Monday, November 3, 2008

Evolution of the presentation for Oct. 24, 2008

24th October, 2008 was the date for our softlaunch, presided over by YB Dr. Halimah Ali. These sequence of photos explain some of the processes that went into the creation of the "Spinning Exploding Globe for MyTM" presentation and launch sequence.

The entire presentation was created using White Dune. Entirely written in VRML and not embedded into HTML. I used a VRML client to view the material which was then projected onto the large screen using a LCD projector.

The main guiding words for the presentation was:

1. Global
2. Local
3. Technology
4. Education

The first part of the sequence is the entry into the MYTM education Museum. The Museum shows all the education material, past and present, that had been or being developed by MYTM.

The museum's doors open out to a vast lawn, with trees in a row, leading to a podium where a spinning globe has been placed. The background is the Gunung Kinabalu! Cool eh?

The door itself is actually a indexed face set, which I created in CorelDraw and exported out as a 2D vector image. It was a simple oval shape.

(The scene outside, as viewed through White Dune)

This oval shape vector object was then imported into Truespace and I subjected it to a "Sweep", which created a swept 3D object from a 2D vector through a single axis.

This was then exported to VRML using the builtin exporter.

The image on the right shows the door (strange rendering by White Dune, because it shows only part of opening of the door). The actual oval door was then transformed by changing the transparency of the object, making it translucent.

I then added a script to make the door open by pulling the door down with the mouse. The actual door looks like the next image captured from the VRML viewer client.

The image also shows the objects beyond the door, which I placed simply by following the axes direction, seen in the image to the right (the axes are X, Y and Z).

The process of placing the objects is simple in White Dune.

(The door seen through the VRML viewer client). Note the translucency of the door and the object beyond it.

YB then proceeds to open the door, at which point she is presented with a stunning vista!

Trees lining her path, a red carpet, the vast Gunung Kinabalu ahead of her, she moves to the podium, where a spinning globe awaits. This is the point of impact, or start sequence.

The fact is there a 2 main timers in the VRML script which I wrote. The first timer is the spinning globe timer, which is connected to a orientation interpolator and connected to the transform group of the globe.

The second timer governs two main things, the explosion of the globe and the banner rising sequence.

At the push of the impact or start sequence, the first timer stops (I sent a "Stop Time" tick to the timer). Furthermore, I also created a Proximity Sensor to ensure that she is at the right spot for the Impact Sequence.

You can observe the Touch Sensor being enabled in the picture at right (I have enlarged a section of the "finger" and placed at lower left of the image). This is important since I didn't want the YB to launch the impact sequence from afar. I wanted her to stand as close as possible, creating a nice frame effect with the podium, spinning globe and the Kinabalu in the background. And the view we have is shown at right.

As soon as the Impact Sequence starts, the spinning globe explodes and various banners and boxes appear. The image at left shows at T+2 seconds after Impact Sequence start.

The entire Impact Sequence lasts 40 seconds, synced to music (Europe's Final Countdown). And at the end of the 40 seconds, the image is as shown at right.

Several tricks of the trade:

1. The trees along the path are not 3D! They are basically 2D images (PNG-Portable Network Graphics), with transparencies. This image is then mapped on a cube, approximately the ratio of the height and width of the image. This cube is then scripted to a "Billboard" function, which basically rotates the cube to face the avatar, creating an illusion of a rounded shape!

The cubes I used to place map the PNG image can be clearly seen in the image at right. These are invisible in the VRML viewer client. Also notice that Kinabalu ends abruptly in the background!

Thats the second trick I used to create an illusion of a wide vista. I mapped a plain JPEG image of Kinabalu onto a cube, which I placed at the background.