Children who love Garfield, the feline star of the popular comic strip, can now make their own computer animations of the lasagna-loving, Monday-adverse cat, and learn a bit about computer programming in the process. The latest release of Carnegie Mellon University’s Alice educational software features Garfield, Odie, Jon, and Nermel.
Like all versions of Alice, the newest, Alice 2.4, enables novices to create animations using a drag-and-drop interface to select character objects, props and scenes from a gallery of 3D models.
Alice 2.4 joins Alice 3.1, a version of Alice that is primarily geared to students in higher-grade levels and in universities. Alice 3.1 contains the Sims characters, donated by Electronic Arts, and has options that support transition to the Java programming language.
Carnegie Mellon makes the free software available for download at www.alice.org. Permission to add the Garfield characters to Alice was provided through an agreement with Paws Inc., the company founded by cartoonist Jim Davis that manages Garfield’s business concerns.
Continued development of the Alice programming environment has been supported by grants from Oracle and the National Science Foundation.
[Image courtesy: Carnegie Mellon University]