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Development of Interactive 3D Virtualization System

Pangantihon, Rodrigo Jr. S., Bolique, Roni Shamgar M., Bongcalas, Danilo Jr. A.
1

University of Mindanao, Matina, Davao City, pangantihon.rodrigojr@gmail.com


2
University of Mindanao, Matina, Davao City, sham921@gmail.com
3
University of Mindanao, Matina, Davao City, danieldane003@gmail.com

AbstractThis technical research aimed to present a


development of an interactive virtualization system that will
allow the user to walkthrough, see and interact with a fully threedimensional model of the University of Mindanao. With touch
screen as input device, the system aimed to assist users by
locating specific places in the university such as classrooms,
laboratories, offices, buildings and other facilities. The study was
made possible with the use of 2D and 3D authoring software,
namely: Google SketchUp, Autodesk Maya 2012, Adobe Flash
Professional CS5, Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended, Adobe
Illustrator CS5, ShaderMap Pro, Scaleform Launcher, and
Unreal Development Kit (UDK). The creation of the 3D models
followed a set of steps: first, modeling the buildings and facilities
through the use of polygons and other geometrical elements, then
the texturing and lighting stages, finally, the animation and
rendering of the object in a scene. Function test was conducted
and results showed that the objectives of this study were met.

was also performed to check the functionality of the


developed system.
III. MATERIALS AND METHODS
The method of the study employed was applied research
since it involved the application of three-dimensional
modeling, graphics, design and animation in developing the
interactive system.
The procedures undertaken in this study were preparing 3D
models, creating graphical user interface, importing 3D
models and GUI to UDK, building the virtual university in
UDK, programming and software compilation, integrating the
GUI to the system and conducting function test. The
simplified block diagram of the system is shown in Figure 1.

Keywords3D virtualization system; University of Mindanao;


Interactive

I. INTRODUCTION
In modeling, an interactive visualization system offers the
possibility of watching what the modeled object will look like
in real-time and in real-space. The advantage of this
technology is that the user can see and even feel the shaped
surface under his/her fingertips. Three-dimensional design
tools have revolutionized the way architects and engineers
design buildings; in recent years, parametric modeling has
enabled building teams to impart weight tolerances and other
intelligent information to a finished design (Adams, 2009).
Locating places is a difficult thing to do especially in
University of Mindanao being the largest private university in
this southern part of the country. Hence, this study is of
utmost importance to new students, transferees and visitors as
this shall serve as virtual 3D navigator and locator to certain
areas they want to go to. The navigation was even made easier
with the use of touch screen device. The systems were to be
installed at entrance and exit points, and other significant
areas in the university.
II. OBJECTIVES
The main objective of the study was to develop an
interactive 3D virtualization system that will serve as the
university electronic tour guide providing assistance to new
students, transferees, visitors and others who are not familiar
to the university premises. Specifically, this research aimed to
develop a virtual campus locator that will integrate a
touchscreen module for convenient navigation. A function test

Fig. 1. Block Diagram of the System

In figure 1, the user will interact the system by navigating


the user interface through the touchscreen device. The system
will respond to the users request through animation showing
path going to the intended destination or location.
The tools used in this study were Google SketchUp for 3D
modeling, Autodesk Maya 2012 for UV mapping, Adobe
Flash Professional CS5 for animating the user interface,
Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended for manipulating graphics
and texture editing, Adobe Illustrator CS5 for creating menu
buttons, ShaderMap Pro for generating normal maps for 3D
object textures, Scaleform Launcher to test the user interface,

and Unreal Development Kit (UDK) to develop and compile


the software application for the system.
IV. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Presented in this section are the results and findings of the
study. Furthermore, the limitations of the findings are also
thoroughly discussed.
For the texture of the 3D models, there were significant
points being considered in this study to make sure they work
properly. First, a high-resolution texture file was needed;
otherwise, the textures were going to look blurry or blown-up.
Second, tiling was thoroughly checked to ensure that when
multiples of the same textures were placed next to each other,
they will flow seamlessly without any lines or cut-offs
between textures. Third, square textures typically worked best
in this study since they were easiest to tile, although there
were some rectangular textures that can tile together.
In this study, Adobe Photoshop was used primarily to edit
and crop the textures while ShaderMap Pro software was used
to generate normal map. Before importing the new texture to
UDK, the researchers made sure that it fitted within the power
of 2 rule, or else importing wont be possible. The file type
used was .bmp to create texture file type.
For texture mapping, this research utilized 3D authoring
software such as Autodesk Maya and 3Ds Max since these
have the UV Mapping features. The exported FBX file format
from Google SketchUp had only one UV channel, and UDK
required two UV channels to create two ways of texture
mapping. In order to meet the UDK requirement, adding one
UV channel to the 3D model was done. In adding the second
UV channel, importing the FBX file format to Autodesk Maya
was performed.
In user interface, after editing and applying the final
touches to a graphic menu buttons and background using
Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, the file was imported to
Adobe Flash Pro. A third party plug-in package from UDK
called Scaleform was needed to install and configure inside
the Adobe Flash Pro in order to sync the user interface to
UDK framework. Since the function of the user interface is
looping to the main menu, a series of case condition codes
were implemented to satisfy the required user interface
function. Figure 2 shows the menu buttons of the system.

Figure 2. Menu Buttons of the System

As shown in figure 2, the system is capable to show to the


user the simulated path in going to his or her desired location.
The menu buttons, which the user can choose from, are (1) BE
Building which houses the University Laboratories, College of
Engineering, College of Accounting Education, University
Library, etc. (2) GET Building for College of Teachers
Education, College of Criminal Justice Education, etc., (3)
DPT Building for College of Arts and Sciences, College of
Nursing Education, College of Architecture and Fine Arts, etc.
and (4) Other Buildings for Elementary and High School,
College of Hospitality Education, College of Forestry,
gymnasium, etc. User will interact the system with the use of
the touch panel.
For scripting and animation, Matinee was used to view the
specified location which the user would like to see. Matinee is
a predefined UDK feature that could do a cinematic function
and allow the developer to control the path of the camera.
When the user clicked the user interface menu button, the
matinee cinematic function will run towards the desired
location or facilities that the user would like to view.
During the system development process, the 3D model
object inside the UDK framework consumed a lot of memory
that made the desktop computer worked slowly. In contrast,
during the software compilation it produced small sizes of
executable file type.
Hardware Requirements of the System
The compiled system was installed in a desktop computer
with the hardware specifications (IntelRCoreTM i5 CPU 650 at
3.20 GHz (4 CPUs), 64 bit Windows 7 Ultimate, 6 GB RAM,
NVIDIA GeForce 9400 GT and 1366 x 768 pixels monitor
resolution). Compilation of the system software took 50
seconds and produced 320 MB executable file type using
UDK Frontend software compiler. It took 74 seconds to install
the executable file type to the same specs of computer. On the
other hand, the compiled software executable file type failed
to install in computers with lower video card specs.
Integrating and configuration the touchscreen module to
the system was generally successful, though, minimal errors
were experienced such as unstable display coordinates and
unresponsive touchscreen function in some occasions. The
researchers were able to configure it through the software
bundle for the touchscreen. Figure 3 shows the prototype of
the interactive system displayed during the conduct of
functionality test.

Figure 4. Sample of Specific Room Viewed


Figure 3. The Prototype of the System

System Function Test

V. CONCLUSIONS

The researchers conducted a function test of the developed


interactive 3D virtual system by navigating the touchscreen.
The results were shown below.
Table 1. Results of Function Test
Tapped Button
1.

Display

2.

BE
Building
BE 216

3.

BE 222

4.

GET
Building
AVR1

TEC 217
DPT
Building
H1W

H2U
Other
Building

5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

Remarks
Successfully displayed the menu
buttons
Successfully showed the room and
route
Successfully showed the room and
route
Successfully displayed the menu
buttons
Successfully showed the facility and
route
Missed to tap the right button
Successfully displayed the menu
buttons
Successfully showed the room and
route
Touchscreen error
Successfully displayed the menu
buttons

During the function test, Figures 4 and 5 are sample


interfaces.

The result of this research study was an interactive threedimensional virtualization system of the University of
Mindanao that runs successfully. The users were able to
navigate the system easily and locate desired classroom,
laboratory and other facilities. The system was able to respond
to users request by displaying correct path of the desired
location.
Future possible enhancement and improvement may
include: to integrate mini-map to serve as supplementary
guide to the user, to have the capability to print-out mini-map
of the desired route, to have the capability of selecting starting
point options and to offer next route from the last location
viewed, and to add voice command feature for more
convenient navigation.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The researchers would like to thank to all who, in one way
or another, had contributed to the successful completion of
this thesis and most of all, especially to God.
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Figure 4. Sub Menu Button for User Interface

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