Developing for Unity 3D version 4 for the Immersive vision theatre

Unity 3D

During the course of 2014-15 TELMED developed the Open Wide and Step Inside project with the Peninsula School of Dentistry’s Community Engagement Team. Which has been shown to hundreds of primary-level school children in the Immersive Vision Theatre. The short film was aimed at improving oral health and wellbeing of the children in the South West. It has been a great success and something which we are very proud of as a team. It was also a huge learning curve for me personally.

Below are the main points that helped us in the development of the project for the IVT.

Lighting

Unity Lighting:

  1. Calibrate your monitor to the output of the projector in the IVT.
  2. Use the minimal amount of lights in your scene as these have the most effect on processing.
  3. The only light that needs real-time shadow is the one that is lighting the moving objects such as the character’s.
  4. You can bake lighting and textures in unity.

Asset managment

When creating and adding assets it can be hectic, especially if the deadline is nearing. There is a way to tidy up your project after the deadline has passed and you have time to breath.

  1. Right click your scene and create a package. This will then bring up all the assets that are related to that scene.
  2. Click export and name your package, repeat this with all your scenes.
  3. Create a new project import the packages into your new project.
  4. You may have a few assets that haven’t come across properly, just go through your project scene by scene and check to see if anything is missing, if there is, go back to the original project and package them up if needbe and import them into your new project.
  5. I got someone to check the new project so I knew it was ok.
  6. You can then delete or zip up the old project knowing you have the new one with the minimum amount of assets in it. I recently optimized our OWAISI project form 60GB down to 10GB.

Modeling tips

  1. When making any organic shape (use of curves) keep the amount of polygons/vertices to the minimum
  2. If you are making inorganic shapes (square objects) you only need 1 polygon or two triangles per flat surface. Nothing is don’t gained by adding more.
  3. Bake scene lighting on any static objects before you take it into Unity. This can be done in Maya.

Recommendations

Character modeling software:

  1. Adobe Fuse CC helped us to create characters in .fbx format.
  2. Make any changes to the character in Maya and export back to fbx.

Character animation software:

  1. Have a look in the asset store in unity for cmonkey .fbx animations. there are 1000’s of free mocap files of varying quality. Worth looking at!
  2. Use Autodesk Motionbuilder to import, create or apply animations.
  3. These can then be brought into unity to work with.
  4. We used the Kinect with Brekel pro face and Autodesk Motionbuilder to create our facial animations for lipsync.

Texturing:

  1. Autodesk Mudbox is a realy helpful tool for adjusting textures on characters.
  2. You can use images as textures for furniture, equipment or building structures.
  3. Keep your textures as squares.
  4. Keep your textures as small as possible 512×512 or for relatively high quality textures 1024×1024.
  5. High quality textures are only needed when you are looking very closely at your subject.
  6. Photoshop or freeware “GIMP” are good for editing images ready for texturing.

Audio/music:

  1. If you are creating you own audio assets, use good quality recording equipment and a soundproof room if you can
  2. There are many royalty free audio clips on the net, don’t be afraid to use them, you shouldn’t underestimate the time it takes to make just a simple door squeak.
  3. You normally have to credit the creator of the clip, there are instructions on the clip sites to help you achieve this.
  4. Audacity is a free easy to use programme for editing audio.

There many more techniques and programmes used but these are the basics of the workflow and management of the project assets that worked well for us, both during and after the project.

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