This unit was reflecting on Junior year and also reflecting on ourselves. This process helped us write our personal statements for college and also develop our ideas to create our portfolios and essays. I was able to learn a lot about what I want to continue to do in my future education. I am proud of my current portfolio because I have only had two years to compile it and I think that for what I have accomplished I have surpassed many of the goals I made for myself. This unit has made me excited for my own future and what I can accomplish if I follow my passion. I valued this unit entierly for being my driving direction towards college and onwards. I was able to learn about my aspiratoins and also what I should focus on for my career.

During this specific unit in English we wrote personal essays that do a deep dive to who we are and who we want to be.

In Digital Media it was about compiling our projects to create this website and also begin to learn about tools and processes that we can use to better shape our career.

In animation it was about learning Autodesk Maya and creating an object that reflected us and who we are.

My Personal Essay:

My Personal Essay was supposed to be under 650 words and reflect on myself as a person, this would eventually go onto my common app and help my thinking process when applying to colleges. I wrote about how I am someone who changed what they wanted to pursue after being introduced to a topic that excited me more. I wanted to learn more about art and who I am, this paper was about my change as a person and who I wanted to be.

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(“Abstract,” in binary)

The night sky’s deep purple highlighted the flashing colors, the lively whips of orange and green celestial light engulfing the sky with their dance. The sway and flow of the aurora was a stunning sight, and one of the most abstract and beautiful events that nature had to offer. At the moment of visualizing this event and watching the sun’s flare strike the atmosphere above me, I think I fried my brain. Ones and zeros couldn’t handle the complexity of emotion and color in this seemingly inexplicable solar event.
Thinking in numbers and problems was how my mind operated. My parents raised me to solve issues, breaking down complex math problems, and understanding fundamentals. Algebra was my language, and probability was the only inconsistency. In elementary school, it was my intense focus on STEM and computers that drove my yearning for knowledge. Programming was my passion and I spent most of my free time writing and processing code. My analysis of the world was very one-sided, everything could be solved and everything had an answer.
I could name the point where this rather dull view of the world ended, where color started to have meaning and my thought process was turned on its head. All it took was a single day in 8th grade English with the simple task of describing an event or natural occurrence in vivid detail with just 60 words. I tried to parse lines together, going through them and re-analyzing them to produce the best product. I didn’t think about what I was writing; I was just thinking about the solution to the problem I was given. While I could solve it analytically, I found it difficult, and the end product was lackluster. Until that is, I started to visualize the event in its awe and beauty. I would stop and really think about how I felt; then, I would consider how it could make others feel. My greatest shift in mindset was when I started to write just for fun, creating my own worlds and generating my own stories. Not everything needed an answer and I was finally able to think ahead without thinking of a solution. With the huge shift in how I interpreted the world around me, the isolated planet of code and computers that I had lived and breathed became a hurtling meteor in a universe of opportunities.
After completing AP computer science I was introduced to Freestyle Academy, a program that teaches the creative arts of design, digital media, film, and animation. I decided to enroll in the inaugural animation class and made the commitment to explore my creative side. Due to the fact I was so new to art and visualizing objects, I used my analytical thinking to improve my efficiency and hone in on what I wanted my final product to look like. I was able to write scripts quickly and spend more time animating and learning more of the abstract concepts that were difficult for my analytical thinking to understand. I was a fast learner, but still had difficulty understanding specific art concepts and training my hand to produce what I wanted. I loved this new world.
I loved the excitement of being able to use new technologies while also vastly expanding my creative being and way of thinking. Freestyle helped me integrate my analytical and creative sides to be more tangible and create unique ideas. Writing had been my guiding light, and animation had been the sun of a new day. And as the sun rose and the dashing lights were chased away by its warm glow, I could only sit in wonder at the expanse of nature’s beauty, and how difficult it would be to portray it on a wall of text filled with ones and zeroes.
Perspective Piece

In digital media, to practice using Pro Tools and also Adobe After Effects we created short perspective rant pieces to show off a personal opinion. I used aftereffects to make my project at least look professional and feel like it was well made. I care about my opinion and how others view it, the topic that I chose to talk and rant about I was passionate about. Using After Effects helped me with my video editing skills and was able to introduce me to the tool I would use throughout the year. I wrote mine on school, here is the piece:

I created this piece by drawing images from the internet and using fades and keyframes in aftereffects to have the images move and fade out into each other. These are all important tools and are the basics to using after effects to make higher quality productions.

Animation and Autodesk Maya

In Animation we were learning how to model, and we integrated our personal statements into objects we modeled, showing how they represented us. I created a Cactus with a hat and was able to texture it in Autodesk Maya. I created the wireframe for the object and then made sure to properly UV it. After making sure all the 3D textures were done I UV’d my model and imported it into substance painter to create 2D map texture and paint it. After I finished this processed I made sure to finish the rendering in Maya at 12 fps. The cactus represented me because not only was it a cactus that I have been watering and taking care of for a while, but it also has a silly attire and hat. It is also isolated in a way which makes it different which reflects me as a person.

Here is how I created my project and some screenshots of Maya and my work that I did. I liked the fact that we were using Maya because of how it is an industry standard program. I was also able to apply my knowledge and previous experience with 3D space to make my project more efficiently and so I could learn more about texturing.


Animated Logo

Another project that we worked on was animating a google doodle or creating an animated Freestyle Logo. I decided to make the logo. I created this logo using Adobe Photoshop, I animated each individual letter being drawn and made sure that it was a looping gif. I wanted to show my progression and made each letter more stylized and better looking than the last. The pen was then added in aftereffects and key framed to match the animation.


Both this project and the previous one helped me reflect on my time at Freestyle and how I was able to improve. I liked these projects because of what I was able to learn about myself and also learn about new applications that I was going to explore.