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A1: name tag

name tag stock photo

Assignment 1 has been extended by 48 hours. It is now due on Wednesday 18/8/2021 21:00 AEST.


  • Due: 9pm Monday August 16 9pm Wednesday August 18 (week 4)
  • Mark weighting: 15 marks
  • Submission: submit your assignment through Gitlab (full instructions below)
  • Policies: no late submissions accepted; for other policies (e.g. academic integrity) see the policies page


Your task for this assignment is to explore the use of shape and colour by creating a simple artwork in p5.js that could be used as a name tag.

Your goal is to make a nametag that’s both interesting and readable. How you do this is up to you (although if you have questions about how to do this you should discuss them with your tutor or on the COMP1720 forum).

Feel free to look around the internet for inspiration, but the code you submit must be your own (except where you acknowledge it in your statement-of-originality.yml).

This isn’t meant to be a scary assignment, it’s just a chance to get started with making small works of art in p5. You don’t have to do anything fancy—sketches based on simple shape and colour variation can be just as effective as more complex artistic drawings.

Your name tag needs to do the following:

  1. be a name tag: that is, it features your name :-D

  2. be interesting: use what you know about drawing shapes and colours in p5 to make your name tag an artwork that grabs the viewer’s attention

  3. be readable: your name should be clear and easy to read.

Getting started

Here’s the process for working on the assignment:

  1. make sure you’ve signed & committed1 your Pledge of Integrity (see lab 2 for details)

  2. fork & clone the assignment 1 repo

  3. add whatever code you like to make a cool/interesting name tag

  4. when you run the sketch, hitting spacebar will save a still image of the sketch (as a nametag.png file in your Downloads folder)

  5. when you’re happy with your nametag.png, copy it into your assignment 1 folder (this will overwrite the previous version) and commit the new version to the repo (and push it up to the GitLab server)

The repo has a small amount of starter/example code (including an example nametag of mine, but it’s not very good!) to get you started. There’s also a helper keyTyped function for saving the nametag.png file. There’s a submission checklist below to help you make sure you’ve completed everything you need to in your submission.

If you’re new to this Git thing and you’d like a helping hand, there are some git help videos (from 2018, but still pretty spot-on) on the resources page.


Your submission must include:

  1. a nametag.png file (this is the image of your name tag)

  2. the code (in the usual sketch.js file) used to produce your nametag.png image

  3. an (max 200 words) describing your artwork

  4. a statement-of-originality.yml describing any inspiration/code/assets you got from other places

In addition, your submitted nametag.png must be a name tag—your name must be readable from a distance of 3m away. If you’re not sure, talk to your tutor (they’ll be the one marking your assignment, anyway). If there is any doubt about whether your submission is acceptable as a name tag, the course convenor’s decision is final.

The artist statement

Your submission must include a short (max 200 words) artist statement. This is a short document, written in the first person, which answers the question:

what are you trying to achieve with your name tag as a work of art?

You won’t receive a separate mark for the artist statement, but it will be used to judge how successful your nametag is as a work of art. So make sure you use it to (briefly) talk about things like:

  • what is the inspiration for your design?
  • what are you trying to communicate?
  • what are you trying to make the viewer feel?
  • what concepts are you trying to explore (e.g. shape, colour, etc.)?
  • how have you tried to balance the goals of interestingness and readability?

Submission process

Here’s the process (again, remember the Git help screencast videos)

  1. fork the assignment 1 template repository from the CECS GitLab server

  2. clone2 & work on your fork of the assignment 1 repo, regularly committing & pushing your changes to the GitLab server

  3. at the submission deadline, the latest commit3 pushed to the GitLab server (not on your local machine!) will count as your submission

One thing to note is that there are some “checks” which the GitLab server runs to help you out. So if you get a pipeline failed email, then have a look at the FAQ.

Submission checklist

  1. my project satisfies the requirements

  2. my completed assignment has been pushed to the GitLab server, and all the required files (your versions of, statement-of-originality.yml, nametag.png and sketch.js) have made it to the server

  3. my statement-of-originality.yml file includes all the required references/acknowledgements, and everything not mentioned in there is my own work


There’s lots of helpful info on the FAQ page which applies to all assignments. You really should check it (and the rest of that page) out—I think it’ll really help.

Here are a few things you might be looking for:

There are also a bunch of questions below specific to this assignment—I hope they’re helpful. If you’ve got a question that’s not covered below or on the main FAQ page then you should ask it on the COMP1720 forum using the ass1 label and if it’s popular enough I’ll put it up here.

What should I do first?

I reckon that the first thing you should do is to fork the repo to your account, clone it, change the "Name" in the template to your own name, and push it back up to GitHub. If you can do that, then you’ve proved to yourself that you can submit something (and you’ll save yourself some panic if you don’t do that until just before the deadline).

So are there really no late submissions allowed?

Yep, really.

Can I get help with submitting this thing?

Yep—if you ask early enough. Because you can push the current version of your assignment as many times as you like, you should try it as soon as you can. Only the final commit you submit before the deadline will be marked, so there’s no downside to pushing up your submission many times. As an added bonus, if something then happens to your computer, you’ll have a backup on the GitLab server.

So try doing this early, and if you get stuck ask for help on the COMP1720 forum or in your lab group. If you send a panicked COMP1720 forum post 1 hour before the deadline it’s unlikely we’ll be able to help you out.

Can I change the size/dimensions of the canvas?

No, you need to use an 800 x 800 canvas, so that your name tag could be used as a profile image, i.e.:

createCanvas(800, 800);

The template sets this all up for you, so if you don’t change the createCanvas line in the template setup code then you should be fine.

Will I be marked on the nametag.png image, or the sketch that created it?

The main part of this assignment is the nametag.png image—this is the actual image that you could use as a profile picture online. We will look at both the image and the code to mark.

If your nametag sketch is actually a cool animated thing then that’s fine (good, even!) but remember to make sure that the static nametag.png image you commit is the main game in this assignment.

What name should I use?

You should use the preferred name you chose when you filled out your pledge of integrity in lab 2.

Does my name have to be in English?

It doesn’t have to be an English name (like “Archibald”) but it does have to be in the English alphabet.

If you want to put other characters (e.g. simplified Chinese) on the name tag as well that’s ok, but make sure the pinyin version is clearly readable.

I don’t know where to start?

Here are some ideas to help you get started:

  • experiment with different shapes to find an aesthetic you like
  • experiment with different colours (including transparency) for the stroke(), fill(), background() etc. of your sketch
  • use the random() function to control some aspect of your name tag, then run it multiple times and save it when it does something that you like
  • look in the reference for new functions to use
  • don’t try to do too much—if it’s too messy/busy/complicated then it won’t work well as a name tag (something simple is fine if you do it well)
  • pick a small selection of colours and/or shapes and experiment with subtle variations of this small set of ideas
  • look back at some of the art theory content from the lectures for inspiration

Why is the deadline so close?

It’s true that you haven’t got heaps of time to do this assignment—it’s due at the beginning of week 4. The reason for this is to get you into gear early.

How do I submit my statement of originality & artist statement?

The template repo contains “starter” files for both of these. You should change these files to put your own content in there, and commit & push the files up with the rest of your submission.

Basically, everything you need to submit is in that Git repository—as long as you make the changes in there, commit them and push them up to the GitLab server then you’re all good.

What happens if I don’t submit my pledge of integrity?

If you haven’t submitted your pledge of integrity we can’t release your marks & feedback to you.

So if you haven’t got your green tick yet for the pledge of integrity CI job, then fix it up asap (talk to your tutor in your next lab if you need help).

What’s the go with this .md file extension?

Markdown is just a way of structuring text files to make them easier to read. Headings start with one or more # characters, bullet points start with - or *, etc.

You don’t need a special program to write these files, there’s a template already in the assignment repo. You can just open them in VSCode and write away. If it’s readable by your tutor, then it’s fine.

Can I pick my own font?

Using custom fonts in p5 is possible, but it requires a bit of work (which we won’t cover until later in the course). So you can go ahead and figure that stuff out if you want to, but you won’t be marked down if you just use the built-in font.

Can I use images from the internet (e.g. as a background image)?

Yes, with the following caveats:

  1. you must reference the image (or any type of asset) in the statement of originality

  2. you can only use images with an appropriate licence (e.g. Creative Commons) and you must state the licensing information in your statement of originality (if you don’t have a licence for it, you can’t use it—it’s the same as plagiarism)

  3. you won’t get good marks if all you’ve done is found a cool image, so make sure you do something with it (it’s actually risky to use a image, since if you use a really interesting image it might seem like your actual contribution isn’t very interesting in comparison)

Can I use insert advanced p5 feature here?

The aim of this assignment is for you to use the stuff we’ve covered in class & in the labs already. Now, there are more advanced features of javascript & p5, and I’m allowing you to use these, but you should be aware: if you have trouble with things that we haven’t yet covered in the course, then it’s up to you to figure them out. We’ll try and provide help (e.g. on the COMP1720 forum) but if you’re jumping ahead then it’s up to you to make sure that everything works ok.

I don’t want to discourage you from exploring—it’s great!—but just be aware that we don’t have the full picture yet in this course and so the help for more advanced features is limited at this stage.

Where can I find my marks & feedback for my assignment?

Have a look at the main course FAQ.

  1. We won’t mark any of your assessment until you’ve done that—so head on over there and do it now. 

  2. make sure you clone your own fork (i.e. the one with your uni ID in the url) to your local machine, not the template (because obviously you aren’t able to change the template for everyone—GitLab won’t let you) 

  3. it’s the master branch which counts as your submission—which is the default anyway (if you’ve just followed all the instructions then you’ve been working on the master branch all along) 

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