STUDENT SPOTLIGHT – “My Experience at The DAE”, Victoria H., Age 11

August 21st, 2014- White Plains, NY, The Digital Arts Experience Inc. (The DAE) provides After School, Summer and School Break tech programs for kids and teens in Westchester County that are both educational and fun!

For this entry, Cristina asked Summer Camp helper Victoria to answer a few questions about her past, present and future thoughts on The Digital Arts Experience. Her answers are listed below.

After School & Saturday programs for kids & teens in Westchester County at The Digital Arts Experience in White Plains

2D Flash Animation student work from Summer 2014 camps: After School & Saturday programs for kids & teens in Westchester County at The Digital Arts Experience in White Plains.

 

Q. In your own words, what is the Digital Arts Experience?

A. The Digital Arts Experience is a creative environment for everyone. It is an amazing place for you to create digital items. Whether you want to create a website, direct your own movie or program a video game, the Digital Arts Experience is the place for you!

Summer Programs programs for kids & teens in Westchester County at The Digital Arts Experience in White Plains

Instructor Matt Lewis showcasing student work. Summer Programs programs for kids & teens in Westchester County at The Digital Arts Experience in White Plains run all the way through the end of August.

 

Q. Why do you like the DAE?

A. I like the Digital Arts Experience for many reasons. I love to work with the staff. They help me with my work, and they are just so awesome! Also, when it comes to the digital world, the possibilities are endless! 3D Printing, Music production, animation, even game programming–they have it all!

Print your own objects! 3D Printing and Scanning programs for kids & teens in Westchester County at The Digital Arts Experience in White Plains

Print your own objects! 3D Printing and Scanning programs for kids & teens in Westchester County at The Digital Arts Experience in White Plains

 

Q. What are some things you’ve learned at the DAE?

A. I learned so many things at the DAE. I learned how to make a movie with special effects, how to create my own music, and I even learned how to cross reality with animation!

 

Q. How do you think the DAE has helped kids and technology?

A. The DAE has taught kids many things. In all the classes I’ve ever taken, each kid there would learn something new. Whether it was learning how to do stop motion or how to make hilarious scenery, we would all learn something really cool. The teachers taught us how to make many things with certain software. (Final Cut Pro X, AfterEffects, Photoshop and more) And now that I know, I use it every day!

Parents, guardians, friends and family gather around for the Student Showcase, where students display the work they've created during camp and classes.

Parents, guardians, friends and family gather around for the Student Showcase, where students display the work they’ve created during camp and classes.

 

Q. What do you see in the future for the DAE?

A. I see many things in store at the DAE. I have a feeling it will become very popular. In my vision, the DAE will be well known for amazing classes. Whether it’s learning how to 3D print or how to create a music composition, I see great things for the DAE.

The Digital Arts Experience staff - 6 of whom recently received CPR, AED & First Aid certification includes Rob Kissner, President & CEO, Cristina Calabrese, Director of Operations & Co-Founder, Emily Angell, Scratch Instructor & Event Planner, Jess Hachigian, Director of Community Relations, Nick Sceusa, 3D Animation guru & Celina Bertoncini, Animation, 3D Printing & Scratch summer instructor.

The Digital Arts Experience staff – 6 of whom recently received CPR, AED & First Aid certification includes Rob Kissner, President & CEO, Cristina Calabrese, Director of Operations & Co-Founder, Emily Angell, Scratch Instructor & Event Planner, Jess Hachigian, Director of Community Relations, Nick Sceusa, 3D Animation guru & Celina Bertoncini, Animation, 3D Printing & Scratch summer instructor.

To view the schedule of classes for the upcoming Fall, check out: http://bit.ly/1tW12yy.

For questions or comments, feel free to send us an e-mail at info@TheDAE.com.

The Digital Arts Experience

170 Hamilton Avenue, Suite 100

White Plains NY, 10601

(914) 644-8100

www.TheDAE.com

facebook.com/TheDAExperience

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Summer Tech Camps in Westchester off with a Blast!

The Digital Arts Experience (The DAE) Summer Tech Camps in Westchester, White Plains, NY– July 7th, 2014 marked the beginning of The DAE’s summer programming. With afternoon and morning sessions, the programs are flexible with your busy summer schedule!

Instructor Pete Monsanto of FlyLifeImages.com teaching a Digital Photography course

Instructor Pete Monsanto of FlyLifeImages.com teaching a Digital Photography course

For Summer Session 1, the Morning programs are:

  • 3D Minecraft Animation
  • 3D Printing
  • Digital Photography
  • Sound FX and Digital Music Production
  • Stop Motion Animation
  • Visual FX & Video Production

And for the Afternoon:

  • 3D Animation & Modeling
  • 3D Printing
  • Digital Photography
  • Game Programming with Java (x2)
  • Game Programming with Scratch

 

Morning session runs from 9:30AM – 12:00PM, and Afternoon from 1:00PM – 3:30PM. This summer marks the 2nd year that The DAE has been running tech programming for kids and teens. Compared to last year, the enrollment has nearly tripled!

summer-tech-camp-westchester-ny

President and founder Rob Kissner welcomes the students and goes over the ground rules on the first day of camp.

The Digital Arts Experience runs summer programming all the way until the end of August in 1 and 2-week long programs. To find out what programs are still available, check out their registration page at:  http://bit.ly/1jL46Wh or schedule a tour at by giving a call at (914) 644-8100 or e-mailing info@TheDAE.com!

Other summer programs include Graphic & Web Design, Intro to Computer Programming with Processing, Electronics using Arduino, 2D Flash Animation, Songwriting and more! Be sure to check out what is still available before classes fill up.

We hope to see you with us at The DAE this summer!

 

Learning About Vine and Stop-Motion Animation in Westchester

Image representing Vine as depicted in CrunchBase

Image by None via CrunchBase

by Megan Johnson, intern

Ever since Vine, the app that lets you record looping 6-second videos, debuted in January of this year, it has been a hit amongst stop-motion animators. All a Vine recording requires is that you press your thumb down on the screen to record and lift it to stop. So, for stop-motion aficionados, that easily translates to creating your own stop-motion animations.
For those of you who are interested in exploring the stop-motion world, check out these tips, provided by the pro Viners themselves: 

1. Come up with an idea!

No (successful) stop-motion clip can be spontaneous. Plan out what you’re going to do in your 6 seconds and figure out what your goal is for this Vine. Pro Viner, Frank Danna, recommends asking yourself, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…?” if you have “Viner’s Block.”

2. Plan. Rome wasn’t Vined in a day!

Much like longer-length productions, you’ll need to organize your Vine by breaking down your shots and figuring out what you’ll have to do – for more complex Vines, this may involve storyboarding! This helps you stay on track and constant throughout the filming process. “I typically begin with rough sketches or written walkthroughs that help me keep the story of my Vine intact and insure consistency from start to finish,” says Danna.

From here, you can figure out not only where your Vine will end up, but also what props and camera angles you may need. If you want to ensure steady shots, get a tripod or a makeshift tripod to keep your stop-motion animation looking flawless.

3. Cut frequently!

You’ve got way more time than you think you have. 6 seconds seems long to us, but in the realm of stop-motion animation, it’s a long time. You have so many possibilities!

Just look at Ben Wyatt (on NBC’s Parks and Recreation) as his hard work of three weeks led to 3 seconds of stop-motion:

Don’t worry, yours won’t be as bad.

4. Use the ghost feature!

Some of you may not even realize this exists, but pro Viner and video producer Ian Padgham recommends using Vine’s ghost feature. It allows you to have a ghost layer while you’re filming, so that if you bump the shot at all, you can view the last scene with ease by tapping the ghost in the bottom right corner

5. Take a screenshot for looping!

Padgham also recommends that, if you want to have a great, smoothly looping Vine, you should take a screenshot of your first shot so that you know exactly how to end your video to look just like the beginning.

Maybe you can even aspire to be as great as these guys (but don’t be ashamed if your first attempt isn’t quite as awe-inducing!)

Happy Vining and hope you have as much fun with it as we do! Check out our Vines by following @thedaexperience.


Love Vine? Check out these great Vine articles that have more tips and more awesome animations!

Interested in having your kids learn stop-motion animation?
Our next Stop-Motion with Legos class at The Digital Arts Experience for ages 9-12 will begin December 4th!
Click here for more information.

Final Summer Camp Open House

The Digital Arts Experience (The DAE) of White Plains hosted its final Open House before the start of its summer camps this past Saturday, June 29th. The DAE opened its doors to all those interested in learning more about its facility and the programs offered for kids and teens of Westchester.

Attendees were greeted with a personalized, warm welcome from a DAE staff member, and promptly given a specialized tour of the facility. Topics covered were 2D/3D Animation, Graphic Design, Moviemaking, Photography and Web Design. In addition, features of the DAE’s 8,000 sq. ft. facility were highlighted – its in house, fully equipped recording studio, its professional photography & video studio, classrooms, main event space, and podcasting studio.

The Digital Arts Experience (The DAE) is a community focused learning & production facility located in downtown White Plains that teaches courses for kids, teens and adults in Animation, Graphic Design, Moviemaking, Photography, Web Design, Blogging, computer/smart phone basics and more. In addition to teaching classes, The DAE also offers creative and design services to help your business grow. With their in-house professional photography/video studio, fully equipped recording studio, 4 computer labs with all of the latest professional software and industry active staff, The DAE prides itself on being not only a resource for the community, but a productive place you can go to meet other like-minded individuals who share your interests.

Starting the 2nd week of July, The DAE will be running Summer Camps for kids. The summer programs are designed to engage your child in fun, skill building multi-media projects in their chosen area of interest in either: Animation, Graphic Design, Photography, Moviemaking or Web Design. The classes are small with a maximum of 6 kids, 100% hands on and focus on collaboration so your kid/teen will develop social, technical and creative skills, and also leave with completed projects for a portfolio or college application! Check out The DAE’s summer promo video.

Click here to apply to our summer programs:  http://bit.ly/Y583H8!

Adobe AfterEffects Side Scroll Project at The Digital Arts Experience

The Digital Arts Experience of Westchester County recently finished an after school 2D Animation/Visual Effects teen class using Adobe AfterEffects. The goal of the final project named Project Scimenatar was to use all of the skills they learned and apply it towards creating their own side scroll video game.

We asked our Animation instructor, Nick Sceusa, who was recently interviewed by opensource.com based on his experience in teaching our 3D Animation class with Blender, to tell me about his experience in the 2D class. According to Nick:

The sidescroller idea came about a little over halfway through our current session. We had been learning After Effects with mini projects and it was going okay, but there was a definite lack of excitement. I needed to come up with a project everyone was interested in and could work on together. Me and the students always chatted during our breaks and I had a pretty good idea of what they were all interested in. I’m not sure when the “a-hah” moment came around, but this project came out of that need to make the class more interesting and engaging.

The first thing we did was sit down and plan out what we wanted to happen in our “game”. The number of enemies, what obstacles do we want, should we have health bars, what weapons should we have etc. All those little details were worked out beforehand and checked with how much time we had to work with. Once that was done, we moved on to storyboarding, which is essentially a visual representation of your script. In our case the script was: destroy all enemies. The storyboard allowed us to plan things out visually and served as a guide during the production phase.

The storyboard process.

The storyboard process.

Once we knew what would happen during the game, we moved over to the photo studio at The Digital Arts Experience. A green screen was setup and each student posed for whatever action they needed during the game.

Stephen poses in the Photo Studio for his 2D Animation class project at The Digital Arts Experience in White Plains.

Stephen poses in the Photo Studio for his 2D Animation class project at The Digital Arts Experience in White Plains.

Things like jumps, shooting, melee attacks etc. Every action required at least one photo. Some actions such as walks needed two. After getting our main cast captured additional characters and items such as the goombas and background were needed. Images from online were used for photo tracing in Adobe Illustrator and hand drawn images were scanned into Photoshop for coloring. This allowed students to work comfortably in a medium they were comfortable in and learn a bit about an additional program that works well with After Effects.

Now we moved into After Effects. The first thing we did was get our characters setup. After importing the original images we ordered and renamed them according to the pose This way we could call up the pose we needed at any time in a different composition within the project. Take a look at this photo of one my students Maggie:

1)This is the original imported image:

The original photograph in our studio

The original photograph in our studio

2)After being imported the green background is removed:

The green backdrop is removed

The green backdrop is removed

3) Accessories are added if needed:

Maggie gains a red lightsaber.

Maggie gains a red lightsaber.

4) The character is dropped into the background:

Background scenery is added.

Background scenery is added.

Each pose or image required these steps. After that each characters motion (enemy, obstacle etc) was animated by calling up a different pose, and moved within after effects. We also did some effects work and some sound design to really give the project some pizazz!

Overall, I’m very happy with the way the project turned out. The students did an amazing amount of work within a short amount of time. In fact this project ending up being so fun that I will be using this project in any future after effects class I do.  Thanks again to Maggie, Kendrick and Stephen for making it a fun project.

Check out the final project here:

 

The Digital Arts Experience (The DAE) is a community focused learning & production facility located in downtown White Plains that teaches courses for kids, teens and adults in Animation, Graphic Design, Moviemaking, Photography, Web Design, Blogging, computer/smart phone basics and more. In addition to teaching classes, The DAE also offers creative and design services to help your business grow. With their in-house professional photography/video studio, fully equipped recording studio, 4 computer labs with all of the latest professional software and industry active staff, The DAE prides itself on being not only a resource for the community, but a productive place you can go to meet other like-minded individuals who share your interests.

Starting the 2nd week of July, The DAE will be running Summer Camps for kids. The summer programs are designed to engage your child in fun, skill building multi-media projects in their chosen area of interest in either: Animation, Graphic Design, Photography, Moviemaking or Web Design. The classes are small with a maximum of 6 kids, 100% hands on and focus on collaboration so your kid/teen will develop social, technical and creative skills, and also leave with completed projects for a portfolio or college application! Check out The DAE’s summer promo video.


Stop by at any time for a tour of its brand new, state-of-the-art 8,000 sq. ft facility, or feel free to call 914-644-8100, e-mail info@thedae.com, or visit www.TheDAE.com for more informati