Project Description

In 2011 I found myself working on a JISC funded project titled SPACE an acronym for simulated performing arts creative environment, the aim of which was to create an application that allows performing arts students and possibly industry professionals to quickly mock up a theatre venue, stage set, lighting rig, place rag-doll actors and some special effects within the 3d application environment. The application would not only allow users to import their own 3d models, save project files, edit materials and create basic geometry but to also cue lighting, rag-doll positions and scenery movement creating a playback feature with which they could step through and convey their ideas to others. Most importantly the application would allow student users to learn, develop and educate themselves in the practicalities of theatre design, which under normal circumstances due to health and safety, cost and resource implications they often receive little experience.

Having trained as a theatre technician/lighting designer and worked in many professional theatre environments during my younger years this project was a good match to my existing knowledge base and it also felt good to be delivering something to support that particular creative sector. I hoped that the final application would be a easy tool for users to mock-up their ideas (similar in some ways to Google Sketch Up) but to provide enough visual quality and stock library items to make the application also useful to professionals.

Due to heavy time constraints at the time and consideration that this project has to work within a Windows and Mac environment, I had a choice of trying to write the application from scratch or trying to utilise Unity3d to take care of the leg work. Ultimately although I spent slightly longer working around certain structures of the Unity-Mono Scripting Environment it is so much quicker to develop with a tried and tested feature rich platform than to attempt to write a custom environment/engine from a range of free existing graphic libraries.

Supported Platforms : Windows, Mac OS

The Space Project was completed in September 2011, and can be downloaded below:-