Over the last 5 months I’ve had the opportunity to work on some exciting projects, from virtual 3D art galleries to augmented reality posters. My time has been split between creating custom 3D models in Blender, scenes and animations in the Unreal Engine, and researching the very latest in web 3D and augmented reality technologies.

3D Websites

My first two projects with Scenegraph Studios were 3D websites for the dot-art project, who have a gallery based in Liverpool. The latest virtual gallery went live July and features 76 competition pieces from schools across Liverpool and the surrounding areas. It can be viewed here.

This is the second of four projects we are working on for the local company.

The low poly gallery furniture was created and exported from Blender, the character was created in Adobe Fuse and animated using Mixamo. We also utilised the Three.js library to incorporate these assets into a 3D navigable environment. We wrote our own custom navigation library to allow PC/Mouse users to click and drag the camera around the scene.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, we started our own project, as a thank you to our local heroes and key workers, inspired by the many rainbow pictures we saw on our daily walks.

Anybody can submit an image to our gallery via a WordPress submission form. Our virtual road reads the submission data from the WordPress database and auto generates sections of road based on how many images it finds and how far you travel down the road. We found this to be an efficient way of loading a large number of images without a performance hit.

Augmented Reality through a browser

For our latest collaboration, we were tasked with animating the Mars Curiosity Rover. Nasa has made an accessible version of the rover available as a 3D model for download.

We separated the model into its individual components and then animated the camera, arm, and wheels. This model was then added to a browser based augmented reality project. When focusing a camera on our AR marker, the animated Mars Rover will appear and begin to animate. We also added custom code to allow the user to zoom in and out and rotate the model 360 degrees.

Pitch 4D Presentation – Unreal Editor

We have used our Pitch4D service to create an interactive, 4D presentation for the Maritime Digital Hub. My job was to animate the 3D environment, add moving lights, and add in characters with artificial intelligence to the scene. These characters are aware of the scene around them and wander the traversable area randomly.

Motion Capture Fun

Day one as director and developer consisted of…motion capture and voice acting! A surprise and challenging part to a project already running when I joined. This entailed using a lot of eyeliner to create the mo-cap dots on my face and reading from a prompt sheet whilst recording and trying to keep all of the dots in view of the camera. Not as easy as I thought!