These were the items I chose to work on:
1. Realm of the Mouse Gods Sky Palace – environment
2. Island Asylum – environment
3. Junk satellite – prop
4. A group of evil Coconut agents – avatars
5. A beam of light that hits the ship, enveloping it in a gentle glow and altering its course – niagara particle system
Realm of the Mouse Gods
On the left is one of the AI generated inspirations for the Mouse God Chamber. I built it in Vectorworks and then used Datasmith and Twinmotion to take it into Unreal. Twinmotion as a visualisation tool was very quick and very easy to work in for developing real time immersive visualizations. However, in order for those assets to function in UE, you have to turn on the plugin, which is quite extensive. It would have been better if I had not used Twinmotion for this particular project, or use it for just visualisation, but then use the Datasmith file for functionality in UE.
As I continued to develop the environment for the chamber, I tried to reinforce the co-joining of natural and man-made materials. The two concentric colonnades started to resemble the hole of Swiss cheese and if you were to look at the structure from above you would see that all the elements together formed the shape of a human eye.
What I forgot to mention is that Vectorworks, like many other BIM programs now have direct links (via Datasmith) into visualization programs (Twinmotion-UE or Pixyz-Unity). There is another however snag, organizing the structure classes and layers in VW because Twinmotion gives you two types of import choices by materials or by native VW layer organization. Both can handicap (UV) you in UE if you intend to change a lot of things.
The image below was taken after our final class with Athen’s Beautiful Trees, Mouse Gods and Christopher’s Melting Cheese statues.
The Asylum Island was a purchase from the Marketplace and the texture files for it were 1.3GB. The Brutalistic architectural style was a choice. I ended up merging the parts of the meshes that I know would not have any interaction which did not decrease the size of the package, but at least it made it a few objects in the outliner.
The austere asylum was place on a barren rocky island. It was a design choice to keep it cold, hard and uninviting. I kept the rectangular platform that came with the demo. What I learned from working with Marketplace assets were how to structure the elements modularly. These assets allowed for plenty of variations, but also require time to create.
This project was an incredible learning experience that had a lot of moving parts. That’s the crux if it…constant communication with the different teams. Going into this project I had little awareness of the process, but one thing I realised is that you cannot be insular, you have to analyze all the moving parts and how they interact with each other and there needs to be a coordinator of sorts for each of the “work” divisions that are involved. It’s just like in film, and perhaps even more so, though the pipeline is nonsequential (agile).
I made a sequencer for the establishing shot of the Asylum Island playing in .gif below and another started for the fight sequence on the roof top though little too late for “show control” submission.
Another purchase from the UE Marketplace which just needed the texture to be worn and dirtier. I decided to create a level for the asset and followed a tutorial to create a small system – the Sun, Moon, Earth with dynamic lights, stars and the milky way.
Evil Coconut Agents
The style of the “coconut” crew was created and AutoRig Pro by Christopher. If there was only more time, I would have made the faces and bodies a bit different. But a decision with the consensus of the coconut creation team was they would be similiar, but different from the hero coconuts making a reference to reinforce the Matrix bullet sequence. So they had mohawks and dark sunglasses. I took Christopher’s base which he had already rigged and set facial morphs and just modified a bit of the mesh in Blender, and changed the color of the base texture for the frond mohawk. I retargeted some mocap animation and downloaded other fight animation from Mixamo.
The last item I created was an extremely basic dynamic beam made with Niagara particle system with a changeable start and end beam variable. This was my second go at using particles. I would have like to in a BP_OSC child for show control, regulated the emission and spread of the beam travelling from source point to end point.
The Demo p.1 (Virtual Production)
Putting it all together. An amazing learning experience watching Todd help us pull it all together. This is the field that I would like to focus and learn the necessary skills for, but not sure what specific area just yet. It’s organization, creativity, communication, and problem solving. Inspiring to seeing the splendiferous elements everyone created. In class we were just able to go through the scenes and get most of 17 collaborators on the same same… the file so far is about 52GB. We will have a voluntary session in the next few days to continue the project to incorporate live mocap, pre-set sequences, and show control to create the Takes for an eventual edit of the story.