How I Did

Overall, I think I did well enough. At first, I was being overly careful and trying to figure out the best way to make three "variations" of the same image. I was thinking in terms of saving file size, and trying to reuse as many elements as possible – trying to make the thing fit for web. After a while, I realized Mirah and Leema weren’t after that, and I could just squish things together however I wanted to. Originally, I was going to try to use ActionScript to tint the windows in the house exercise, but they explained they were more interested in my process, versus the outcome.

The bookcase exercise was slightly more daunting, as I’m not that great of an illustrator. I kept trying to figure out how I was to replicate the image, and that hung me up a bit, initially. The overall result looked pretty good, and they stopped me after I replicated the three bookshelves. Since they had seen me finish the house exercise, they knew how I was going to finish the bookcase exercise.

Towards the end, they asked me to explain layers, as well as symbols. Tougher than I thought! The biggest area they concentrated on was layers, and they kept asking me to refine what I thought a layer actually was. For example, if I had an image of a pen on the layer… was the pen itself the layer? Or was the layer some infinite stretching thing that happened to contain the pen? My final answer was that the layer was merely the pen. They were trying to see which of their participants viewed layers as an actual transparent "thing," and which viewed "transparent areas" as the absence of any object.

Interesting stuff. They’re going to send me their paper when they finish it, and I’ll be curious to see how others have tackled the same exercises. They gave me a brownie as a "thank you" gift for participating.

The videotaping part was a bit unnerving, but after a few minutes I forgot about it, sorta. Just goes to prove… I’ll do pretty much anything for a brownie. :D

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