Homework 5, due Monday, Oct 15 (before class time).

Your assignment this week: using the 3D renderer that we used last week, make a model of a wheeled vehicle. It has to actually function. At the very least, the wheels should turn. In this assignment I'm looking for visual design ideas, and for creativity. Remember, you're not constrained by physical reality here - you get to design whatever vehicle that your mind can conceive of.

Show me your ideas of styling, and of form and function going together. For example, your vehicle can have one wheel, or twenty wheels, but its overall design should be consistent with the number of wheels. Your design can even start from one huge wheel, which surrounds the driver. But if you do that, you might want to make the wheel transparent, to avoid pesky blind spots.

Think about where the driver sits, and of some reasonable way (which can be simple) to represent the driver, and maybe even passengers and luggage.

You might want to allow the user to interact with your vehicle. Put it on a track and allow the user to use the mouse and/or arrow keys to drive it. Or the user can hit keys or click on buttons to toggle the lights, to lift the hatch, or to make little helicopter rotors come out of the roof and spin, for that cool hovering-in-the-air effect.

Feel free to give your vehicle some self-steering capability if you're feeling ambitious. Maybe you can make it smart enough to stay on the road by itself, using the same negative feedback principle I showed in class with my little "Braitenberg" vehicle: if the front right wheel goes off the road, steer left; if the front left wheel goes off the road, steer right.

If you want to show off both styling and steering, think about allowing the user to toggle the field of view (eg: the user hits a key or clicks on a button that calls the setFOV method to alternate between a wide-angle view and a close-up view).

Use transparency well: maybe for the windshield; maybe for glass tires or a rippling protective force field; maybe for those four helium balloons that magically inflate when the driver wants the vehicle to float away. Or maybe just to visualize the headlight beams (in which case, remember to use setGlow). You might also want to use noise texture to suggest smoke effects, etc.

Come up with your own ideas. Try to convey a consistent "mood". Is your vehicle funny, scary, futuristic, impressive, poetic, pathetic? The most important thing is to start with a strong concept and then to get your idea across clearly. When people see your vehicle, they should get the basic theme of it right away.