Week one is over. I am glad that I am already feeling comfortable about the city, the university and my work place. This week, I was introduced to the lab and to most of the people I will be working with in addition to some software that will be used in the project. Hence, the week started with me reading a number of research papers written on the subject of Virtual Reality and the perception of distance. The papers were helpful and informative in line of what has been done and what is still lacking.
The most fun part, however, was working with the different animation software and game engines. As, the part of the project that I will be working on involves enabling an avatar to walk in a virtual hallway, me and my partner are expected to import a model and a virtual hallway into a game engine called Unreal in order for them to be able to interact. Hence, I spent a lot of time learning how to work on Unreal, as well as the animation software 3D Studio Max, which was very exciting.
After three days of reading and practicing we eventually began importing and manipulating the actual model. Therefore, we imported a female model in a business attire from Vizard Complete Characters (a set of DVDs with a lot of virtual models to choose from) and imported it to 3ds Max. In 3ds Max, we added to it an animation file of walking and finally inserted the the walking model into Unreal. However, we are still not able to make her translate and change her position by walking (she basically walks on the air!) We also succeeded to import the file of the hallway into Unreal but there is still something wrong with the lighting.