This week I worked in Unity. We have been testing PlayMaker plugin. Below is a video capture of a basic movement, using Animations, to an gameObject, wait and then move to the other gameObject. The goal was to get mover to determine if it has reached the spot and let the state continue along the line.
SciFi Decal Panels Substance
- Allegorithmic Substance Designer
- Unity Engine
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.
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.
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.
The Taken House on the Hill
- Adobe Photoshop
- Autodesk Maya
- Pixologic zBrush
- Allegorithmic Substance Painter
- Unity Engine
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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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This week, I worked on transforming my game, Hopshock, to an art piece that has no interactivity from user. As of right now, I am done with it. I do feel like I might need to adjust the wheel speed as the character’s animation does not look that appealing. (Mind you, Not many people can actually survive that long in the game to see the animation looking weird.) Through the process of de-gaming it, I realized how much the UI and the game are connected together. I would change or remove a few pieces and break a bunch of other things. The process took longer to debug than making the autojumper. The way I created the autojumper was a basic collider detection. As the ring collides with the node, the character passes true boolean to the touch control script. I did not have to rewrite any prior code to get it to work.
The only worry I had with the de-game version was Unity crashing after a few hours of the game running continuously. If it did crash, I had a plan in place that would reset the game after so many hours. Thankfully, it did not. So no need for the reset-er. I also spend some time upgrading some graphics and optimation of the game. I baked and removed some lights in the scene. The lighting in the forground was off, I adjusted that. Since Unity had been upgraded, I had to recreate the color grading and other post processing effects. After all the updates and fixes, the game runs from 30-40 fps on an iPad Air 2 which I capped at 30.
Other projects I have been working at work, Photogrammetry. My boss was interested in it for a project. We have been testing it with this camera. Unfortunately, we have not had success. I believe the camera we are trying to photograph has a smooth, black, and glossy surface. I am trying a new way with the same object but trying to cross polarize the lighting. I am hoping it will pull some detail out and help the process.
As for the interactive frame, I am still reading about the speech to text. I will be implementing at least one next week for testing. I will focus on the default Microsoft one as it is already embedded with Windows.
ALSO for game studio class. We ran into issues with colliders breaking and we had a mess of triggers and colliders. I found a function that would of solved some of these issues. So for the future:
Physics.IgnoreCollision(col1, col2); https://docs.unity3d.com/ScriptReference/Physics.IgnoreCollision.html
This week’s research contains with speech recognition. I got the Kinect speech functionality to work in Unity to display my command and the percentage of confidence. I believe this is not going to work for my project as I need more functionality than only commands. The way it recognizes phrases does not seem to understand the phrase when it is used in a sentence. After some debate, I was recommended to try out a few different services that are tailored to my needs. – https://blogs.unity3d.com/2016/08/02/speech-recognition-and-vr/
Google Cloud Speech:
Unity Built in – Windows 10 – UnityEngine.Windows.Speech
Plugin for Unity that contains all:
Only difference on paper between Google and IBM is the amount of free monthly send requests. Google is 60 minutes and IBM is 100 minutes. After the free monthly use, the prices are comparable. I do not think I will pass the limit but if I do, I will make sure there are measures in place. Side note – I believe the windows speech might do exactly what the Kinect was doing. I am going to be testing that one first as it is already built within Unity.
Next week sprint:
Try out, one or all, speech to text services within Unity and decide what service is the right one to use.
Side Project – Turn HopShock into a infinite auto jump art piece
I am working on transferring my game, HopShock, into a automated art piece. As of right now, I removed the GUI, and other interactivity. Only thing left to work on is automating the jump and having the character randomly get hit by the spinning circle. I am planning to work with my cousin, who was the lead programmer on the project, to help create a successful solution. I am expecting at the end of the week, the edits will be done and fully working on an iPad. If not, then by this weekend.
This week’s sprint required me to detect if a person is present in the scene, and to detect/track a face and the face features the Kinect sensor registers. I completed it using the Kinect v2 Examples with MS-SDK and Nuitrack SDK plugin for unity. There are two main necessary scripts to use. One is KinectManager.
KinectManager script is required for the Kinect to initialize and run. It also contains numerous classes that are important for body tracking and could be useful later in the project. The other script is called FaceTrackingManager. This script is like the KinectManager but only manages the face and head of the user. With these scripts, it is easy to debug any issues. For instance, I have it set up to create a small window with a color map video. In that video, right now, displays a rectangle box around my face. It enables me to see if the face tracking is working. With those two scripts working, I edited a script that was a demo. That script was only to detect a smile. I added in all the face properties Microsoft allows. I should be able to call the variables once I start creating my database. These properties should give a direction to what script/animation needs to be played at a given time.
Next week’s sprint:
Get speech recognition to work with some basic phrases. Then create a script to call all the input data and display them.
Also, as I mentioned above, the KinectManager has some useful classes so I wrote them down. Later, I discovered a website that has it all indexed: