This week's lab, we were tasked to work with Perception Neuron:
This lab was just a bunch of failures; we got really good at patiently troubleshooting.
After 10 tries to try and get the suit to work wirelessly, we decided to simply receive the data from the suit directly and remain plugged into the computer. Above you can see the red cable which is attached to a USB extender.
Additionally, the wifi was down, so we couldn't plug Perception Neuron into UE4 live. Najma worked with us on all the problems that came about but wasn't able to solve them with us.
[Evaluation]: Because Perception Neuron is very finicky, I'm not sure I will use it in the future.
I had a lot of fun playing with textures (trying to get the perfect wood grain) and environmental aspects in my world. I still don't feel entirely comfortable in Unreal Engine, but I feel like I'm getting better at navigating and looking for desired assets. Still a long way to go though. I really value this first project as it allows me to get more confident in the game engine.
This lab was definitely the most fun so far. It feels very rewarding to have the ability to use the combination of everything we've learned so far to create a live action avatar in Unreal. Yuuuussss! I think my group was getting a better sense of occlusion and how to direct the actors to avoid occlusion with the charades exercise. One thing that I noticed in the IKinema tutorials that we didn't do in the lab was that they aligned all the angles in the avatar to the data coming in from the live feed (seen here). I'm curious to see how important this is to do? It seems like it could relieve a lot of headaches in the final output if some time was allocated to this.
For this week's lab we had to clean up our captured movements from the last week. We had to fill in any data that was missing so that the skeleton is fully tracked for the entire take.
After this was complete, we were to create a character and apply the motion captured body (as seen above) to that character.
I decided to try to rig Ruby. Fuse is very limited as for outfits, so I'm not sure that I will stick with this software. I might try Maya to further customize the characters.
After bringing Ruby into Motion Builder and Maya, I somehow lost her color and texture.
Here is what she looks like in Motion builder:
And here is what she looks like when I imported her into Unreal:
This weekend we got into the mocap suits and recorded some character actions for our world.
We did have an issues tracking two bodies and spent 30 minutes trying to have two characters interact with no success. We were able to track one person, but when we tried to track the second skeleton, it wouldn't work for us. We kept on getting the error cannot find skeletal markers when we tried to compile the skeleton(but she did have all 37 markers tracked and locked). Hopefully we can go over some of the issues that might have caused this in class this week.
We did however get data for one character so the minimum requirement was met.
I'm not entirely comfortable with Unreal as of yet, so building the world to look like my mood board seems not quite feasible. I was able to create a part of the world that I might use in the project. Here is a golden cabin in a field (away from the city) where two of the lead characters come to escape the craziness of the urban ecosystem:
Ruby and her ghost
Ruby grew up in the metal mines with her father. She has been blessed with the company of her ghost since she was a young child who has grown up with her. Her ghost has been been an ally in her development and a friend.
Ruby is motivated by protecting the metal minors from exploitation because her father was killed in a mine collapse. She fears the moment when her confidant will permanently leave her -- a situation that will soon be a reality.
Ruby's father's left hand/machine that is motivated by keeping Ruby safe and healthy. He was found in a heap of scrap metal at the family's golden cabin.
Evil TomTom and his Empress
TomTom and Empress own the metal mines and are wanting to make it their fortune through squeezing everything they can out of the workers and their land. They are forceful and cruel. They are driven by money and fame.