PC VR Oil Platform
This was definitely one of the biggest projects I`ve ever done in my professional career. The mission was to fully translate to virtual reality an ENTIRE Oil Platform from a major Oil Company in Brazil. This Virtual Reality Experience will be used to train new operators on how the day to day activities in the Oil Platform takes place, without the need to visit the platform on site, because for each operator the cost to take an chopper to the oil platform at the sea+ insurances is very high.(~$ 2.500 for each person).
The task involved 21 artists and ~4 programmers (sorry guys, if I don`t remember everyone). I came aboard on the project on september 2014 and left on March 2017. My main task was to develop the pipeline for the whole project, on how to create each asset, high poly>low poly>uvs>atlas>textures>integration>lightning and shading - and also train a group of 15 junior artists on how to do it, because none had prior knowledge to realtime work. It was a very hard project from the start because the client wanted the VR Environment to be as close as possible to the real one, so part of the team went to the Oil Platform and filmed everything using GoPros cameras. And that footage guided us untill the end of the project.
I also had to train everyone on digital sculpting with ZBrush, so we spent 8 saturdays together to develop the skills on the team to create the characters needed for the VR Experience. When I left the company we were in the process of integrating the characters on the environments.
We finished the first version using Unity 4.6, then migrated to Unity 5 using a 4 screen stereo cavern. After that, we migrated the whole project to Unreal Engine+Oculus Rift.
It was an huge undertaking, so I created a pipeline to make sure I could Art Direct each asset made by the team (firstly using redmine, then later on visual studio team foundations + marmoset toolbag), then teached a small group of seniors to act as Scene Assembly for each room of the Oil Platform, then I took each scene and made the look development, lightning and shaders. For the Unity project we had several limitations regarding lightning, so we baked everything and used Get Real to put the project inside the stereo cave. Later on the graphics API changed because they bought another stereo cave for the project delivery and I was already out of the company.
After we finished that version, four of the most proeminent guys at the team (David, Pedro, Roger and Bruno) made the change to Unreal and there the project finally started to look veeeeeeery good, as We were able to use better Lightning and PBR shaders on every scene and asset.(we textured everything since day one using Substance Painter so it was a very easy task to just export new texture sets).
Here you can see some videos and screenshots of the Unreal Scene , the assets developed by the team and some screenhots in Unity.
We had almost 3.000 assets on the engine in the first year and six months production cycle, running 34 sprints of 2 weeks using SCRUM. The first 8 months were spent in training the team, developing the first Unity version, then the last of it we used migrating the project to Unreal. A lot of people came and went during the project and after the first year I had to take the Lead as Project Owner untill my departure in 2017.
It was a very nice opportunity and I've made alot of friends during the process.
I would also like to thank Rodrigo Dias Carvalho, the VR Coordinator at the time who hired me and trusted me with such a huge and expensive project
You can see a media post regarding the project here:
To finish this article, I would like to use one of my favorites phrases from Michelangelo, that allways guided me during production of this project:
"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark."
So, allways aim high guys!
Operational Manager: Mauricio Ogawa
Chief of Technology: Vilmar Oliveira
VR Coordinator: Rodrigo Dias Carvalho
Oil and Gas Consultant: Marcea Dórea
Project Owner: Gustavo Freitas
Project Owner / Art Direction: Renan Leser de Medeiros
Lead Programmer: Marcio Freitas / Tiago de Souza Mota
Senior Programmer: Erisvaldo Marinho
Senior Programmer: William de Paula
Junior Programmer: Marlon Braga
Junior Programmer: Vinícius Guerra Cardoso
UX/UI Designer: Marília Ribeiro
Senior 3D Artist: Vinícius Cupello
Senior 3D Artist: Victor Barbosa
Senior 3D Artist: Carlos Costa
Senior 3D Artist: Thiago da Cunha Bezerra
3D Artist: Bruno Cruz
3D Artist: Eduardo Mileipp
Junior 3D Artist: David Ataualpa
Junior 3D Artist: Pedro Paschoal
Junior 3D Artist: Anderson Malheiros
Junior 3D Artist: Rennan Sousa
Junior 3D Artist/Animator: Anselmo Rabelo
Junior 3D Artist: Diego Mendes
Junior 3D Artist: Roger Fernandes
Junior 3D Character Artist: João Vinícius
Junior 3D Artist: Charles Campello
Junior 3D Artist: Thay Cordeiro
Junior 3D Artist: Juliana Ozorio
Junior 3D Artist: Amanda Salles
Junior 3D Artist: Isabela Tostes
Renan Leser
Lead Artist @ Samsung VR - Artist