17-year-old Estela Liobikaite from Strokestown, Co. Roscommon was one of the first makers to enter the brand-new category 3D Animation at last Sunday’s Coolest Projects International which took place in the RDS Main Hall, Dublin.
Estella was among nearly 1,000 young tech creators from around the globe presented their inventions at Coolest Projects International 2019, the world’s leading technology exhibition for young people.
Estela began coding at school with her teacher, Ms. Gilleran, and developed a love for animation. She built a special 3D modelled ‘fighter’ game, which she presented at Coolest Projects UK in March and again at last Sunday’s event.
She says: “I thought it would be amazing to do a video game because video games can be more than educational; they can teach you so much, but they can also be fun and entertaining. The goal of my game is to become the number one fighter.
“I like coding because it is very entertaining to play to learn about technology. Coding gives a person many opportunities and possibilities. I spend one hour and a half practicing coding every day – sometimes, I fix bugs and glitches, other times, I just improve and make changes. All it takes is one small step forward and (having) a dream.
“The reason I decided to do my project in 3D was to test the possibilities of Scratch. You don’t have to be an expert in coding to render frames – all it takes is some hard work and knowledge of Unity. So I rendered models in Unity, and then, I rendered them from 3D to 2D to make them work in Scratch and give the impression of 3D models”.
Estela encourages all girls to start coding, and hopes her game will help inspire other young women to take part in Coolest Projects. “We can code just as well as guys, and I wanted my game to prove girls can be coders and fighters too,” she concluded.