Monday, August 20, 2012

Clouds, Rain, Lightning and Motion Capture.

Hello once again.  After a somewhat crazy week of tutorials and pulling my hair out, I've come out semi-victorious.  Even though my goals for the week were to create fireflies and buildings inside CryEngine, I found that those are more intermediate steps which also include the involvement of 3D Studio Max and a few other software programs I am oblivious to at the moment.

So without further ado, here are some screenshots:


These particular clouds are what are referred to as "DistanceClouds" and are static, non-moving clouds place high and far away in the levels sky.  They do not have motion.  Although, I did also add a few volumetric clouds in the sky as well that move, act and float along a pre-instructed path across the sky.  Pretty neat.

Rain and lightning:

Here is a screen capture of rain falling down.  I also set it up so that lightning strikes periodically every now and again across the sky.  

Adding buildings will take me longer to do then anticipated because I need to model and build each one from scratch.  The game engine does have a few pre-made buildings but they are most shacks and buildings you'd find in a fishing village, not a big city.   Once I watch a few more 3D Studio Max tutorials, I'll add some stills of the buildings I build later.

Motion Capture:

Along my journey of endless tutorial videos and manual readings, I found a poor mans process to record motion capturing.  Now, for those who don't know, motion capture or "MoCap" is something where a human wears a funky looking suit with a whole bunch of dots placed around it and acts out scenes from the movie/video game/etc and those movements are then put into the computer and sync'd between the human and the character.  You've probably seen someone wearing the suit sometime when watching a behind the scenes of Lord Of The Rings or something.

Anyways, the stages they use cost a good chunk of change per hour to record there.  What I have found  makes me very exited.  

I found out that you can tweak a xbox 360 Kinnect into becoming a mocap device.  Since the Kinnect already reads body movements pretty accurately, all that is needed is a cheap software that connects the game engine to the Kinnect so that it can read what it is inputing, take the info and apply it to the character.  You can even sync up your character in real time to move as the kinnect follows your movements!  Pretty sweet.  If you are sitting there scratching your head saying, "I have no idea what you're babbling about Will." Then here is a video that demo's it (The show in the video is terrible, I wouldn't recommend watching it):

So yeah, that's what's been keeping me busy and all I have to update at the moment.  Stay tuned for more and if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.   Until then, see you next time.  (^_^)

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