The Real Project

The real project behind this Blender-to-Jet effort is to simulate the Walt Disney World Mark VI monorail system in a 3D digital world much as model railroaders simulate real railroads in a miniature physical world. This is one of the main reasons for choosing the Jet engine--it also powers Auran's Trainz project, a truly ambitious professional 3D digital railroading endeavor.

The initial steps have concentrated on converting a rough first draft of the Mark VI trains to the 3D Jet environment. The initial model is based on the components shown below.

Note 1: this is a personal, not-for-profit endeavor that is not supported by the Disney organization in any way. The designs of the Mark IV trains, the term Walt Disney World, the Walt Disney World emblem, and just about everything else you can think of about these vehicles and their supporting systems are copyrighted or otherwise protected by the Walt Disney Company, Bombardier (who built the Mark VI trains), and possibly other companies as well. Furthermore, I'm not kidding about this being a rough first draft of the initial student project. These models are a training exercise for learning Blender, and do not represent the accuracy of the final models. Please do not download or otherwise use this image, as it doesn't accurately represent anything beyond my initial efforts at moving nontrivial models between Blender and Jet.

Note 2: Due to probable Disney copyright restrictions, the public version of this project will be changed to use the orginal MGM Grand/Bally's Casino monorail in Las Vegas, which was based on the Disney Mark IV monorail. This will require slight modifications to the cab shape and different skins for the cab and the cars, but will be essentially the same overall model.

Last updated: 01/13/2002

The Initial Models

The following image gives some indication of the type of model I would like to handle, but does not include any shadows.

Despite the obvious problems with shading and alignment differences between various parts of the model, it's a good enough start to test the required conversion routines. The final model should include a complete interior and animation to open and close all the doors simultaneously.

Progress so far

The following image shows the current model as imported into a simple Jet environment. Backgrounds, lighting, camera angles, etc. are different from the Blender shot above, and are not yet at all realistic. The structure of the trains and the supporting beams are reasonably accurate, and the shadows look pretty good even though they are not yet smoothed on the underside of the model.

So far, I have succeeded with the following:

I have yet to accomplish the following in Jet:

While not as complex as the movable characters most people work with, this project includes most of the features need to build models in Blender and use them effectively in the Auran Jet engine.