Back in August we developed a very comprehensive test scene in 3ds Max. It was set in and around a fictitious airport in the U.S. The scene featured a number of 2D and 3D objects, along with camera cuts and simultaneous animation curves.
It was our intention to create a short 3D film to give the NNT Engine something to chew down on, embracing many of the cut-styles employed in the movie industry, such as panning, dutch angle, flight paths with roll and pitch, tracking and so on…
Horses for Courses
To get a general feel for the lay of the land, we exported our Airport scene from 3ds Max into FBX format, and attempted to import it into various 3rd party engines and viewers (Unreal, Unity, PlayCanvas etc.), with mixed results ranging from average to awful.
It was then time to fire the scene at our existing engine codebase, and as you might expect with software still in development, there was some Yin and some Yang.
We gathered some great insight into where we’d excelled, with great performance and an almost perfect playback, including switching cameras and smooth animation. But we also noticed some interesting anomalies, which would only present themselves in such a large and complex test scene.
Under the hood…
With an engine that was largely thoroughbred, but still admittedly a bit mutant camel here and there, we set to work investigating reasons ‘why’ some things didn’t work the way we wanted them to. We began developing solutions… either to be part of the stand-alone player or integral to the custom exporter within 3ds Max.
Time well spent!
The fruits of our labours can be seen most readily by viewing the Airport scene in a browser window here. The stand-alone player also works natively and can be installed by downloading and installing the appropriate package for PC or Apple Mac.
Although the NNT Engine is designed to play back scenes developed in 3ds Max ‘as they were created’ there are of course some guidelines, caveats and limitations which we’ll go into in a later blog post.
Browser based player: