Week 7

To begin the week, we took a look at Colab, learning a bit more Python to create a Magic 8 Ball. Ultimately, the code is quite simplistic and understandable, but the real fun comes with inserting custom responses. For my 8 Ball, I’ll admit I approached it a bit immaturely but for purely comedic effect. I wanted to have mostly normal answers in the potential bank of responses, while having the occasional curveball thrown in that would catch a user off guard completely. To do this, I added in a “F*** you, ask someone else,” and a couple other surprises. When running tests, it always took at least a handful of attempts to get those answers to appear, making it seem as though the Magic 8 Ball had gotten fed up with the constant questions. This was super fun to do and helped guide me along my journey with coding in Python.

On Wednesday, I taught my table about Piskel, a pixel art and sprite animating app. It has a lot of incredible functionality through its tools and feels really nice to pick up for the first time. I was able to teach my group about what the tools did and how to manipulate the workspace to create whatever kind of pixel art they wanted. Everyone end up having a lot of fun messing around with it on their own afterwards, too, and I was able to quickly animate a guy winking to showcase the software even more while showing how quick and simple it can be.

Bryce showed us this great little browser application called Beepster. Though maybe not the most useful tool, as Chris showed us the incredibly useful Microsoft PowerToys, Beepster was a lot of fun to play around with while also showing the incredible potential of a seemingly very simple tool. We had a lot of fun manipulating the different aspects of a sound, such as pitch and speed, creating our own little soundtracks. It sounded like potential music for a retro (or retro style) game, something that went really well with my lesson on Piskel.

To summarize my big project idea, I’ve taken the follow except from the “Project Narrative” section of my proposal.

This project will follow the journey of a beginner songwriter and producer by showcasing the expedition of learning audio manipulation software, filming techniques, video editing, and the process of conducting in-depth research. There will be a heavy emphasis on the concepts of trial and error and not giving up on a desired goal. This project will be primarily a digital journal but will include educational and inspiring moments for viewers. By capturing footage of the process and behind-the-scenes moments of struggle and realization, this project will incorporate an intriguing storyline and narrative to keep viewers engaged while also documenting the entire process of creating a song.

I think this semester has been going really well in all areas. I’ve been under a lot of pressure from a few of my classes, and oftentimes it can feel like everything is just laid on you as a student and you’re forced to deal with it on your own. Professor Whalen, though, has been doing an incredible job of pacing and making things consumable, interesting, and engaging. I haven’t felt overwhelmed by this class, even when confronted with the fact that our big project will need ~45 hours of work, which I have been incredibly thankful for. In terms of learning, I think the peer teaching has actually shown me some incredible things and learning about algorithms and coding in unique and interesting ways has definitely reinforced concepts in my head. All in all I have no complaints and have been extremely happy with this semester on all fronts.