to each other, we can group these. When we're done we can also then ungroup these objects. We can also change the order, just like layers in Photoshop.
(xi) Group any 2 objects and move them. Then ungroup again!
(xii) Move 1 object so that it partially covers another. (Send to back)
Can you also work out how to change the background?!

STEP SIX: PRACTICE POSTER
Find and insert an image from your favourite movie, and have a go at adding other features to make your Publisher document look like a convincing movie poster! (tagline, bbfc cert, release date, reviews etc)


At the end of the lesson use the wall below to add a note of the most useful (or surprising!) thing you learned how to do today using Publisher.

We'll come back to Publisher next lesson to develop and apply these skills!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Yr8 Logo + Brochure

What goes in to a good logo? It must be easily recognisable from a distance and stand out when placed on colourful backgrounds (packaging, posters etc).
That means:
  • a simple graphic design
  • using few colours (2 or 3 usually)
  • the company/brand name should be short too: 1, 2, maybe 3 words
  • the brand name is part of the logo; the font used is very important
You can follow the PowerPoint below to learn more about logos. Once you have you need to create a snappy company name (your business is fixing, mending, improving, transforming photos - you can use your name, txt-style spelling, words linked to photography or improvment/change ...).
Every business needs a good slogan too - as Tesco plc says, Every Little Helps...
Once you've done that you can follow the instructions in how to use Photoshop tools to create a great company logo.
Make sure you save, and keep saving, your Photoshop work - any computer can crash. Press Ctrl+S every time you've made a major change you're happy with.
GuessLogos DB Compressed

Remember: Make sure you save, and keep saving, your Photoshop work - any computer can crash. Press Ctrl+S every time you've made a major change you're happy with.


Your brochure needs to feature certain key details - you could do your own research, looking at examples, but if there isn't enough time you can find a list of the key details you need to include in the document below. This also has instructions on how to create a 6-panel leaflet in Publisher.


Don't forget which panel will end up as the front, back, inside ... use this document as a quick reference:

Think about background colours, and take care with your font choices; experiment with text effects too: you can make shapes with words.