3D Campus Simulation
There is an ongoing project within the group to create a detailed 3D simulation of the ITB campus. The overall goal is to create an interactive 3D application which allows the user to navigate around the campus. It is aimed at prospective and new students at ITB in order to give them an engaging and fun way of learning about the layout of ITB i.e. where is the library building, where is the Students Union and so on.
The project commenced in 2003 when a final year student, Alan Pike, created a detailed 3DS Max model of the ITB campus. Alan subsequently worked at ITB for a summer period in order to further refine the model and add more detail. The output from this stage of the project was a 3DS Model and a VRML application which allows the user to move around the 3D model. If you have a VRML browser such as Cortona installed you can view this application by clicking on the link on the right-hand side of the screen. On the right you will also find a video created by Alan Pike of a fly-through of the ITB campus.
Further work was then done by Stephen Sheridan and Hugh McCabe to integrate the model into a physics based driving simulation program. The result of this was a stand-alone application that allows the user to drive a car around the campus model. This system was displayed at the official Institute opening in April 2004, and was demonstrated to invited guests, including the Minister for Education at the time, Noel Dempsey.
Recent work on this system has involved using the Unreal 2 game engine as a means of rendering, and interacting with, the model. At present a detailed interior model of one of our buildings, the A block, has been succesfully ported to the Unreal environment by Graham Whelan. This provides a game-like simulation which we are exploring as a means of a base implementation for a system for fire safety training. This was demonstrated at the ITT2006 conference in Carlow, Ireland, in November 2006. A number of undergraduate students are currently working on extending this to a complete campus model in the Unreal engine.
McCabe,H., Smith,M., Kelly,G., Pike,A., and Sheridan,S. Inform, Entertain and Educate: Developing and Exploiting Virtual 3D Campus Models, Sixth Annual IT&T; Conferece, Carlow, Ireland, October 2006