The Blog of Ryan Foss

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Fireman Run Dynamic Water Spraying Geometry


I built some custom editor extensions in Unity to help me make geometry for use in level creation.

The spraying object’s mesh is generated on the fly with a number of settings. It automatically generates the geometry, assigns UVs and adds additional colliders for game interactions.

Rocket Builder Prototype

This Rocket Builder Prototype is something I’ve been playing with. Inspired by Kerbal Space Program and my kids interest in Bad Piggies’s sandbox mode, I built a quick prototype for testing. When I showed my kids its was a hit, and I’ve never experienced better motivation.


This prototype was built in Unity 3.5 and works on Android, PC and web. I used Unity’s built in physics of rigid bodies and joints for the parts which I think works great.  I’m aware of a number of bugs or strange behavior, and the interface needs work, but it is a prototype after all.

There is still a lot I want to do with this, and my kids have more ideas too. Hopefully I can get back to it in the near future.

If you have any ideas or comments, or a cool design you want to share, send me a note!

Young Blenders

I introduced my son Aidan and Nathan to Blender today. Blender is a free 3D program for making geometry, renderings, animation, etc. It’s pretty popular and fairly complicated. I showed them a youtube video of someone making Minefraft stuff and this is what resulted.

Laser Shotgun

This is my newest creation. If all goes well, it will be added to Deadly Chambers. It is a shotgun that shoots lasers!

It was made using Blender and Photoshop. I rendered an AO layer and saved it, then a light layer, the blue glow, by rendering only the light on a dark material to the same UV map. I combined them in photoshop with some metal textures, photos, hand painting and some layer effects. I really like how it turned out.

Tower Power, Shared Texture Space

This is the lightmap layer of the tower level for the game I’m working on with Rob of Battery Powered Games. This is the final level, the Tower, where the big show down with a magical wizard takes place. The game should be out in a month (estimated release second week of May, 2010). It’s called [NAME TBD].

I’ve been using blender solidly for about half a year now and I have developed a number of tricks. My favorite trick thus far is baking textures with shared texture space. Essentially I design a symmetric scene, set up the lights and UV only part the model. I then use this part of the model to create the rest of the scene, but I push their UV’s out of the main UV space. This is a trick, since Blender won’t bake the textures for these faces (when they would normally cause problems), and they are technically in the same place if texture mode set to repeat.

Here you can see the UV texture space. The faces pushed to the top are part of the stairs design, while the parts pushed to the right are levels.

In this image you’ll see that the stairs have essentially the same texture mapping from one level to the next. What is really nice is that since they are the same, they share the same UV texture space, I reap the benefits of the resolution only doing it once. It might seem really weird but its backfaces only. This means you see through geometry from one side, but not the other. So you can see the stairs through the walls so to speak. It’s so natural to me, but I expect some won’t know what they are looking at.

Here you can see I’ve highlighted the portions of the texture in the main UV space. Pretty good use of the space I think.

I Put My Face In The Blender

I know the likeness isn’t very good, but not too bad for my first head model.

I’ve been learning Blender 3D at work. I’m contrasting my current understanding of skinning (UVing) geometry vs. the way its applied in Blender. I understand UVing and skinning just fine, but how do materials and UVs work in Blender and how are they saved and used in other formats. From the first apply though, I’m very impressed with Blenders UV capability. The fact that I can drag verticies around on the UV map is a huge win for me.