Thursday, November 8, 2012

Last Day!

Today was the last day of PNG Fall 2012.  We started class with a fierce competition playing Ribbon Hero 2, the Microsoft Office game that scores how well you know your MS Office.

We declared a winner and there were fabulous prizes!

After that it was time to go back and take a look at some of the cooler things we did this session and, of course, EAT PIZZA!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Smell-ectric Your-agami!

Today the kids are putting together a simple circuit using foil and paper to conduct electricity from a small lithium battery to an LED light.

Thanks to for their inspiration:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Show Must Go On!

The students got started editing their videos last class and the results were great, but there's always room for improvement.

Today we pushed them to make their movies bigger and better and hopefully the results were even more impressive.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

We'll Fix It In Post!

Today we got started on editing the videos we shot last week.  We blazed through making our movies using improvised shot lists and storyboards.  Hopefully, we won't require any reshoots but today was all about assembling a rough cut.

We've got a lot of bloopers and outtakes, and hopefully there's some decent footage in there as well. 

Don't worry, he was just fine.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Shooting Up The Place

Today was pretty much dedicated to shooting video here in the PNG Lab at Elmwood Park Public Library.  We had two separate teams shooting two separate movies, so not stepping on each other's toes was a bit of a challenge.

We also had our noisy 3D printer going on in the background so hopefully that won't show through on the final footage.

We're still printing off busts of our students. These are about 6 inches tall!

I hope these kids are as pumped for learning to use Adobe Premiere Elements as I am because next class is going to be all about non-linear video editing!  Yeah!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What's Film?

Today the kids are continuing with project they started at the end of last class.  The challenge is to create a movie 2-5 minutes in length that isn't terrible.  Sounds like a tough assignment, huh?

Other requirements are that the movie should have a script, a storyboard and the final project should include multiple camera angles and cuts in editing.

Can't wait to see what they come up with!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

3-D Wrap Up & Video Genesis

Today we sealed up the open spaces left in the rest of the 3-D models that were near completion. We will print them in the next few days.

We also introduced our next project which will be a video scene that will be entirely scripted, storyboarded, filmed and acted by the students. Creative juices are flowing and the everyone is jotting down ideas for what will eventually become their film!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

First Print!

The models are coming along and we've even begun to print out one student's 3-D bust of their head, face and upper torso. Some more re-shoots were done but we're making progress. More models should be printable in another one or two sessions.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


So we ended up retaking most of the student's photos today and the result have been good but the manual stitching tends to further distort the portions that were already near perfect on the first processing.

Examples to come:

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Today we tried to re-shoot and restitch the photos for our 3-D models with varying results.

Here is one initial photo submission that came out great to begin with:

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Make no mistake, making 3D models is super difficult.  Autodesk recently released a bunch of free apps under the name 123D and have made a lot of the work easy.  Our students have had mixed results, but the models Nick and Mateo made are rather encouraging.

We'll keep plugging away and maybe in a few days we'll have workable, printable 3D models!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

3-D Animated!

Today was the classes first foray into the world of 3D modeling.  We're using an interesting technique developed by AutoDesk and utilizing a piece of software called 123D Catch.  This software works similarly to taking a panorama on a digital camera.  It stitches a series of photos together to make a 3D model.  It's not easy to get the photos stitched together, but it can yield some pretty cool, and interesting results.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Today the kids continued making animated gifs.  Some of them got a bit over ambitious!  Here's a sample of their work.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Last class the kids took photos of themselves and turned them into animated gifs using the free website  The problem with, though, is that you can only upload 10 pictures at time.

We got around that limitation today by using Adobe Photoshop to make animated gifs of UNLIMITED size!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Photos Photos Photos!

We're starting out our first "real" PNG class with cameras!  Usually we save the shutterbug activities until later in the session but we're going to get started right away this time around.

The students got to get very familiar with digital cameras.  We talked about how to take good photos, how to move your photos from the camera to the computer and then we even got into how to manipulate your photos on the computer to make them look awesome!

One great way to mess your photos is a program called Photoshop and the students got an introduction to this incredible complicated piece of software as well as a chance to make some funny animated .gif files!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fall Session Start!

Today was all about getting to know our new crop of students!  We had a full class with lots of eager minds that can't wait to jump in feet first.

So it was quite a shock that the first day of their computer class we didn't use the computers!  Instead we played a game we call PNG-O.  It's similar to Bingo but the object is to learn as much about your classmates and your mentors as you can.  Everyone seemed to have a great time, but as the classes go on and things get more challenging will we still be able to say the same?

Tune in Thursday to find out!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

PNG Fall 2012 Coming Soon

Project Next Generation is proud to announce another upcoming session of our popular computer class for middle schoolers.

This season we are excited to add 3D printing to our repertoire.  As a student of PNG you can look forward to designing your own 3D objects and making them a reality!

As always we'll be doing all new activities with photo manipulation (Photoshop) and music and video production.

Classes begin Sept. 18th and will run Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4-6pm until Nov. 8th.

Sign up online!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Last Day of PNG

Today, we set the students loose and let them do whatever project they wanted.  We had a number of songs get produced, a couple movies got shot and some beautiful artwork got made in Photoshop.

It was great to see the students show off all of the skills they'd learned this summer.

Christopher's Masterpiece
Nick Song 4
Nick Song 5
Nick Song 6

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Today the students tried their hands at making music using Mixcraft.

Judge results for yourself:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Video Finish Line

Here are the finished videos all culled from the same footage, but all drastically different.  Some don't even show the races!  Good job (if you finished)!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Videos... CONTINUED!

We started out today by taking a look at the video that Brian cut together.  Hopefully it gave some of the kids some ideas for things they might want to try while editing their video.

But probably not.  Let's face it, this project is like pulling teeth.  When kids sign up for PNG the first thing they say they want to do is make movies.  But, part of the process of teaching kids to edit movies is their inevitable realization that editing movies is really hard and not very fun.  Oh well, if we can get one kid to learn and enjoy editing movies this unit will be a success.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


So, last week we built and raced cars.  We also shot video of the whole thing.  This week, we are taking the video that we shot and editing it into a movie.  Pretty basic right?  No.  Turns out video editing is pretty hard.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Today the kids took a trip down memory lane to the halcyon days of 2 weeks ago and struggled to recall the comic strips they had begun so long ago.

The comic strips, starring the dinosaurs they made even further back came out well.... for the most part.