Spring 1999 CS302 Assignment #7

by Dan Garcia (ddgarcia@cs.berkeley.edu)

1. Identify activities among those you have designed already that would be appropriate for doing in a group, and explain why students would learn more with partners than by themselves.

CS5 is primarily a group-project oriented course. All of the assignments are done in groups, except for four: the post-it flipbook, final project story idea, forward kinematic walks, and the hierarchical figure design. The remaining assignments:

are all 2-person group projects (aside from the final project, which 3-5 students complete). In addition, we have a weekly group critique of the students' work in which the whole class participates. Many of the grouped assignments still require two projects to be handed in with a single person responsible for each. In this sense, the students do not necessarily need to work in a group, but do so because they're told it's required.

In general, the reasons we have students work in groups is:

2. Design activities that would facilitate group productivity.

3. Design an exam problem that would be appropriate for group solution, and justify your design.

Professor's note

The following exam problem is a computer-based exam problem for a group of 4-6 students who are familiar with all the animation tools used in the course. This would be a little different from an oral exam, since the grader would quietly sit in and listens to the group process, and watch the creation unfold. The students would work together much like folks do for the ACM programming contests. They would take the exam in the same team they worked in for their final project. This way students who have been sliding and not pulling their share will stand out and those who had been doing most of the work and know the tools will become apparent and credited appropriately. They would then be graded on several components:


Design a Rube Goldberg Animation

Your animation team has been hired to design a Rube Goldberg animation. If you create something satisfactory, you'll get the big contract, and all your financial woes will be gone. Rube Goldberg creations usually involve several very complex componets linked together in a cause-and-effect way to solve a very simple problem, such as turning off a light. There are several examples of Rube Goldberg humorous ideas in the handout (one is shown below). Your goal is to create a clean, humorous, interesting animation complete with sound. By now you are familiar with the process of creating an articulated figure. You may create any simple new articulated figure you wish, or you may re-use (and modify) any of the articulated figures that were created for the earlier assignments. Don't reinvent the wheel; make use of existing material if it is appropriate. You won't have to render the project, so work in wireframe for the motion and simple gouraud shading for any textures you wish to add.

You have three hours for this exam. This should be enough time to create a simple design with several components. After working on the computer, you'll descibe what your contribution to the product was. You will be given a group and an individual grade based on several factors (include the grading criterea listed above) . It is more important to choose a small project and do it well than to choose a large project and not finish.

Since efficiency is a component, you may want to sit for a few minutes and sketch an graph of what needs to be done and the order in which it needs to be finished. Don't get stuck in bottlenecks, parallalize the whole process as much as you can. Have one person search for sounds while the others set up the lights and objects. Even the compositing can be done in parallel, since different people can work on different shots.

Good luck, we're all counting on you.

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