In this section you find information on how to use the provided 3D models and materials, and how to get started with design and game engines.
Hospital of the future
Redesigning the Patient Experience using Digital Wayfinding
Sign Design & Wayfinding
The Art & Signs of Wayfinding
Participatory Design: Bringing Users Into Your Process
Game design and gamification
Game Design Tutorials
Gamification 101: Design the Player Journey
Meaningful Play. Getting Gamification Right.
Getting started with design
Concept design & user experience design
Lecture on user-centered concept design (Aalto University, in Finnish):
Six commonly used techniques that work
Techniques for user experience design
Design methods with instructions
Getting started with game engines
Recommended videos: Introduction to Blueprints, Blueprints Quickshot
To be added…
3D models and materials
How to use the 3D models
Pipeline and formats
Common file formats while working with different 3D design programs and game engines are IFC and FBX. These are used to move data between different programs. Design programs such as Revit and Archicad uses their own file formats, which aren’t compatible with anything than their own application suites. Same goes for 3D modelling software (for example Blender and 3dsMax) as well.
IFC: format to transfer data from 3D design programs to 3D modelling programs. Doesn’t hold any texture information. Usually holds at least some information about different objects, such as weight, manufacturer etc., but this depends on what information the designer has decided to include. This additional information is however lost, when importing IFC to Blender.
FBX: format to transfer data between 3D modelling software and game engine. Holds some texture information. Usually you must recreate materials in game engine though. Some models might come in OBJ format that is similar to FBX, but it’s older and holds less information.
VR Quick Start (Unreal Engine)
- Install Unreal Engine and SteamVR. Visual Studio isn’t necessary if you’re not going code anything in C++.
- Create a new project with Virtual Reality template
- Create a new level (Default)
- Import FBX with File->Import Into Level. Editor will probably give warnings about meshes being small. They will most likely be correct in the level but way too small in the mesh editor. This hasn’t been an issue for me.
- Create a floor with collision. Either add collision to your imported models or create a Cube(these have collisions enabled by default) in UE.
- Add a Nav Mesh Bounds Volume and position it so it will overlap the floor.
- Now you can teleport around with the Vive!
Miscellaneous tips for Unreal Engine
- When doing collisions, collision complexity should be set to “Use Complex Collision As Simple”.
- You can add C++-classes to Blueprint-project from File->New C++ Class. You also need to create necessary C++ project files. This can be done by navigating to projects folder and right clicking on the uproject-file and selecting “Generate Project Files”.
- After adding Nav Mesh Bounds to the level, RecastNavMesh actor is created. RecastNavMesh holds most of the Nav Mesh settings. From there Cell Height should be changed to 1, so the player isn’t standing higher than he should be.
- Skylight actor can be used as a global lightning to light the whole level if you don’t need fancy lightning.
- Remember to change the console opening button. This can be changed from Edit->Project Settings->Engine->Input.
- Output-log can be found in Window->Developer Tools->Output Log.
VR Quick Start (Unity)
A good guide on how to start using Unity with Vive
IFC to FBX with Blender
- Install Blender and IFC plugin (plugin installation instruction on the download page)
- Delete everything from the default scene by selecting everything with A-key and then pressing Del-key
- Import the IFC file from File->Import. This usually takes some time to complete.
- If you want to modify the model in any way, now is a good time to do it.
- Change your view to Text Editor from bottom left corner. Press Open in the bottom and locate the provided UV unwrap script. Open the system console from Window->Toggle System Console (This isn’t necessary. Just so you can see if something goes wrong). Run the script with “Run Script” button. Script basically unwraps the UV map and duplicates it for every object. First UV map is used for texturing and the second one is used for baked lightning.
- If you’re planning on doing something fancy with good looking textures and/or lightning, this would be the time for tweaking those UV maps. This is a huge time sink though so it’s not advised on a tight schedule.
- Now it’s time to export with File->Export->FBX. Version “FBX 7.4 binary” and smoothing setting as “Edge” has been working well. Scaling of 1 should work well with Unreal Engine. In Unity the scaling is easy to change when importing the FBX so it shouldn’t matter too much.
Blender IFC plugin: http://ifcopenshell.org/ifcblender.html (latest version works with Blender 2.78)
Blender UV Script: This will be given out along with other materials (for UV mapping in Blender).
Unreal Engine: www.unrealengine.com
For viewing IFC files
BIM Vision: http://bimvision.eu/en/download/
IDE for Unity and Unreal Engine
Visual Studio: https://www.visualstudio.com/downloads/
Steam + SteamVR: http://store.steampowered.com/about/
SteamVR can be installed from inside Steam: Library->Tools
Tool for mesh optimization etc.