Why do events happen, and what are their impacts?
Large and impactful events in history, positive or negative, were never inevitable. Many could have been avoided with just a simple decision, and they just wouldn’t have happened. At all. Think of it as the future; if you are feeling like eating a chocolate bar, it’s not inevitable that you will stand up and eat a chocolate bar, you can easily just resist the temptation and go eat a healthy apple instead. In the same way, many big events in history could’ve been prevented, although not as easily as reaching for an apple. If you want a real life example, the 2007 Minneapolis Bridge Collapse that killed thirteen people and injured at least one-hundred and forty-five is a great example. For the past two decades leading up to the disaster, officials at multiple government levels knew the bridge was “structurally deficient”. Did they do anything about it? Nope. This is one disaster that could have been prevented had the government taken the steps to strengthen the bridge, and it for sure wasn’t inevitable.
Another example farther back in time is the 1838 Pastry War. The war was caused because a French pastry artist in Mexico had his shop pillaged of goods, along with many other complaints from French nationalists. Due to this, France demanded a massive payment from Mexico, and when the payment wasn’t carried out France put a trade blockade on all Mexican ports, leading to a conflict that led to over 230 deaths. This war could have easily been prevented, had one thing happened differently. For example, if the shop hadn’t been looted in the first place, the entire war never would have happened. Even if the two countries had decided to have a nice conversation together and came to an agreement, the war would have been prevented. Think of it as a massive BEDMAS equation- if one of the numbers were to be switched, the outcome would be totally different. These examples and analogies prove how historical events were never inevitable, just like the future. There are thousands of possibilities that could have happened, and the one that did happen could have just as easily not happened.
So far in in-depth, a big problem I encountered for my last blog post was the fact that my mentor was busy and unable to meet, so I couldn’t talk about them for the post. Well… my mentor is still busy with work; they have a huge workload at the moment. This was definitely a problem, so I knew I had to do something about it. Before I found my mentor, I had a potential option in mind, which was my uncle. He has had experience with 3D modeling in the past, and knows how it works very well. Since Greg is busy (my original mentor that works at SONY), for the moment I am going to have my uncle as my mentor; his name is Devarshi. So far my progress is great, and I am currently learning more and more about Blender with every day that goes by, especially with Devarshi’s help and guidance.
Q: What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?
What went well during our mentoring sessions is how we were able to open up and talk with each other without any problem, and Devarshi was able to provide me with constructive criticism. This is because we know each other well, which enables effective communication skills between us. Devarshi showed me how some of my work would look nicer, and tips on how to improve my work. This consisted of even the slightest stuff, like just a little bit of colour correction to bigger things like adding or completely removing an object from a scene.
Q: What relationship challenges did you face?
The relationship challenges that we faced was how we weren’t used to this type of environment. What I mean by this is that we aren’t used to the teacher-student environment, where he is trying to teach me something, but it definitely wasn’t that big of a problem, for sure not getting in the way of my learning. We were for sure communicating with each other effectively, and once in a while we even made a joke; this helped make everything seem a lot friendlier and comforting in general, adding to the positivity of the experience. We were very open in our communication, because we knew one another well and were used to talking with each other.
Many times we checked assumptions with each other, for example when I made sure that the H.264 default codec would work and result in a playable video, even though I assumed it would work fine. It turns out that yes, the H.264 codec was the correct one, but still better safe than sorry! Another example was while working on nodes, I checked with Devarshi to see if all the gloss node did was make the material shiny or not, rather than going with my assumption that yes, it did just go shiny. Although the answer was yes, I learned that the gloss node is mostly just used when replicating metallic material, and in other materials the gloss is mixed in with other shaders. We were actually listening to each other, because I followed all the tips I was provided with and edited my scenes according to my mentor. I also asked questions when I was given a suggestion, so I would know why I was being provided the suggestion in the first place. In other words, I checked out assumptions, just like the other question was asking.
Q: What learning challenges emerged?
So far everything has been going very smoothly, but the only challenge I have faced is how long rendering time takes for an animation. In my planet collision animation (posted below), the render time was well over an hour, and the animation was only 8 seconds long, so a short film-type animation may take the whole night. This is probably because I am working on a laptop (MacBook), but it’s not like I have a powerful PC to use, I’ll just have to make-do. Besides, the program runs really smooth! To hold myself accountable for my learning, I show my mentor my latest work and don’t withhold information, because that will just harm me. To hold himself accountable for the learning, Devarshi gives me lots of advice and doesn’t hold back what he has to say, so the learning is all the more.
As I mentioned above in the third question, here is my project of the post, and this is also my biggest project yet! Well it’s only 8 seconds but still… I’m really proud of it!
Well, that’s it for now! Happy Blending!
As I mentioned in my previous in-depth post, I am doing 3D modeling and animation for my project this year. So far, I have had lots of fun following beginner tutorials and learning how to do simple things in Blender. To be more specific, so far I have created a doughnut with neon glowing icing dripping over the edge, a simple simulation-animation of a golden ball destroying a plank building (which took 30 minutes to render despite only being 5 seconds long), and learnt how to texture a cube with an image texture!
Here are the pictures (and animation) in respective order:
The Building Collapse! Click Me!
At this point, I am happy to announce that I have successfully found a mentor for in-depth! My mentors name is Greg Berridge and he works at SONY Pictures Imageworks, here in Vancouver; he has contributed to the creation of very popular movies such as Spiderman: Homecoming and Kingsmen: The Golden Circle with visual effects! At the moment Greg is busy with work, so we haven’t met in person yet, but we plan to schedule a meeting sometime soon. Although we have not met in person yet, we have communicated via email and kept in touch. We plan to arrange a meeting soon, when Greg is not as busy. Since we haven’t had a meeting yet, I am unable to provide much information regarding how my mentor gained their current knowledge on 3D modeling and animation, what the experience was like, and the wisdom they gained.
Instead, I am going to talk about my experiences to date with Blender. First and foremost, when using Blender always keep in mind the Pareto principle (more commonly known as the 80/20 rule). What this means is that for 80% of the results, only 20% of the tools are used. This is important because you don’t need to know what every single button does, since 80% of the results just come from 20% of the tools- so just have a solid understanding on the basics and slowly broaden to the outer reaches of the software, and you will be fine! The reason I am telling you this is because when I first opened the program, I panicked when I saw the complicated user interface and all the buttons there were. After spending lots of time fiddling around and pressing everything, I still didn’t know how to insert or delete a simple cube. Or sphere. Or cylinder. Or any other shape for that matter. When I first stumbled upon this 80/20 rule, I realized how accurate and true it was based on my creations to date with Blender. You would be surprised how simple it is to create the models and animation in the picture above. When you see a complicated interface, just remain calm as 80% of the buttons will be practically useless for 80% of the creations you can make.
In the near future, I imagine that my meetings with my mentor will help me become a more effective mentor because I will be able to use the teaching techniques my mentor used on me. By incorporating them into my future teachings and tweaking as necessary, I will be able to facilitate my mentor skills and be more effective and efficient in passing these skills to the mentee. I am excited for my first meeting with my mentor, and look forward to learning from them.
In William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream we see that our emotions often influence our perceptions of the world around us when Egeus forces Hermia to either marry Demetrius or to die. Egeus is very angry that Hermia loves Lysander, and since Egeus likes Demetrius and not Lysander, he wants his daughter to marry Demetrius, whom Hermia does not love. Because of his revulsion against Lysander, Egeus is overruling his daughters say and ignoring what she wants. This is proven when Egeus says, “Full of vexation come I, with complaint / Against my child, my daughter Hermia. / Stand forth, Demetrius. My noble lord, / This man hath my consent to marry her. / Stand forth, Lysander: and, my gracious duke, / This man hath bewitch’d the bosom of my child: / […] With cunning hast thou filch’d my daughter’s heart” (1.1.25-35). In this quote Egeus very clearly states that he will not let Hermia marry Lysander and he also says that Lysander has basically poisoned Hermia’s heart with lies. Another thing Egeus states is that he comes in frustration and anger, which can cloud his way of thinking. Likewise, Egeus says, “As she is mine, I may dispose of her: / Which shall be, either to this gentleman / Or to her death, according to our law / Immediately provided in that case” (1.1.40-45). In this quote Egeus is saying that he can dispose of Hermia as he likes. I don’t know about old english but in modern english it sounds very much like he thinks of Hermia as a napkin, which can be disposed of at any time after the desired work is done. Moreover, he says that Hermia must die if she doesn’t marry Demetrius, which is very chilling as he seems to have no problem with his daughter being killed. Yikes. Egeus’ anger is preventing him to see the world from Hermia’s point of view, with calmness and coolness.
For my In-Depth project this year, I have chosen to do 3D modeling and animation. The reason I chose this topic is because I have been interested in modeling and creating 3-Dimensional animations for the past year now. I find it cool how you can create whatever you imagine and even be able to breathe life into that project to make it do WHATEVER you wish it to do. Well, no. Not exactly. I made it sound way too easy there didn’t I? The real process involved is quite complicated, including the tedious modeling, complicated rigging, and then the actual animating itself. By the end of this years in-depth project I hope to be able to model aesthetically appealing and good looking models on my own! I also hope to be able to create simple and entertaining animations that flow nicely. The software I will be using for my modeling is called Blender, and it is a great free program that does exactly what I want plus more!
Here is a link to Blender’s main website: https://www.blender.org/
For my mentorship, I sent emails out to a few animation and 3d design studios in Vancouver, including SONY Pictures Imageworks. Luckily SONY got back to me and there was someone interested in being my mentor, asking for more detail on what was involved. I couldn’t believe my luck!
I replied to SONY, giving them a detailed explanation on what was involved with mentorship, and currently am waiting for another response. Hopefully, they haven’t lost interest because that would be quite unfortunate, because I sent the email last Friday. The reason I didn’t CC Ms. Mulder for the email was because when I first contacted SONY I had no idea we had to CC the email, but now if I have to contact other places I will make sure to do so!
Here are some screenshots of Blender:
And a special pic of a monkey with a flaming head! Well you can’t really see the head but…
And this is my first ever animation of.. well.. nothing really, just a cube spinning around:
(As you can see it isn’t very good and wobbles in the air, but over time I’ll get there!)
Currently, I am learning the basics of the program and can’t wait to get to the fun stuff like modeling and animating, but I know that if I rush I will get much less out of it rather than patiently taking my time.
Question: “Describe the ups and downs you have encountered to date in your inquiry. Specifically, when you were frustrated or struggling in your inquiry, what did you do to address the situation?”
Currently to date, an up I’ve had is the amount of information I was able to find. Using some valuable internet sources I was able to find lots of information for my project and notes. A down I had was when I was thinking of the story I would write. I got many ideas, and for a few I even started writing the story before I realized I wanted to switch to another idea. After a few days of thinking, I finally settled on an idea. Now I had to think of a structure I would follow. This also took a while, because I kept coming up with different ideas and then ended up scratching them off, since they all had flaws. It was a while until I was able to come up with a structure that I would stick to and use all the way through, and even then I ended up making many tweaks to it as I wrote, improving the structure to better suit my tastes.
When I was struggling to come up with a story idea, I thought about things that interested me. First, I determined that I would write about either fantasy, sci-fi, or both. After that I thought about what I wanted in my story. Action. Action was another one of my favourite genres, so I thought of storylines with either fantasy or sci-fi and action. After lots of trial & error, I came up with the storyline I used to create my short story, successfully making it fantasy and full of action.
Question: “Provide a copy/image of your research notes. What concepts in your learning do you now feel you have a solid grasp on? Which ones might be useful to other students in their learning?”
Here are some pictures of my notes:
At this point, I feel I have a solid grasp on the 5 basic elements that make up a short story, as well as many more elements that make up the 5 big ones. There is also the biggest and most important key, which is to WRITE ABOUT SOMETHING YOU ARE INTERESTED IN!!! If you don’t write about something you are interested in, then you won’t put everything you have into the story. Then you have the 5 big elements which are: Character, Setting, Plot, Conflict, and Theme. I researched key elements that made up good basic elements, because without effective basic elements, you can’t create an effective short story. There are many things you should keep in mind, which will help make a short story. So to clear things up, there are 5 big topics (elements) that make up a short story, and there are smaller sub-elements that make up the big ones. So if the smaller sub-elements are great, they will create great big topics, which in turn will create a great and effective short story!!!
If there are other students who are researching a similar topic, I feel like my notes would come in useful to them, because they can look at my notes and see all the important elements I found that make up an effective short story. My notes can save them a lot of time, and they can use them as a reference in their inquiry.
Question: “Related to your learning evidence, what have you done to make retrieving information easier or more effective in class?”
To make my work more efficient and quick, I email myself links to useful websites on the internet, so I don’t spend too much time searching for another useful source. On my laptop at home, when I find a good website I bookmark it at first, and then when we do ZIP in class I email myself the link for easy access the day before. As for my zip notes, I keep them on a google doc, so I can access them from any device, which also proves very useful and efficient. This way, when I do research in both class and my house, I can easily access my info on any device, which means more time to get work done! I have saved a lot of time with this technique and I will continue to do so to maximize working time.
When I look for a new source, I first quickly skim over the website, then I see who wrote the article/page if the author is provided, just so I can make sure the source is legit and not totally fake. Then if the info seems interesting and trustworthy, I go in-depth and read it, taking notes from the provided information. This is also where I bookmark the website. This way, I can get more effective info than if I had just by reading any old website.
The most significant conflict Junior faces in Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is his crisis with his tribe because of the choice Junior makes to go to Reardan. Upon discovering this, many of Junior’s tribemates brand Junior as a traitor and hate him because they think he is betraying them. Thankfully, not all of his tribemates are against him, for example, Eugene who says, “No, man, you’re cool,” when Junior asks him, “Do you hate me, too?” (145). This shows that Eugene is fine with Junior’s decision and respects his bravery. On the other hand, most of Junior’s tribemates totally aren’t fine with Junior’s decision, for example when Junior says, “Mostly they just wanted to remind me that I was a traitor,” to the kids wearing Frankenstein masks that jump Junior (79). Worst of all, Junior loses his best and only friend, Rowdy, when he tells Rowdy that he is going to Reardan. At first, “He coughed and turned away from me,” but then afterwards he yells, “You always thought you were better than me,” and punches Junior in the face (52). This means Rowdy hates Junior for going to a white school and thinks of Junior as a traitor along with many other people. Junior even says that, “[…] I knew my best friend had become my worst enemy,” which shows how Junior understands Rowdy is no longer his friend, because of Junior’s decision to go to Reardan (53). All of this is because of the one choice Junior makes to go to Reardan so he has a more hopeful future. Unfortunately this leads to his tribe branding him as a traitor, because they think Junior is betraying them by trying to be white. None of this is true though, all Junior wants is a better future for himself, and a shot at success.