Apple Watch – Real-Time Visualization – Unreal Engine 4 – Mk.I

Apple Watch – Real-Time Visualization – Unreal Engine 4 – MKI from Winston Patrick Brathwaite on Vimeo.

I reached a point of visual fidelity and functionality in my prior Apple Watch “Visualizer”, developed with Unity 5, that lead to me pursuing a parallel path with Unreal Engine 4 (UE4). That, and a general interest in learning UE4, lead me to developing this interactive visualization.

This demo features the Apple Watch data-set that I modeled and tessellated in Moment of Inspiration 3.0 (MoI 3.0), prepped, rigged, and animated in Autodesk Maya 2016, exported as a mixture of. FBX and .ABC (Alembic) files, and imported into UE4 (currently trialing 4.13.0 preview 3, which facilitated the ingestion of Alembic files). All runtime UI, functionality, and shading was developed using UE4’s Blueprint visual-scripting; not a single line of written code was needed on my part. Any textures or UI elements were developed using Adobe Illustrator CC and Adobe Photoshop CC.

My cursor was hidden from the recording so I will give a general explanation of the functionality of the demo in its current iteration.

After the start-up sequence/title screen fades, the watch is visible on its slow auto-rotation. Right-click and drag will allow full rotational freedom and the middle-mouse-wheel will enable clamped focal-length adjustment (zoom-in and zoom-out). Holding the right-mouse-button, without dragging, will hold the watch in place, essentially pausing the auto-rotation. The auto-rotation can also be halted with the hotkey P.  The various swatches horizontally arranged at the bottom of the screen (21 in total) will swap band colours on mouse-over; the current selection will be denoted by name at the top of the screen. Either of the band release buttons at the rear of the case can be clicked, triggering the animation (Alembic support was vital for this particular animation) that dislodges the upper and lower bands, releasing them from the case. Clicking either of the band release buttons again will return the bands to their original position on the case. The digital crown can also be clicked but as of this current iteration, has no programmed functionality. Clicking the side button will show/hide the UI.

Future iterations will include selection of case materials, case sizes, watch series (Sport and Watch Editions), and perhaps other band series’ as well as a revised UI.



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