Clutch was tasked with developing elements of the debut of International Trucks new MV-Series medium duty trucks at the NTEA trade show in Indianapolis. We needed to produce something that would excite NTEA attendees and demonstrate the versatility of of the platform but were limited by the confines of a crowded convention hall and the difficulties acquiring and transporting several new trucks outfitted with various configurations. Our solution was to develop an experience in virtual reality.
Since it's debut at NTEA along with its subject, the MV, the VR experience has traveled to numerous locations and conventions throughout the United States and Canada. By later modifying the original experience a linear experience of the features of the MV were rendered out of Unity as a 360 video. This 360 video allowed those with a VR headset or a phone to experience the MV and the flexibility of the platform without having to travel to a dealership.
All of the R&D, C# programming in Unity, shader building, and development and implementation of the interactive components of the VR experience were my responsibility.
An important goal of the experience for International was to educate the attendees on the features of both the interior and exterior of the new MV. This introduced the potential problem of moving the user in and out of the truck or possibly having two experiences. My solution to keeping it a single experience and avoid the cumbersome process of moving in and out of the truck was to have a disembodies dash that was configurable, users could control the truck as though they were seated in the truck, and could be beckoned and placed as the used wished. The user could interact with the dash as though they were seated within the truck while seeing the effects of their interaction on the exterior of the truck.
A major hurdle we were confronted with was the extreme size of the meshes of our high resolution MV geometry once converted from CAD. I developed a pipeline using Houdni, Modo, Substance Painter, and Simplygon to process our models and prepare them for import to Unity to run at the high frame rate necessary for VR. I mentored and lead a small team of artists to producing assets within this new pipeline.
One more bit of detail that was very important to international are the textures on the dash. We received physical samples (plastic plates with the textured patterns) of all the textures used on the interior of International Trucks. Using a technique of lighting the samples from multiple angles I was able to build a library of bump and normal maps of all the textures and assign them to all the correct panels in the dash.
Roles & Responsibilities
Technology & Innovation Lead
Research & Development
Unity C# Development
Collaboration w/ Creative
Interactive Experience Production
Asset Conversion for Real-Time
As part of the reveal of the MV-Series Clutch produced a reveal video. All of the real-time assets used in the VR experience were used in the video but were rendered through the typical VFX render pipeline.