Before starting full project development, I thought it was necessary to test a range of features using Unity in order to access and deal with any potential issues that may delay the development process.
3D MODEL IMPORT TESTING
An effective method of model importing is required in order to display the custom 3D assets within my application. By following Unity’s official documentation, I learned that the models can easily be exported from Maya and imported into Unity through the use of .fbx files. I therefore carried out a test by importing an example model from Maya into my Unity application. After initially carrying out the test, I encountered a minor problem. In turn, the model mesh had successfully imported but the textures were missing. Thankfully after a quick Google search, I found the issue was related to a specific export setting within Maya that prevented the textures from being included in the export. I carried out a second model import test to confirm the Maya setting solution was the root cause of the problem. After repeating the import process once again, the model was successfully integrated into my Unity project and was easily positioned within the scene.
A major element of my interactive application will be simulation of the river Thames (a key element of London’s layout). An initial water simulation was therefore required before modelling the layout of the river itself. After reading through various online tutorials, I found the best way in which to test this feature was to firstly setup a Unity terrain to hold the water element. I therefore used Unity’s in built modelling tools to form a crater within the terrain to hold the water. These modelling tools can be used to form custom terrain layouts with varying depths that therefore enable developers to create terrain formations such as the River Thames. Regarding the water simulation, Unity usefully includes a prefabricated water element within its “environmental” object features. I added the water “prefab” within the scene to fill the hole modelled within the terrain element. Moreover, I tested numerous water particle settings such as wavelength to further replicate the behaviour if the river. In addition, following further online research I discovered that elements such as wind physics can also help form a more realistic representation of water characteristics and behaviour within Unity by for instance creating a flowing water current. I shall therefore look to implement these advanced effects within the final implementation of the water feature within my application.