You know it’s pretty sad when your parents have to beg. But it’s shameful when they’re begging you for work you do on a daily, if not a nightly basis!
So, since they’re heading out to do a show in California in a week, I had to get something out there. I’d intended to just throw up another iTunes coverflow app, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Then I thought that doing a triple carousel viewer would be cool, but thought it would be 3x’s as bad as all the other carousel 3D gallerys that keep hitting the web. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fine way to present gallery’s, I just wanted to do something that was interesting and possibly different.
I’d had this idea to do an “outer gallery” for a while, so this was the perfect time to flush it out a bit. The concept is that instead of being an “inside gallery” that you walk through, this is an “outer gallery” that conforms to the way you might rotate it around for the best view. You’ll notice that the paintings have a particular rotation that would indicate the best viewing angle. As you rotate around, other paintings and pictures are revealed and are already in the rotation you’re currently at.
One thing that makes this work is that Z rotation never happens. You can invert the model for sure, but it never “rolls” on the Z axis, and that keeps the model at angles that make sense as you rotate around. It’s not a “new” way, it’s really very close to how 3D studio Max or Maya handle the free rotation – just without the ability to roll
But because of limiting that Z roll, the model never gets to a rotation that’s completely out of control or upside down and controlling it with the mouse seems pretty intuitive to even the lowest end users I’ve tested with (you know, graphic artists, and lead singers). I’m just kidding, I love graphic artists.
It’s not perfect, and I would like to clean up a few things. I’d really like to flush out this concept further, but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out initially. All told, it’s 3340 polygons and runs pretty smoothly. The biggest hurdle was creating an intuitive structure for this and then dealing with planes sitting over the top of the center model and fixing sorting issues. What keeps this demo running smoothly is the fact that I don’t have to rely on some run-time tessellation. Because of that, I have much more head room in terms of # of poly’s in the scene.