Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Journey Into Interactive

Interactive programming in 3D Rad.
This weekend was a time of great success and head-banging failure for my Journey project.  My goal was to create an interactive version of the model using game software so others could explore and eventually ride the recreation from the web.  The success part was that I did manage to convert my Sketchup model into an explorable "game" using 3D Rad software.  It's quite cool.  The failure was my inability to get the web embedding feature to work.  In the process, I discovered that it would be unavailable to Mac users as well.  I decided to change gears a bit.

I started over with Unity software.  I think it will have better quality and flexibility, but it will also work in all formats.  The problem is that it is a lot more complicated.  I'm reading all the documentation now.  This doesn't help my patience though.  To get right up to this particular finish line then go back and start over is not the sort of thing I do easily.  But I have no choice, I guess.  I'll live.

While I work on rebuilding the interactive environment, I decided to start doing nicer renderings of the existing model.  I'll try to run one each night for a little while.  I'm also continuing to tweak the exterior model and build the interior.  Despite a minor set back, I'm still having fun with it so the journey continues.

1st rendering attempt.  Some color weirdness below the small pyramid and the Kodak logo vanished, but not bad overall.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Journey Updates

I'm starting to get my momentum back (as well as a tiny bit more spare time).  The results are new pieces and parts to my JII Recreation project.

The biggest change (which was really bugging me) is the new pyramids.  They were just just temporary shapes with a diamond-ish pattern on them before.  Now they are actual 3D structures with transparency.

I also finally tackled the ride vehicle mostly successfully.  This was my 6th attempt but I'm pretty happy with it now.

The reason for both of these new additions are the result of my starting the interior ride and Image Works lobbies.  The upstairs portion, especially, kind of required it.  You can see new photos of all these new parts at the Facebook Page or Flickr gallery.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Recreating Figment

Figment Progress

I'm working on building the basic Figment figure right now. I'm still not done with the exterior yet but I realized I need to build him because he appears as a topiary in front of the Kodak store. Might as well get the real version done in the process. I'll deal with his costumes and other poses once I start creating the internal scenes.

I'm learning as I research that I have several inaccurate elements in my model. Little things I would never think of normally. For example, the simplistic fountain structure is not the original one. The original was significantly more complicated. Yay... I'll fix that at some point. Also, the planters around the ride entrance were added later. It's easy enough to delete them but they gave me a lot of headaches (seriously - stupid bushes) so I don't have the heart to destroy them yet. Eventually.

So in the near future, I'm going to fix the wrong stuff, flesh out the rest of the landscaping, and find a better way to represent the glass pyramids. Once the exterior is complete, I will move on to the lobby for the ride and Captain EO. These are both visible in the external model. Once that is done, I will move to a new copy of the model for the interior to keep the file size down. This exterior model does actually have all of the internal walls in place but the rooms are empty.

If anyone out there has the track elevations, it would help me out. Back to work...

Monday, May 9, 2011

JII Recreation Resumes... Slowly

I'm finally getting back to work on this after taking a break to move and start a new job with a pretty brutal schedule. Progress will still be slow for awhile but there will be progress.

Tonight, I started a Facebook Page for this project and created a Google Sketchup collection for all the various parts going into the main model. If you're a Google Sketchup user like me feel free to download them and discover what a complete cheater hack I am at this. And if you want to help me build parts as I get into the interiors, let me know. There are going to be A LOT of parts eventually

Check 'em out: