Currently, I work full time as a Network Admin and Developer for the Creative Technology Suite at Avonbourne School
At the forefront of the Creative Technology Suite is a massive screen which puts out polarised stereoscopy for epic 3D viewing. What this means is people can see
all manner of things in glorious 3D. The sad thing is, this technology has never really been used in a secondary school environment, what software exists out there that teachers could possibly use to teach a lesson which makes use of the technology?
The answer is: Not much! There's a few companies making software here and there and the odd video comes by now and then, but otherwise this stuff has generally been confined to academia and used as an experimental research tool.
This is where I come in, like superman I singlehandedly do all the design, coding, artwork, sound and pretty much anything more you can think of involving a full cycle of a video game production. Yeah, I'm busy!
Ontop of this, I also handle the other part of my Job, Managing the network along with other admin staff. Busy busy busy!
I also produce stereo videos along with the teachers, we're currently researching ways to get better results.
What I Design
I design video games primarily, that's what I love making. These are of the educational variety though, and thusfar I've made the following cool things:
Mecca in 3D
- A French town where students can ask for directions and then find their way there!
- A nice little solar system simulator that lets students see how the planets whizz their way around our giant ball of flame
- Life in the World War I trenches so students can safely relive the horrors and misery that soldiers underwent
- An art gallery! The art department love the biiiiig screen.
- A maths program which deals mainly with geometric based stuff in maths
- Mecca, Hours of painstaking modelling to create an experience for students that enables them to visit Mecca virtually, regardless of their Faith!
How I code it
Most of the code for the games I do in the Creative Technology Suite I do in C# using the Unity3D
Game Engine. I could hardcore it and code
C/C++ engines of my own, but I really don't have the time, I'm a one-man-band so I have to rapidly develop things.
The Trenches being tested in Unity3D
Our setup is side-by-side polarisation, so if you have a similar
setup and want to make stuff of your own, all you really need to do is setup a scene with two cameras. Have one camera render to left side, and the other to the right. It's really
down to your discretion how far you space them apart, but you'll eventually get a nice stereo effect. Thankfully I don't have to mess with colour things for Anaglyph, but no doubt some
enthusiasts would've come across my site busting for some Anaglyph stuff. Check out below and Enjoy!
My Arcade Cabinet in 3D glory
If you want to make stuff like this then get a couple of cameras, line them right up nice and carefully and snap. Then you'll have to go Googling
the relevant method to get the colour channels set up and you're good (This site
explains the process quite well). If you're pretty damn skilled you only need one camera, just be REALLY careful to line up (only works for inanimate objects). Take care to avoid towing a camera in, this can create some pretty confusing looking images, keep the two shots parallel. This was made using just one camera!
How I do the artwork
I model in Autodesk Maya
. I also rig in Maya if need be. I wouldn't say I'm a hardcore
expert, but I know enough to get things done. When it comes down to Animation, You'll find me using Motionbuilder
for much of the hard work, but I also do
a bit of motion capture using the mocap suit from Animazoo
What else is there? Textures! And icons, and all manner of 2D malarky. I primarily use PaintShop Pro 9
but I am also a dab hand in
Phew, is that enough stuff for one person to know? I'm always learning more!