WPImap Campus Tour
Sponsored by WPI Admissions Office
- Alex Schwartz
- Beth Beinke
- Joseph Farbrook
The project, which has been fully sponsored and condoned by WPI Admissions, consists of a public kiosk that allows prospective and current students alike to interact with the 3-D campus model. In a slight shift from the Halo map, this use of the WPImap is more of an informational and exploratory purpose than its predecessor. Participants can walk up to the kiosk, grab the joystick and trackball, and navigate around the 3-D environment in real time, viewing all of the buildings and campus landmarks in photorealistic detail.
Another big change is the introduction of an interactive 3-D tour. Outside of the virtual Bartlett Center, players will notice a Segway human transport vehicle. Upon entering the vehicle, a full tour of campus begins, complete with a virtual tour guide and a scripted path through all of the academic and residential buildings on campus. Watch the movie here.
The first most noticeable change from the old map of campus is the level of detail. The amount of detail has really been stepped up, with a more than 1,400 percent increase in the amount of polygons compared to the previous halo model. With hundreds of new textures at resolutions as high as 2048x1024 pixels, the campus looks better than ever. Older seamless textures have been redone and made more realistic, and loads more new ones have been added. In order to optimize such a high-detail environment, the Unreal Engine 2 has been utilized to its fullest. In a departure from massive merged meshes, each building was created from the ground up as a separate static mesh in Autodesk's Maya. This allows for proper engine culling and enables better performance from the engine.