Atlas Engineering approached us with a SketchUp model of a treatment facility in Australia, wondering if we could create an Oculus Rift virtual reality trade show exhibit for their booth at an upcoming expo that would also serve as an interactive and fun safety training application. Oh, and they wanted a zombie somewhere in it too, just for fun. A zombie?!? You just know a project is going to be fun when the client asks for a zombie!
We get lots of Revit and ArchiCAD BIM models for conversion into Unity and Oculus Rift, but not as many SketchUp models for some reason, despite the deep market penetration of this free modeling software that’s become so popular within architectural industries. SketchUp models are nice to work with, even though they still require optimization, because what you see is… well, it’s what you actually see.
With Revit and ArchiCAD, we need to comb through the model to figure out what the player won’t be able to see, so we can delete it. Any face that isn’t visible to the player gets deleted, so it isn’t taking up valuable performance and lightmap space. When you’re targeting performance adequate for Oculus Rift, every face and vertex counts. SketchUp is much more concerned with the visual representation rather than deep integrated construction and engineering components, so optimization is a much more straightforward process.
We layered in the interactive gaming system, enabling players to find up to 12 safety hazards throughout the scene.
Then we added the zombie (Mixamo ftw!) How’d that go? Well, I’m guessing nearly everyone who visited Atlas Engineering’s booth won’t soon forget it… Mission accomplished!