Thursday, February 2, 2012

Raising The Curtain

This year I have the good fortune to actually do the very same things that I'm teaching: I'm developing the school website and teaching web design. Sometimes there is no substitute for the school of hard knocks.
That's why I will usually share the challenges and excitement of working on a "live" site with the class. I like to think it gives the academics more of a reality. That being said, I've developed two pages over the last two days.
Yesterday, following a lesson on Flash motion tweening and layering, I realized that I could create a quick Flash movie to promote the upcoming musical. It's also nice that the male lead for the production is in my class.
I grabbed the camera and took a few snapshots of the stage curtain. After cropping and touching it up in Fireworks, I added the graphic and some text in Flash with a simple motion tween. The result was the curtain rising and falling on the production dates.
After talking with the kids, we had several great ideas to expand the animation but quickly realized it may become too much. That's a really important concept to grasp. You can have too much of a good thing.
Another concept I stressed was that even though it took me only 90 minutes from concept to completion, they would not be able to work as quickly. It takes practice and time to perform skills at a higher level. I really think it's important for kids to see the application of their education, beyond the grind of books and tests.