Newsletter Issue 09

Making Things Appear

For the simulation, our MTL will be able to move forward, pitch the bucket to ground level, and then it will start moving terrain. Part of this terrain will be loaded into the bucket, and other will be spilled through the sides of the bucket. All these things that seem natural in the real world, need some ‘magic tricks’ in our virtual world.

First of all, we will detect when the bucket is low enough to collide with the ground. Once that happens, using programming code we have figured out how to make the the terrain being moved into the bucket. This piece of dirt is something completely different to the dirt on the ground, but making it show in the right moment will make it look natural. The other trick is making the side spillages also appear in the right place and moment. This appearances need different code functions. First, the function that makes things appear on the virtual world. Second, a function that lets us know where the MTL is and where it is facing. And also a function to make the appearance smooth, controlling the transparency of the pile of dirt so it looks like it is being built piece by piece instead of just showing completely in one instant.

Achievement Unlocked
Matt Champer

This week, we managed to overcome our previous road-bump of getting the berm’s material to fade. After some tweaking, we discovered this isn’t exactly what we were wishing to achieve, as it doesn’t look as realistic as we had hoped. So we moved onto another option.

The new option involves scaling the berm in the Z direction, from a very low percentage, to 100% of it’s standard height. This has introduced a new obstacle to overcome, which is the jagged transition from tiling these berm meshes since they are built in a modular style. We are getting what looks like stairs or steps that inflate, instead of material build-up. We are currently brainstorming an efficient
method so that a rough demo can be finished by mid-next-week.

Rocks and Video
Samantha Collier

For most of the week I have been focusing on getting 2 videos made. These videos are just a few of the obligations the team has during the semester to document the project. The videos are used mostly as aids for other members of the ETC can get a quick understanding of what the project was.Visitors and future ETCers will be able to find these videos in a few different place, either on the ETC website, the bridge or on our website.

Moving Forward, Promo Work
Sean Brice

I’ve been spending the week working towards implementing the MTL as an user controlled asset in UDK. Sam finished the animations for the MTL, which I exported from 3D Max and imported into Unreal. There are 9 animations that we have, which serve our needs for this semester and provide a strong foundation for future team development. With the animations of the MTL inside of Unreal, we can head towards implement user control and furthering our current demo.

I’ve also been working on documentation for future teams in regards to how to rig the model for Unreal use and the export/import process. We also have promotional videos due soon, so I’ve been working Sam to provide media that will showcase what we’ve done this semester as well as inform guests and prospective students what our project is all about. from existing databases. The use of SACR technology could also potentially allow us to implement the colorized system that Caterpillar is currently using for their remote control systems by integrating colors using the locations of the in the MTL.

MTL Moving in UnrealScript
Fuming Guo

In Unreal Development Kits, most vehicles are physics based. For our MTL, it is the same way. The movement of the MTL should be physics based forces. After several hours research, I found some fun and the terrain. At the beginning, the forces could only affects the MTL at the time when it is in the air or when a person is in it. It does not move when it touch the ground. After that, I tried modified the physics body(it is just a box before) and add 4 tiny boxes as the touch pivots, the area of contact became smaller, the friction became smaller as well. So now the MTL could be moved in any time, even there is nobody in it.

I am searching some tutorials and resources to detect key inputs from the client. If this could be solved, it is possible to control the MTL moving in the scene.

ctions to give forces to the MTL. Specifically, the functions AddForce and AddTorque are the most essential. Besides, the physics body is also affected by friction between the body.

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