Pedro's Blog

MAYA – Bouncing Ball Tutorial

Bouncing Ball Tutorial:

With this tutorial, our goal was to create an animation of the ball dropping and then coming back up. For this, we started off by simply making the ball go from the top to bottom. On the graph editor it looked like this:


With the graph, you can see that the line is curved and has this flow to it but that’s not natural as it means teh ball slows down as it reaches the bottom when it should speed up. So we broke the tangents on the graph allowing us to be abloe to make the line have a sharper drop like so.


After we needed to edit the X and Z axis so that the ball would become thinner as it got to the bottom due to reaching higher speeds. On the graph editor, it looks this first section of the line.


But after we needed to make the ball squeeze as it’s hitting the ground so we needed to increase the X and Z axis as the weight spreads. It’s shown as such in the graph.


But with those processes, we also had to edit the y-axis so that it increases as it gets faster but decreases when it hits the ground. This is shows like this in the graph.


Because of the squeezing when the ball reaches the bottom it means we had to push the key for the Y axis translation down so that the ball would reach the surface of the x like before.



MAYA – Keyframe Basics

Keyframe Basics:


We started off by creating 3 polygons and then separating them equally. After that, we started working on animating the square. We made it so the cube went to the opposite side in 24 frames. Then followed up by the sphere going to the other side in 48 frames and then the pyramid going to the other side in 72 frames. This shows that by doing the same action but in a larger amount of frames, reduces the speed it is done at. Below you can see that the square is at the end, followed up by the sphere and then the pyramid.



After that we made the cube go back an forth twice and reaching the opposite side the same time as the pyramid which meant we had to make it reach its destination by 72 frames.


After that, we edited the position of X for the sphere so that it went to the middle once reaching the opposite side.


Then we messed around with rotation and made the cube spin 1080 degrees on it’s Z axis until it reached the end of its movement.


After that, we made the sphere spin 360 degrees on its X axis until it reached its destination. However because its a sphere it’s harder to see it’s rotation.


After we made the pyramid spin -90 degrees on its Y axis until reaching its destination.


After that, we moved onto editing the hypershade of the shapes. With this, we are able to apply texture or colors to the shapes.


So with this, we gave the cube a lime green color. The sphere a blue color and then the pyramid a checkered texture.



MAYA – Column Tutorial

Column Tutorial:

For the tutorial, we created some columns and worked on the edge loop tool. We started off by creating a base for the column with a cube. We then edited the x and y scale of the cube to make it flatter. We then created a cylinder and put it above the cube using the side view to be able to pinpoint the top of the square. We then created a torus to put on top of the cylinder to be able to finish the column.


After that, we duplicated the column 4 times to be able to place on the four corners of the base. After that, we created another base for the temple. Once we got it to the right side we then used edge loop to create to create sliders so that we can make steps. After creating the edges for the steps we are able to extrude it and make it stand higher than the base. then by repeating the process we created the base with steps. The edge loop allows us to be able to mess around and change specific properties of an object and paired up with the extrude tool, you are able to enlarge and bring up that face.

Screen Shot 2017-10-02 at 10.52.20

After that, I used a cube and created an edge loop in the middle to be able to pace it higher to create a triangular shape on top to give a roof. The edge loop tool can be used to create singular lines which allowed me to bring out the top part.

Screen Shot 2017-10-02 at 10.57.23


MAYA – Spaceship

Spaceship Tutorial:

To begin with, we explored the software after being told about the different tools above and how to use them. With this information, we were then told to create a spaceship and everyone else’s was of course different. I used the cylinder shape to create the base of the spaceship. The with a few circles I created the head of the spaceship and turned it into a little character. With the pyramid tool, I created a hat and then a beak. For the wing, I then created a square and changed it’s properties so that it’s flatter and gets thinner as you move along. I only got this far but overall, it allowed me to get comfortable with the software and its basic tools.


App design idea

App idea:

The app I want to create is an organizer/planner app for the student. I want to include a daily schedule with the ability to allocate tasks/homework to each lesson. I also want to add the ability to add an event for a certain period of time, this would allow students to add trips to their schedule and after not have to go through the hassle of having to delete it. The organizer app would also have the ability to send notifications to the user. This would let the student be reminded of what they have next and how long left of break or lunch.

The purpose of the app would be for students to have almost like a digital planner on their phones so that even if they’re not at home and out, they are still able to access their work and know what is coming in the next days. It would also reduce the need for a hard copy of a planner. The main point with this app is to be able to have everything in one place so that the user doesn’t have to switch between apps. Also if the user is still able to be notified of what is happening in their schedule through notification then it means that he can save time by not going into the app and having to unlock the phone.

The target audience would be for students on any type of education level. I really want to emphasize any education level, because I don’t want it to be seen as an app for just people in uni or college. So these would be for students aged 12-23. At these ages, you’re entering secondary school and need to be organized and at the later ages is where you start to end you uni course so it seems like a perfect age group.

Looking into organizer apps:


When looking into organizer/planner apps there are 2 things that I noticed. A lot of color coding and a lot of information seems to be just getting thrown at your face. I like the idea of color and color coding certain lessons e.g. Lunch is yellow art red. By having things color coded you are able to quickly distinguish what is next and you don’t have to spend time looking at the event name. I think giving the user the ability to color code each lesson allows the experience to be more customisable and they can do as they please with it. However, I don’t the app to feel overwhelming and as if everything is everywhere. I want the app to focus on one day at a time, that way the user is easily able to read the information in front of him and, if needs be, you are able to swipe to see other days or by clicking on days it opens up almost like a calendar to make it easier to navigate through longer dates. This makes the layout a lot easier to comprehend. The initial screen will be clean and not much will be given apart from key information. However, the number of homework or tasks will be shown in the lesson and the correspondent due in date and when clicking on the day you are able to see a more in-depth look into the day.

From my research, I also found that there’s a lot that you can add to this organiser app, like pictures and participant names. Although that is good, having those on the main screen just seems like too much for the user. Pictures are not something I want to include, however, with the names it would be a cool idea to have the option to add like the teacher’s name and to also have a point of contact. But I only want to make this information accessible by clicking on the corresponding lesson so that I can keep my idea of a clean simple look. Another feature I want to add from research is the ability to have a widget. A widget on an iPhone allows the user to swipe to the right and have access to an app like news, messages, weather. With this, I am able to include the next lessons or the whole timetable so that the user can easily access it without having to unlock his phone. The use of color in this app will be very minimal. I don’t want to have my own color pallet and if so it will be very minimal and light because I want the main focus point to be the schedule. For the schedule, however, I want the colors to really stand out and be bright so that the user is constantly attracted to the color from it and focuses on that.

Game Treatment

Working Title – Fight against gods

Genre – The game will be an Adventure game with the side-scroller elements to it.

Duration – The game’s duration will be dependant on how difficult the player finds the game and also depending on whether they use the shortcuts available to them.

Target Audience – The target audience will be for people in their early teens as this game will take some willpower to be able to complete and people at younger ages or older might not find it as interesting.

Outline – A simple retired Roman soldier living in a little village is awakened one day as his village is spoken to by Vulcan (God of fire and metalworking). As it turns out, the number of follower/worshippers have been declining for Vulcan, with these threats he’s hoping to be able to gain followers. However, Lucius (the retired Roman soldier) is against this and decides to fight his way to Vulcan and ask him to let his village free. After asking it’s clear that Vulcan won’t change his mind and Lucius threatens to take his life. Vulcan then explains that he needs the worshippers or he will lose his powers. As it turns out Vulcan is also being threatened by other gods as he has low worshippers.

Character Breakdown – The main character will be Lucius. Lucius spent many years in the army and after retirement, all he wanted was to live in peace. After losing his family, the village became the only thing he cared about, however, he still doesn’t communicate as much with the rest of the villagers and some are not even aware of his existence. Lucius is in his early 40s.

Vulcan is a god whose powers and title as a god are being threatened by other gods and the low amount of worshippers he has been getting the past years. Vulcan forges weapons for the various gods and in the game, he crafts the weapons of the enemies Lucius fights against. When you progress through the story, Lucius receives a sword and a shield from Vulcan to fight the other gods. Vulcan’s age is unknown.

The enemies that Lucius fights at the beginning are part of Hades’ army, They are skeleton based enemies with little armor and little possibility to do damage. They were sent to help Vulcan to gain worshippers as the two gods need to gain worshippers. When Lucius strikes a deal with Vulcan Hades takes back his army and Lucius is then left to fight other gods’ armies.

Visual Elements / Mise en Scene- The game including the background and the characters will be done using Illustrator to allow them to be vector and to have a clean professional look.

Audio – I will be most likely use a non-copyrighted instrumental song for the music. By using simply instrumental it gives the game the feeling that the old games had, it also allows for the user to maintain focus on the game and not be distracted by other elements.

Rationale – I have chosen this idea as it plays on the show called ‘American Gods’. The show takes about gods and how their worshippers and the amount of them play a role in their powers. I think this idea will be successful as it plays on the same scenario as the show, which explores an idea which isn’t touched much these years. I have knowledge of the Illustrator software which enables me to create the game elements. I will, however, need to develop some skills on game making softwares to be able to create the game.

Primary and Secondary Research – For the game, I have done a lot of research on the armor and the weapons used in the Roman times and their armies. I also did some research to do with shields during those times. I also did some research into the gods and what they look like. For this, I used some pictures of art done in Roman times but also games which gave me a modern visual representation of the gods and their 3D elements.

Requirements and resources – For this project, I will need a workstation including a Mac or PC. I will also need access to illustrator and game making software which is provided to us by the college.

Constraints and Contingency – The main problems I will likely encounter is with the use of the software, Illustrator and the game making software. To solve these problems I am able to look online for tutorials and for solutions to my problem. I also have very able students and teachers that would be willing to help me if needs be.

Legal and ethical considerations – For the game, the legal considerations I need to be aware of is the use of the non-copyrighted music. For ethical stuff, I will need to make sure to not portray the gods in a negative way as some people can take offense to that. Also keeping in line with the lore makes it more believable.


Budget – If this was a live brief, I would need to be aware of the costs to be able to run the PCs or Macs for the team. I would need to be aware of the cost of the rent, for the electricity.

Schedule – The game will take me up to 3 months to create as I only need to create a single level. I will give some more time, dedicated to sorting out certain problems and for viewing tutorials for the software.

Family Apps Research

Who uses family apps
Most of the target audience for family apps are parents with children, particularly new parents with young children. Family apps can also be used by older kids and teens in high school who are about to go to university. This audience will find family apps helpful because families, especially parents, can be very busy meaning that they need a faster way to interact with their family.

Family apps can be used for different purposes. Main reasons people download family apps are for:

Organising. People download family apps to help them organize things. They can be helpful to remind users which important tasks they have to do. For example, ‘Remember the Milk’ app helps to organize priorities, to-dos, due dates, lists and other things.
Another example ‘Grocery IQ helps to build grocery lists quickly from the database of millions of items. It helps people to organize their shopping lists and have everything in one place.

Rewarding the kids. People use family apps to rewarding their kids for the chores and other tasks. For example, ‘ChoreMonster’ app sets up tasks for the kids and they get rewards for it.

Location. There are apps for families which help to know the location of each other. ‘Life360’ lets to share your location with the family members.

Taking care of others. Family apps could also be used for taking care of people. For example, the app ‘Care Zone’ makes simpler to take care of yourself and the family members by managing the health care, medications, and appointments.

Babysitting. There are families who used babysitting apps to help them to write down all the important things about their kid to the babysitter. It helps the babysitters to learn about the kids’ activities, allergies, bedtimes, schedules and other important details. A good example of it is ‘Babysitter Pro’ app.

Kids activities. There are also family apps for children to keep them occupied and help them learn new things. For example, ‘Kidzongs’ app features simple educational animations accompanied by music.



What is ChoreMonster?

ChoreMonster is a group of web and mobile that help parents manage chores of their children. Parents can access ChoreMonster on their mobile device as well as a desktop computer. Parents have to create an account. Children can also access ChoreMonster on an electronic device with their own account.

How does it work?

For Parents:

  1. Quickly and easily create scheduled chores with point values. When your child says they’re done, you approve and they get the points.
  2. Add rewards that your kids “purchase” from their point collection. A reward can be anything from money to a camping trip.
  3. Watch your kids willingly and enthusiastically do their chores, with the need for chore charts.


For Kids:

  1. Sign into the ChoreMonster mobile or web app, designed especially for kids, and see their chores for the day.
  2. Review all the possibilities they reward they can get and how much they’ll need to have to get them.
  3. Along the way, kids will earn random monsters for an added fun surprise.
  4. Suddenly find themselves wanting to do chores



Your kids will beg to do their chores!

Choremonster makes chores fun by engaging and rewarding your kids! Parents Magazine named ChoreMonster one of the App-solute Must Apps for Families in 2015!

Take the tension out of chores with an easy-to-use tool for your 4-12 years old. Kids earn points by completing chores and earn rewards to be used towards things like ice-cream, an hour of Xbox, or a family camping trip. Parents manage their children’s chore and the rewards they can earn.

…..or these popular publications:

“We now give fewer ultimatums, engage in less browbeating, and have more time to relax….with the kids”– Mister Mom Blog

ChoreMonster “…..makes it more likely that the trash can is emptied, the toys are put away, and the vegetables are consumed”–The New York Times.

Benefits of using this app:

  1. Easy to access information from phone and desktop computer.
  2. Easy interface for parents to input information and for the child to access information.
  3. No need to print out chore charts.
  4. Easy for child and parents to monitor the progress of chores.

The design of family apps

Family tends to carry a very innocent and simplistic design to them using bright vibrant color schemes, which usually consists of some type of warm color this is because warm colors tend to bring a sense of warmth and energy. Children tend to be attracted more to vibrant fun block color. Which many family apps incorporate this into their designs choosing to incorporate red, blue and yellows in their design instead of more muted colors such as light shades of beige or neutrals greys and brown.

When it comes to ui ux designs they use simple easy designs, which have large writings and logos clearly representing its functionality. This makes it easy for a child to get an idea of what it might do and once they learn to make it easy to memorize. This is because children tend to find it easier to memorize picture than words. An example of this is choremaster which uses block colors such as blue and brown and design in its ui this makes it easy to navigate through and easy for a child to learn how to use. This allowing the user experience to be pleasant without a person having to use all their brain power attempting to figure out what everything does. Choremaster also has 2 different ui one for children and one for adults. This allows a more detailed ui with more functionality and freedom for adults. It allows them to choose what their child has access to and because there is a completely different ui for a child the child doesn’t need to see everything that the adult does as it can become more distracting and confusing for the child. You also don’t want your child to have the same level access as the adult


Magzine layout

For this task, we were told to simply create a magazine spread for our favorite holiday. With this information, we were also told to grab some pictures and add some writing. I chose to go to Madeira as I had a lot of experience with that place and also good memories. With this task, I initially created this:

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 13.57.15

I created a very visual spread but with also a lot of writing. The picture on the right are very clustered and there seems to be too many. It almost doesn’t seem like they’re meant to be there. As you can also see there isn’t a lot of structured and everything is just placed to be placed. The text doesn’t seem to have any importance as it fills up a lot of the page and looks like a lot of waffle. The viewer’s eyes never also get a break and always seem to constantly be scanning the page to take all the information in.

On the next version, we got a single tip, and that was to use a grid system. This is what I then created:

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 14.51.12

As you can see it is a lot simpler and the number of images was reduced by a large amount. The text seems to have more importance as it is less, also the text on the right of the first page offers a different view on the holiday and therefore by being separated from the rest gives its own individuality and importance. Using the grid system allowed us to easily place certain aspects of the spread evenly apart and to add negative space. The negative space makes it a lot easier to go through the page and take everything in, it also gives the eyes an easier time The picture just below the quote gives some more context as to what the quote is about. The negative space also allows for a lot of white to come through almost like the sunlight from Madeira, which also gives a much more positive look on the location.

Maya research

Maya is a software used by many types of people and jobs. For our purpose, we will be using it as a way to create game elements. However, Maya can be used for many designers, such as architectural designers to recreate their ideas and be able to show something more visual to their clients.

Maya uses polygonal modeling and it’s a method of turning the objects you create representing or approximating their surfaces with polygons. Maya uses vertices and then connects them to create edges whereby the center turns into a face. The more polygons you have the smoother or more detailed the object will be. However, it will take a considerably larger amount of time to load. When there is an unnecessary vertice it is called an endgon.

Key tools in MAYA:

  • Q – Selection tool, allows for the user to select certain parts of the object.
  • W – Move tool allows for the user to move objects according to x y and z axis.
  • E – Rotate tool allows the user to rotate the object along the x y and z axis.
  • R – Scale tool allows the user to change the x y and z properties of the shape.
  • Space – Four view tool allows the user to view the objects in different points of views.
  • Extrude tool allows the user to bring out a face of the object.



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