Bringing a Character into Unreal + first midterm idea

Bringing a Character into Unreal + first midterm idea

BODIES IN MOTION – UE4 / Motion Tracking / MotionBuilder / VR

This week I worked on creating a skeleton structure for a character and bringing a character into Unreal. I started with a search in Mixamo. I found an .fbx file of a character I liked and downloaded its mesh and bone structure into Unreal.

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Then, I looked for an .obj file of another character on other 3D modeling websites and brought it into Maya to practice creating a skeleton from scratch. I decided to work with a model of a Minion:

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It turned out to be a very difficult model, it has a gigantic head and no neck, its arms are not exactly on its sides – they are moved forward in relation to its hips and legs, and it seems to have no knees and shoulders.

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I brought the Minion into Unreal.

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This week I met with my group and started brainstorming our idea for a mid-term project. During our meeting Nick mentioned he writes poems and we could use one of his poems as an inspiration. We all liked the form of this one:

Every stanza is on a separate page and skipping forwards or backwards without going through all of them is impossible. We talked about a movie Cube (from 1997)- a group of people gets trapped in a huge cube built out of many small cubes – like little rooms, almost empty. People go from one cube to another hoping that they will finally reach the wall of the big cube and get out. 

We discussed creating a world that consists of cubes of sorts through which the character would travel, each cube being a stanza from Nick’s poem. Since the poem talks about dreams and uncanny feelings of mornings, we discussed Dali’s paintings.

Here is a screen shot of our pinterest:

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We will continue discussing the idea this week and start creating our world.

Unreal no.2

Unreal no.2

BODIES IN MOTION – UE4 / Motion Tracking / MotionBuilder / VR

This week I started creating my second world in Unreal. I wanted to spend my week learning more about the use of colors and textures in Unreal, and creating custom blueprints to edit materials.

I am very interested in color and juxtapositions of colors as well as geometry and proportions, and I decided to create a world that would look more animated and dream-like, with very vibrant and saturated colors.

I started with collecting some inspiration images on Pintrest:

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Looking through different ways I could create some interesting visuals with color I found a tutorials on editing materials using blueprint:

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Below are shots of the world I am currently working on:

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Unreal – first world

Unreal – first world

BODIES IN MOTION – UE4 / Motion Tracking / MotionBuilder / VR

This week I created my first world in Unreal using the starter content, 3 elements from example projects, and 3 interactions. My world was designed based on a mind-map that was inspired by an assigned reading:

Might I begin with these? Then, onto those.
Tie them up with cake box string. Yes, please, I’ll
be up for all these once it’s time to beg-
in. Withal, time’s of the essence. Not as
with cake these ovens gorge. Gape they unfilled.
These (Bach’s swans) the gorgeous god will give soul.
Thence trinkets escape, gaudy detritus
on-yes-time. Since they willed it, rest ye, let…
Do-please-do not ungive it. Till me. Wi’
those I’ll be as filled-souls etiam.

I decided to begin my association mind-map with the first word from the poem that stands out to me the most. I begun with the word ‘essence’.


soul / center / beginning / walk / balance / tree / green / grey / cold / shiver / snow / white / blood / drop / reflection / other / foreign / distance / gap / rock / fog / vision / silver / statue / David / beautiful / deep / dark / space / lost / run / leave / movement / wind / blow / fear / fly / birds / touch / human / body / perfect / shine / clean / transparent / glass / chandelier / mansion / marble / desire / break / difference / change / dirt / death / earth / plane / horizon / globe / sunlight / moon

I divided these into six categories:

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I used Pinterest to start a moodboard for my world

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 Below are screen shots of the world I created:

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I designed 3 interactions for my world – 1. a triggerable point light, 2. a point light that changes its location and brightness over time, 3. a random stream of static mesh (I used it to place bushes on a platform in the middle of my world). Below are my blueprints for each interaction:


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The first steps in creating a world in Unreal were quite difficult to me. I have never worked with any gaming engine or a node-based software and I had a hard time getting used to navigating this new environment. After watching multiple videos on youtube and Unreal website though I finally started understanding Unreal and found a new pleasure in designing my world.