RyanCorrell Programmer, Designer, and Dreamer of many things

Ryan Correll's Night at the Museum

In this Term 2 Udacity Project, I was tasked to create a virtual gallery exhibit called Night at the Museum. The theme of this exhibit is VR and Landscape Architecture. You are invited to tour the exhibit and see how landscape architects are benefitting or could benefit from using Virtual Reality.

The scope of this project is to focus on creating a playable and informative experience, and the proper documentation of the design process. From start to completion, this project took approximately 40 hours to complete.

This project had two scopes:

  1. How to best organize the gallery to have a good flow.
  2. How to best convey information quickly and to keep it fun.

I took inspiration from how real-world galleries are organized and came up with a room design that allows the user to navigate from display to display without getting lost. I also wanted them to be able to go where they wanted to and not follow the designated order, but the test subjects quickly found themselves too close to the displays and became disoriented. I went with Waypoints as a solution. This method allows the user to view the area without disorientation.

Unity has an extensive assets library that created some good inspiration as to what I wanted added to this design. Not only was I able to add items that help present ideas and concepts in a fun and cool way, but I was able to add items that helped connect the users to the scale of the room.

Night at the Museum


Process

Statement of Purpose: A Night at the Museum is a walk-through experience that provides information on Virtual Reality in the field of Landscape Architecture.

Sketches

The following sketches are of the initial concept for the A Night at the Museum.

Inspiration

The following images helped me design the gallery floorplan.

The design boards that were made for inspiration also became ideal pieces for the gallery itself.

User Testing

User Test 1

The first user testing session involved two people, JH and XM. They were both asked the following questions:

  1. How do you feel in relationship to the size of the room?
  2. Is there anything that doesn't feel right?
  3. Thoughts on your experience?
User: JH (5' 7")
  1. "The space feels like big and open like a museum."
  2. 2. "No, not really. I want to walk around."
  3. 3. "This was so cool. I can’t wait to see the final product."
User: XM (5' 2")
  1. "I feel really small. Like a mouse from Cinderella."
  2. "Why are there water bottles in the corners?"
  3. "It’s neat, but I felt really small."

Note about response #2: The "water bottles" were trash cans used as an attempt to give the user a sense of scale.

Discovery and Resolution: Decrease scale of room just a little to make the user feel bigger. Improve props to give better sense of scale.

User Test 2

The second user testing session involved one person, MF. The previous questions asked again to see if the similar outcome was corrected:
  1. How do you feel in relationship to the size of the room?
  2. Is there anything that doesn't feel right?
  3. Thoughts on your experience?
User: MF (6' 0")
  1. "I feel like the right height"
  2. "I know galleries feel pretty empty, but maybe add more furniture"
  3. "I got stuck in a wall and got way too close to some of the signs"

Discovery and Resolution: The Raycasting movement allowed the subjects to explore more than I would like. I switched to Waypoints to control the user’s movements. More furniture was added to bring more realism to the scene.

User Test 3

Test 3 was an open commentary from user XM, who was already familiar with the first phase of this application.

XM – "I like the voiceover, but the trash cans still look like waterbottles."

Resolution: I took another look at the trash cans, but everything appears to be in scale.

Breakdown of Final Piece

As with previous projects, user testing is key to developing a good product. The designer knows what the creation is supposed to do, but the user seem to find the things that were overlooked, or unintended.

Typically, gallery spaces tend to be large and open. This may have been a factor in some of the subjects concern about feeling too small.

The iteration of testing and revisions created the version in its final form.

You begin at the entrance to the exhibit. Waypoints lead you to an introduction display. Clicking on the display starts the voice over direction to use the waypoints to make your way through the gallery. Moving down the row of exhibits, you are introduced to how VR can benefit all aspects of landscape architecture.


Conclusion

This was an open-ended project designed to explore what the student has learned and how to implement features that might be new to them.

Next Steps

I am pleased with what I learned from this project. The big thing I learned is that I still know very little and look forward to my continued education. I was able to use my knowledge and experience in Voice Over as well as my experience in the Landscape Industry. Blender was a new addition to my beginner skill set and I look forward to learning more. My focus needs to go toward lighting and Blender.

Additional Work

Portfolio website: http://ryancorrell.com

Video Sources

AR Topographic Map - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ki8UXSJmrJE
3D Flyby - https://landscapedevelopment.com/

Image Sources

Cavalleri
EJB Designs
Yandex
Knoll Landscape Design
Quora
UC Davis
American Society of Landscape Architects
Turf Magazine
Brightview Landscape
Sketchup Artists, Daniel Tal
UntappedCities.com
Landwell Inc.
VR Gardens App
HMC Architects
Lucas Landscaping
Dezeen Magazine
Lanzhou

Portfolio website: http://ryancorrell.com

Unity Information:

[Unity LTS Release 2017.4.4](https://unity3d.com/unity/qa/lts-releases?version=2017.4)
[GVR SDK for Unity v1.100.1](https://github.com/googlevr/gvr-unity-sdk/releases/tag/v1.100.1)
[iTween](https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/tools/animation/itween-84) v2.0.9
Designed for Android 4.4 and up