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.