Dream Quest Images of Simi Valley, two-time Academy Award-winning creator that does visual effects for movies and television, announced last week that it is working on its first interactive CD-ROM video game.
The project is a joint effort with Knowledge Adventure Inc. of La Crescenta, a developer of multimedia software. Known for its creative work on the motion pictures "Total Recall," "The Mask" and "The Abyss," Dream Quest is using some of the same advanced computer animation and image processing systems on the educational video game as it has on its big screen work.
For the project, Dream Quest constructed a 1/72-scale version of an ancient Egyptian environment, including a miniature pyramid, tents, a quarry and the Nile, on a 50-by-60-square-foot set. The final product, a series of bird's-eye views of the scene, are created by flying a miniature computerized camera, part of Dream Quest's "gantry system," in and around this environment.
"We capture the images with the video camera and put them directly onto a hard disc," said David McCullough, a Dream Quest producer. "Then we take the images into the digital department and manipulate them."
Before Dream Quest could actually get the gantry system up and flying, McCullough and his staff first created a blueprint of the Egyptian scene on computer and moved a simulated computer camera through it. "We flew the real camera around the stage like we flew the computer camera around the computer model," he said.
McCullough said Dream Quest had been looking to get involved with CD-ROM games for some time. "We just wanted it to be with the right company," he said, "and on the right project."
Dream Quest is expected to complete its stage of the project by mid-June, with the game in stores by Christmas.