Blog Entry – Research and Project Updates – 2019 #13

This week I have been working numerous projects. First project is my human interaction final. As of now, I am struggling to get an heart rate from skin conductivity. I believe I will have to redesign the project to simulate the heart rate when the box is touched and held. Although I do have some time to develop it before the need to redesign it.

The other project I worked on this week was the 3d digital art final. I finally got a character that “fits” my requirement for the project. Here is a screenshot:

I am going to do a polish pass of the face and detail it out with wrinkles, defects, and to make the face asymmetrical. Also the character’s face has multiple layers that allows me to remove the beard and make the face fuller or not but the only thing I am deciding on is the clothes.  I haven’t figured out the style yet but I am feeling something Victorian or Gothic suit.

 

Tutorials/Interesting Videos:

 

Scifi Decal Panels – Substance

SciFi Decal Panels Substance

Software

  • Allegorithmic Substance Designer
  • Unity Engine

Substance Graph

Features

Description:

SciFi Decal Panels is a procedural material created in Substance Designer. With so many features, the material can be used in numerous applications and environments such as space stations/ships, futuristic environments, Decals for ceilings, floors, or walls, etc. The texture is using PBR metalness/roughness workflow and was created with realism in mind.

The goal of the project was to create a “kit” that could be used to help designers speed up detailing a environment with a many different panel decals in a instant. As well as exploring and understanding the use of procedural kits using Substance Designer.

Blog Entry – Research and Project Updates – 2019 #8

This week I have been focusing on finishing up my substance kit. Currently, I am finalizing the color maps but I have been running into constant issues. For example, I work on a certain shape setup then turn on another and it does not work or a switch does not turn off. Trying to debug this rat’s nest is horrible but I am making way. I am planning on tomorrow as the final day to work in substance designer. The rest will be in Unity using the kit.

Here are the current graph and in editor 3d/texture:

After finishing this project, I will move onto working on the character as I am going to create a proposal presentation. I am going to focus more on the sculpt and what references I will follow. Other information I will be deciding: back story, style, time period, and final render for the sculpt. I am also hoping I find some time to do a few more sketches to help my direction.

 

Spotter #7

Spotter #7

 

Hardware Components Used

  • 1 Photo-resistor
  • 2 Green LEDs
  • 1 Cardboard cutout
  • 2 330Ω Resistors
  • 1 10k Resistor
  • 1 Servo Motor
  • Arduino Uno Board
  • Breadboard
  • 5-volt power
  • 11 wires
  • Light

Concept

 

Description:

Spotter#7 is a little cardboard robot endlessly sweeps 180 looking for a friend.  When it finds a friend, it stops and blinks to show that it has spotted the person. If the person moves away fast, it will continue with its path and keep sweeping. If the person remains for longer time and then moves, the robot will shake back and forth in disapproval. After the reaction, it will begin sweeping endlessly to find a friend.

The emotional response expected from this piece is compassion towards the little robot. The personal value of the piece was the challenge of designing the interaction. Originally, it was designed to use a temperature sensor to detect the interaction. Plans changed when the only sensor I had was damaged and I had to rework the piece. I decided to swap out the sensor for a photo-resistor. Even with the redesign, the piece is enjoyable.

Other Technical Information:

This interactive piece is using a servo and a photo-resistor. It requires a spotlight to light the “friend”. Since the lighting is important with this piece, the photo-resistor can be set for either, back lit or front lit, to make it work correctly. The servo motor has a sweep from 0 to 180. The speed of the sweep is randomized after every completed rotation to break up the repetitions of the piece.

Blog Entry – Research and Project Updates – 2019 #7

This week I focused on completing my substance designer project. After a week of working on it, I realized that designing the concept for the “kit” should have been my first task. Designing on the fly with a node base system…….makes a mess.

I tried using other graphs which helped clean stuff up a bit but I ended up using one main graph so I can expose more parameters. Maybe with more time, I can figure out a way to reference other graphs’ parameters.

After this weekend’s grind, I am at the final stretch. With the project due date being extended, I can put more time into coloring and give it a polish pass. A major issue I am having is with the height depth. Everything looks flat even after the tessellation. I might have to go in the beginning of the graph where I declared the basic shapes, and create a basic bevel to give it some dynamics.

Here are some screenshots from unity – displaying the kit:

My other projects/journey, I have not had the chance to drop the lipsync plugin into Unity. The instructions seem intense so I will dive into that this week. I have a feeling I will have to import a character with a facial rig (using blendshapes) to make sure it works in my Unity project. I think if I can get it imported Unity and working (or seem like it is working), I need to get it interacting with the kinect. From there, I should be in a good place to start sculpting the character. Although…..

I am worrying a little at this point. It is already HALF WAY through the semester!

I have to start shifting my time into the semester paper. I have an idea about the paper. Something along the lines of color and the affects on humans but I am not sure. I need to create an outline or proposal first.

Simon Says…PhotoResistor

Simon Says … Photo-resistor

Hardware Components Used

  • 1 Photo-resistor
  • 1 RGB LED
  • 1 Yellow LED
  • 4 330 Ω Resistors
  • 2 10k Resistors
  • 1 Switch
  • 10 Wires
  • Arduino Uno Board
  • 1 Breadboard
  • 5 volt power

Concept

 

Description:

Simon says…Photo-resistor is an interactive game using a photo-resistor as the main input for the experience. As the user presses the button, the game begins. The RGB turns white and begins the blue blinking a randomized sequence. The number of blinks is the required number of times the user needs to flash a light towards the photo-resistor to win the game. During the “input” phase, the RGB led light blinks RED and GREEN indicating the time left. If the player fails to complete the sequence, the RGB LED will turn RED indicating they failed. If the player completes the sequence, the RGB LED will turn GREEN indicating they have won.  After the complete phase, either win or lose, the game will reset and idle until the button is pushed to start again.

As this piece resembles a game, the emotional response would be excitement, panic, and joy. The personal value of the piece was the challenge of coding and using a photo-resistor. As it was the first time I would have worked with one, I ran into some issues with calibration. Ultimately, I believe this piece was sacksful. It allowed me to push myself and try something different that was out of my comfort-zone.

The Taken House on the Hill

The Taken House on the Hill

Software

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Autodesk Maya
  • Blender
  • Pixologic zBrush
  • Allegorithmic Substance Painter
  • Unity Engine

Concept

Description:

The Taken House on the Hill is a game ready art piece involving a tiny house on a hill with a dead tree. All of which is contained within a glass bottle on display surrounded by darkness. The art piece contains 17,316 faces, and every texture is 2048 x 2048.

I decided the style of the art piece early on as I wanted to experiment and shy away from realistic modeling. The goal of the style was to mimic the style of Tim Burton, Gothic, and LucasArt games. Using this stylized resulted in creating a story that is not written. The viewer might feel there is more to the piece in which they might explore and create their own story around the piece.

Blog Entry – Research and Project Updates – 2019 #4

This week I completed my 3d project. I had to finish up texturing, UVing, and setting up the scene in Unity engine. Software I used was Adobe Photoshop, Autodesk Maya, Blender, Pixologic Zbrush, Substance Painter, and Unity.

Enjoy!

Also Instant Screenshot is an awesome plugin for Unity for anyone looking for hi-res screenshots. – https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/tools/instant-screenshot-24122

Blog Entry – Research and Project Updates – 2019 #1

This week I started to test two free A.I. behavior plug ins for Unity. This is important as I needed to test them for a game studio and my own project. The two free plug ins are: PandaBT (https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/tools/ai/panda-bt-free-33057) and Behavior Bricks (https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/tools/visual-scripting/behavior-bricks-74816).

(AI plugin testing – custom demo “game” scene)

The “game” I made had the AI chasing after the ball (player). Once the AI is out of the red, it will constantly loose health a5 until it’s death. The AI decides to pick whatever red zone is closer to heal. Once topped off on health, it will go after the player again.


PandaBT is a minimalistic script to create behavior trees. It uses a basic script called BT script. To create tasks, one can create a single c# script (or many) to build the tasks for the AI.

PandaBT

There are many positives with using this plugin. One of which is the ease of use. Getting started is easy. I got a custom demo “game” up and running in a few hours of messing around. Another major benefit of using the plug is the mass amounts of documentation. They have their own site (http://www.pandabehaviour.com/) j59 full of access to examples and information needed to get up and running. There are also many YouTube tutorial videos. I did enjoy using the plugin but some issues I ran into was the BT script. As I am using visual studio, the structure of the script is key. If the spacing is off, it throws an error. It is minor but annoying. Another issue (not really an issue but personal preference), the layout of the behavior is a list. I fear once the AI becomes more complex, this list is going to become confusing and difficult to debug. This is where Behavior Bricks shines, node trees.

“Down the stairs and near the safe, she found her space in which she escapes.”


Behavior Bricks is a behavior tree with a visual editor. I got it up in running about the same time as PandaBT maybe a little bit more as it forces you to take the modular approach which is a good thing t119!

Behavior Bricks

I found the visual editor easy to visualize what I needed to do but it was buggy. The editor’s colors, while running the game, glitches but I did not see any affect on the game. Another issue was the poor documentation. There is a some but much. It does include examples and their site has some api information (http://bb.padaonegames.com/doku.php). Regardless, I found it difficult to start off. So, there is a learning curve. With saying that, I believe it is worth fighting through as the visual editor helps a lot more than a list view. The task management isn’t too hard, but the API can be confusing for beginners to start off. For a project, I suggest creating templates of the code. That way it saves time having to change the namespaces and such repeatedly.

What plugin do I suggest?  b11 They are very similar, and both are great and free! As I will be suggesting one plugin to use for a game studio, I want the students to learn the concept of behavior trees and use a modular approach. With that being said, I am favoring Behavior Bricks. The good thing about using this for our projects, we can transfer to other behavior trees with limited difficulty which we might end up doing. As it is free, the development is not consistent and updates are put off. This reason alone, we might move to a paid plugin like Behavior Designer, Node Canvas, and playmaker. I read many great things about them. Their prices are around the same price – $70 although playmaker is $45.

 

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