Friday, January 14, 2011

Design for Fun: Starting a TRON Ride

My inner 12 year old is very happy today. I've decided what my next design-for-fun project is going to be. Since I was a kid, I've always wanted to do a few things:

- Design a new ride for an existing space. I just think that's a fun challenge.
- Design a ride for Disney.
- Design an attraction based on the TRON universe.

I started with the idea of doing a new ride in an existing space and I wanted to stick with a traditional and gimmick-free dark ride (no shooting galleries or motion bases). In the Sketchup 3D Warehouse, I found a nice full model of Disneyland's Adventure Thru Inner Space. I decided to pretend that it didn't already turn into Star Tours and began cleaning out the model (virtual demolition, essentially). Only the major walls and track remain as you can see in the photo. I am further along than that now though.

I'm creating a ride that technically would belong at Disneyland and in Tomorrowland. After rejecting some other futuristic ideas, I decided to do the TRON thing. It was only a matter of time. I figure WDI is probably working on something now so I should get my play project done before their real attraction influences me. My ride will be an open house by ENCOM to take you on a tour of the future as Flynn saw it. Guests board vehicles that are transfered to the grid for a tour of the digital city including stops at the Game Grid and End of Line Club (newly refurbished). The Mighty Microscope is now the laser. My working title for the ride right now is TRON: Excursion.

This project will be a little bit different (and time-consuming) for another reason. I recently got a copy of Indigo Renderer for Sketchup. It will allow me to realistically render my scenes including the use of lighting and reflections. I think a Tron dark ride is the perfect environment to test this out. Here is an example of someone else's work with this program that I think gives you an idea of what I'm thinking. I'll post render tests as I finish them.

Now back to work on the future that never was and most likely can't be...

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