Tuesday, November 29, 2016

2D Week 14: Concept Round 04 (Final Color)

This week made major changes to landscape and set dressing, layed out warzone graveyard area and new path leading to witches castle. Rigged and animated swinging cages. Made path narrower and layed down new path in mausoleum area.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

2D Week 13: Concept Round 03

This week I worked on the set dressing of the lion scene. We now have a "mausoleum" area where you first meet the lion. I added fences, several new graveyard areas, updated assets and adjusted the natural environment. I also rigged the bat proxy and threw an animation on it, placing many of these animated bats all over the area.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

2D Week 12: Concept Round 02

This week for the Oz VR project I continued working with the lion rig. I posed him in different emotional states to start developing a feel for his attitude and personality. This also gave us a chance to see where the rig weighting needed to be improved.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

2D Week 11: Concept Round 01

Continuing on with the OZ VR project, this week we focused on further conceptualizing our environments. Some of my fellow teammates worked on 2D concept work and I started getting my hands dirty with animation in the scene.

I took our first pass rig and slapped an idle animation onto him. I then pushed this animation into game as can be seen below.

I also continued work on my growing vine animation. I got it to look good but then encountered an issue with how to push this procedurally growing vine into the Unreal engine. I tried exporting it as a digital asset but it did not work.

In the meantime, I sought another way to conceptualize vines around our tree proxies. With the help of my professor, Chris, I was shown a free premade Houdini Digital Asset straight from the side FX website called the "Ivy Paint Asset". I played around with this on one of our trees as seen below, and think it would be a great addition into the final experience.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

2D Week 10: Artist Discovery

This week we continued working on Oz VR. As an animator, I figured there were not yet many opportunities to work on character animations since we are still in the early stages of environment and character development. Since I have an additional interest in Houdini, I decided to take up a little side project for possible use in my team's game section.

As seen above, I started creating some animated growing vines using a tutorial posted below. If I could get these working correctly, I think they would look nice animating along the path of the Lion's section and contributing to the eerie atmosphere. I am having issues with manipulating the procedural workflow to randomly rotate the leaves, and I am also hoping to offset the animation but the vine shape is coming along nicely. This next week I will continue working on this to make it look realistic.

I also started into research on the Perception Neuron MOCAP system and its potential uses in our VR project. I attended the PN demo held in the MOCAP studio and learned how the equipment works, how the equipment is set up and how the system is calibrated.

The system detects motion by utilizing lightweight sensors that are barely 12mm square. These sensors capture your gestures and body movements and reflect them in your virtual world for an immersive experience. The makers of the motion capture suit boast that there are an unlimited number of combinations in which the sensors can be applied.  You can also remove sensors to limit data should you want less data.

An interesting thing I discovered about the PN is that multiple people can use it at the same time, allowing for some amazing collaboration and interaction possibilities. This makes me wonder if we can start thinking about incorporating a multi-player experience into our OZ experience. We have discussed utilizing  puzzle mechanics to travel from one section to the next... perhaps some of them can require the use of two people to complete... a sort of team based situation.

Another issue we are encountering with this experience is the concept of traveling and the breaking of immersion while teleporting. Since the PN system is wireless, it makes me wonder if the worlds can be designed in a way that can be simulated in a real life space so that players may actually walk through the entirety of our experience. Another way around this would be to potentially bring in a type of treadmill for the final presentation of our piece... if the roads are kept relatively straight in the game, I feel that players could still get the proper experience while walking in a straight line.