After our build review together, one of the changes we decided to make was to change the turf scripts. There were two reasons for this:
- The Seamus Heaney sequence was too cluttered with how they were animating. The current animation of the scripts brought all of the textures up at once, so it was hard to know what to look at.
- We noticed from our user testing that people were not looking around the scene unless they were guided by the visuals. By making the animation of the turf slower, and more obvious, we could potentially teach the participant to look around more.
Below is a video of the speed of the turf originally. It’s clear that it’s too fast, and each of the scripts on the mountain shape and turf are the same, so of course they are appearing together.
Staggered Timing and Separate Scripts
From my work with the celebrity heads, I was familiar with the process of script editing, and was able to apply the same process to the turf. I changed the approach slightly this time, and applied a different script for each texture, so that the animation of the turf would stagger as it moved around the scene. As they were all different models I was able to stagger them by a few seconds consecutively.
I also changed the timing of the mountain’s sweeping animation to be much slower, so that you could easily follow it as it appeared. In the last build, I remember only at times seeing it animate into the scene, because it was so so fast. The times I did notice it, it was really lovely effect, so we wanted to make sure that the participant gets the best out of the experience. You can see below the timing is much slower.
Editing Textures in Photoshop
I noticed that the turf shapes were coming in from the opposite direction to the sweeping mountain, so I decided to bring the textures into Photoshop to edit the direction of the gradient in the alpha channel.
While I was there, I changed the intensity of the animation so that the texture sweeps in, rather than the dispersed fizzle type animation that it was previously doing. To do this I brought the textures into Photoshop to change the alpha channels. I upped the threshold, so that there was a very clear gradient for the script to follow from one side to the next.
Finally I added packaged everything to be passed over to Nicole, making sure the naming matched the final scripts and textures.
Compiling In Unity
I passed everything on to Nicole, as we tested to see how the new scripts and textures would work. They came together really well, and there was a much more natural progression in the animation.
When we tested it on real people, we noticed that they actually followed the strokes without being told to look around. This was a success, and a great proof of concept for us in VR. We’re learning that user really does need taught to look around, and by creating obvious animations like the sweeping mountain, it acts as a mini tutorial. This may be useful as we continue to develop the paint strokes.