This post will show you have to create a HUD interface for a driver’s dashboard.
For the attendance at the 2-Day Design Thinking workshop at VERN’ University in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, I have to do some ‘pitch video’ homework. The homework’s content will be a short animation of our ‘created product’. It is called ICCA (Intelligent Cycle Collision Avoidance).
Whenever a cyclist approaches the car the driver’s dashboard will indicate the cyclist somewhere around the car at a very accurate position.
Here is the short 5 seconds animation of the HUD interface to give the tester a better understanding on how the feature works. This short animation is just a small part of the pitch video which has to be created for the homework.
As you can see there is a round rectangle at the center of the animation and two circles around it. The round rectangle indicates the car itself whereas the circles indicate different radii.
When a red dot approaches the outer radius the warning in the center of the car starts to blink and glows as long as the red dot in in the center of the outer radius.
How This Animation Is Created
The animation is of course created with Blender. In this case it is Blender 2.8 in the most recent blender version 2.80.72 from 2019-05-27. Remember it is not recommended to use this version in production projects!
For the circles and the round rectangle I used a bezier curve (CarShape) and two bezier circles (Radius and Radius.001) and modified them to my needs. To give them a 2D shape I applied to the bezier curve a bevel object (CarPlane). This bevel object is a simple bezier line, see the picture below.
For the animation of the red dots a simple ‘path’ is used. The red dots are using the ‘follow path’ constraint and where animatied by the ‘offset’ regulation.
Material and Composition
Because there is no light in the scene all shapes use emission materials. The background is black, but the render setting is set to transparent. For the final render two ‘View Layers’ has been created. One is called car and one is called circles. In Blender’s compositor these ‘View Layers’ are overlayed and a glow is appended.
First I thought about exporting it to a standard full HD resolution, which is fine because the final pitch video will have the same resolution. But I also thought about the encoding of this short 5 second animation. For me personally I didn’t want to bother Youtube with this 5 second video.
So there was the choice of exporting the animation as a standard mp4 file with the H.264 codec which resulted in a 4 Megabyte file. Uploading this to my webspace and adding it to a post would be okay but after doing a short research I read about WebM.
WebM uses the VP9 codec and is also available in Blender 2.80. Isn’t it wonderful? The filesize decreased to 208 Kilobytes and also WordPress is capable of showing it. You can find the VP9 codec in the Blender ‘properties’ window in ‘Output’, ‘Output’, ‘File Format’ ‘FFmpeg video’, ‘Encoding’, ‘Video’, ‘Video Codec’ ‘WEBM / VP9’.
Inspiration and Knowledge
PartnersInCrimeGFX helped me a lot with their videos of how to create a HUD in Blender.
Here you can download the blend file. As always I will not assume liability for any issues.