Custom Block Avatars into unReal

Narrative VR: Week 06

This week I focused more on the two central characters of my story — the children

Blocks into Mixamo

Family

These customized characters from blocks took a while to create and importing them into Mixamo. I created the whole family individually, for each avatar to be its own asset. Later I discovered from Nancy that she was able to import her block characters into Mixamo and download them into its own movement. I changed direction from my initial mood board, because blocks was the best application to create and facilitate the story with little difficulties.

There was some bumps along the way and I’ve ended up taking 8 hours. Lots of back and forth between the laptops with three drafts to fix errors and glitches.

1. Made 3 versions of the daughter due to uncertain error
2. The arms are not exasperated from the body enough

What I learnt from this experience

  1. ALWAYS create the joints for the arms, legs, wrist.
  2. Separate the arms further away from the body.
  3. Have patience when creating assets, because the Occulus will need some troubleshooting.

Mixamo into unReal

Mixamo into unReal had some learning curves, as it is not as fluid as Adobe Fuse for my customized block characters.

Errors of the claimed material colors don’t match up to the avatar.

One of the few downsides to importing this model was I’m not very sure how my avatar’s material colors don’t match up well with the initial material blueprint. Tested and tripled check and I couldn’t find the answer.

Attempting to have a smooth sequencer between the movements.

Placing them into the sequencer wasn’t bad, but able to collide them smoothly while still having their feet on the ground was tricky. I realized my world has too many hills in it, so my avatars were having trouble moving smoothly while keep their feet on the ground not into it.

OBS wasn’t working on my laptop, therefore iPhone recording attempt number 3

There was lots of issues after meeting with Todd in my office hours. Reading the crash logs and it all stems back to my Mixamo character. Little movements like seeing the materials and adding in a camera pawn will crash unReal. It seems like Mixamo with Blocks doesn’t add well together when imported into unReal after witnessing it crashing 10 times over. Seems like Block assets can be imported into unReal but not meant for a VR experience. I hope this incident doesn’t repeat itself again, because this is not the most efficient well to get things done.

Also I’m not very sure why OBS is not working, but I have to check in office hours to see if I can get it fix 😢😢😢

Reflection

Even though there are faster alternatives into have ready-made avatars to be used from Adobe Fuse, but it doesn’t fit my narrative into the story. I do enjoy the block elements into it, because it plays into the nostalgia factor with a toy element to it. However after witnessing my program crashed many times, I will have to find alternative ways for not having my laptop crying.

The things I would had done different from the beginning will be having a flatter world, as there are no added benefits of the hills into the narrative. Also having the user being a character with no action, to be a true VR experience.

If I had more time on it, I will try to find more ways to customized my borrowed elements or if I want to take it to the next level — make all my assets and have a smoother transition process from one program to another. It may be the long route, but I liked having controlled customization for all my assets, in case I want to change colors and find errors more quickly. Learning how to use a 3D rendering program to create my own custom assets. Also I need to work on my fish elements and see how it will merge all the assets together well.