Ideation, Creation & Everything In Between
Today has involved a series amount of testing and experimenting to try and figure out some of the creative and technical challenges we are experiencing.
Object: Send message on/off Issue –
We have been looking into a few things involving Adventure Creator and a particular issue of not being able to turn a game object on and off by using the object: send message turn on/off action. We have been looking at why this is happening and a few things were done to try and troubleshoot the issue in order to do this I tried turning o n/off other game objects and even a simple cube incase there is something within the depth kit script that stops the colin game object sequence from being seen as a game object.
However a discovery of particular interest was that this action did not work on any game object so I am thinking that there may be a bug within Adventure Creator so we have been looking at forums to try and discover what is happening here and also trying to source alternative ways around this action in case we are not able to get it functioning as it should.
You can see in the image below that even though the actionlist telling the colin object to be turned off that when I play through the experience the colin object is still very much apparent and has not been turned off.
An alternative way of getting the colin sequence to turn off is by using the Object: visibility action which can make the object appear to be visible or invisible. Testing indicates that this works however what I am concerned about here is the behaviour of hiding the visual but the audio not being disabled could end up in multiple audio playing at once within the experience. The reason I had opted for the object send message: turn on/off was because this is supposed to enable/disable the entire object not just the mesh within the object and this in turn would also enable/disable any audio source within the game object I would be turning on or off.
In the image below you can see that the object: visibility action has worked to turn off the mesh for the colin game object sequence that was apparent a moment ago.
There are alternative scripts that can be added to a game object called lightswitch and particleswitch and these scripts are supposed to allow that object to be enabled and disabled and I thought that this might have been a way of getting adventure creator to see this game object with colin as something that could be turned on and off but unfortunately these attempts failed as well.
Another option that was worth trying was the object: add/remove action that removes the game object from the scene and I thought allowed it to be added again later on but I tried this and removing the object was successful however adding the object at a later stage would not behave as I expected and I was not able to add the game object back into the scene.
In the image below you can see that the object was successfully removed from the scene I then tried telling the scene for two seconds and then try and add the object again but this did nothing so we are still trying to work out a way of enabling and disabling game object should we need to do it in the experience.
Particle Experimentation –
In the afternoon I moved on to particle experimentation so that I could start to get my feet wet and see what we could achieve using particles and ideas we have had from the animatic. I was curious to see the effect that particles moving towards the participant in the environment would have so I created a blizzard style effect in Unity’s shuriken particles system and although it may not be what we are looking for it was cool to see how it would look and feel inside a virtual reality experience.
Further particle experimentation moved towards atmospheric cloud affects that we had present in the animatic so I wanted to convert this to unity and see how it would look in 3D. One thing that I am noticing in Unity is that when using particles the scale is becoming more and more important and that if I want to increase or decrease the size of a particle simulation its not only the radius of the emission I have to edit but the size of the particles being emitted and how many of them are allowed to be emitted at any given stage. Baring in mind that I always have to be thinking and try these particles to ensure that the Oculus can keep up with the processing that these particle effects require.
Scaling in Unity & Tracker Troubleshooting –
Once I had showed the atmospheric cloud particle system to my team and Mary suggested that I made it bigger this was when I started to think about all of the above and that I should be thinking about scale a lot more than I have been. I remember that during my time at inlifesize I had to make a fire particle system and after I had made it we placed it on a car and found out that I had made it to a scale of that similar to a campfire and that when I tried to enlarge it as one factors effects the next in particle systems this was not as easy as it sounded and trying to edit the scale a particle system should be avoided if possible as it is very difficult to replicate what you have already experimented to achieve in the original particle effect.
Now in the mindset of scale I went back to a previous scale test I had done using a maya cube that is 100x100x100 and of a scale to 1 in Unity and I then tried to place Colin in the scene. I found that the Colin game object comes in at a massive scale even though it is 0.01 x0.01×0.01 in Unity. In order to get the colin sequence game object into the scene I had to scale him down to 0.0001 in the x,y,z transforms in Unity.
Upon trying this set up in the Oculus we then noticed that the tracker was working! Yes I said the tracker was working and to ensure this wasn’t just by luck I turned off the machine and unplugged the Oculus and tracker only to set it all up again. I first tried the Oculus Utility demo scene and the tracker was not working so I opened the unity scene were I had been experimenting with scale and tried it again and what do you know the tracker was working.
As much as we may sound a little silly this discovery was crucial and Im starting to think was the issue with the tracker a scaling issue all along. This is comforting in a way as we now know that it is not a hardware issue and the tracker is working now its just a software issue were the scale has been wrong.
Ok so lesson has well and truly been learnt here scale is already important but it becomes absolutely crucial when virtual reality is involved. In order to get this right we really want to dig deep into some more scale research and try and figure out what is going wrong here and what the scale should be at. As well as research we are going to experiment more with the Oculus and scale to see what else we can discover.
Also an update on yesterday we were having some bother with getting integration of Adventure creator and gaze to work hand in hand so luckily we now have a programmer coming in on Friday to try and help us out and see how feasible this idea may or may not be but we are also going to ask about the Object: send message turn on/off action not behaving as it should in case I am missing something within this process it would could to get some advice so we will take that opportunity on Friday.