NYWF – November Update

This month I Added 2008 Benches, 11 Food arches and 9 Swiss Clocks, 117 international flags and 56 fair flags. The international flags each with a different name on the plate attached to the flag pole. I also created the textures for the Meadow bridge flags in Photoshop from actual images from the fair.

Here’s the visuals

Here’s the pavilions I exported from Maya and implemented into the game.

First the Bell pavilion. Initially this model was started by Scott Giacomin and later on completed by Alex Zelenin. For me this was a straight export. I did model a walkmesh for it. The walkmesh is invisible geometry that defines where the player will be able to walk. The tricky thing about those walkmeshes is to make sure that the boundary is far away enough from the walls so the user doesn’t get a “view into the room” which basically means you can see through the house because we’re talking about single sided geometry here.

I also picked up the Kodak pavilion from Julian Orrego and finalized it. Which meant to adjust the geometry here and there, rework some of the texturing, retouching the AO map and distributing the latest bushes which we hardware instance now. Then I placed it on the actual ground plane and exported it. I also modeled a walkmesh for the entire pavilion which was complex because the roof is totally uneven. It was designed to be like a moon surface.

The SKF pavilion was a straight export. Thanks Eric!

Then there was Japan… This beautiful model was a a nightmare in terms of scene structure and building the walkmesh for it. It has a lot of up’s and down’s and narrow stairs and tables which needed to be cut out of the walkmesh so the player will not walk through them. I also completely replaced all the tables. I used the “replace objects with objects” script from the NYWF Maya shelf I created so it was easy to do. The tricky part was that the existing tables did were zero transformed. So I first had to add locators at each tables position using another script from the shelf that reads the pivot location in world space and places a locator and then use the above script to replace those locators with the actual tables. So it was at least not too much manual labor. The modeler on this was Chip Lundell. He was the “new kid on the block” and shall be forgiven 🙂 Beautiful model!

NYWF – October Update

Loads of updates this month. We keep adding pavilions and improving existing ones.

This is the General Electric pavilion. I had to adjust it quite a bit so that it would fit the given ground plane. The semi transparent gray version is what I got from the modeler Julian Orrego and the colored version is what I “massaged” it into. It was not his fault. He got a perspective aerial photo taken from a plane as a ground plate which had optical distortion that made the pavilion lot appear wider.




This is the IBM pavilion. I fixed a few naming errors and exported it into the game. The modelling was done by Alex Zelenin.




On the Missouri pavilion I modeled the walk mesh. This is where the player will be able to walk (the solid yellow surface) and I exported it into the game. And I added a Gemini capsule as an exhibit into one of the pylons inside the pavilion. The modeller on this pavilion was Julian Orrego.




I added flowers and trees to the General Motors pavilion below and I modeled the surfaces for the water fountains. That’s a model by Julian Orrego as well.




The New York State pavilion got a walkmesh added (solid yellow surface). This is modeled by Alex Zelenin.




And the Chunky Plaza got a walkmesh as well. This one was tricky because there’s a lot of small items the player will have to be able to walk inbetween and find the “Artists’s Point of View” (second image). Those are the camera positions I added that we’re going to link to in code. Finding those angles will be one of the challenges. This is a model by Eric Imperiale.





NYWF – September Update

We conducted some research into getting a lot of different digital characters at once from another source than designing, modeling and rigging them ourselves. Through a friend I heard of evolver. The thing that made evolver very interesting was that it actually supports the Ogre 3D engine natively. So we ran a test by designing a character and exporting it to Ogre 3D and FBX off of the website. I really liked the simplicity of the interface and the great presets but also that in the process of designing the character online you can already adjust tings like textures for the face, the hair and especially the cloths directly before even downloading it. Plus the backbone of having a path to Maya via FBX would also enable us to model variants of the cloths and texture them ourselves.

We then downloaded the character and Eric added a walk cycle which we grabbed of the web onto it in Motion Builder and I exported the model with animation from Maya and implemented it into the fair.

The conclusion is that evolver delivers good quality characters and the exported rigging works straight out of the box. It’s clearly an affordable option for any production (high res video rendering and efficient games characters) to get a lot of characters fast if the character design is generic.

Here’s the interface of evolver and the end result of our test (screenshots).

I modeled the lakes and the biggest Pool, the “Pool of Industry”, of the fair. We needed to know whet impact such big reflecting surfaces will have on the performance of the game and the lakes needed to be added.

I implemented the following pavilions into the fair, which means cleaning up the model and exporting it to Ogre using the OgreMax exporter.

The Chrysler pavilion was was updated by Alex Zelenin. He added trees and plants and re-baked the AO.

I inherited the General Motors pavilion from Julian Orrego to finalize. I replaced all the repeating objects with the latest versions and since a few things have changed on this pavilion I had to “massage” the geometry a lot especially on the lower LOD’s. I also modeled the walkmesh. Plus I added the animated flags.

I also got to finish his Greyhound pavilion which was built based on an old version of the pavilion ground plates and had to be adjusted quite a bit. I animated the rotating sign and replaced the texture on the sign (wohoo a 359 degree y rotation animation 🙂 ). The trickiest part on this was actually to find the historically correct version of the greyhound hound logo with enough resolution.

I updated Eric’s model of the Sinclayr Dinoland pavilion. He animated the dinosaurs, added trees and re-baked the AO. I added the two Modlorama machines and exported/implemented it to the fair.

Alex Zelenin finished Shaun McNeely’s Hall of Science pavilion and added the Space Park behind it. I massaged it and exported it to the fair.

And I replaced the bushes around Alex Zelenin’s model of the Tricentenial Pool with hardware instanced versions of the bushes.