Friday, March 20, 2015

Dragon Trade Show Booth Design

Once upon a time, I was brainstorming ideas for an AMD trade show booth. At that time I was also experimenting with modeling characters for games. Since AMD has a dragon platform that was engineered for gamers, I decided to model a dragon character that could sit on top of their booth. I also imagined the dragon theme inside the booth where I could create dragon wing peds.

My virtual dragon trade show booth was fun to model in 3D. However, actually building it in real life is another story! Due to the impracticality of building the design in reality, I never pitched it but you can see my virtual dragon in this animation:



24 comments:

  1. Neat!

    Thanks for following my blog. I am following yours now too. Cheers!

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    1. Thanks, Jen! See you around the blogosphere.

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  2. Wow that would sure turn some heads.

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    1. Perfect! Thank you! As a trade show booth designer I am always pressured to come up with the "Wow factor."

      So thanks for saying "Wow" ;-)

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  3. I've made large scale models, of other subjects for yard art, using chicken wire. The lightweight factor is key. Covered in silver parachute material might be a consideration.
    Either way, that is incredible sitting atop the booth. It is a Wow!

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    1. Yes, you are absolutely correct! That would be a lot of fun to figure out how to build the dragon. I have done that before where we shop around at fabrication companies and figure out who can make it and how to make it within budget.

      Thanks for the ideas!

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    2. Similar to a Disney garden topiary - built in sections, easily joined with chicken wire or other silver wire. But instead of plants, you'll use some material or blown on type product to create the body's second layer or surface layer, as the case may be.

      I use my own body and wrap the wire sections around me to create chicken wire gardeners. Head, shoulders, arms, torso, hips, thighs, lower legs and feet... each section separately, then join them together. Then I dress them however my customer wants her dressed. Normally, a bonnet, apron, dress, basket, shovel, etc.

      You can create this - think in terms of sections.

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    3. That sounds so neat with the wire mannikins! I would love to see one of your finished gardens. I just searched your sites and cannot find any of these creations, but I would love to see some!

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    4. Like Jen I noticed that you followed my blog so decided to check yours out.

      I don't know anything about 3D modelling or video games, but your project interests me for two reasons. The first is that I teach history of philosophy, and have often longed for 3D models of the settings in which philosophers lived and worked, such as ancient Athens at the time of Socrates. My students seem to like it when I show them pictures of ancient Athens and point out the buildings where Socrates had his dialogue with Euthyphro, was put on trial, and was imprisoned and then executed. How much cooler it would be to have a 3D animated model! I have especially thought about this since seeing a YouTube video which profiles a recent 3D model of 17th century London. Interactive 3D models of historical settings would be a great way to teach history and a great adjunct to the humanities generally.

      The second reason is that I used to play old school tabletop RPGs and some war games (still do, but only once or twice a year), and it's my understanding that some of the same principles for designing 3D game environments apply in both tabletop and video game design. Jennell Jaquays (formerly Paul) was one of the foremost old school game designers, and was famous for her ability to create dynamic 3D "dungeons" and other settings for tabletop RPGs; evidently, the skills she developed with tabletop games transferred when she moved on to develop some highly regarded maps for Halo Wars years later.

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    5. I love that animation of a 3D environment of 17th century London! It reminds me of models I created when I made this RPG map: Kelzsyns Bluff

      Your comment about the interactive 3D models is exactly what I plan to blog about. I have pitched trade show booth 3D designs in game engines to help clients like IBM better understand their space. A lot of the time people see things they wouldn't have otherwise because they are actually "walking" through the space.

      In fact, I was remodeling my kitchen and I put the model in a game engine. When I was setting it all up and adding textures it was much easier and faster to just throw a subway-tile texture up on one entire wall. When I walked through the space in the game engine I was thrilled with the subway-tile wall and so I tiled the wall like that in real life!

      Thanks for your interest in these things. Please stay tuned for upcoming posts about putting 3D environments in game engines!

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  4. Lauren,
    Best wishes on your latest adventure. I was a math teacher for 29 years and then a school administrator for 8 years. My last job was as the Advanced Academics Coordinator (k-12) for a large urban school district in Texas (64,000 students). Currently, I coordinate an Academic Decathlon Regional Competition in Texas for about 19-25 high schools. So, I am very supportive of teachers who are leading our students to be leaders in technology.

    I am retired from public education and spend my time blogging about home decor mostly. I find this a very creative and relaxing way to spend my days. Thanks for stopping by and following along.

    Judith

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    1. Hi Judith!
      Yes, I am interested in home decor sites because I studied some of that when I went to grad school at Drexel. Since school I have merged interior design with environmental design.

      Like I mentioned to Jon Miller above, I was remodeling my kitchen and I put the 3D model in a game engine. When I was setting it all up and adding textures it was much easier and faster to just throw a subway-tile texture up on one entire wall. When I walked through the space in the game engine I was thrilled with the subway-tile wall and so I tiled the wall like that in real life!

      Therefore, I am eager to communicate to interior designers and people doing house renovations, that using 3D visualization is a fantastic way to walk through the space before it is built and make valuable design decisions!

      I teach only in my spare time. Currently I am teaching 3D Modeling and game design/engines at an art center. However, a few years ago I taught college classes to game design majors. I have since limited my teaching to part time because my 3D Design is priority. Nonetheless, I have great respect for teachers because it is a valuable and sometimes difficult job to do!

      Thanks for stopping by! See you around the blogosphere!

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  5. That was cool:) You know, Lauren, I know your job is challenging, but it must be all sorts of fun as well.

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    1. Thanks, Sandra! Yes, I love what I do! I hope we all love our jobs... especially those of us who create. I find it so rewarding.

      Happy creations!

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  6. Out of curiosity, Lauren, do you know of anyone using game engines in higher education (or education generally)? Seems like a lot of potential there, even for the humanities (which is what I teach).

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    1. I am so happy you mention this! That is exactly what I have been working on-- using game engines for new and innovative things. I think 3D visualization is a powerful tool.

      Just walking around an historically accurate space could be so informative and interesting. Not only walking around a space is possible, but that space could be interactive. Facts could pop up when a player clicks on small glowing orbs or buttons. Or questions could be asked about the environment and answers could be given. Tests could be given as 3D interactive games! The students would be so immersed and could learn through visualization!

      Tests become games. The possibilities of what could become a game are endless! Simulations could teach anything from flying airplanes to cooking meatloaf.

      So,,, to finally answer your question: I do not know of anyone currently using it in higher education. However, I am an advocate of using it.

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    2. Okay, thanks for your reply. I'm sure someone is doing it somewhere, but it's early days in any event. I suppose some Google searches are in order.

      I have thought about how cool it would be to use interactive 3D maps to teach history since I first watched the London video linked to above. (Even though I teach philosophy, I include a fair amount of historical background when I teach, and in any case I'm also personally interested in history and archaeology.)

      One idea I had was being able to click on objects or buildings to see citations of the research used to support that particular element of the model or reconstruction. This is more toward the academic or scholarly side of things, but it could be useful for teaching as well.

      At some point I would hope that 3D models of historical sites could be used as tools for researchers to collaborate. I'm not sure about the logistics, but even if one person or team were solely responsible for generating and updating the model, they could still solicit updates from other researchers as new information became available, and then add to or modify the model as needed. The model could become one way for researchers to stay current on the research, by seeing the model change as new information or interpretations came to light.

      It would also be cool if there could be ways of displaying multiple models of the same site if there were conflicting proposed reconstructions (as is often the case).

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    3. Everything you say is totally possible! I believe it is all ahead of our time... but probably in the works somewhere. I would love to get involved in projects like that because I so enjoy creating virtual worlds.

      Creating the worlds you discuss would be a much more technical job than a fantasy world because the environment would have to be accurate. However, that is how all my 3D models had to be in grad school at Drexel. They really pushed the importance of technical accuracy in modeling.

      Your idea of clicking on objects for citations would be very doable. It is exactly like what I was describing how facts could pop up when a player clicks.

      You could be displaying multiple models of the same site by making each version of the site a new "level" in the game engine.

      One of the issues I've been having with using game engines in new ways has been that visitors to a site must always download the plugin for the game engine that is running the interactive game. That is a problem because most people are busy and that extra 20 seconds to wait for download makes them lose interest. This is also a problem with posting my interactive environments on this blog because blogger will not run the plugin and therefore the viewer must go through several clicks to get to the "game."

      However, I am very please to say that the game engine I use has just (like 2 weeks ago) updated to allow for Plugin-Free Browser Games in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera.

      This is HUGE because now interactive experiences are a quick click away!

      Since this is new technology, I have to experiment on how to post my examples of interactive experiences on this blog....
      but stay tuned because these posts are high on my priorities!

      Thanks again for all your insight.

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  7. How cool! That would fit my upcoming book so well.
    What programs do you use for your 3D modeling?

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    1. Thanks, Alex! I use the computer program Autodesk 3ds Max. I once worked with some guys from Rockstar and Turbine and they use 3ds Max. The people designing trade shows use it, too.

      I have done 3D illustrations for book covers. I will post some.

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  8. we do love them mighty dragons!

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    1. Dragons Rule!
      .... there are many more characters where he came from.
      Like for instance, a beagle?
      Stay tuned....

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  9. Your virtual dragon is awesome. Love when he flies at the end. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. Thanks for watching the video, Jess! Have a good week!

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