I recently completed an augmented reality project with the talented, young and slim people at Thought Den in Bristol for BBC learning.
See the AR project HERE. You’ll need a webcam and a printer.
By pure coincidence, this is my second dinosaur project to end up showing at the Natural History Museum 🙂
Thought Den have done a pretty good job describing the project here, so I will only talk about my role, which was producing the 3D.
Yeah, so basically I did the 3D.
My tasks were split into 3 major sections – the first was to produce the Spinosaurus skeleton to be manipulated in the Flash AR environment – I chose to rig the skeleton in CAT, which meant I could easily add, remove and edit bones; the second task was to create a fully skinned Spinosaurus, again in realtime for AR; and finally, to produce a looping animation segment examining an Egyptian dig site, that you can see below.
Modelling the skinned Spinosaurus was easy – I bought it from Turbosquid; To be be fair though it was a high poly model and was textured in a bit of an old school way with multiple sections pasted into multiple subobjects. So basically it was a simple ‘render to texture’ job followed by the proOptimizer.
The animation was pretty straightforward too. I used MentalRay’s daylight system and created a looping animation, moving the camera with a bit of old-school motion capture. I enjoyed this animation immensely as I knew it was for the kids – I always remember being a kid and looking at those science books that had incredibly detailed illustrations which could lose you for minutes at a time. I tried to pack in as much detail and information as I could, from tent pegs to Indiana Jones hats – but alas, there is only so much you can do with a desert dig-site and 4 days.
I would also like to give special thanks to Mike at Everything Dinosaur who’s help was invaluable on this project.