Volunteering At Pingo Doce For AAC

Volunteering At Pingo Doce For Ajuda a Alimentar  Cães

Saturday at 9 a.m we went to Forum Madeira as volunteers for AAC. The job was to pass out flyers at the supermarket door so that the people who wanted could help by giving some type of contribution.

At first we thought it would be hard to fill one car, because the people wouldn’t even take a flyer, some just passed by us like they didn’t see us. But with time we managed to fill not only one car but six!

From the time we were there (from 9 a.m to 1 p.m) the people that contributed mostly were people from the ages of 30 to 60. There were these two types of people, the ones that passed through us not even responding to out “Good Morning” and then the ones that would stop and ask what it was for and what they should buy.

But all in all we were surprised by the ammount of donations that people made. Some even gave us entire shopping cars with food for cats and dogs, others helped with what they could.

We would like to thank the people that contributed. Thank you very much, your help makes a difference!


Saturday, 2nd March 2019

3 Days Of Filming At The Kennel (Canil Municipal Do Funchal)

First Day (22 Feb. 2019)

The first day was dedicated to test out the camera, the camera angles and plan how the shots would be. We learned that the GoPro tripod was too fragile for the kennel floors, because seconds later after putting it on the ground, a dog dragged it with his mouth! That’s when we affirmed that Tânia needed a good sturdy tripod that could handle some licks and tugs. Good thing we already predicted this and went prepared..

(photo tânia a pôr camera)


We finally got to meet the new cat room, and it is wonderful and full of places for the cats to play, sleep and eat.


Because it was the afternoon the kennel was calm and the workers had already done the heavy part of the job. The dogs were also all out of thir cages, so we were greated very warmly and excitingly. Inbetween the techical aspects there was always time to pet and play with the dogs around us, that went wherever we went to.

Later that evening, when the dogs had already played and run around in the sun we went inside to talk with Sara and of course the dogs came inside with us.

Second Day (26 Feb. 2019)

We arrived bright and early at 9:30 a.m so that we could capture the workers from the kennel starting their work for the day. Each personnel is in charge of a sector of the kennel and work there. So we saw them setting free the dogs for their daily exercise time. Then they also clean all the cages, give them food and put fresh water.

This day we started the actual filming, following the daily tasks of the workers and seeing what is that really happens everday taking care of the kennel and the dogs.

Third Day (27 Feb. 2019)

The last day was saved for the cats. We were glad that while we were filming the lady taking care of the cats some voluntaries came in and brought some treats.

Also while we were there the vet arrived saying she was going to put microchips on the puppies so we went with her and filmed that process too.


It was very fun days that we spent at the kennel with the company of lovely animals and the workers, that were always happy to help us. They even had to stop what they were doing or re-do it so that we could capture them on the camera.

In only 3 days, we already created bonds with the cats and dogs, and we already miss them!

Thank you very much Canil Municipal do Funchal.


Experimenting VR & IPad

We went to experiment some new technology so that we could see our options and try new things to inspire us.

This was our first time ever trying on a VR headset and interacting with it. We played games and saw interactive videos. It was a really interesting and fun experience.


Then I also tried to draw on ProCreate with the IPad, and it was also very fun and intutitive. I liked how the screen was the paper and you could directly interact with it without the constraints of having to look down to your drawing table as the wacom tablets. It was also very easy to swap between brushed, layers and colours.




Comic Prototypes

I have started to develop what will be my final graphical art style so that when the stories are fully developed and completed I can start with the graphical side.

Because the comic will be interactive, where the user will choose what path they want to follow I had to decide how the readers would follow the story line they chose.

At first I went to research examples of choose your own path comics to see how these artists let the reader go their own path without any difficulties and complexity so that the unfolding of the story is not compromised. I found 3 very good examples:

Image result for adventure time comic choose your own pathAdventure Time  “Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-Time” #10 by  Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb

Image result for adventure time comic choose your own pathMeanwhile by Jason Shiga

Image result for unwritten choose your path comicUnwritten #17 by Mike Carey and Peter Gross

Of the three, only the last one uses numbers instead of arrows. I ended up choosing the arrows because of my target audience (11+ years old) and because visually it’s easier to follow the path to the desired storyline.

Here is my first prototype:

After printing out I could see that the arrows and all the colours could possibly be too confusing for the reader to follow along the lines. So I tried to re-arrange the panels so that the paths wouldn’t intersect and create a visual mess that could lead to frustration to the readers.



Visit to SPAD

Today, me, Tânia and Tiago went to visit SPAD.

SPAD is a non profitable private institution where most of its money come from donors. 

Their main objective is to fight for animal rights and animal welfare, basing of the Universal Rights of Animals and all acting laws. When they have the space and means, they bring in abandoned animals, giving them assistance, when they are sick and promotes ways to sensibilize people how to care and love your animal. They also solicit and act with competent entities of adoption associations to prevent and conden cruelty to animals.

When we arrived, we went in the main headquarters, where there is the reception and also a toy store for pets, and everything appears clean and modern.

For newcomer, finding where the animals for adoptions are is a bit hard, there in no indication of such event, but we could definitely hear them.

In the farther side of the place we found the door to the kennel, and very close to these, the temporary animals that are just there for a little stay, while their owners are out.

When we went inside, we first saw the cats, more precisely one cat that was alone, and some dog heads popping out of their cage barking for our attention.

There was this big cage with a lot of cats inside, all hanging out together with a big space for them to run around freely and plenty of beds and food for them all. The dogs cages however, were almost always packed, with a minimum of 2 dogs up to 4 or even 5 dogs in a cage.

There were the dogs that craved for attention and wouldn’t let go of your hand and then there was dogs that would hide in the back of their cages, afraid and shivering.

In the dog’s cages, many times their food was all spread out and the water bowl had nothing inside but urine.

At this time, there was a lady cleaning all the cages, Her process is, open the cage, put the dogs in a big carrier, clean the newspaper, spray the cage with water, put back some new newspaper and pass the dogs back into the cage. She even told us that one of the cages there had 3 siblings and a foster mother to them all.

We also spotted dogs that where sponsored, we knew this because the outside of their kennel was advertised as such. There were 3 in total, this may seem a few, but to the dogs i’m sure it makes all the difference.


12th October

Visit to Canil Municipal do Funchal

Today Sarah and I went to visit the Municipal Kennel of Funchal, managed by the AMAIS Association (Madeira Animals Association), since 2016.

We thank the person responsible for the management of the kennel, D. Sara Machado, for all the attention and willingness given to guide us through the enclosure and to respond promptly to all questions that were arisen. In a respectful way, we also take this opportunity to thank and publicly praise all the work, perfectly visible, of all the team that works there, cherishing, caring and daily looking after  hundreds of lives “discarded” by society, with limited resources but with giant hearts. Thank you so much.

This certainly was an experience that marked us and will not be forgotten!

The Vasco Gil Municipal Kennel is now known as the Official Collection Center Vasco Gil although it is not recognized for all legal requirements and accommodates some 270 canines and 60 felines. At the moment, the space destined for the cattery is under construction, making it difficult to manage the space where the cats are welcomed, but even then everyone is properly pampered and cared for, as best as possible.

The daily routine begins very early, as it was noticed as soon as we arrived at the Kennel at 11am. Even from the outside, it was possible to see the hustle of the work that is repeated day after day by all the workers. All cages are open and clean. The dogs are let loose in the meantime, in a grouped way and at the same time. They can walk freely in the zone of the “park” or in the corridors. In addition to the daily tasks of the workers, they have to be on caution everyday because there are situations that arise and need special attention such as fights between dogs at night when no one is there that can lead to injuries or even deaths.

We met a dog named Mena, a very loving foster mother who helps take care of the litters that are taken in the kennel, helping to keep baby dogs clean and with the “warmth of a mother” nearby. Puppies are usually separated from other dogs, especially to facilitate control of virus propensity.


At this point, Sarah and I were already covered in mud everywhere but very unconcerned about it, since we were constantly surrounded by lovely caring dogs expressing themselves in the way they know it, with their eagerness for attention. And it is so natural how they give all this love and affection to us, even after being abandoned.

Inevitably, one of the topics we discussed with D. Sara was animal abandonment, which is one of the most worrying factors on our island, where animals are treated as “disposables”. This makes this facility in a overcrowded place which host the animals and that have spatial limits. Even though they are fully crowded, they always have to be able to get one more corner, which can sometimes reach 20, 30 dogs collected per month (at best), reporting cases where some were left overnight tied up at the gate kennel or simply left in the surrounding area.


We wondered if there was a specific season with a more propensity for abandonment based on some research we did, which pointed out that some seasons had larger abandonment rates like summer, and in fact that may be the case, but not for the reasons we were thinking (like the old holiday story …) but rather because there are increasing number of litters and so the number of dogs collected increases.


But not everything is bad! We know that the Kennel currently makes very happy partnerships with some German Associations, which has allowed some older dogs (mostly discriminated against by the Madeiran population at the time of adoption, choosing newer dogs to the older ones!) To have a new opportunity for a happy life, they are welcomed by families in Germany. This difference of mentality from a European country to our regional reality is also one of the problems pointed out in our society, which discriminates against adult and older dogs at the time of adoption and which involves other factors such as the misconception that “a dog adult does not learn, “devaluing the fact that any animal needs an” adaptation phase, “which is naturally different for each one, which often results in the owners'” misperceptions “and what it really is to have an animal and give him all the education, attention and care needed.


Since we started the research work about three months ago, one of the things that stood out was the question of “wandering animals.” From the conversation we had with the manager of the municipal kennel today we can conclude that wandering animals are not really “the problem”. At this moment, according to what has been transmitted to us, most of these animals are already well signaled and sterilized, being under the periodic care of people who know the animals and the places where they are. The problem now is lack of education.

There is really a society that needs to be re-educated and move quickly out of the “bubble” it is in, facing reality and becoming aware of the consequences of its actions.

Tânia de Andrade

9th October, 2018

Summer Internship//Tânia

I had a month of internship at M-iTi from July to August and basically the main goals were doing research about animal welfare in Madeira but also the state of art about transmedia storytelling topics and virtual reality.

As i will be doing a 360º vr documentary for my thesis, i started learning how to work in Unity and it was challenging but surprisely not so difficult as I tought, before even trying.

I also made a project for the internship that was making a built of a 360º video in Unity to run on an android device or to be used with google cardboard glasses. So I also tryed the Android studio software for the 1st time, for doing this assignment.

And here’s a small video showing the result!

(of course Sarah’s project was more fun…putting cats appear and saying meow, just kidding hi hi hi)

Summer Internship//Sarah

For the month of July to August, I started a summer internship at M-iti.

For my thesis I will be doing an AR app with a comic book/graphic novel to support it, so in this internship I started to learn Unity and Vuforia because these are the tools I will be then using for my final thesis. Before choosing Vuforia, I had considered other platforms, but after doing a comparison between them all, Vuforia was the platform that offered me more creative freedom in the whole process, from creation to that actual interface.

I learned how to create basic AR apps on Unity and Vuforia, through various tutorials. Before starting on a personal project, I followed various tutorials and created from interactive books to simple image pop ups.

My final project of the internship was an AR app that included 3D models, buttons and sound on an Android phone, simulating what I will then use on the final project.



August 2018