“Benjamin Franklin High School” by Werner

  • ©Paul Werner



    Benjamin Franklin High School

Program Title:



Project Affiliation:

    Benjamin Franklin High School


    Benjamin Franklin High School, a New Orleans public magnet school, was chosen to produce the Web site and online video for sigKIDS 2000. Paul Werner, Franklin’s Webmaster and television production teacher, headed the team composed of students from 9th through 12th grades. All interested students were invited to join the team and learn the skills necessary to produce the material for the conference.

    Student Comments

    Leslie Becker

    “I joined the SIGGRAPH 2000 project in September of 1999 when Marc Barr came to visit Franklin. I thought it would be a wonderful way for me to learn basic ideas on advanced computer programs. In November 1999, I attended the SIGGRAPH 2000 educational outreach program at Kennedy High School. In February 2000, I attended and interviewed Marty Sixkiller at the New Orleans Museum of Art. A brief summary of Marty Sixkiller’s life and the interview can be found on the egroup site. I was able to watch an educational video and learn how the advanced crew and technology at Pacific Data Images conquered some graphic complications and created great computer-animated films such as “ANTZ.” This summer, I am going to India to film/direct/produce an educational video about prenatal care in India. I will be shooting with a Cannon Gl-1, so I will hopefully become more familiar with our digital cameras. Also, I will be attending Florida State’s Film School in the fall, so SIGGRAPH 2000 should be an excellent way for me to put my foot in the door.”

    Kristina Bennett

    “I became interested in SIGGRAPH when my teacher announced to
    my class that we had an opportunity to work with the best equipment available and some of the top minds in the business. I was able to attend meetings held at Franklin and at Kennedy where SIGGRAPH 2000 was discussed. I was also able to attend a special meeting for teachers at the New Orleans Museum of Art, where the speaker dis- cussed how to bring computer graphics into the curriculum. Another student and I interviewed the speaker, Marty Sixkiller. He discussed how he became involved in the industry and how young people should get started. I’m excited about this summer. I can’t wait to learn about all the new technology and techniques that are used today.”

    Alexis Brown

    “I first joined the sigKIDS team near the beginning of the school year.
    I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to see what new ideas have been developed in the field of communications. My strengths in that area are currently digital and linear editing. I also have been studying film for two years under Mr. Werner. I logged the video for the NOMA project. I hope to learn more about SIGGRAPH in the next few months.”

    Luisito Caleon

    “In a feeble attempt to further my future career in the oh-so-booming computer industry, I got a pass from Mr. Werner to attend the SIGGRAPH meeting to be held at sixth period. Call it concern for my future or my extreme hate for sixth period Spanish IV AP. A lot of people I did not expect to see were in attendance at the meeting. Contrary to my expectations, this seemed to be more than a reason to get out of class. The video we viewed was very well done in music- video form to some unknown techno song. It featured a lot of CG shorts I’ve seen here and there. Nikki arrived late to the meeting because of her Japanese class at the University of New Orleans but managed to get there before the meeting ended. We all were given Marc Barr’s email address and the URLto the official SIGGRAPH 2000 site. I still was not quite sure how we were going to get involved

    in this massive convention. All I knew was that we would all get SIGGRAPH hats. Nothing like a good incentive to keep you going. Unfortunately, I had to return to class afterwards.

    “November 1999: A sizeable group of Franklin students went to the SIGGRAPH outreach session at Kennedy High School. We were joined by a group of Kennedy “techies” who were skilled at computer hard- ware and basic networking. We also viewed a short on “The Physics of Cartoons.” I, to this day, am still not quite sure what the purpose of attending the “outreach” was. My biggest worry was that I would have to go back to school early and take an English quiz I purposely did not prepare for, in hopes the “outreach” would take all afternoon. In lieu of returning to school, I went to Nikki’s house to check my email. Upon arriving to school for play practice, I was informed everyone had con- gregated at PJ’s Coffee & Tea in order to kill those extra minutes left in the school day.

    “January 2000: The entire Ben Franklin sigKIDS community is currently running its base of communications through a mailing list on egroups.com, all thanks to Newhouse. Adam also created a message board and file storage systems on the site. Apparently, I have to watch what I say in the presence of the group (and with a certain Ryan Prechter).

    “February 200: Mr. Werner asked for volunteers to work on the first assignment for Ben Franklin sigKIDS. The assignment was to attend another outreach session with Marty Sixkiller of “ANTZ” fame at the New Orleans Museum of Art. I was unable to attend because of yet another play practice but agreed to help put the information from the outreach session online. After a few bouts of procrastination, I edited the text sent to me from Leslie Becker, and Nikki constructed yet another amazing Web site for the outreach session.”

    Gerrelda Ferrand

    “I joined sigKIDS in January of 2000. I did not have the advantage of attending any of the seminars, but I heard that they were informative and innovative. The group that I am so pleased to be with created a wonderful Web site. The multimedia room at Benjamin Franklin has also allowed me to work with the following programs: Maya, Poser 4, True Space 4, and many other animation programs. I cannot wait to attend SIGGRAPH 2000. I am sure it will be an educational and inter- esting event that I will remember forever.

    Adham Hussain

    “When I first joined the sigK IDS team, I became introduced to 3D graph- ics. I started using a demo program called Studio Pro 2.5.3, and I did quite well with it. I made several 3D pictures that I also uploaded.

    After I mastered the basics of Studio Pro, I decided to use some of
    the better 3D programs that were available to me. I first tried Bryce 3D, and I liked it, but I really wasn’t interested in doing landscapes yet. I also tried using Maya, which is really great but very difficult to use.
    I attempted to make a bird fly. I had all of the polygons and animation set, but I just couldn’t render it. Well, I didn’t quite give up on Maya. I’ll just come back to it later.

    I have also done a bit of tampering with Poser 4. At first I didn’t care for this program, but once I saw what can be done I became addicted. I now try to use this program as much as I can. So far, I have created several oddball animations, including a woman spinning up side down like a helicopter and a vampire with shifting emotions. My first goal is to make a character do a backflip kick and have someone getting hit by the kick. After I do this, I will try to create a one-minute fight scene, or I will try to create a character thr owing a ball of fire from his hands (like in Street Fighter). This might be wishful thinking, but I don’t care. I’ll just keep on trying.

    I first got involved with sigKIDS when I went to the presentation at Kennedy High School in November of 1999. I was instantly interested, because I always had a fascination with computer graphics, 3D anima- tion, and video. I figured that this would be the perfect opportunity for me to express my interests, show off my talents, and use new programs that I was unable to use before. The presentation at Kennedy High School was very entertaining, and it increased my interest in 3D graphics.”

    Jeff Merlin

    “I got interested in sigK IDS when Mr. Werner told our TV2 class that we were starting the program at school. I thought it would be good experience for me to work with the digital cameras and editing equipment, as well as the animation studios, and actually have a set goal in mind. I was also looking forward to attending SIGGRAPH 2000 in July and the opportunity to broadcast it over the Web, but unfortunately I will be out of town on those dates.

    Thus far in sigK IDS, I have used Maya to program a ball bouncing through a fire hoop. I am also learning how to use Poser 4, and I have made a claymation video that will be digitized and uploaded to the Internet. I hope to accomplish much more in my last three weeks here at Franklin.”

    Adam Newhouse

    “• Beginning of the year: I play around with Bryce 3D and Ulead Cool 3D.

    • Went to Spain over Thanksgiving vacation. I become interested in taking good pictures.

    • I receive my digital camera for Christmas; I start taking more pictures, become photographer for Mu Alpha Theta.

    • Learn the basics of cleaning up a picture using Photoshop; bad lighting at the awards ceremony for a Mu Alpha Theta competition allows me to hone my cleanup skills.

    • Hash: Animation Master. After it came in, I played around with it some, created a few scenes using mostly preset objects and models I downloaded. Didn’t really have time to learn it very well. Now that I have AM at home, I’m learning much more, as I have more time to go through the tons of tutorials that exist for it.

    • TrueSpace 4.3. Began learning how to model things and create textures. Tried modeling the top of one of the desks at school as a beginner’s project, but it never came out looking right. Created some realistic-looking floor tiles from school with my digital camera, Photoshop, and time spent getting the lighting right in a scene that had the tile texture repeating on a plane.

    • Maya arrives. I open it up, poke around some, think to myself: “This is pretty cool.” Start going through the first tutorial. Over the course of a few weeks, I learn many things, including the fact that you should never trust the screenshots in the Learning Maya 2 book. Currently trying to learn how to model, am about to skip the least three lessens on Tutorial 1 and go on to Tutorial 2, which looks like it involves a lot of modeling.

    • I joined the sigKIDS team because I love computer graphics,
    and I’ve read a lot about SIGGRAPH, and thought it would be fun.

    • NOMA presentation. This was an interesting project. It was neat seeing behind the scenes of “Antz” and hearing about it from someone who worked on the film. The interview afterward was nice too, because it allowed me to find out things you normally don’t get to.

    • Kennedy presentation. Fun. I liked the cartoon laws of physics.”

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