3D at T.S.S.

3D Learning at T.S.S.

I am teaching the QSA SAS ICT as a new School Subject course in 2008. In particular, am using 3D Graphics 101 in term 1 in year 12. The level of academics of the lads is average as most are not OP bound but some have good IT skills. Diligence is about average.

This term after some initial problems with our IT department, the boys started to use the software by following the tutorials and mimicking the examples. It was slow going at first but by the end of term, some great work and objects were generate by ALL the boys. The clue to this, is the fact that the software is simple to use. It has a clean interface and few hidden methods. All lads after a couple of weeks, were very competent in the use of the software. Some became very adventurous in what they attempted. Their project was to collate at least 3 different models and if possible integrate them into a scene.

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The hardest part for the boys was to understand how a 3D object can be constructed from scratch. Few had had any graphics background. To this end, most objects were constructed from a face side rather than using cross-section constructions. Also the boys wanted to have more intelligent copying methods when dealing with duplicating along more than one plane.

(click on image for full screen shot)

The software has many more applications than we use it at the moment. In ICT , we would see it as a developmental application across many years. In year 8, we do basic 101, and continue this in 102. This is due to the limited time, ICT has. In year 10, we do 102 and in ICT in Years 11 and 12, we look to put objects into other applications, in particular Flash and game development. In Art, they see this as another mode of expression and again would take it into Photoshop is possible. Teachers of mathematics could use this for 3D concepts as it is easy to deconstruct 3D models.

The bottom line is that software does concentrate on the make up of 3D objects and not on the software which makes it a great tool.

Ian Luxton
Housemaster - Melbourne House

Founded in 1901, TSS is an Anglican Day and Boarding School for boys on the Gold Coast from Prep Year to Year 12. Please visit www.tss.qld.edu.au for information regarding future opportunities at the School.