Hi, my name is Paul. I am responsible for the robot models and animation during the Robot Uni Project. I am lucky enough to be working with a group of talented folks. I have mostly been going back and forth with Simon. He has been working on the robot designs and helping me translate them into 3d models. I think we are at a good place with the Destructo model for now. Here is a quick comparison image of where we are with the model so far.
Destructo is the biggest of all the robots. I wanted to make sure he had enough detail in the model to look good on the big screen. The Destructo model looks great on my monitor at home, but The Cube screens are just a little bigger. We had a little trouble with the size and placement of Destructo but now I think we have fixed that problem and found a few new ones in the process. Take a look how big he is compared to the other robots.
Once I had a couple test animations for Destructo we noticed a couple things. Firstly, I need to raise his arms higher so it looks like he is shooting above the audience and not directly at them. More importantly, we found there is a drop in frame rate between the displays of the touch screens at the bottom and the projector at the top. The screens at the bottom seem to play the animation more smoothly. This is not such an issue if the animation is only happening on one of them, but if there is an overlap then it is much more noticeable. There are two possible solutions to this, make sure the animations only play over one node or slow down the animation when overlap does occur. I am going to try a bit of both solutions and see what happens.
After the last test with the user interface we also found that I need to extend the animation length by quite a bit. At the moment there is not enough time from when the user selects fire to when the action happens. This does not give the user enough time to step back and view the actions. I want the user to feel the power behind their choices and to do that they need to view the results.
Anyway, enough serious talk. Take a look at this short video to get an idea of where we are with Destructo. It is still very rough but you should be able to notice some of the things I have mentioned. Besides, I really just wanted to show you Destructo in action!
Stay tuned for more updates and pictures.