More info here
Government shutdown slowed down research, but found the internet archive of the downed pages. Started using non-Apollo 11 videos for research. Learned rigging and the limitations of trueSpace rigging. Started modeling the space suits. Improved fbx and t3d exporters. FK animation scripts for truespace.
Spent time writing tools to make animation easier in trueSpace: autokey and interpolation tools. Research videos, pdf documents and images.
Only a portion of the ground is visible which is the reason for the floating rocks in the distance. The dust is a little light, so I'll increase the density for the next iteration.
Kismet nodes for the level
The MI, material instance actor is used in the scene so that the texture effect can be animated with Matinee. The image also shows the result of the color R&D for the LEM. The images from the mission can be misleading because the foil and specular surfaces of the LEM reflect the blackness of space making some surfaces look black when they actually have some color.
In game dust effects
Dust material. Uses a panner node to animate the texture, the fade section makes the dust fade in from the center and fade out at the outer edge. There is a brightness control so it can be turned up as the lander gets closer to the surface. The dust wipe off section does a wipe effect for when the engine is shutdown. That way the dust doesn't just disappear or fade out as if it is hanging in the air. Need to go back to the source material to figure out how dense and big the dust should be and how fast the texture should flow. The UDK transparency isn't 100 percent so at the end of the animation the dust mesh moves below the ground. This game material uses the same texture as in the R&D portion except that it's been painted to be tileable in the direction of motion. the only real problem with the dust mesh is that when you go down into a crater you can see the mesh structure from beneath.
The first idea for the rocket exhaust dust effects was to use particles, but an animated material seemed like an better way to go. The dust plume is made of 3 identical cylinders flattened and the v value of the uv space is animated. The texture is just a noise with directional blur applied. The material is set to fade at the middle and outer edges. The exact same techniques were used to recreate the texture in the UDK material editor.
remove cast dynamic shadow from ground
dominant light whole scene dyn range 3000, num cascades 8, light angle 0.01, indirect 0.25 and 2 for cascade exponent
convert problem rocks to movers/intepactors - these cast strange shadows near the craters
I like that the rocks all have well defined shadows, but I don't like the lose of quality in the ground and craters and the rocks have a noise pattern on them. Adjusting the lighting will be an ongoing effort. One idea is to bake the shadows in an external application and add it to the diffuse map.
Current light settings
Render to Texture test - ScreenCapture2D actor and the capture material applied to csg geometry
Test for simulating the cameras used during the mission. The idea is to simulate the tv camera, the movie camera and the still cameras used. The fps of the camera can be set to simulate the 1 fps setting of the movie camera looking down from the LEM to get that choppy Apollo look.
Created a menu using Flash. I originally started the menu using actionscript 3, but almost all the samples I found used actionscript 2, so I swirched to the older version. The start button and the blue triangle cursor are temporary placeholders. The scrolling text is from the official press release kit introduction. The fade out at the end is the portion of the flash after the user presses the start button. It fades to an image of the moon and then the bink movie moon zoom starts moving closer to the landing site. The text from the lro image needs to be removed from both the flash and the bink movie.
Created a transition movie between the menu level and the main level.
The moon image, a 24000x24000 tif, used for the zoom is found here:
The image was reduced to 6000x6000 and animated inside Sony Vegas were sound was also added. rad video tools for bink was used to create the UDK compatible bik video file.
changes to DefaultEngine.ini so that Apollo11DD_MenuLevel.udk is the default map to load when running the game
The same changes were made to the DefaultGameUDK.ini and UDKEngine.ini
At this point the menu level will load when running the game.
Quote from the forums, ffejnosliw, "The Default*.ini
files are used to build/rebuild the UDK*.ini files.
They should contain default values.
The UDK*.ini files contain configurable values."
The quote and these 2 web pages to help me edit the necessary files later:
Click the image to play the video
This animatic of the last 2 minutes of the landing is the
first step in the "Apollo 11 - A Living Diorama" project. The
animation was created in trueSpace and compiled to video using
Sony Vegas. The upper left is the view from the ground and
represents the view as it will appear in game. Lower left is the
original video of the landing. The right side is the view from
the animated lander used to approximate the flight path.
The image of the ground was taken from an LRO image of the Apollo 11 landing site. The descent stage, it's shadow and other smaller items left behind can be seen in the image. The sun and earth images are from pictures taken during the EVA. The text is from the audio transcripts of the flight. The balls are simplified representations of the larger rocks in the area. There are also some random geometry left over from other tests.
The ultimate goal is to recreate the landing on the moon and the EVA activities using the UDK game engine. The player will be an observer and will not interact with the events that take place.
The next step is to import the result into UDK. A particle system will be added inside the UDK for the dust effects and the player will be given a HUD to display the text of the audio events. After that the final models will be built for the LEM, the terrain and the rocks.
Neil(blue) takes a picture of Buzz(red) as he steps down.