CATL Scholar Award and Bump-Mapped Beams

Now that the semester is almost officially over (one more final to give, to the regret of my students), I have had more time to catch up on small project minutiae and make some substantial progress on my project. One thing I forgot to mention in prior posts is the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL) Scholar Award, which was announced back at the beginning of November and which will help support the DigiBahn Project as develops one complete level of a 3D digital game-based learning environment for second language acquisition. The award will provide course release time to assist in project development, purchase hardware and software, and grant access to technical training and new conference venues.

I’ve been making progress these last few days on getting the exposed vertical beams in the second floor of the model in place:

If you read my earlier posts below, you will recall that I complained that the color and bump maps could not be applied to all the beams after they had all been created and that I had to start from scratch again. However, I found out that if channels for color and bump maps are created in the original object, and copies of this object are then made, all subsequent changes to these channels propagate across all already-made copies of the original object. So, in a sense, copied meshes inside of Blender are object-oriented, provided that the root object of these meshes contains all the information required. In sum, changes to copies of an object cannot be applied retroactively.

I’ve also been having some fun with the bump map channel inside of Blender:

The color for the beams was sampled in GIMP from a photo of exposed timber work on a German building and the bump map, which was also created in GIMP, was selected from a photo of wood grain. The result, I hope, shows old rough-cut wood beams that, over numerous generations, have been painted over. I’m not sure how I can get the bump maps into Unity 3D, and this is something that I will need to work on.

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