View Full Version : Pumpkinnius Squahbottom - he ain't perfect, but I am finished with him

11-19-2005, 08:20 PM
Well, he ain't perfect, and he's upside down, but (though it doesn't look like it) I spent a lot of time on him. The project was actually done on halloween, but I was cleaning up some of my files today, and I figured I'd grab a screenshot and share, just for the personal catharsis. (And, you all get to laugh at how ugly he is. ) :)

Anyhow, this is Pumpkinnius Squashbottom the Third, magical king of all Pumpkin land. I work at a non-profit organisation in Denver. We work with kids and adults who have developmental disabilities. For this year's halloween party, the organisation decided to have all the kids with mental disabilities, and the kids of parents with mental disabilities come in to trick or treat in the conference rooms, and have a party.

I was on one of the committees to decorate one of the conference rooms, and I decided it would be fun to do a little extra beyond decorating with fake cobwebs. Because we were dealing with such an unusual group of kids, we couldn't do anything too scary, or use strobe lights of fog machines. (epileptics, etc.) So, I convinced my group that we should do "dialogs in the hall of the pumpkin king."

Basically, I modelled pumpkinnius in lightwave, and did about a dozen animations with him. (It was actually supposed to be just a temporary place holder model, but I ran out of time, so what you see is what the kids got.) I also wrote an OpenGL program that would read the .LWO;s of the pumpkin, render his crown using a shiny looking reflection map, and his body with a normal pumpkin texture. It would also parse all the .LWS files I fed into it for his animations. I could make him talk by whomping on the space bar, which would morph in real time to one of several "mouth open" morphs I had modelled. It would pick the particular morph randomly, and make the morph take a random length of time. The talking animation was actually quite convincing.

We set up a projector to fill up one wall of our conference room with the image of Pumpkinnius, and I hid under a table with the keyboard. As the kids would come into the room, I would control the animations, and talking, and carry on a conversation with the kids in a cartoony voice. As far as the kids could tell, they were really having a conversation with a seven foot tall floating vegetable.

It was a hoot. Oh, and the projector had to be mounted upside down in order for the image to fill the wall correctly, so at the last minute, I changed my performance animation program to render upside down so everything was okay. Hence the upside down screen shot... :)

So, yeah. It isn't visually impressive, but it was a fun time, and quite a bit of work to get it displaying the animations from the .LWS files correctly, using only my spare time (which was scant!) over the course of two weeks. So, if you really want, feel free to critique the fact that I never bothered to even subdivide the hands, or that the lighting isn't perfect. But., I'm done with pumpkinnius, so I won't pay no never mind. (At least for this year!)

Thanks for reading my little story. I probably haven't explained it very well, but it's been terribly theraputic to get it all out. :) Cheers, everybody.