Week 10 was really like an important milestone for us as we were able to build a prototype for the mouth mechanism which replicated the mouth mechanical design and also allowed us to use the 3D converter software to transfer animations for scratch dialogues onto the mechanical design to imagine Tom how he would be saying dialogues.
We also presented our halves presentation and demonstrated our pipeline of how we are creating Tom. We also listened the halve presentations of different teams which also helped us learn about the process and pipeline followed by different teams for different types of project. Please look at our halves project below to have a look at our demonstration for our pipeline.
PRESENTATION FOR HALVES
After our halves presentation we continued moving forward as Alex continued to finalize her design and also decide on the parts to be ordered. She also contacted vendors to place orders for certain parts so that they arrive on time and can then be assembled together.
Niharika began working on our UI design and began playtesting different UI mock ups to get an idea about what design is suitable for naive users and is intuitive. She then re-iterated on the mock-up and play tested the UI again which allowed her to gather more information about the intuitiveness of the UI and then improve the design to create more intuitive UI designs.
UI DESIGN PROTOTYPES
Niharika also worked on creating the rig and figuring out ways on making it replicate the mechanical design of Alex using MEL scripting and IK handles.
Atul and Josh worked together to figure out how the Dynamixel servo motors to communicate with the show controller and deciding on important decisions like which protocols to be used and setting the values for minimum and maximum. This allowed us to overcome more hurdles and figure out how to program Dynamixels without causing them to move in an undesired way and not replicating the mechanical design.
For this week, Raisa began designing the Tom’s scepter mechanism using prototypes in Maya to pre-visualize how the mechanism will work and then working on different design prototypes.
Niharika, Atul, Raisa and Dustin also went to the Children’s museum of Pittsburgh to play test the story content with the kids there. For this purpose since we are limited in terms of space and the actual animatronic not being there we decided to use a hand puppet which is a replica of Tom’s character to test the content using a puppet show. For this Raisa and Dustin also worked on creating a puppet theater using curtains and stands. Our main purpose was to test out if Kids are entertained by Tom, and whether they like to dance when Tom invites them to a dance party.
We also conducted another play test by walking around with Tom’s picture and showing it to kids to get an understanding of what kids see Tom as and to help build a stronger character profile. These play tests went well and helped us build not only a stronger profile but also iterate on our script. It also helped us to make decision regarding going ahead with including the dance party show as it was something that kids liked and enjoyed.
Therefore this week marked the beginning of play tests and end of halves which gave us motivation and encouraged us to keep on moving forward with working towards building Tom.