Ducati XDiavel Studio
Personal design project and
development of a real time
configurator focused on the
power of real time raytracing
in Unreal Engine.
- UX/Ui Design
- 3D Design
- Real time development
- Unreal engine
- Adobe XD
Ray tracing exploration
A Virtual real time studio for the Ducati XDiavel designed focusing on the power of ray trace reflections and developed with unreal engine 4
The ability to do “offline quality” has been a challenge for real-time technologies, that now thanks to the leap of Unreal engine ray tracing reflections simulations, built into the system, has been conquered.
For creatives and digital film makers is a huge accomplishment, the chance for the creativity to not be restricted by technology limitations.
Working around the problem
One of the biggest challenges was to develop the intro to the application.
Recreating the high end real time reflections can be developed with unreal engine, but when you are trying to create a specific effect, with moving light streaks reflecting on the reflecting elements of the motorcycle, is a whole different story.
Another challenge was to seamlessly connect the introduction to the actual “configurator”; I enjoyed the idea of having a fluid transition between the sections to emphasize the fact that the high end intro is real time just like the configurator.
The last challenge was again how to make the Ui elements all work together to present in
detail the Ducati DiavelX without taking attention away from the motorbike, the different environments and the ray trace within the scene.
Largo al factotum
As with previous projects being a designer my focus was more on the visual side of the development.
With this project I had to work with storyboarding, Ui design, Environment design, lighting, shading rendering, and scripting.
Started gathering references on Studio environments for motorbikes advertisements to build the indoor studio environments and given my background as a photographer, recreating the light setups was not an issue since I had already experience with working in a Studio.
No time for R&D
As a personal project I didn’t have any clients to answer to but myself and the users I recruited to get feedback.
I decided to give myself 4 weeks to complete the project, using only the knowledge I gained from previous project and experiences and withouth the use of online classes and courses but just short tutorials for ray trace reflections, to save time.
This meant that there wasn’t much time to do research and development, so whenever an issue or a roadblock presented itself there was the need to find a way to work around the problem and find a solution quickly, and a time saving solution as well.
As an Hypothetical a budget constraint was also set, this meant another level of challenge, not being able to get the resources I need externally.
Creatively speaking there was no constraint on the project.
Working in sequence
The working process started with the research of catalogue images, photoshooting and advertisement images for motorbike and car advertisements as reference for what I needed to do.
The research expanded to videos and commercials right at the beginning of thhe workflow.
With those I was able to prepare moodboards and concept to act as point of reference when recreating the environment online inside Unreal engine, and when shading the Ducati DiavelX properly with PBR shaders.
The most challenging part was to recreate the light streaks reflections on the body of the motorbire. To achieve that effect I created a plane with particles in after effects, color corrected it to obtain the glow and dialed the glow intensity to act according to the size and added repetition for the light streak.
I then distorted the image to make it work as animated texture inside a sphere, that I used as reflection map inside unreal engine. The rest was just a matter of working with sequencer to create the intro, and end with a camera blend to the start camera position, blending seamlessly intro and “configurator”
The project has been and interesting challenge, the coding part could use some more working and cleaning up, but given time constraints and the setbacks due to issues on getting the VFX just right I’m still glad on how it turned out to be.
As a result of this experience, I also learned the importance of being flexible and keeping an open mind to different solutions.
It’s likley that in a realistical scenario a client would ask for more refinement, but supposing this could be a middle step to present how the project is doing, it’s fair to say that an hypotetical client would be happy on how it’s evolving and would get a pretty good Idea on how it’s going to be.