Low-poly game assets

I created some low-poly game assets in Maya to import into Unity to prototype the game and experiment with game mechanics. These represent the element of Water, plus a 3D version of the Sacral Chakra symbol.

Low-poly assets
Low-poly assets

After the initial game build, I felt they needed more color, so I used the Hypershader in Maya to give them some color for the final prototype. I also created some background texturing for the floor of the game.

Assets in Unity
Assets in Unity

I used the Roll a Ball tutorial for Unity as a template to create the game prototype. I was really glad this tutorial allowed me to copy/paste the code provided as I followed along in Unity, because I have very little programming experience.

Here is the link to the final game prototype!

SevenGyre 3D Interactive Scene

My project will be an interactive 3D model of a fantasy landscape to simulate the 2nd or “Sacral” Chakra known in Sanskrit as “Svadhisthana,” meaning “your own place.” (In traditions of Yoga practice there are seven Chakras that align along the spine.) The 2nd chakra is located along the lumbar vertebrae, slightly below the navel. It is associated with sensuality, creativity, passionate emotions, flow and flexibility. Associations with this chakra include:

  •         A circle with six petals
  •         A moon crescent
  •         The color orange
  •         Element of water

 

Symbol for the 2nd "Sacral" chakra
Symbol for the 2nd “Sacral” chakra

To make the scene interactive, I plan to create a series of objects that the player places in specific locations around a fountain. If they select the right objects, a spiral of colorful “energy” emerges from the fountain. I would also like to recreate the Koi fish I created in a previous class. I feel that using Zbrush will help me create a more realistic and beautiful model. If there is time, I would also like to create music soundtrack.

Similar projects:

  •         Deepak Chopra and Wevr Studio’s “Finding Your True Self,” a VR guided meditation
  •         Snowworld” a VR simulation developed by University of Washington Seattle and Harborview Burn Center. Used to assist burn patients alleviate pain.
  •        Yana VR Relaxation for Google Cardboard. Basic graphics of a beach environment with ambient music soundtract.

Software needed:

Unity, ZBrush, Maya, Photoshop, Audition (sound editing)

Unity screenshot
Unity screenshot

Assets needed:

  •         “Sphere” environment – a 360 ° environment/playscape
  •         Fountain
  •         Koi fish
  •         Assorted objects – mandala symbol disc, seashell, goblet, etc.
  •         Music

Estimated timeline for each asset:

Prototype scene assembly in Unity 2/21

Prototype game mechanics/interactivity 2/27

Refinement of objects…more to come…

 

Estimate budget:

Purchase Zbrush $500

Unknowns in software:

  •         Improving modeling skills
  •         How to make spiral energy in fountain
  •         Pipeline from creating objects in Zbrush and Maya then bringing them into Unity
  •         How to use Unity

Steps to complete prototype:

Create rapid prototype to test game mechanics, then refine modeling for each asset, optimize for Unity, import into Unity, refine game mechanics/interaction, import soundtrack and sound effects.

Rendering and post-production

Having gotten most of the mechanics of animation and modeling worked out, this week I began mixing the audiotrack using Adobe Audition. I found some great websites for sound loops and FX.

http://freemusicarchive.org/

http://soundbible.com/

http://www.looperman.com/

Mixing the sound
Mixing the sound

Audition has a nice feature where you can add Markers to your timeline so you know when certain transitions or sound effects should occur.

Premiere video editing
Premiere video editing

I placed the previously rendered “glowing figure” scene into Premiere, and added sound effects. I also added the soundtrack from Audition.

I was able to get Maya’s Mental Ray render engine working after installing a service pack upgrade. This caused me to tweak the lighting a bit. I began to batch render a test sample. My laptop was able to batch render 120 frames in an hour 1/2. By my calculations, rendering the entire 1440 frames should take only 32 hours!

Underwater
Underwater
Under lily pad
Under lily pad
Before lighting tweak
Final scene

Still needs a few tweaks on audio, but making progress.

Underwater

We have now made the transition to the underwater scene. I animated the Koi fish on a path, and also animated his joints so that his spine and fins move as the shape moves along the motion path.

I also found a tutorial on how to create a helix curve. This will be helpful when attaching the mandalas to the helix shape so they “dance” upwards.

The next part might be the trickiest thing I’ve attempted yet in Maya. What was I thinking? LOL

Getting all the mandalas to float in and spiral up the helix in their “dance.”

This isn’t too bad, except now that I have the mandala attached to the helix, I want to edit the timing. It should start around frame 90, not 150. I cannot figure out how to change the start/stop time of the motion path.

I decided rather than one big spiral, I would do one for each of the seven lily pads. Here is the final animatic for this scene.

 

Scene 3 – animating discs in water scene

For scene 3, I wanted to show the transition between focusing on the veins, and moving into the underwater scene. I copy/pasted the vein and discs from scene 2, and placed them in my underwater scene with the fish and lily pads.

Attaching disc to motion path
Attaching disc to motion path

Next, I needed to animate the discs sliding through the vein. I attached the discs to a motion path. I tried attaching multiple discs to one path, but they all bunched up into one shape, or I received errors from Maya, so I duplicated the path and made a few tweaks to each one so it varied slightly.

Maya error
Maya error

In the end, I wound up using multiple motion paths and the Hypergraph Editor to tweak how each one animated, so I could get some variation in speed over distance.

Hypergraph
Hypergraph

Upgrading the fish

I spent a few hours fine-tuning the textures on the fish and adding eyeballs.

Fish with texture
Fish with texture

Afterwards I worked on putting bones inside the fish and binding the skin to the bones so it could move.

Fish bones 1
Fish bones 1
Fish bones - rotation
Fish bones – rotation