Archive for December, 2009

Push home kids @ McDonald’s

The party hall of McDonalds at Annanagar in Chennai was decorated with balloons and glittering papers, cartoons and more for the children.

The kids came by a van from their place. When the kids saw McDonald restaurant they applauded and were ardent to get in because they have never been to a place like this before. To make them merry the McDonalds restaurant had arranged some games and entertainment for them.

All the events are arranged by Knutpunkten. The entertaining team started the party by giving crowns to all the kids and it had made them feel like king and queen. A girl named Deboki from the home was given the first chance to take photographs of the event. She is learning Graphic Designing course sponsored by Knutpunkten India.  Some of the staff of Knutpunkten took care of the kids through out the events.  The kids were served with coke and chocolates.

Around ten McDonald’s staff were involved to entertain the kids. To make the kids happy they gave big balloons to them, one of the balloons busted with sound in the hand of a kid which made him afraid. So they stopped distributing those big balloons to the kids.

The kids were taken to the kitchen of McDonalds’ by the crew batch by batch and were given an explanation about their food preparations and the hygienic they follow.

When they came back, they switched of the background music playing in the party hall and asked the kids to sing the songs they knew. Some of the kids went in front and started singing some beautiful songs, the staff of Knutpunkten India and others encouraged them by clapping hands.

Isaac one of the Graphic Designing students was taking photos and started recording the events. The girl’s of McDonald’s who were entertaining the kids gave a demo of the balloon game. The game’s rule is that the balloon kept in between two person’s tummy and should not burst when they walk around a particular distance.

The next game is passing the balloon. The entertaining girls will start clapping seeing the wall behind them and when they stop whoever is having the balloon is out and that person should do any activity the other kids ask. Like this the balloon game started and it was in the hands of Sunitha from the entertainment crew of McDonalds when the claps stopped. The hall got busted with laughter and the kids demanded Sunitha to come in front and dance. And again when she danced the sounds of laughter bells rose. Some kids and the girls danced together and the hall was filled with excitements.

The other customers of the restaurant started noticing the party area through the glass walls because of the happy noise of the kids which filled the whole restaurant.

After all those events, the kids were served a happy meal kit which includes a burger, french fries and a small musical keyboard as a gift. McDonald does usually give a toy with the kid’s meal which differs from day to day.

The kids took many photos by sitting before the Ronald McDonald statue which is kept at the entrance of the restaurant. All the photos were taken by the kids learning computer classes and photography sponsored by

After the party is over, and when the kids are about to leave, the staff of McDonald’s and the Knutpunkten India team gave a good send off to the kids by joining with them until the van to the roadside where it was parked. One of the male staff of McDonald’s asked the kids to shout with their full voice. With applauds from all of us and the kids the van took them to their home.

This is really a great experience for the kids and for us too.

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20091212 Light rings and sparkles

For yesterday’s class I took lot of flower pictures with me. The little girls, when they look at them lifted their eyebrows. I asked them to choose one picture. I opened that picture as Photoshop document and from that only a rose was cutout and placed in a new document where I created a gradient background. I filled a layer below the rose flower and above the background layer with clouds filter, reduced the opacity to 50% and using skew, transformed it like a cone shape – duplicated a copy and kept each one on both sides to give a falling light effect.

In a separate document I taught them ‘how to use Photoshop brushes?’ also I explained how to create custom brushes and setting the properties of it like scatter, roundness & fade. Student’s eyes are fixed on the screen while I create some magic sparks and stars around the rose using brush tool. I also created some light rings circling the flower. An aura of white and bright light orbited around the rose. As yesterday’s lesson involves many steps I taught this lesson again one time and again one more time.

Now they want to do that designs by their own, using the picture they like and with their own imagination. I succeeded by creating an interest in them to do that things with their ideas. I sat relaxed and my directions were instant whenever they needed. The experience I got till this age is one thing that makes them learn easily and happily, other things are the support & encouragements I get.

The first student who made a tryout in this design was Yesodha. She created her own brush and gave it her name. She Sprinkled light sparkles over a bunch of roses in walls with the brush created by her. And she also did one more design.

Bhavani selected a butterfly brush and scattered it over the flowers in her first design and then started the other one. She selected a photo work done in one of the previous class in which she looks in black & white and with green eyes. She placed three light rings around her and sprinkled some stars around her photo.

In a black document Deboki kept a pair of flowers. She gave to those flowers an aura of green rings.  I remember what I studied about human aura in books. An aura is a field of subtle, luminous radiation supposedly surrounding a person or object. And in short a green aura denotes that person has love of nature, out of door life, travel in the country, sympathy and charity. Deboki also scattered some maple leaves using brush. And she tried with different kind of brushes in the document. At the end she wrote her name over it and set that picture as desktop wall paper.

20091205 Dreams unlimited

When you let your mind free it extends like an ocean, its depths and heights are unknown and mind turn out to be big like expanding universe. Things that you can see only in dreams, and when you try to make those things for others, creativity begins. The outcome of imagination could be an idea, a collection of words, digital vision, a product, music that touches your heart or a change in your attitude. Creativity is selfless and it is dreaming for others – to give more than they like and undiscovered happiness. Creativity is also making things that are not seen or felt before. Speculations in dreams bring innovative ideas to create things that are not seen or felt before – to make one feel like they never felt before.

Imagination has no limit and that was yesterday’s class. Issac done a fabulous design, he transformed the grassland to water; the solitary tree in water that was focused might have some hidden meaning. Design is an expression and can talk; it could even touch one’s heart.

The football player Ganesh wants to stand inside a stream flowing through woods, it is his dream. He asked me to take a full-size photo of him. He imagined how he would be standing in the water and he posed like that. He was moved to the computer, when the lasso tool selected him, with the help of move tool he jumped from his photo to the document carrying the picture of stream flowing through woods. His little wish was fulfilled within minutes.

Quick-witted Prem Kumar‘s dream is to stand before a big bungalow to pomp himself as rich. His image was recorded electronically – transferred – processed and he was standing before his dream bungalow.

Jothiraj took out a boat from an image using lasso tool. He placed that boat in another photo, which is a sea. He started dreaming how it would be if that boat sails in water. I was able to read his thoughts because his expressions are similar to that of mine while I dream. I opened the animations panel from the menu in Photoshop. And duplicated the boat 10 times, in each layer I kept the boat moved little forward, also in animation panel I made 10 frames, by hiding and making visible the layers according to the frames I did the animation for him. When I pressed the play icon the boat started to sail like a speed lounge.

I told them after finish learning Photoshop they can draw what they dreamed using Corel draw & illustrator and after that they can animate dreams using Flash. And finally they can become dream designers. What they have to do is to dream, dream and dream; all other things we will take care for them.