Saturday, 30 January 2010

Animation Competition

Manchester University CS department is running a schools animation competition. Despite the wording in the rules, it is open to home educated children in the UK. I've been taking a look at the acceptable animation tools before trying them out on DS #1.
Allowed tools
AliceAlice is available as a free download from www.alice.orgDesigned to be a tool for students to be introduced to Object Oriented computer programming.
ScratchScratch is available as a free download from to teach basic computer programming concepts.
Adobe FlashFlash is available for download as a free 1 month trial from AdobeEveryone knows what flash is.
Serifhttp://www.serif.comSerif DrawPlus is a drawing and animation program from Serif Ltd.
GreenfootGreenfoot is available as a free download from www.greenfoot.orgGreenfoot is Java-based programming environment for novice programmers
I looked at Scratch on the grounds that nobody got dumber by picking MIT. Before I could get any examples working I had to get the Java plugin installed for Chrome. That was a big download, so I moved on to Alice.
Alice looks really promising. In particular it has a version just for younger children called Story Telling Alice. I downloaded, unzipped and ran the tutorials. In a few minutes I was merrily scaring the pants off a small boy with a field full of spiders. What looks really interesting about Alice is that while the interface uses a lot of text, you can click and drag the words, hence no typos.
I'm going to stick with Alice for a while and see how far I can get.

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