Capstone Project Resources

 Hint - you can press Control and + at the same time to make the font (words) bigger

Parrots as Pets?

Mount Rushmore:

English Bulldogs:

American Ninja Warrior

World Book Kids online, article called "Animation"

Mac Barnett


Bike Maintenance


World Book Advanced online, article called "Boxing"

Chinese Art
World Book Student, Article on China, go down to section on Arts  


Computer Coding

Mars Rover "Curiosity"

Olympic Skiing 

World Book Student, article called "Paper"

World Book Advanced online, article called "Samurai"


Trading Cards

Video Game Cheats and Codes


World Book Kids online, article called "Computers"

World Book Student online, article called "Monitors"


Video games 
(includes information about how characters are made)

World Book Student online, article called "Electronic Game" Scratch

Bumblebee Hummingbirds

  Cold Medicines

Chemistry is All Around Us: 

Fun Chemistry Facts:  


Droids (how the original R2-D2 was  built)

Ilya Bryzgalov

Video Game and Character Production
Here is an excerpt from an email exchange I had with a friend with some great resources for creating video and computer games and characters. -Mrs. Rankin
Hi Darcie,
So I’m going to send you some links that I think might be helpful. Our pipeline for creating videogame characters is very similar to how movies create characters. Since movies seems to be more PG oriented and I was having a tough time finding “friendly” videogames, I’m going to attach some examples of that in here. There are loads of books out there dealing with character creation, like “the Art of Up” or “the Art of Monsters Inc.” I have most of them, I could scan pages in if you think you need more than the links I’m going to send you.

I also liked this video
and this one!

Since I’ve done characters myself long long time ago, I’ll give you an outline of how characters are made.

1. You determine which character you need for your game, human, animal, monster, whatever. If you say decided you needed a monster that has 4 legs and a horn, you would start drawing a bunch of ideas for what that monster would look like, this is called Concept Exploration!

2. Out of all the drawings you did, choose your favorite.
Character Study, how they move, expressions, etc

3. Then you do a character sheet of this monster. Front view drawing, side view drawing, and back drawing. Add any kind of tools, weapons, accessories they might always use. This is also usually where you add colors to the character. If you have multiple characters, also do a line-up that shows their size to one another.
Character Line-up

4. Sometimes, esp in movies, not so much in videogames, you create a maquette, little clay sculpture of what your character looks like.

5. Now, you would create a model in 3d or 2d in the computer. Most videogame companies use Maya for this but it’s a far too difficult program for someone to pick up for a project like (I could research some programs kids could use) So just like your drawing you would either make one in photoshop with layers, like Doublefine did or in Maya you would create a virtual maquette/sculpture in the computer that can later then be animated. (Here you would have to model the character, texture it (paint color on it), rig it (put bones/skeleton in it) and then animate it.

Some details that go into making a character like creating hair and a skirt! Although this one may be a little to tech oriented.

Hope this helps, let me know if you need more or have questions on something particular. This stuff is so familiar to me that I don’t even know what someone might have questions about. If you wanted to compile a list of questions the kids might have, I’d be very happy to answer them. Like I said, i haven’t made characters in a few years, because now I just make the lighting in games, but I used to.

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