Interactive Map App

The first project that I was a part of during my research placement at the University of Gloucestershire was an interactive map application. The purpose of the app was to allow the user to have an overview of the notable buildings in the Cheltenham/Gloucester area, and travel between them. As part of the brief, it was to be based off of a tea towel that had been produced by the university.

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Image Source: @uniofglos

To begin with, a colleague and I discussed numerous ideas that we had about how the application should look and function. We decided that it should adopt the tea towel’s visual style, and that it will be a mix of 3D buildings and 2D sprites.

highstreet

I worked as a 3D asset creator and texture artist for the duration of the project. I, and a few other colleagues, modelled the required buildings, and unwrapped them. Models were based off of the blocky, simplistic style of the tea towel. I then textured them in accordance with the colour scheme.

guildhall

The role was a learning experience for me, as I do not consider myself a 3D artist. I have had previous experience with modelling environments, but am not particularly confident in the field. However, following this project, I have become more comfortable with the role, as I was able to refine my workflow, and improve with creating lower poly models.

robert-house

As well as this, I learnt about a much more efficient texturing method. Rather than each model have it’s own individual texture, I could have created one that contained all the required colours for every single building, and then organised the UVWs accordingly. Then, there would have been fewer textures to import into Unity, which would be far more efficient. It is definitely a technique that I will keep in mind for the next time I am texturing with block colours.

docks

The models were then imported into Unity, and integrated into the application build. As well as the 3D models, my colleague was able to use the original vector graphics from the tea towel in order to populate the environment further.

screenshot

The application has been used on a touch table PC at a University open day, and the marketing department has expressed an interest in featuring it on the website.

As a result of this project, I now have an interest in low-poly modelling, and intend to use what I have learnt about it to create further 3D work.

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