What will become of 3D gaming engines when in the hands of new digital artists? You’ll get plenty of surprises and unexpected artwork. This is no ordinary California bicycle trip: it’s a trippy, Magical Mystery Tour in 3D, played as a game from a (real) stationary bike.
Reader Bince McKelvie writes to describe his project:
Lb to Sf via bike is an interactive installation/game that documents a bike trip my friend and I took from long beach to san francisco. The user rides a stationary bike through a the 3d world by pedaling forward and steering with the bike handle bars. The world consists of three mini games and a huge chunk of the california coast. I am going to be releasing a version that is playable on a computer without the hardware soon. It is made with the blender game engine, a bit of processing, a wii controller and the makingthings board.
By the way, if you happen to be near CalArts in Valencia, the piece will be exhibited there May 2-15.
With the exception of the (very affordable) Wii controller, this is all free and open source technology in the toolchain. In addition to Processing [site | cdmo tag], it’s a fascinating use of the Blender Game Engine. Not satisfied with being just a hugely-powerful, free and open-source, triple-platform (Mac/Windows/Linux) 3D design tool and video composition tool, Blender also has a real-time engine built in – something well worth considering if you’re looking for a live 3D performance and installation environment. That’s already gotten attention for this piece from the excellent Blender blog BlenderNation.
The 3D models and physics are sometimes a bit rough around the edges, but I actually rather like that effect: in a world of look-alike, big budget 3D creations, I can imagine a renaissance of “outside art” for 3D.
Hope to have more details on this and the tools soon.