Meet Shoen! He works with instructor Jeremiah as part of Game-U’s New York Accelerate program. Shoen, who focuses on 3D modeling and world-building in Maya and Unity, recently took his love of Dunkin Donuts to a whole new level. He started building a virtual Dunkin cafe!
Using Maya, the modeling and animation software, Shoen created 3D representations of real-world, Dunkin-related objects, like iced coffees, shelves, donuts, countertops, menus, and more. Each object started as a primitive shape – the donuts, for instance, began as tori. Shoen used Maya’s transform tools to modify the primitives’ geometry into complex, custom shapes. Later, with a technique called UV unwrapping, where a 3D object’s surfaces are “unwrapped” into 2D, Shoen designed custom textures for each object to give them color. Finally, he imported his models into Unity, where cafe construction began in earnest!
Unity, a professional gaming engine, works with devices like Oculus Rift to create virtual realities. Shoen assembled Unity prefabs (prefabricated objects) to create a room that matches a reference image of a real Dunkin location. Using his own models and some models imported from a resource site, Shoen furnished the room, added a customer and a cashier, and – always aiming for a faithful representation of an actual Dunkin Donuts – applied textures and materials to the walls so that they resembled the reference image more closely. He even laid out a welcome mat! Next, he’ll assign mesh colliders to each of his objects so that they react to their environment like solid objects. Then, after a few more tweaks, he and instructor Jeremiah will bring the whole scene into Oculus Rift as a virtual cafe!
Well done, Shoen! You brought so much focus and dedication to this project. Besides being a cool virtual reality to explore, the cafe doubles as an impressive milestone for you. We’re proud of what you achieved and we hope you are too! Stay in touch so we can hear all about the completion of this project and the ones you take on afterwards!