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Is this the right place to ask for help?

Hi all. Sorry, but I’m that guy. I have nothing to do with gaming… usually. I’m a machine designer, and I’ve been given the “simple” task of creating an interactive VR experience surrounding one of our machines. This will be used as a sales tool, and possibly as training down the road. I started working with Autodesk Stingray a few years ago, simply because we are an Autodesk customer. With A LOT of help, I managed to make a “walk through” of one of our systems, and a fly through using a predetermined camera path, all exported from 3ds Max. Both of these had no physics in them whatsoever, you could walk right through everything. Not that that isn’t fun… but now we want the objects to be more interactive. We need to be able to bump into them, tough them and (hopefully) eventually be able to turn handles and push buttons. So far, for this, Stingray has been a maddening exercise in frustration and let down, and the absolute silence from the support people at Autodesk (normally great, btw), has driven me here.

I’ve looked at the first person template, and played around with importing my own objects as .fbx files. I can already, in less than a day, see that this is going to work much better. But I’m going to need some help along the way, and I’m hoping that this is a patient and understanding community. So, my first question (should have asked this first) is: am I in the right forum to ask specific questions about building my sim? If not, what would be the best place to go?

TIA

Just going to move your thread over to the AR/VR section, they should be able to help you there! :slight_smile:

Can you be more specific about which problem you are trying to solve or what exactly you need help with? Otherwise it is very difficult to provide any guidance.

@vr_marco Hello. Thank you for responding, and I’m sorry I didn’t get back sooner. I’ve been around the block a few times on this and finally am making some progress thanks to your You Tube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKR8ogonD68

I have been able to reproduce this, and I think this may be the way for us to go. So, I do have some specific questions moving forward. I’ll try to be as specific as possible, but please note I may not know the right terminology. These are all based on the video mentioned above.

  1. I wonder if it is possible to change the input on the controllers (Using Oculus Touch controllers), so that the trigger opens and closes the fists instead of the left joystick, which is also controlling the walking.

  2. Is there a way to set the direction of walking to follow the user’s view in the HMD, as opposed to using the right joystick, or maybe some combination of the two for more natural feeling movement?

  3. Last (for now… I’m sure I’ll be back), are there any other “skins” for the character that are more human looking? Maybe something downloadable some place?

Again, thank you! Your video has saved me a few months of fighting with Autodesk’s 3ds Max Interactive, where it seems that in first person they prefer it if you walk through objects. It seems they fear that if you enable the physics in first person VR, you will cause motion sickness. I get a lot queasier walking through walls than bumping into them!

Chris Benner
CAD Department Supervisor

Does anyone have any suggestions on these questions?

Chris, here some answers:

  1. Yes, you can use the trigger to open/close the fist. That requires using poses and a 1D blend space. If you check out the standard VR template you will find an example of this technique to animate the VR hands.

  2. Yes. You can use the forward vector of the HMD to determine the direction of motion. That will result in a movement that follows the direction of sight. Be aware that some people find this way of moving sickening after some time.

  3. Sure. You can download characters from sites like Mixamo and use them in place of the UE4 mannequin. Mind the fact that if the skeletons are not compatible with the one used by the UE4 official character, you will not be able to reuse the animations and you will have to create/import and use new ones.

Hope this helps. Your questions span multiple topics and technical aspects, so it is not simple to offer quick solutions.

Cheers,
Marco.

@vr_marco

Sorry for the late reply. This is not my full time job, so I only get to work on this stuff once in a while. I get that these are not quick easy answers, but what you’ve given me is great. It tells me where to go look and figure this out. (if I ever have time that is).

Next week I will be attending Autodesk University in Las Vegas. I think someone from Unreal is going to be there. With any luck I can find them and get some more insights. In the meantime, thank you for being so helpful.

Chris

I would start with the VR template rather than the first person template as it has a great VR teleportation system built in that you can start with.

Check out this webinar on creating a product configurator using blueprints. Its excellent, a real technical deep dive on blueprints and developing interactions for products.https://youtube.com/watch?v=OwDF19laceg
In 4.21 support has been added for Oculus Avatars. These provide great animated hand models with finger position tracking using the capacitive touch pads on the the Oculus touch controllers.

It would be better to use teleportation for moving around rather than moving the player. As VR_Marco has pointed out it can be very sickening to move the camera using the thumbstick. Its pretty easy to set up collision on objects so that you cant teleport into them. Just set the collision preset under the details panel for the object to “BlockAll”

Check out the link below for more tutorials aimed at the Enterprise use cases.
https://academy.unrealengine.com/

Try and link up with the Unreal Studio team at AU. They are really helpful with these kinds of projects.
https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/studio

This plugin may be useful. There are interactable levers included that you could probably adapt for your use case.