Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bally Roller and the Deathly Menus

Wow, I've run out of Harry Potter titles already... I think I'll have to go back to Roll Hard, but with more subtitles. "Roll Hard: Electric Boogaloo," "Roll Hard: The Quickening," "Roll Hard: Back in the Habit," etc.

Oh right, I made some progress on the project too!

As I said last week, I wanted to get rudimentary menus implemented, so that the user can change the settings of the cameras while they're filming. Figuring out how to deal with GUIs in Unity was a bit of a struggle, but I think I managed to pull it off: You can click on any of the camera windows (I decided that forcing the user to click on the camera itself would be a pain, since they can teleport around instantly) to open up a (color-coded!) pop-up menu. Clicking on other camera windows changes the pop-up menu, and pressing esc removes it.

Right now, the menu allows you to change the shot duration of a camera (essentially how long each shot lasts before it cuts away). Watch the video below, where I shorten the shot duration of the camera filming the dialogue scene, and imagine that they're having an unbelievably exciting conversation to match the frantic pace of the editing. Setting the duration to 0 tells the camera to stop cutting entirely and just stay within its current shot-type (you can see me demonstrate this with the camera in the pachinko machine).

Getting the shot duration to work was more complicated than I was expecting, because it involved editing the behavior tree while the camera was... inside of it. The Wait nodes, specifically. Basically, I kept having issues with the camera getting confused and hopping around its behavior tree (like suddenly skipping from the follow idiom to the dialogue idiom). I think I have that under control now, so it should be easier to make new sliders and buttons on the menu.

Since presentations and posters are on the horizon, I'm going to add a bunch of new shot types and a few events for variety; I also want to continue tweaking the camera movement so that it can track the targets better. I also looked into camera settings like depth of field, blur, graininess, etc... but they're only available in Unity Pro (I guess I've been using Unity Amateur).

I think the SIG Lab has Unity Pro though, so I'd love to experiment with some of those things at some point. Have I mentioned that I want to make a film noir camera filter? Yes? Well I'm mentioning it again, because that would be awesome.


  1. if you go by the movies instead of the books... technically you can do a part 1 and part 2...

  2. um... and with all those little separate "rooms" you couldn't figure out a use for the Chamber or Secrets?

  3. "Chamber of Secrets" would be really confusing, since I used Die Hard for movies 1-4 and then Harry Potter for movies 5-7. I've either got to use the 8th entry in a series next time, or just start jumping to unrelated subtitles.

    Also, "Bally Roller and the Deathly Menus: Part 2" would be a boring title. :)

  4. Dan come by tomorrow, sorry I am just reading this now.
    We do have Unity Pro.
    I will set you up so you can work in the lab on unity pro.