Performative Avatars: 3D Model Head Scan

I was able to use my phone and have my roommate scan myself for this week. I tried all of the different capture apps for Iphone and found one used for Dentists called Bellus3D provided the best mesh/high resolution scan of my face. It was a little more expensive to export the scan but their algorithm for wrapping the head and mesh was far superior to the others. There was no cleanup and I found the other apps would result in messy meshes with more sparse point clouds. This system actually uses a variety of poses as opposed to working around in realtime while trying to focus on keeping the mesh clean. It then runs its system based on the photos and outputs a very clean model.

Performative Avatars: Unreal Engine Short Film

For the short film assignment I wanted to play around with version 4.26 of Unreal Engine. I was very excited to find a brand new environment available for free on the marketplace that I could use as my setting for experimenting. I also wanted to bring back the old man with the cigar character.

When I tried to load in the pre built worlds I was running into space issues even though everything was on my separate drive, some things were constrained to my local disk. This along with the large textures kept crashing the site. Instead I began working with an HDR background texture which looked realistic and was fun to play with and I began working in the sequencer to create some shots. I was definitely a little in over my head, trying to animate the cine cameras and I’ve realized 24 fps looks quite bad coming out of unreal. I need to keep working on creating animations and spawning events.

Performative Avatars: Skeletal Meshes

Exploring skeletal meshes was a lot of fun. I’m still getting the hang of the Unreal workflow but the ability to start playing around with animations and simulated gravity immediately in a third person environment is amazing.

I added two different animations that I thought could work together. I imported the old man smoking a cigar from Mixamo and the “swing to land” animation. It almost looks like Spiderman swinging down to hit a villain. I’d love to create a trigger for the animations through the main character colliding with an object or something like that, so it’s not just a repeating cycle.

Things I want to keep exploring are changing the environment and customizing the world and controls more.