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ArchangelMorph

Ideas for third year project

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I'm starting my third year project this year and i need some ideas for the type project that could be possible to finish in about 7 months (bearing in mind that i'm working towards getting a 1st for the projects overall grade).. I'll be using Java3D for the project (not because i want to, i'd have preferred to use C++ but..) and my supervisor gave me some starting points to think about. These relate to a program that he showed me which was written by another student and is called VR scene editor (I think he wants me to either use it as a starting point and add extra functionality or build something similar from scratch). The program is a very simple 3D model editor which allows a user to create very simple 3D scenes by manipulating and grouping primitives into other objects. One of the starting points that my supervisor gave me was to look at something relating to animation of objects and complex chains of objects (sort of looking into IK chains and FK chains etc etc..). I assume it would be something like building animation functionality into the scene editor for simple animation of primatives and complex animation for chained objects using advanced physics concepts. Is this a feasible idea for a project tho? The second idea was to look at walking for humanoid models (bipedal locomotion) in terms of doing some research and delivering some kind of system which could simulate a repetitive motion (such as walking) by reading from a set of values relating to properties of the sub-entities of the model(e.g. limbs). I was wondering if anyone could help me with some other ideas or maybe improvements on one of the two above?

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There's a Meqon demo that claims to implement procedural walking.
I really don't know anything about advanced physics though, so you'll have to ask them how hard it is (check in #gamedev.se at efnet).

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Personally, I would just go for adding keyframe animation into the existing application. That is enough work given your time and experience. Start with just being able to capture a sequence of scenes and play them back. That's animation. A very tedious way to do animation, but it is animation. 30 fps and a 30 second loop makes for 900 adjustments to the scene. A bit tedious. So an ability to interpolate between scense is nice. A means to control that interpolation is also nice. Some type of object hierachy so objects can move relative to one another rather than just the world is also nice.

You should be able to do most of that with minimal changes to the original application. You might need to allow them to name objects so they can easily select objects without a graphic display. You need some changes to the interface to the editor so they can select frames. You need a keyframe editor so they can see the interpolation curve and adjust it. You need a tree view to edit the heirarchy. That is mainly new code for new interfaces rather than a major change to existing code.

Once you had all that in place then I think adding in IK would be a doable project. The IK is going to need the keyframe animation. IK calculates the position of some parts based upon the movement of other parts. So you have to define the movement of those other parts. You also have a heirarchy of parts where you have to define the joints joining them and the constraints on those joints. So you are going to have to do all this plus more to do the IK. The result will be that you don't do it as well. So better to do a simplier task well than a more complex task poorly.

The keyframe animation does what you say the instructor suggested. A complex chain of objects. The motion of this object is relative to that object which is relative to that other object and on and on. The moon orbiting the earth as the earth orbits the sun is a complex chain of objects. IK is just a more complex relationship between the objects.

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Maybe you should just do a MMORPG like everyone else XD

And also why is Java taking over our schools?

Also, if you have some extra time, you could always do a raytracer to render the scene!

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