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hw2: Virtual Worlds

Creating your own Virtual World

Due: Monday9/26/2011 at 10:00 am

The goal of hw2 is to give you the opportunity to learn how to create 3d virtual worlds using Blender
and to use screenrecording to create movies that take place in that world. You will also learn how to
build and use linked library objects in Blender.

We have created a set of video tutorials for this project which you should watch at
Please let me know if there are any confusing parts and if you have any ideas about
how to improve these tutorials.  I would also like to have some volunteers to create
student versions of these tutorials in English as well as in other languages which I
can then post on the blendergameprojects site.

Your first step will be to download the virtualworld.zip file attached to this page.
When you unzip the file you will find a folder virtualworld which contains
several files and folders:
  • desertskybox - a folder containing a skybox giving a realistic environment for your game
  • domino.blend - a file containing a domino that can be linked into your world
  • floor.blend - a file containing a blue 10x10 meter bouncy floor that you can use in your world
  • ball.blend - a file containing a red ball that will bounce nicely on the floor in floor.blend
  • world.blend - a file containing a flying camera, a ball, a floor, and a domino
Your task is to create a virtual world containing dominoes falling into each other, balls bouncing on floor pads,
and everything choreographed to last at least 60 seconds. You will then create a screen recording as you fly the
flying camera in world.blend as it observes this cascading sequence of events!

You should change the material colors and possibly the dimensions of all of the primitive objects (floor, ball, domino). The changes will be
reflected in your world.blend file.

You should also
  • create one more kind of primitive object (e.g. a ring) and
  • put it into its own file (e.g. ring.blend) and then
  • link in that object into your world.blend file and finally
  • duplicate it a few times in your world.blend file

I've attached a simple tutorial below that shows one way to create such a virtual world, but you should create your own.
The video shows some of the blender tools you may want to use to complete this project.

We also have a video that shows how to create the floor, ball, and world blend files. You may want to create your own
new object which can be linked into your world.blend file.

What to hand in

You should do the following:
  • create a page called "Virtual Worlds" in your portfolio site
  • write some text that describes your virtual world and add a screen shot or two to illustrate your description
  • zip up your extended virtual world folder and upload it as an attachment to the webpage
  • you should create a screenrecording of you flying the camera through your virtual world, filming the action as it unfolds
  • upload your screenrecording to youtube
  • create an embedded video of that screen recording on your portfolio page and write some text describing the video

What you will have learned

After completing this assignment successfully you will have
  • learned how to build a modular 3d world in blender by
    • creating linkable objects in a named group in their own blend files
    • linking in the group object into your main file
    • changing some properties in the object file (e.g. material) and others in the world file (e.g. position, scale)
  • become comfortable with changing your view in a 3d world by
    • zooming in/out
    • rotating the view
    • panning the view
  • become comfortable with transforming objects in a 3d world by
    • scaling them in x,y,z or all three axes
    • translating them in the x,y, or z directions
    • rotating them about the x,y, or z axis
  • duplicating linked objects and arranging them in interesting ways that make use of the Physics engine
  • learned how to fly a camera by using keyboard events to change the position and orientation of the camera
  • become comfortable with screenrecording a blender game and disseminating it using youtube and google sites

Timothy Hickey,
Sep 19, 2011, 6:53 PM