Feeling animated :)

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May 7, 2013 by jonmillymiles

For once I am going to do a whole post on just one object, the reason: it got a bit complicated :/

This will also be my second post in as many days so it might be relatively brief… possibly only a couple of volumes or so 🙂

I used to teach students how to use oscilloscopes, a vital piece of test equipment when investigating voltages and waveforms. My idea was that I would like my mad scientist to have one in his lab so that he can use it in his experiments. As this was before I made the break from my ultra low poly count the mesh that I made was extremely simplistic, but what I really wanted to do was to animate the surface material so that it looked like there were waveforms moving over the screen.

There would, essentially, be two parts to the object – the case and the screen. But I only wanted to make one object, with an animated texture. The idea being that it would be less complex… hmmm… I know what you’re all thinking, “here he goes again with his bright ideas!!”

So I made the mesh:

I then needed to texture the mesh, but I was aware that some areas would be static while others, the screens in particular, would be animated.This is the UDK material that I made, I shall explain how it works below.

UDK Material Editor

UDK Material Editor

  1. Initially I created a base texture and then used this to create various masks in Photoshop.
  2. A vertical panner was applied to a “glow” texture and this was multiplied by a monochrome mask so that only certain areas of the texture would carry through – this worked like a logical “and” function.
  3. The same process was carried out for the screens. Horizontal panners were applied to two textures that were created with two displays, an upper and lower, on each. These were then masked and added to each other to create an animated 4 screen output.
  4. The screens and the glow texture were then added together and mapped to the emissive channel with a 0.5 multiplier to draw the glow back a little. I didn’t want to give the players too much of a tan!!! I also added the combined texture to the base texture (stage 1) and assigned it to the diffuse channel.
  5. A normal map was created of the base texture and this was applied to the material too.

Simple eh?

So what does it look like? Well, something like this:

Finally, and for a bit of a treat, I had a request a few moons ago to show the Sparker Room off as a video. I accidentally deleted the comment (I might as well be honest) but I have never forgotten the request so here you go, enjoy 🙂


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