CS 325 and Film 385: Introduction to Alice 3D


Highlights of this lab:

  • What is Alice
  • The Alice Interface
  • Demonstration
  • An Example Animation (of my own devising...Muhahahaha)
  • Starting Alice and Viewing the Tutorial
  • Exercise

:: What is Alice?? ::

Alice is a 3D programming environment that is extreamly fit for beginning animators as well as well-seasoned animators alike. It is an application that allows users of all brain shapes and sizes to easily create, well, easily after reading through all of the documentation and the tutorials, and THEN... ;-) ..., their own animations.

That is my short and sweet definition of what Alice is. Here is the definition of Alice from its very own creators:

What is Alice? (wordy) What is Alice? (Abbreviated)
Although computer programming has existed in its modern form for half a century, it still eludes all but a small fraction of society. While programming is an inherently difficult activity, there are currently many barriers, both mechanical and sociological, that prevent large portions of the population from learning to program a computer. Learning to program a computer is hard.
Alice address both the mechanical and sociological barriers that currently prevent many students from successfully learning to program a computer. Alice addresses the mechanical barriers to programming by making it much easier for students to create programs. Rather than having to correctly type commands according to obscure rules of syntax, students drag-and-drop words in a direct manipulation interface. This user interface ensures that programs are always well-formed. In addition, Alice reifies object-based programming by providing animated, on-screen 3D virtual objects. Alice makes learning to program easier. And it's fun.
Sociological barriers are far more complex. Alice addresses the specific needs of the subpopulation of middle school girls. By supporting storytelling, an intrinsically motivating activity for middle school girls, Alice will make programming a means to an exciting end. Alice makes programming graphics more accessible to all

:: The Alice Interface ::

Here is a screenshot of the Alice Interface. Yes I know, this GIF thar be hard to read! Don't worry, with my explanation of what is going on here you'll have nothing to be frightened by...well you'll soon be seeing this for yourselves up close and personal too!!

:: Demonstration ::

Ok, now I'll show you how the Alice world works by providing a short demonstration of how to do things with Alice (hmmm, the wording of this sentence is quite odd indeed!). Sit back and enjoy...and ask questions if you have any!

:: Starting Alice and Viewing the Tutorial ::

I found the tutorial offered by the Alice developers was quite superior in he lping me understand how things are done in Alice. What I'd like you to do now i s start up Alice and begin the tutorial. To start the tutorial simply click on the "Tutorial" Tab and then the "Start the Tutorial" button within the welcome s creen! Remember, I will be here to help you out if you run into any difficulty.

:: An Example Animation (of my own devising...Muhahahaha) ::

At this time, I'm going to show you a sample animation. I constructed this animation after doing the tutorials. It took about 2-4 hours or so (I can't remember!!), so there was a learning curve involved.

...Here are a few screen captures of Penguin Attack (Click to download and try!)...

:: Exercise ::

For this lab exercise I want you to play around with Alice (Yikes!...that doesn't sound too good!) and see if you can create your own Alice animation

:: Online Source(s) ::