Our goal for this program was to empower the youth with a blend of technical skills and empower communities in issues related to quality of life, environmental justice, health, and education in order to identify and implement solutions for how pollution continues to enter the Lower Duwamish River and how it impacts our community’s health. The youth were tasked with 3D modeling representations create simple virtual scenarios to upload into an interactive scene, made available on mobile devices.
Using the free 3D software Blender, the youth learned about 3D viewports, hot keys, various techniques of modeling, modifiers, object properties, materials and a plethora of other tools from instructional videos and got some hands-on experience with laptops and other gear to apply the basics of mesh modeling, design, and optimization.
In our real world setting scenario, each of our youth modeled several objects to highlight different sources of pollution around the Lower Duwamish River and with some light animation, they were able to display how their objects affected the community.
Using the candy unwrapping method, we UV unwrapped, downloaded public domain images, textures, HDRIs, and even created custom textures to add to our objects in the scene.
Keeping in mind the necessity for quick loading times and mobile device accessibility, the meshes were kept low poly, images compressed to usable KBs, and animation on a short loop to be optimized for fast loading times.