Wednesday, October 29, 2008

First Ideas

An area of study that I am interested in due to the release of games like Spore, is Procedural animation and environments in 3D. I did some research into a number of programming languages (C++, XnA, processing). After some experience programming in XnA I realized that there was no support for bone/mesh animation. So I looked into direct x which is extremely complicated but does provided the necessary framework for handling models and animation DXUT. This seemed promising but a daunting prospect to attempt to create something with it.

During one of my tutorials my lecturer showed me max-script, which I have already had some experience but hadn’t thought about using it for this line of thought. I found some tutorials on the subject below. I started to experiment with some of the ideas in the tutorials and developed a very simplistic building creation and placement tool.

video tutorials for maxscript:

I experimented with the methods of placement and created more controls for it and also developed ways of modeling primarily through code.

I found max-script fairly easy to use and produced some surprisingly good results. I have experimented with texturing through the code and have created some interesting effects as in the images above. I also noted the powerful difference that good textures make on low poly geometry. I would like to further develop this idea into a functional tool for 3dsmax to help with creating buildings that have an amount of variability built in. I would like the user to be able to create a few different types of buildings that can varied through the code to be used to build a city that represents his/her tastes or choices.,M1


I've just started my final year, in Virtual Reality with 3D animation. I'll discuss the work and the areas of study I am interested in and those that I find along the way. As I discover new avenues for research I will reference them here. So my tutors and I can look at the material I have gathered throughout the course. Helping everyone to understand what I am trying to achieve in my Final year.

First off I am a keen 3d modeler, and gamer. I grew up with the games that captured my imagination but playing them wasn't enough. I had to make them! When i got my first PC I started messing around with the games files and discovered I could change elements in them. Textures were easy prey and I heavily butchered many, creating super hero costumes for my sims. I used the tools that are shipped with some games. I made maps for every game I could and became familiar with the applications.

I started modding for HL, Sims, Unreal and farcry and made a number of mods. During that time I learnt alot about games and was introduced to my first modeling package Milkshape. However my reach usually outstretched my grasp, I needed knowledge and like minded people to work with. So I went to uni.

I am now confident in my ability to model anything using a combination of the latest tools (3dmax, Photoshop and z-brush). I also have a good understanding of visual effects in films and a practical knowledge of creating them in video editing software. As I look for ideas for my final year projects I will no doubt encounter many new problems to solve and challenges which I’ll attempt to document here.