Author Archives: Christa Love

Christa Love

About Christa Love

Christa Love, Vice President - Christa Love has a passion for education and technology. A graduate from Brock University she has an Honors Bachelor of Arts in Child Development, Bachelor of Education in Primary and Junior divisions, and Masters of Education in the area of Curriculum Studies. Her work at TechnoKids Inc. began more than twenty years ago as an instructor at a local learning center. Since that time she has operated the summer camp program, taught at the research and development center at John Knox Christian School, trained educators throughout the province on issues related to technology integration, and overseen the curriculum development of hundreds of technology projects. In recent years, Christa has become the vice president of TechnoKids Inc.

Object Drawing Mode in Animate CC

Before your students can animate in Adobe Animate CC, they must learn how to draw objects such as lines, rectangles, squares, ovals, and circles. Making simple shapes can become complicated if students do not understand Object Drawing. When teaching an Adobe Animate unit be sure to introduce the two drawing modes – Object Drawing Mode and Merge Drawing Mode. These modes control how a graphic can be edited on the stage. To avoid students’ frustration when drawing, emphasize the features of each drawing mode.

Where is Object Drawing Mode in Animate CC?

Object Drawing modes can be set for the following Animate CC tools: Line Tool, Rectangle Tool, Oval Tool, Pencil Tool, and Brush Tool. When the tool is selected the drawing mode option is displayed in the Property Inspector panel as an icon with a description of the status. It also appears on the Tools Panel at the bottom as an icon.

object drawing mode in Animate CC

About Object Drawing Mode

When object drawing mode is turned on, the icon has a grey box around it object drawing mode off .
Object drawing mode creates a shape that is a separate graphic which sits above the stage. When selected, a bounding box surrounds the shape to show it is one complete object.

When object drawing mode is turned ON:

  • The Property Inspector shows the status as “object drawing mode on”.
  • The entire object is selected when it is clicked.
  • The entire object is removed when the DELETE key is pressed.
  • The stroke and fill are grouped.
  • A bounding box surrounds the object when it is selected.
  • Edits to the object are applied to the entire shape.
  • The object moves freely on the stage.
  • The object remains separate when other objects are placed in front of or behind it.
  • An Editing Pane opens when the object is double clicked.

About Merge Drawing Mode

When object drawing mode is turned off, the icon does not have a grey box around it object drawing mode on .
This drawing mode is called merge drawing mode. Merge drawing mode creates a shape that is made up of individual parts that are stuck on the stage. In this mode, the drawing will merge or combine with other shapes on the stage.

When object drawing mode is turned OFF, merge drawing mode becomes active:

  • The Property Inspector shows the status as “object drawing mode off”.
  • Part of the object is selected when it is clicked.
  • Part of the object can be removed when the DELETE key is pressed.
  • The stroke and fill are separate.
  • Dots appear in the part of the object that is selected.
  • Edits to the object are applied to parts of the shape.
  • The object does not move freely on the stage.
  • The object combines with other objects when they are placed in front of or behind it.
  • All the parts of the object are selected when it is double clicked.

object drawing mode animate cc lessons

TechnoAnimate Technology Project and Animate CC Drawing Lessons

If you are teaching an introductory animation course, workshop, or unit your students will need to know how to draw objects in Animate CC. The Animate CC lessons in TechnoAnimate have step-by-step instructions designed to help your students master the Animate CC drawing tools. Drawing activities include:

  • Create Lines and Shapes: Compare object drawing modes when drawing lines and shapes.
  • Draw with the Pencil and Brush: Draw freehand to make a simple picture.
  • Explore Drawing Tools on the Tool Panel: Discover the function of tools on the Tools Panel.
  • Use Editing Pane to Make a Car: Arrange shapes to form a car. Customize the design.
  • Take the Drawing Challenge: Apply your skills to draw a bear or chick.

8 Practical Portraiture Digital Photography Tips

Digital photography tips can help students when taking portraiture photos. Today, teens love to take selfies. They understand how to position the camera, adjust their facial expression, and pose to capture the perfect image – of themselves. However, taking photographs of others requires different techniques. Share these 8 practical portraiture digital photography tips with students. They can use them to create original images for school publications, take yearbook photos, or capture unforgettable moments in their friends’ or family members’ lives.

1. Select a Background

Select a background that does not distract from the person in the foreground. If the location is too busy, consider taking the photo in a new place.

2. Select a Pose

Have the person try different poses to find one that looks the best. Often slight changes, such as tilting the chin up or down can dramatically change the pose.

3. Candid Camera

If you want to take a candid picture, have the person do something they like doing in a place where they will feel relaxed.

4. Warm Up

The person you are photographing needs to be relaxed. Consider taking some practice shots just to warm up and give your model some time to relax.

5. Talk

Talk to the person being photographed about what action or emotion you would like them to show.

6. Move Around

Stand up, crouch down, or move to the left or right to get an angle that makes the model look great.

7. Zoom In

Use the zoom feature to fill the viewfinder with the person. If there is too much background in the shot, the person will not stand out.

8. Accessorize

Have interesting accessories on hand to add a splash of color or change the mood.

Digital Photography Tips

Digital Photography Tips

Digital Photography Tips and TechnoPhotoshop

Do you need activities to introduce digital photography to your middle or high school students? TechnoPhotoshop, published by TechnoKids Inc., is a technology project that has practical tips for capturing digital photos. Assignments have students explore the elements of design when using a digital camera. Moreover, there are useful hints for taking landscape, portraits, still life, and sports photography. As well, there are instructions on how to use Photoshop tools to enhance photo quality.

How to Make a Gradient Map to Create Duotone or Blended Images in Photoshop

A gradient map is a smooth blending from one color to another. The Gradient Map adjustment in Photoshop converts existing colors to a gradient based on whether the area is a dark, mid-tone, or light color. The dark color becomes the color to the left of the gradient map, the light color becomes the color to the right of the gradient map, and a mid-tone becomes a blend of the colors. By using gradient map, you can transform your picture into an attractive duotone image or a rainbow image that looks very wacky.

How to Make a Gradient Map in Photoshop

Pick Colors

  1. From the Tools panel, pick two colors for the gradient.
  2. Pick a Foreground and Background Color

    Pick a Foreground and Background Color

    • The foreground color swatch sets the dark colors. Pick a dark color such as dark blue or dark green.
    • The background color swatch sets the light colors. Pick a light color such as light blue or light green or white.
    • The mid-tones will become a blend of those two choices.
    foreground and background colors

    Be thoughtful when selecting the foreground and background colors.

    View the Gradient Map

  3. From the Image menu, select Adjustments. Pick Gradient Map.
  4. The picture is now a duotone image:
    • To smooth the appearance of the fill, click the Dither checkbox.
    • To switch the order of the colors, click the Reverse checkbox.
    Create a Duotone Image with Gradient Map

    Create a duotone image.

    Edit the Colors in the Gradient Map

  5. To adjust the color in the gradient map, click on the Gradient Used for Grayscale Mapping bar.
  6. Adjust the colors in the gradient map.

    Adjust the colors in the gradient map.

  7. From the Gradient Editor dialog box, click on a bottom stop.
  8. Click on the Color box. Make a selection from the spectrum. Click OK
  9. adjust the color of a gradient map stop

    Adjust the foreground or background color of the gradient map.

  10. Reduce the value in the Location box to adjust the position of the stop. This will increase the amount of the color in the image.
  11. location stop

    Set the location of the stop to increase the amount of color.

  12. Click OK to apply the changes and close the Gradient Editor dialog box.
  13. duotone image and gradient map

    Adjust the color and position of the stop to create a unique duotone image.

    Apply a Preset Gradient Map

  14. To pick from a selection of preset gradients, click the arrow beside the color bar.
  15. Make a selection.
  16. Pick a preset for the gradient map.

    Pick a preset for the gradient map.

  17. Explore the options to create a unique artistic effect.
  18. Apply a colorful gradient using the Preset options.

    Apply a colorful gradient using the Preset options.

  19. Click OK to apply the changes.
  20. Photoshop Activities

    Are you interested in easy to follow Photoshop activities for middle and high school students? TechnoPhotoshop is a technology project with assignments that have students create a digital scrapbook. They learn how use the Adjustment commands, including Gradient Map to create artistic effects.

How to Make a Word Cloud

Instructions explain how to make a word cloud. This is a fun activity for kids. There are many free online sites that allow students to create their own word cloud. One of my favorites is WordClouds. If you need ideas for integrating word clouds into curriculum refer to the blog post 5 Ways your Students can Use Word Clouds.

What is a Word Cloud?

A word cloud is a picture made from words about a topic. The more important a word, the larger it appears. Typically, the words are arranged randomly. Most word clouds can be formatted to set the font, color, and shape. This transforms the word cloud into art.

How to Make a Word Cloud

How to Make a Word Cloud

Tips for Generating a Word List

Help your students generate a list of words associated with the topic of their word cloud. The words can be:

  • topic name
  • descriptive terms
  • people connected to topic
  • objects or parts related to the topic
  • slang associated with the topic
  • popular sayings about the topic

Follow these tips when writing the word list:

  • Make it BIG: To have the word appear larger in the word cloud, repeat it many times in the word list.
  • Avoid using Spaces Between Words: If the item is a phrase or person’s name, you must write it as ONE WORD with NO SPACES. You can use capital letters or underscores to make the information clear. For example TonyHawk or Tony_Hawk.
  • Separate Each Word with a Comma: In the word list put a comma after each word. Do not press the ENTER key after each word. Instead the list should look something like this: word1, word2, word3

How to Make a Word Cloud

Generate a list of words using a word processing program:

  1. Open Microsoft Word, Notepad, or a similar word processing program.
  2. Type words related to your topic.
  3. TopicName, UseOneWord, NoSpaces, RepeatWords, RepeatWords, DescriptiveTerms, FamousPeople, ObjectParts, Slang, Sayings
  4. Save the file as word cloud.
  5. If using Microsoft Word, change the file type to Plain Text or .txt.
  6. Save as Plain Text

    Save as Plain Text

  7. When a File Conversion message is displayed, click OK.

Create a word cloud using

  1. Visit
  2. Click File. Select Open text file.
  3. Locate file and click Open.
  4. How to Make a Word Cloud

  5. Explore the formatting options:
    • widen or tighten gaps
    • direction of words
    • invert
    • shape
    • mask
    • theme
    • colors
    • font

  6. When finished, click File. Select Save as PNG.
  7. Close all open programs.