Thanks for coming out guys. My name is Joshua Michie, and I'm going to talk today
about C4D and this wonderful new medium, VR. Oh, prograph guys. You guys helped me
out a lot with this. So I'm going to show you the pipeline, all the way from the
creative concept; the team that we assembled. And then as we were getting
into the development of what would be, I guess, a game. VR is like a game.
The pipeline that we learned, some of the face plants, and learning lessons so that
when you get into it, you're not wasting a month on forum hunting, and/or maybe not
as much time as I was. Before I get into it, for those online, thanks for coming
by. Take a screen grab. These are the team that helped me out.
It's good to have a couple 3D artists, and absolutely integral to have an interaction
designer, and a developer that probably knows C#. I'm going to be bringing
this into Unity. You don't necessarily need a Unity developer, but having a
C# guy, you can't make anything without that magical code.
So without further ado, I will drop my wonderful little reel on you, and we'll go
from there. ♪[music]♪
Thanks guys. So Apiary is a new thing that's happening with me and said team. We
do a lot of this commercial work, and need something where we can build our own IP,
and start telling stories on our terms. And this VR thing was perfect, because
there's an open market. I'll be talking about Samsung Gear VR. In that store,
there's a lot of opportunity for people, for motion designers, for 3D artists to
get out of the broadcast pipeline, and transition into that game VR, and play
around and experiment. It's an open game right now.
So that's a little bit about us, and our first project is Antum. I'll show you a
video, a screen grab video at the end of the presentation. This is loosely based
around Plato's allegory of the cave, and it's one of three parts that we are
making. Each section, or each part is exploring one, either headset or a
As the team gets more and more comfortable with VR, so too do the complexities, and
interactions, and stories, and it started with a simple sketch. Nothing crazy. In
Toronto, which is where I'm from, we have a really strong motion meetup, Toronto
motion meetup, and we have a really strong VR Toronto meetup as well.
A lot of people jump between the two. In Toronto, we do have a lot of people
interested, and there's only a couple studios that I know of, that are actively
making. So it's inspiring to have just an open game and get into it. So me and
Nixson, who was, I guess, my partner in crime with this one. We developed simple
sketches. We found some stuff. We wanted a big monolithic open cavernie old space.
Knowing that with the limitations of VR, you can't have vast vistas. You have to be
thinking about intimate spaces. I love basalt, which is that where that waterfall
picture is there.
Also because I knew I could mograph the shit out of that. And then on the right
hand side, which we're still working on, I want to get light projection. It's a cool
graphic design and light projection that people can interact with as they're
exploring this space. This was the first concept sketch that popped out in the
night after a few drinks, and getting into that art board.
From there, Nixson and I just further developed it, thinking like, how we can
get big, and was this enough that I could rope in Jeff Briant, who's an amazing
motion designer, and get him excited. And Jeff Moberg, who is the sound designer on
the team? As soon as they saw this little frame, which really wasn't...nothing
really to talk about.
But it was enough that it gave everyone a vague idea about what we wanted to do,
because none of us had done this before. So we were like, "We want to do something
like this. We'll maybe make a map. We'll go from there." Then Jeff came with these
awesome style frames in Octane.
We were really excited like, "Oh, there is going to be like light halos, and depth of
field, and displacement maps." All of these things, you can't do in Unity right
now, especially with the Gear VR. It's limiting right now. But also, I don't know
why you'd want depth of field when you put on the headset. Unless we can track your
eyes, there's no reason to have that.
But this got us in some kind of dark, nice direction that we wanted to go down. Then
Nixson being the interaction designer, rather than doing a storyboard, because
this is an open-ended exploratory narrative, we had to build a UX map. Which
has changed a little bit from this, but this was enough for us to approach Unity
and start putting in assets, and different modules, and prefabs. And looking for
scripts that might be able to help us out with this.
We get to the wonderful headset. It is one of the more technically limiting of the
headsets, but we chose that deliberately because if I had little sticks from the
HTC vibe, or even the ability to start moving around and exploring a space with
Oculus, I knew the scope was going to start creeping up very big, and we only
gave ourselves two, three months to get this thing out the door.
I also have the phone, so that helped out as well. I didn't have to spend $6,000 on
a headset. So when you get into it, rather than going into the step by steps,
screen grab this thing, take a picture of it, especially the Google creating a Gear
VR App in Unity Free by eVRrdayVR.
Just follow that step by step and you should get your SDKs, and the code and
everything talking to each other, which took an awful long time, because I did not
follow instructions to the letter. He's got a bunch of other stuff that I suggest
checking out, and SideloadVR App, which is a magical little thing on your phone,
which gets the number that your phone needs to go talk to Oculus and upload your
I'm also going to be talking about the C4D...oh sorry, Cineversity CV Smart
Export, which was a huge time saver. At least when we were setting up our sketch
scene, and Magic Merge, which was a God send. So things to think about before you
get into it, and we were already way into it when we came about these things.
Low poly, high texture. That doesn't necessarily mean low poly style. We wanted
to stay away from that, and if you build your prefabs, or your models small enough,
you could build your textures at 1048, or 2048 by 2048. But you're going to have to
compress it down in Unity, because the phone can't handle it. You have to keep to
that 100k polycount, and 100k vertice, which I don't know how to give you an idea
about what that looks like.
The scene that I have can give you a vague idea, but until you are in it and you're
making it, I don't think you're going to understand what that means. Because you'll
quickly go over that budget the first time around making your world. And prefabs,
which are like instances, but for Unity. So I'll get into that as well, and if it
doesn't move after you put your stuff in there, make it static. So your batch
calls, which is the game or the graphics card, and the CPU pinging to see how many
materials are on something, how many different models. So keeping models the
same, and reusing the same textures keeps the memory running high, and prevents you
from dropping down to 60 frames a second.
When that happens, everyone gets the vomit comet almost immediately, and forget OBJs,
just FBX is the industry standard. There's this weird goblin where it wants to make a
parallel universe of whatever asset you've made, and mirrors it. I don't know why
that happens, but it happened enough that just stop it. Don't do that.
So we had a rough idea where we were going in building the scene, and here's the
sketch that we roughly built. You can see it's pretty messy. This is roughly a
little over...it's up to that like 100k polycount and vertice. That means what the
camera sees in Unity is what they call a vert, so what's being rendered. I'm going
to talk a little bit about how we built this stuff in here.
This was pretty simple when we started out. Pretty simple with the layout. Just
took a poly pen tool and started sculpting out the rough like scene. Then
once we knew what that was, I started putting in these single objects, and I'm
going to do that right now for you. Back to the basics. Nothing too crazy. Start
with a shape.
Bring it down to six, so you've got your little dude there. Open up your Cloner,
drop it in. Nothing new. You can do a small count there, and something like
that. So that's a 30, so they...oops. I've got something like that, and mush them
together, add a random effector, and only set for the Y, because I want them up and
down. I'm building that basalt column stuff.
So something like that, and then I was happy with that. Duplicate it, pull it
back, upset, offset a little bit, and I'm making sure that the geometry intersects
with each other, because I'm going to be bringing in Magic Merge, which is going to
bring this stuff all together, and make it one object.
Multiple objects in Unity, it would render every single one of these things, and you
would kill your scene really quickly. So I've got a nice video run through of... it
took about an hour to get this thing built up, and into the UV mapping. So you've got
the stuff together, select it all, alt G or option G. Bring it into a null. Make
everything an object.
Grab all those guys, put them into...oops. Put them into one null, Shift C, bring in
Magic Merge if you've got it in there. It turns it all into one object, which was
great because now it's just a hollowed out thing, and you can get pretty complicated
with your sculpting in your materials. When you do this, it just gets rid of all
the interior gobbledygook.
For example, just get rid of that guy. You can see now that there's some stuff,
some intersecting probably because I didn't do the best of jobs. You can see
here, for example, there's a little bit of a gap. So you got to be careful when
setting up your geometry, because then it just won't merge it all together. It
thinks it's a negative space.
So I've got this really rough geometry here, and we've got to bring it into the
UV because this thing is destroyed as a UV map. Putting a shader on it, it's not
going to look very nice. Because Jeff Briant was very nice in being the guy that
wanted to paint all these things. I needed to at least set up a UV map for him, so
that he could go play, and make something really cool, which I'll show in a bit.
This part, I don't really care what program you're in. UV mapping is not a
fun, it's an ordeal. I do have a little bit of a video to show you that fun time.
But before I do, I pressed shift M , and then I opened up the mess checking. And
this is great for finding out if you've got rogue polygons, or edge points which
you don't really need, or non-manifolds.
These are all terrible little objects that goblins that show up. If you get things
too close, so I don't know. Sometimes if this area right here was just a little bit
too close, and you Magic Merge it, you might end up with either bad polygons, or
something that might be a non-manifold, because Magic Merge isn't quite...it's a
There's a little bit of a discrepancy there. So mesh checking is great, and
before you go into your wizard, I don't need that. That guy right there. Either
set up 1024 as your UV map, or 2048 so that at least you've got a bigger map to
play with, and you can always downgrade that and compress it in Unity. Then we've
got some stuff.
This one's not too bad, but still pretty disconnected, and you can play around
with...oops. Make this cubic, or box, or flat. It's really just it depends on your
shape you're trying to find a way of getting as much real estate as possible,
and rather than show you how slow I am at that. I've got a video so that you can
watch the joys, and pain of UV mapping. ♪ [music]♪
So in this case, Magic Merge did a really good job, or I made a point of making sure
there was no too many in between floating polygons. Cleaned it up. This made it
really, really light.
This is where everything starts going
sideways. So what I'm trying...my thought process with UV mapping is like grab
things that are the same. Grab them, put them off to the side, and just keep doing
that as like a puzzle piece, and then try and resize and bring things back
together. All the while trying to figure out like, "Is this box projection? Is
frontal projection? Is this going to help me out, or is going to make it worse?"
I'm also on Skype talking to Jeff as he's laughing at me when I'm getting this thing
set up. Because I'm like, "Well, if I get all the top hexagons into one area, you
know where those are. Right?" He's like, "Yeah, I guess. We'll see how that works
when I come back in and paint it."
At this point, I still haven't seen that
I've smushed some of the geometry. Those hexagons are supposed to be perfect
square, cubic. They are smushed like an iris. So that's going to deform the mesh
quite a bit. But apparently I'm really hopped up on trying to get these long
1024 is a pretty small map, so I'm really trying to squeeze as much geometry, as
much real estate as possible, trying to get rid of as much negative space.
Then finally I was like, "Oh, there we go. Okay."
Then just gave a rough material for him as a suggestion so that when he went in the
painting, he had a rough idea. That's the nightmare of UV mapping. So once you've
got that done.
I think we've got Octane. Jeff came back and made this
wonderful...this is not the same object. This is something else we worked on, but
it was the same process.
I think we made five iterations of these different clusters. Let's see if I can
bring up Octane and check it out. Maybe, yeah. He came back with this, and I think
he used Substance Painter, because they have PBR shading and that was something
that in our long researching in Unity, it likes PBR shading, and with a new 5.4
that's about to come out.
They've come leaps and bounds in the graphic improvements. So he made this guy,
and we were pretty happy. So back into the scene. Part of the research we had was,
either bring this scene into Unity as a Cinema 4D file, except we were having
troubles, because there's just too much geometry here. It took way too long, or it
would just not show anything when you brought it into Unity.
That's where we had this Magic CV Smart Plugin, which is a Cineversity CV Smart
Plugin. Where are you? There we go, CV Smart Export, my bad. Entire scene into
one file, and in this case, make sure that you've got everything in your knolls, and
you've got them named in a way that you understand, because it's going to grab all
the materials that would be inside of your knoll.
Then make separate folders for Unity. It saves hours of time at least in the
initial set up. However, because of prefabbing, you're taking not just this
guy as himself, or by himself. You're taking the whole cluster. If you want to
iterate like we did in trying to figure out what things look like, it's better
just to have one of these guys exported in, one of these guys exported in, and
then individually move and build your scene in Unity.
So plugins, CV Smart and that's not mine. Let's go to... I've got a folder here.
In this case, you have to create a model. The first time you open up or build your
Unity scene, you've got to tell it where to go with the models. I'm going to delete
all this stuff, or I'll do it again. I'll try cave three or two. There we go, six
save and it's done everything.
Now I'm going to open up Unity.
The first time you set up Unity, it's best to pull
one of the 3D cameras directly from the prefab. Taking a little bit of time. There
we go. Or you can import it from your assets, import new asset or package
and it will say, "Characters." You're going to open that guy up in there. Okay,
that's all right. I've already done this.
In your characters, you'll have your prefabbed first person, prefabbed first
person controller. You can drag that in there, get rid of that camera. Don't need
that. In my models, everything is imported here, so KV2, I can bring that in there,
and now I've got all of the scene more or less built here. You can already tell
there's a lot of geometry.
That's because Unity takes your quads, and turns them into tris. So how we went about
cleaning this up. It was mostly just that these objects were pretty good. They
didn't have too many polys or tris, and oh yeah. Here we go. Let me set that camera
up. There we go.
Make a light.
Just sort of something to see. There we go, that's better. There we go, and you
can see here it's a little bit small, but you can see that I'm already over my...
I've got 107 tris, and 153k verts. So the easiest way for this is there's a plugin
in Unity called Simplygon, and you can bring this online into their cloud, and
they'll reduce or create LODs, which are, in this case, we didn't really need it. We
need the low SLOD.
In games, there's different tiers of geometry the farther away from a camera
you can get. So the closer you are to the camera, the more geometry you'll get, the
farther away, it can be mushy and not so nice, because you're not really going to
see it. We use that tool to clean this up quite a bit, and keep it below 100ks.
Oops. So you see here, this is what I was talking about with that prefab. These guys
here come in a full wall. So this whole thing has been prefabbed or instanced.
Rather what I would have is just one of these guys. So what I would do is once we
had...once you're in the VR scene, and you're looking around, or you're looking
at this. You've got a gauge of scale, and do you want this thing there or that thing
Start deleting everything. Make one of these objects rather than a bunch, and
then go back into C4D, and use Magic Merge again so that you can remove any back
facing geometry, because... I don't know if I can show you the overdraw.
Where was that? Right here. You can see the overdraw that's happening here. Unity
renders from the farthest to the closest, and when you do an export like this, it
doesn't necessarily know what hierarchy it needs to go into. You're going to have to
script this out a little bit, but I can already tell back here, I've got a whole
wall section of geometry that you're never going to go see in the game.
So we went back in, chopped that out, cleaned that up a little bit, and same
thing with those giant columns. We ended up chopping the whole backside, because
there's no reason to see that stuff. There's another thing I want to show in
C4D, was, sometimes you might have...and this was supposed to be like a landslide,
where all these old basalt structures would fall, and break down.
It's really close to the player, so we wanted something with nice detail. So the
same idea again. Put that guy in there, and it's just a sheet. Nothing crazy again
just playing around, sculpting with some basic geometry. Then I did the same thing
again with the mograph. It was an ongoing thing. Doing that all over again . I'll
just put that in there.
Oops, make that cloner an object, and then drag your landslide in there, and
you've got these guys here. This was before we realized we needed less than
100k. This was definitely our geometry killer, but in some cases, this might be a
quick way for you to build your own asset, so I'm going to go through and do that.
Put a random effector on that guy as well.
In this case rather than position, I want rotation, and in the cloner, I want the
surface. Just keep bumping that count up quite a bit. Play with that rotation a
little bit. Make something random. I don't know, something like that. Scale it up
just a tiny bit. I'm going to do something like maybe 100, 200. So you put a lot of
geometry in this.
The same thing happened again. We were happy with this. Grab these two things.
Put the landslide into the Cloner, make sure everything else is an object as well,
which is a lot now. C4D hates objects. It loves high polycounts, but it hates
objects. So this is a really nice beefy machine, but very quickly with my little
laptop, this was slowing down to a crawl.
Originally what I wanted to do is just use Magic Merge, but now I'm going to create a
lot of unnecessary geometry any time that this thing has an intersection. So I
needed to figure out how to get that landslide to shrink down. There's two ways
of doing this. We ended up using a script, because for some reason, I did not see the
magic button on it.
So you've got all your polygons selected, and then you can extrude, right click,
extrude and push that down. This is what we were seeing. It was like there's a big
cavern, and a hole in here. So we needed to close that up. We could have gone and
done that, creates caps. However for some reason in the midst of building this, we
did not do that.
I was working with Gene on this one, Gene Magtoto. So he made a script for me. So
I'm going to show you how to do that. Script folder, run scripts, oops. Console,
that's what I was not looking for. There we go, script manager. He built a Python
script, and I've got that written down here, because the internet is awesome fast
It's called Dupe Poly Place in Code. You can find it on his website. He's got a
bunch of awesome plugins. I think it's Genemagtoto.com/plugins. Then select
everything here...oh sorry, not that. That will break everything. There we go.
Control C, Control V. I did not copy that. There we go, and then execute that, or
click and drag that little icon so that I don't ever have to open up that script
So in this case, I'm going to...well, I did that backwards. Back it up, there we
go. So you've got it selected. You just press dupe, and now I've got this original
geometry, and then I can click and pull where I want it. I've got a little bit of
control in deciding, and I've got one whole object. Anything that's inside this
thing now will disappear when I do my Magic Merge.
But you need to be careful of this. Oh man, totally like. In gones or normals,
sorry. The normals are backwards here, so in Unity it just makes them invisible and
you can't see them, which took us a little bit of time to realize like, "Why can't we
see our normals, and why aren't they facing the right way?" So in this case,
what I would do is select these guys.
The ones that I want, because I know these are the odd men out. Cool. Not that guy,
and then normals, reverse, select all and then do it again. Now they're all the
same. That's good. Everything is in your Cloner, and then you can Magic Merge that,
oops. Shift C, Magic Merge, Enter. It might take a little bit of time.
Oh, it's not too bad. Mapping, and know I've got this wonderful little crazy
geometry. So in this case, we would have had to increase the geometry on the
landscape. We ended up not using this at all, because the tri, polygon count was
insane, and as I'm willing to bet, if I bring this into that UV edit mode, and do
that mesh check again, I'm not going to see very nice things.
Now I'm starting to see bright polygons. I can select those, and if I start deleting
those, I'm going to start getting holes, lots of edge points. So this is bad
geometry, and I want to show you because this is what you're not supposed to do, if
you're going to get too crazy with your asset building.
I think that is Unity. I think that's about all I really needed to talk about.
Oh, I might talk about materials a little bit. Unity and C4D have similar materials,
but they're different. So I had shown earlier that Octane, this guy right here,
this basalt cluster. You can't really import your Octane materials. Sometimes
normals bump maps.
They do this weird smoky thing. It just doesn't look very good, and if your
geometry is too big. Like we had painted the cave base like the big outline, the
walls, and used a 1024, 2048 UV paint. It just looks really mushy and crappy. So
in this case, for big objects like this, it's good to go find tileable shaders. So
I'll just briefly go into this, not too much.
We're now getting more and more into Unity, and that's a whole other
conversation. In this case, I just wanted to show you here's how you would go about
building a scene for C4D. So in my assets, I know what I'd like to do right here. A
material and a shader, which are two different things. Normally...there we go.
Click on your material, and it will have its different kind of... I guess these
would be like, you want something that's subsurface or you want something that's
reflective, or sometimes you might have like some weird programming projection map
idea, and you can script shaders to go do that stuff. Whereas the material is what
you're going to attach on to your geometry.
I guess I'm going to import that guy in there. The other thing is if you're going
to CV Smart Export, in this case, I've only got one object. I wouldn't want to do
that, because it's also going to bring in all this other stuff. It's going to bring
in your cameras, it's going to bring in your Octane sky. We don't need any of that
stuff. So in this case, I just want to export.
FBX, and I'll put that right here. Where'd it go? Oops. That's the wrong side there.
In the assets models, and I'll put it right here for now, and call it
that. There we go. Bring everything in.
Find out what that guy is kicking. He doesn't have any material
or anything attached on to him, so he still brought it in.
So I guess it's best just to get rid of anything if you're going to be exporting
into Unity that you don't want, because it's going to be there even if it's
hidden. So it's got a shader that's been premade. Unity gives everything shaders,
and you've got these different areas, these different maps that you want to
attach, either your normals or your heights, or your elevdo [sp], which would
be your RGB.
But the normal map in VR is kind of a hit or miss. I guess it's just the nature. You
don't need to fake height, you don't necessarily need to fake those textures,
because often in Unity when you're putting it on, or in Gear VR, when you're putting
it on, the spatial awareness... it's almost a distraction, and it's a serious
CPU hog. So that's roughly what we went about doing as we slowly built the scene.
I will bring in the magical cave, and before I get into this. Screen capturing
for VR is not fun right now. So what I did here was just rebuilt the scene that we
had for Android, and then brought it into the PC build, and then I just grabbed
Camtasia and did a screen capture, which is why it's a little bit cloudy around the
But here is just a really rough run-through of where we're at with the
current development. When I'm done here, you guys can check out the... I've got the
headset, and you can go check it out what this thing looks like.
So each of these little sections have a different piece of this greater song that
we've broken down, and Jeff's designed it in a way so that you can go look in one
area, and do your experience, reset the scene, and then look at another area. And
as the different sounds or sections meet up, you can change the tone of the song
that you're listening to.
Right now, we've just got random twinkly interactions. We are going to be getting
into controlling that, but that's through scripting and that's in Unity. That alone
is going to take a month; just to do the proper interactions that we want. That's
that. We are hoping to release in June. If you want to see a little bit more, and
maybe send us an email. If you're interested, I can probably send you an
APK, if you give your number to your phone.