5/5 Update

Dan was out of the country all week with spotty Internet. Nick worked with Kevin and fixed the bounding issues which were preventing us to move smoothly down the mountain surface. At this current point the geometry of the mountain is flat because of the above issues. Tomorrow during the day I plan on changing it so the skier can fly through the air going off jumps. Russ finished modeling the resort, including 1 room for exploration, a lobby, and lounge rooms off lobby.

Things still left to be done:


-make runs unique and more interesting

-draw ski model at bottom tangent of bounding sphere

-change between skis, snowboard, sled

-interface Wii Balance Board and potentially controller


Monday I (and maybe Dan) are planning to work most of the day, and Russ will work on addressing modeling issues.


************EDIT 5/7************

Dan was able to get navigation issues worked out and was able to get the Wii Fit Board connected. Current outstanding programming/interaction tasks are:

  • thresholding the wii fit board for navigation
  • adding an ability for the user to get back to the top of the mountain following a run
  • changing between skiis, snowboard, and sled
  • making the soccerball invisible and showing the skiis
  • adding particle effects? (snow, fire in the lodge)

Ski Mountain Update – 4/28

This week Russ began modeling the Mountain Resort. We decided that for an appropriate size for the resort (based on the size of our mountain) to make the structure approximately 200′ long x 50′ deep. Based on time limitations, we will keep it very simple to limit the time spent modeling the structure to focus on adding detailing elements to the mountain itself. The general structure of the resort is in place, but I will continue this week to model more rooms and work on applying surface finishes in more of the rooms. Because we want the participants to experience the ski hill more than the mountain resort, more of our focus is on the mountain itself at this time.

Nick worked this week on fine tuning the geometry of the mountain, including creating a flat surface on top where the users will start skiing, and the mountain resort will be placed. He also worked on making the 3 ski runs more individualized so that they vary in difficulty level. We are working on creating the jumps on the various runs, and working on trying to incorporate a half pipe (hopefully we can get it to work with our model!).

Dan worked on the code for our model this week since we were having some trouble getting it to launch on the LEL screen. We were finally able to get the person to move, though are fine tuning the settings and code to make it as realistic as possible.

Dan was able to figure out how to move and rotate the skiis and “attach” the user to the skiis. He is still working on figuring out the following:

-right now you can either rotate or move, you can’t do both (basically, we move by applying a force, and we rotate by applying a Euler translation, and for whatever reason the Euler translation seems to cancel out any applied force)

-when you attach the user to the skiis, they disappear

-there is still some bizarre bounding box stuff going on. I’m not sure if it is due to the way the mountain is represented (probably) or the skiis (also possible), but a lot of times the skiis will bounce of invisible things due to (I’m assuming) bounding box errors
(we are trying to address this as we fine tune the mountain model)



Ski Mountain Update 2

This week we continued to work on our design. We have decided to refine the design of the mountain to have a cabin embedded into the side of the mountain instead of at the peak. This will half the amount of objects and trails we need to create as now only one side of the mountain will be traversable. The inspiration for this is Mesa Verde:

We were able to get a semi-successful skiing interaction using just the physics engine. We still need to update this as the camera currently faces backwards. We are also exploring using additional methods for friction-less surfaces (e.g., ski-like bounding box instead of sphere). Hopefully this will allow us to have more realistic skiing interactions.


Over the course of the next week, we will integrate the Wii fit board into the interaction and will work on the bounding boxes. We will also work to make the runs more interesting by adding additional geometry so that the runs are not a constant angle. We will also begin work on the mountain resort. Our goal is to get the project into the CAVE by the end of the week.


Below are some images of the modeling work we have completed on the updated Mountain. This week I hope to customize the runs more, as well as work on modeling a mountain resort specific to our project. As Dan stated above, you can see that we cut the size of the mountain in half to limit extra items that needed modeling. In addition, I have changed out the trees to one that is much simpler and have grouped them, so hopefully this will make exporting the file much easier.

Update #1

This week we began modeling the geometry of the mountain and run #1. We also found a Ski Lift model that we will further customize to use in our project, and found a cabin to use as a place holder until we have time to model our own. Moving forward, I plan to continue modeling run #2, and start modeling the cabin at the top of the mountain. In addition, we are trying to explore ways to make the snow on the ground look fluffy and realistic, as opposed to a flat, painted on surface.

During class on thursday, we created a very basic shape to explore movement up and down an inclined ramp on the LEL screen to test basic movement properties as they will be applied to our mountain scenario. We hope to continue to explore this, and continue working on copying portions of the programing code that we also started working on.

Ski Mountain Project

Team: Snowball

Project Description:

In our project, we hope to create a mountain that looks and feels realistic in the virtual environment to simulate a true skiing experience. We plan to include a ski lift that takes the participant to the ski mountain where they can explore and see the scenery atop the mountain. They will then (hopefully) have their choice of multiple runs, in which they can choose to ski, snowboard, or sled. Successful completion of the challenge will be if the participant can reach the bottom of the mountain and avoid all obstacles they face on the ski path. After finishing, they can take the ski lift back to the top of the mountain to try the other runs (if time permits) and compare different virtual snow sports in the process.

  • —Create novel and enjoyable user experience
  • —Create a virtual interactive environment that simulates a real world skiing experience
  • Use appropriate balance of completely realistic environment and completely realistic user interface based on time limitations
  • —Possibly create multiple ski runs for the user to chose from
  • skill curve: sledding (using Fit Board) –> skiing (Fit Board and Wiimotes) –> snowboarding (jumps as obstacles)
  • User interaction through use of Wii equipment
  •      —Standing and leaning on Fit Board for Skis, Snowboard, or sled
  • —     Using Wii controllers as pole interface (make shift attachment to add realism?)
  • Customize runs to equipment
  • —Physical movements (leaning and arm movements) to increase or decrease speed
  • —Camera orientation while skiing
  • —Other skiers (in CAVE or virtually)
  • —If time permits, build ski resort for user to explore to also give interior environment (expand or contract depending on time)
User Goals:—
  • Ski down the mountain successfully without running into obstacles
  • —Increasing complexity of mountain and trail geometry
  • —Jumps
  • —Possible hindrances:
  1. —Fire
  2. —Flag gates to ski to through
  3. —Avalanche
  4. —Falling snow to reduce visibility?
  5. —Snowman?


  • User has a mountain run that they can ski down
  • —Goal zone for ending

Required Equipment:

  • —Wii Balance Board: —To serve as ski interface and possible snowboard interface
  • —Wii remote and numchuck: To serve as ski poles
  • —Virtual Lab: Track collisions / —Health indicator?
  • —Ski Boots?
  • —Likely start modeling with Sketch Up


—March 31 – April 6: organize and plan
—April 7 – April 13: start modeling run #1/cabin and explore software interaction
—April 14 – April 20: model run #2/skilift
—April 21 – April 27: Finish modeling by end of week & finish basic interaction for run #1
—April 28 – May 4: Continue working on programming & interaction for run #2
—May 5 – May 10: Complete Programming, finalize implementation and verify functionality