What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that as kids experiment with manipulating and combining shapes to create the 3-D objects they imagine, they also explore visual design that parallels what professional engineers and artists do in the real world.
What's it about?
Cosmic Blobs is a 3-D graphics program where kids poke, pull, squeeze, and mold globs of virtual clay into whatever shapes they can imagine and then animate their creations. The software launches into the Modeling Zone, a workspace that resembles a wacky chemistry lab. Kids start by choosing a basic shape of clay from a collection of jars at the bottom of the screen, and then they shape the blob using a variety of tools.
Simple tools let children poke and pull their virtual clay, and the curve drawing tools open new ways of manipulating the clay. By drawing a line, curve, or squiggle next to the clay, kids can push or pull the blob using the line they have created as a tool. Kids can paint and add textures or decals to their blobs. When they finish a creation, they move it to the animation lab to program it with 10 possible actions including walking, dancing, and hopping.
Is it any good?
Cosmic Blobs easy-to-use interface allows kids to jump right into creating 3-D objects. Because the buttons are animated, kids can figure out most of them by trial and error. For children who like a more systematic approach, the program includes seven video tutorials.
As kids experiment with how to manipulate and combine shapes to create the objects they imagine, they also explore visual design that parallels what professional engineers and artists do in the real world. Kids can download a two-day free version at www.CosmicBlobs.com.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about making virtual objects. How do the blobs resemble modeling clay? Which do you find easier to work with, real clay or the virtual blobs? Can you do things with the blobs that you can't do with clay?