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Introduction to Alice. Michelle Venable-Foster June 2006. What is Alice?. Alice (software) , is a freeware introductory object-oriented programming software produced by Carnegie-Mellon, an educational programming language. Alice uses a drag and drop environment to create computer animations.

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introduction to alice

Introduction to Alice

Michelle Venable-Foster

June 2006

Adventures in Animation

what is alice
What is Alice?
  • Alice (software), is a freeware introductory object-oriented programming software produced by Carnegie-Mellon, an educational programming language. Alice uses a drag and drop environment to create computer animations.
  • It is named after Lewis Carroll’s Alicein Wonderland!

Adventures in Animation

what is alice3
What is Alice?
  • You can create animations using 3-D models that can move around a virtual world!
  • The latest version of Alice can be downloaded for free at: www.alice.org

Adventures in Animation

what kinds of movies can we make
What Kinds Of Movies Can We Make?
  • There are two types of animations that we can make:
    • Movie – the user just watches the animation. This is called passive.
    • Interactive – the user types on the keyboard or uses the mouse to make eventshappen.

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what s coming
What’s Coming?
  • EA has agreed to help underwrite the development of Alice 3.0 – a popular, object-oriented, Java-based computer-programming environment created by Carnegie Mellon researchers – and provide essential arts assets from “The Sims™” – the best selling PC video game of all time.

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compare current alice with sims alice
Current version of Alice

New version of Alice!

Compare Current AliceWith Sims Alice!

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let s get started
Let’s Get Started!
  • You should first locate the Alice folder on your computer and double-click the Alice icon that looks like this:

Adventures in Animation

let s get started8
Let’s Get Started!
  • You will see the Welcome to Alice! dialog box -

Adventures in Animation

a little techno speak
A Little Techno-speak!
  • The Welcome to Alice! dialog box is in front of the Alice Integrated Development Environment (IDE).
  • An IDE is a computer program that is used to write other computer programs.
  • The Alice IDE is sometimes calledthe Alice interface.

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let s look at some examples
Let’s Look At Some Examples!
  • Click on the Examples tab at the top of your Welcome to Alice! dialog box.

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let s look at some examples11
Let’s Look at Some Examples!
  • Spend the next few minutes viewing the examples in Alice. Click on the animation you want to view, and click on the Open button.
  • When the world opens up, click on the Play button:

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let s look at the tabs
The Welcome to Alice! dialog box has five tabs: Tutorial, Recent Worlds, Templates, Examples, and Open a world.Let’s Look At The Tabs

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the tutorial tab
The Tutorial Tab
  • Click on the Tutorial tab.
  • You will see 4 tutorials. We won’t be doing these now, but, you can come back to them during any “free time” we have, or at home.
  • When you are ready to view a tutorial, you can either click on the Start the Tutorial button or directly onone of the tutorial screenshots.

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the recent worlds tab
The Recent Worlds Tab
  • Click on the Recent Worlds tab. You will see screenshots of the most recently saved Alice worlds.
  • If no worlds have been saved since Alice was installed on your computer, thistab will say no recent worlds.

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the templates tab
Click on the Templates tab. You will see 6 blank templates for starting a virtual world – dirt, grass, sand, snow, space, and water.The Templates Tab

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the open a world tab
We’ve already looked at the Examples tab, so let’s click on the Open a world tab.

This is the tab you will use to access other worlds saved to your computer.

The Open a world Tab

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let s make a movie
Let’s jump right in and start making our own animation!

You can get back to the original screen by choosing File > New World.

If you’re asked to save the world you were viewing, just say no.

Let’s Make A Movie!

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choose your background
Choose Your Background!
  • Just to get us started, choose one of the templates for your virtual world. Double-click the background you want to play with.
  • It’s not really important which one you choose now; this is just to get your feet wet!

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let s add some objects to our world
Let’s Add Some ObjectsTo Our World
  • For right now, think of an object as anything that can do something!
  • Click on the Add Objects button –

Adventures in Animation

let s add some objects to our world20
Let’s Add Some ObjectsTo Our World
  • You will see a Gallery of objects that you can add to your world. Make sure to scroll to the right to see all of the available galleries.

Adventures in Animation

let s add some objects to our world21
Let’s Add Some ObjectsTo Our World
  • Select a category and look at the different objects that you can add.
  • You can get back to the main level by clicking on Local Gallery.

Adventures in Animation

create your own person
Create Your Own Person!
  • If you choose the People category in the Local Gallery and scroll all the way to the right, there are two icons called hebuilder and shebuilder.

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create your own person23
If you choose either one of these, you will bring up the Person Builder dialog screen.

You can “create” your own person using your mouse and the choices for each body part and clothing item available!

When you’re done, make sure to give your person a name and type your own name next to the box that says, Created By.

Create Your Own Person!

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adding objects to our world
Adding Objects To Our World
  • Once you’ve chosen which object you’d like to add to your world, select it by clicking on it and then clicking the button that says, “Add instance to world”.

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more techno speak
More Techno-speak
  • We are going to be created our animations using an object-oriented program, so we need to discuss what that means!
  • We are going to discuss what a class, an object, and methods are.

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techno speak
Techno-speak
  • A class describes what an object of a particular type is made of, what is knows about itself and what it can do.
  • A class is merely a description. It is like a plan for a house. Before you build a house, you should have a plan. Once you have a plan, however, you can build any number of similar houses.
  • Some examples of classes areHouses, Students, MP3 Players, etc.

Adventures in Animation

examples of classes
Examples of Classes
  • Dog – it knows its name, size, breed

it can bark, eat, sleep

  • Song – it knows its title and its artist

it can play

  • Cat – it knows its name, size, breed

it can meow, sleep, purr

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all about objects
All About Objects
  • What an object “knows” about itself is its instance variables or properties. Each instance (copy of the object) has its own instance variables.
  • What an object “can do” is its methods.
  • What instance variables and methodsmight a Television have?

Adventures in Animation

back to alice
If you click on the (+) sign next to the name of the object that you’ve added to the world, you will see all of the parts that your object is made of:Back To Alice!

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3 dimensions 6 directions
3 Dimensions, 6 Directions
  • Each object has height, length, and depth
  • It also has 6 directions in which it can move:

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modify your object
Modify Your Object
  • You can modify the instance of your object by using these tools:
  • Using these tools you can, Move Objects Freely, Move Objects Up and Down, Move Objects Left and Down, Move Objects Forwards and Backwards, Tumble Objects, Resize Objects, and Copy Objects – just by using your mouse.
  • Spend the next few minutes experimenting with these tools.

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modify your object32
Modify Your Object
  • You can undo or redo your last moves by clicking on the appropriate buttons:

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deleting an object
Deleting An Object

Right-click on the object and choose delete. Watch the object spin away!

(click on picture to see movie!)

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posing your object
Posing Your Object

You can move just one

part of your object by

either clicking the box next to affect subparts,

and moving it with your mouse, or by choosing the part you want to move

in the Object Tree.

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let s make our object move
Let’s Make Our Object Move!
  • The first thing you need to do is make sure that you have an object in your world!
  • Click on the big button. This will return you to the standard Alice interface.

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let s make our object move36
Let’s Make Our Object Move!
  • To make objects move in your world, you need to use methods for the objects.
  • Every method has two parts: the name of the object associated with the method (which comes before the period) and the name of the method itself (which comes after the period.)

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let s make our object move37
Let’s Make Our Object Move!
  • Click on the name of the object in the Object Tree you’d like to move:

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let s make our object move38
Let’s Make Our Object Move!
  • Make sure that you click on the Methods tab in the Details section.

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let s make our object move39
Let’s Make Our Object Move!
  • Find a method you want to use and drag it out to the middle of world.my first method in the Editor area.
  • A short menu may ask you for more information, such as, direction or amount you want to move.
  • Information that you must give to a method whenever you use that method is called a method parameter.

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play the movie
Play The Movie!
  • I know we haven’t done too much so far, but, let’s test our animation by playing the movie.
  • Click the Play button near the upper-left corner of the Alice interface. Cool, huh?
  • Click the Restart button to play the world again, and then click Stop to return to the Alice interface.

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advanced coding techniques
Advanced Coding Techniques
  • You can group methods by using the commands at the bottom of the Editor area.
  • Do in order – will run the code one after the other
  • Do together – will run the code at the same

time.

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moving code
Moving Code
  • You can move lines of code by dragging the dotted left-hand corner of the block.
  • The move that you’re attempting is “legal” if you see a green bar!

Adventures in Animation

deleting code
Deleting Code
  • You can delete lines of code in two different ways:
    • You can drag the line of code into the trashcan icon.
    • You can right-click on the line of code that you want to delete, and select delete.

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let s make our object move44
Let’s Make Our Object Move!
  • For the next few minutes, I want you to experiment with Alice by using the methods available for the object in your world.
  • When you get something cool, please let me see it!

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posing an object
Posing An Object
  • You can “pose” an object by right-clicking the object in the Object Tree and selecting Methods and choosing the pose you’d like!

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quad views
Quad Views
  • In the Object Editor screen, you can choose Quad View, which will give you 4 different views of your object at the same time!

Adventures in Animation

quad view
Quad View
  • You can click and drag on either of the views to see what you object looks like at all 4 views! You can also Zoom and Move the view.

(click on the picture to see a movie)

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camera controls
The curved arrow on the right is the camera’s tilt control. It is used to tilt the camera up or down, similarly to the way that you might tilt your head up or down.Camera Controls

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camera controls49
The center control is a mixed control, to zoom and pan the camera. A camera can zoom in and zoom out, and pan left and pan right.

Zooming in means the camera is moved in closer to get a tighter shot of something. Zooming out means the camera is moved out farther to get a longer shot of something, so that it becomes smaller on the screen.

Panning means to turn the camera left or right without moving the position of the camera, although it is possible that you could pan and move at the same time.

In Alice, you can pan and zoom at the same time.

Camera Controls

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camera controls50
The left set of arrows at the bottom of the world window is the move control, which provides controls to move the camera left and right, and up and down, while the vertical arrows in the center set move the camera forward and backward.Camera Controls

Adventures in Animation

adding sounds
Adding Sounds!
  • Most of the objects in Alice have the ability to play a sound!
  • Locate the method that says object.playSound
  • You can either play one of the sounds in the Alice library or import one of your own!

Adventures in Animation

importing sounds
Importing Sounds!
  • Using the drop-down menu, select Import Sound.
  • Navigate to the sound file on your computer that you’d like to use.
  • You can only use .wav or .mp3 audio files in Alice animations.

Adventures in Animation

recording sounds
Recording Sounds!
  • You can record your own sounds to use in Alice by selecting record new sound in the drop-down menu.
  • Give your sound file a name, so you will be able to find it later.
  • When you’re ready, press the record button and speak into the microphone!

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create an animation
Create An Animation!
  • For the rest of the afternoon, you are to create your very first original animation in Alice.
  • Try to either tell a story, entertain your audience, or create an interactive movie.
  • Remember to be appropriate and spell your words correctly!
  • Save your animation as Lastname_Alice1.

Adventures in Animation