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View Full Version : Unity 3D - a whole new way for presentation?



IMI
04-13-2011, 05:47 AM
I've been checking out Unity 3D and I have to say it seems to me this could be an amazing thing for presenting scenes, such as, say architectural visualization walk-through's.

I mean, think about it - instead of making an actual "game", you could make a small walk-through that a client or a collaborator or whomever could simply navigate himself, with deferred rendering and lighting and shading that almost rivals an actual rendered animation, but without the limitations a simple animation would have. Meaning the person could just stroll around and look at whatever scene you're presenting at his leisure and not just watch a movie.
And you can make it for a web browser or ipad, in addition to more traditional platforms.

Or of course, you could also simply use something like Fraps to record yourself walking through your own scene and even that would be considerably simpler and quicker than setting up cameras, rendering a sequence and compiling it into an animation, so other people wouldn't need to have your actual project build files.

Obviously though the quality is very game-ish, and not photoreal with real GI and AO and all that good stuff, but from what I've seen, probably more than passable for many uses and scenarios.

In any event, Unity 3D seems to have massive potential and usefulness for those of us out here who don't code and like quick solutions to presenting our ideas and creations in an interesting way. :)

CaptainMarlowe
04-13-2011, 06:33 AM
Indeed. I did that a few years ago to create a virtual visit in a medieval town. Very easy to set up and gives interesting results.

bugzilla
04-13-2011, 07:47 AM
We are doing something similar at the university I work for. Although I use Unity to create games, at my job, we are creating a 3D map of the campus that the user can fly through. Unity is perfect for it.

Lamont
04-13-2011, 07:47 AM
What you can do is make a package that has your character controller or user controlled camera set up. Just import into your projects as you need it without making a new one each time (along with music/GUI).

Unity is very awesome bit of software.

IMI
04-13-2011, 08:38 AM
Damn, and here I thought this was my original idea. ;)
It's great to see other people are doing similar things with it instead of just making games. I set up my first walk-through of a scene and it was just unbelievably easy. With all the time and effort that has to go into the creation of 3D assets and textures, it is SO nice to see a simple solution that can take all the code work out of the picture, so we regular artists can just be creative.
And yes, Unity 3D is an awesome piece of software!

I've read here and there where several game developer elitists have had some pretty harsh things to say about Unity and its users, but all I can say is it's great to finally be able to do this stuff without having to know the fist line of code. :D

And thanks for the tip, Lamont - that could save a lot of time. :)

Silkrooster
04-13-2011, 10:01 PM
I have been going through some of the training video's. Seams like a lot of over head. But then again thats a newbie's perspective. too bad Flash isn't true 3d yet(which I think it will be soon). As it would be fairly quick to create a scene and export an air application. But then again adding 3d to flash may complicate things a bit.
Anyway, I am pulling for the winner. LOL...

Danner
04-14-2011, 01:36 AM
I've converted 21 arch viz spaces into unity, with a bit of tweaking you can make it look really really nice. it's internal baking engine is quite good too (if a bit slow), that way you can have global ilumination and lower rez tileable images at the same time. As for the Ipad exporting, its a lot messier than I originally thought, you need a mac, a paid Apple developer licence, a bunch of keys and passwords and criptic Apple developing crap, a test device and the only way to distribute is through the app store...

Lamont
04-15-2011, 07:37 AM
I've converted 21 arch viz spaces into unity, with a bit of tweaking you can make it look really really nice. it's internal baking engine is quite good too (if a bit slow), that way you can have global ilumination and lower rez tileable images at the same time. As for the Ipad exporting, its a lot messier than I originally thought, you need a mac, a paid Apple developer licence, a bunch of keys and passwords and criptic Apple developing crap, a test device and the only way to distribute is through the app store...If you are doing arch-vis walk-throughs on a PC, just bake out the maps in LW with much better results. Just pad your UV edges a bit. Since you can toss a lot more at videocards now a days.

There is a way to distribute apps without the App Store.

IMI
04-15-2011, 07:43 AM
If you are doing arch-vis walk-throughs on a PC, just bake out the maps in LW with much better results. Just pad your UV edges a bit. Since you can toss a lot more at videocards now a days.


Yeah I would have suggested the same thing. It's nice to be able to do it in Unity for maybe one object at a time to tweak something, but for a whole scene it can get pretty ridiculous, time-wise.
But IMO it's a far better idea to do the AO and GI baking in a program that's optimized for rendering and can make quick work of it. Better results that way too.
The major difficulty is in getting the light right, so you don't end up with shadows in the wrong places, so you have to really pay attention to that. ;)
Edit:
Errr, I don't mean shadows, but rather the correct type of GI and AO in the shadows in your Unity scene, so it's not too bright., too dim, wrong color or anything like that. That can be a challenge.
It would be cool if they could get Vray as a plugin render engine. I'd suggest LW, but I know Newtek will never license out their render engine.

donlimpio
04-15-2011, 07:48 AM
I tried my luck at the same concept 5 years ago with Quest 3D, hoping to find a pipeline that might take loooong to render out the lighting maps, but would then be a simple and easy to repeat process for the rest of the way. I gave up, wrestling with file conversions, poor quality baking and the complexity of Quest 3D.

And before that I even tried similar stuff with LightScape. That was the days before baking and orthographic cameras, so it was an insanely convoluted task of hiding object from rays / cameras and using 1000mm telelenses to render.

Sheesh! Those were the days :-)

Lamont
04-15-2011, 07:54 AM
Just build with that workflow in mind. Depending on the project, I do entire rooms on one sheet for GI, sharing surfaces helps with speed. For mobile, I just do it all in Unity...

bugzilla
04-15-2011, 08:07 AM
I have been going through some of the training video's. Seams like a lot of over head. But then again thats a newbie's perspective. too bad Flash isn't true 3d yet(which I think it will be soon). As it would be fairly quick to create a scene and export an air application. But then again adding 3d to flash may complicate things a bit.
Anyway, I am pulling for the winner. LOL...

Being both a Flash developer and a Unity developer, I can tell you that Unity is BY FAR faster and easier to use. Flash is probably among the top worst interfaces of any popular software. It really, really makes you work for it instead of it working for you.

Danner
04-15-2011, 08:35 AM
If you are doing arch-vis walk-throughs on a PC, just bake out the maps in LW with much better results. Just pad your UV edges a bit. Since you can toss a lot more at videocards now a days.

There is a way to distribute apps without the App Store.

The problem with baking in Lightwave is (was?) that I would need separate UVs for the lightmaps because the places I'm exporting are huge and complex, and till a few weeks ago there was no easy way to export two UVs. Unity takes care of baking it all and it's one less thing to worry about. It also gives you the flexibility of tweaking your surfaces in unity separately from other surfaces while retaining the lightmap shading. I did pull my hair out a few times while learning, but now it's usually pretty painless.

About Ipad apps distribution, I didn't know that you could bypass the app store, that is very cool. I hope it doesn't involve jailbreaking all of my client's Ipads, that would be a no go.

Nangleator
04-15-2011, 08:57 AM
I'm working on learning Unity now, struggling to get it to look good. Figuring out a workflow between LW bakes and Unity lighting. I'm using the free version, and my first attempts at baking have resulted in nothing usable.

But I've got a good idea for a salable project, once I have it internalized.

VirtualFM
04-19-2011, 04:47 AM
I don't want to belittle your idea, but I thought about that when Quake level editors started to appear. Then thought about it harder when Unreal editor was more popular.
Unfortunately never quite had the time to fully learn them, only made a few experiences. I remember I was very interested in using that as "virtual walkthroughs" for architecture visualization, but didn't know of a way of getting rid of the "gun", and thought it would be weird to walk around a brand new condo with a shotgun in hand (or a chainsaw!) ;-)

Nangleator
04-19-2011, 07:10 AM
The shotgun wouldn't be so bad. If you kept in the blood-thirsty zombies, the presentation would lose a lot of focus.

"And, as you can see, the rotunda is beautifully--LOOK OUT!! No, shoot for the head! You idiot! Now we have to start the walkthrough again!"

Lamont
04-22-2011, 01:41 AM
About Ipad apps distribution, I didn't know that you could bypass the app store, that is very cool. I hope it doesn't involve jailbreaking all of my client's Ipads, that would be a no go.No, you need to have a different Apple Dev Lic for corporate internal app distribution. After you get your Enterprise Provisioning Profile, you can send an email to all who are allowed to use it. The only problem is that ANYONE can install it. So be careful.

Best way is to get device ids and push to them via Ad-Hoc/email. That way you know it's locked down.

----------

To get rid of the gun in UDK add a kismet node to your on start event to hide hud, and remove inventory. Even easier is to make a blank game. There is a whole section on the UDK forums for ArchVis.

cresshead
04-22-2011, 02:03 AM
anyone had a look at using Luminon 3d?

http://lumion3d.com/

http://vimeo.com/17367826

http://vimeo.com/16534222

how's this compare to unity?...you have any links to youtube vids of your efforts?

http://vimeo.com/16390347

cresshead
04-22-2011, 02:52 AM
btw Unity training vids over on 3dbuzz

http://3dbuzz.com/vbforum/sv_home.php

free fundamentals training
http://3dbuzz.com/vbforum/content.php?176

Philbert
04-24-2011, 12:41 AM
I wrote a tutorial on this a couple years ago for the LightWave newsletter.

Near the bottom:
http://www.newtek.com/lightwave/newsletter.php?pageNum_monthlynews=14&totalRows_monthlynews=27

Nangleator
04-24-2011, 04:34 AM
Yes, Philbert. Your tutorial was the first thing I read, after I decided to try Unity. Thank you!

Philbert
04-24-2011, 10:26 AM
Awesome! :thumbsup:

Tonttu
04-30-2011, 02:45 PM
I'll drop some WebGL stuff for you here, starting with a Unity3d related tool.

What is J3D?

+ Javascript 3D engine for WebGL
+ Unity3d to WebGL object/scene exporter
https://github.com/drojdjou/J3D

blender-webgl-exporter
A WebGL JavaScript exporter for the Blender 3D content creation suite
http://code.google.com/p/blender-webgl-exporter/

Kuda is an advanced JavaScript library and World Editor that enables web developers to quickly build interactive 3D web solutions.
http://code.google.com/p/kuda/