Halloween at rooom: Creation and animation of a 3D bat

AR Bat

Perhaps you already know "Herbert", our house skeleton, who danced through our corridors last fall? Well, this year it will be a little more "spooky". Hendrik and his 3D development team come up with new ideas for holidays like Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween and Christmas every year and delight us with cool 3D content. Our Halloween highlight this year: the spooky bat "Sherlock". But how did Sherlock and the awesome flapping of his wings come to life? In this article we provide you with some exciting insiders of our 3D developer pro's. 

The Creation of our Augmented Reality Bat

Everything starts in an empty, virtual 3D environment on the computer screen of our developers. To create something, different nodes are set - the so-called vertices. Always three of these vertices are connected and form a kind of wireframe. This creates the shape of our bat. This must then be textured. That means colors, shine, structure and reflection properties are described on this grid. A surface is created - the dark shaded fur, the leathery wing skin and of course the dark shimmering eyes. Then the light that is to fall on our 3D bat is calculated and stored. Finally everything is uploaded together into the empty space. But our Sherlock can't flap his wings in a raised position yet.

The animation of the 3D model

For the wing beat we have to concentrate on the wire mesh of both wings. In such an animation, practically each vertex (a single node) is assigned to a new position. This would mean an incredibly large amount of data. To avoid this, a kind of virtual bone is drawn through the wings of the figure. The respective vertices are now assigned to the bone and connected to it. When the wings are lifted, all points connected to the bone move with it. There is a transition between the two wings, just like in the human skeleton. The influences that the movement of the upper body and head between them can now have on the wings are defined on the 3D model. This relationship is fixed after the definition and can be recalled again and again. A so-called parent-child relationship results. This means that when the wings are lifted, the body and head move as well, but this is not the case the other way round. To get to the actual wing beat, the lifting of the wings and the classical fluttering of bats is defined. Once the positions are specified, they are stored in the system and can be retrieved - the bat can now be placed in the picture with a magnificent flapping of its wings.

🦇🎃 Happy Halloween to you all! 🎃🦇