Sketchbook: wileyart

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WileyArt vertex
Hey Guys!  I want to try to create some small environments as well as some cool 3D UI/hologram stuff for VR.  I'm a 3D newbie and this my side project, but hopefully I'll be able to make decent progress.

I'm hoping to learn some of the latest 3D tools and workflows to make something that looks great in VR using Unreal 4 and an HTC Vive. I'm particularly interested in seeing how far I can get using Photogrammetry.

This thread is to log my progress and to hopefully learn from the members in these forums. Feel free to leave any comments or suggestions below! Thanks for stopping by!

I saw a demo on YouTube where photogrammetry was used to create 3D props for Unreal 4. I was interested in giving the technology a try and apply it to VR. I downloaded Agisoft Photoscan and started scanning away.   My first test was my shoe which turned out better than I expected... 

Next, I tried a Papo dinosaur toy and some rocks I found near my apartment... I attached images to show the scale. I took between 40-60 images per model at various heights. They usually take about 2hrs+ of processing on my computer if I don't use the highest settings. All these models are around 10k tris.  They aren't perfect if you look closely... but I think I could achieve better results if I take better pictures and do some texture cleanup afterwards. 

Next I tried some rocks with quick normals maps made in CrazyBump...

That's it for now!


  • WileyArt
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    WileyArt vertex
    Over the past 2 weeks, I've been trying to learn how to create PBR textures for my models. I  dived into learning 3D Coat & Quixel DDO.  I also found this great GDC presentation on how Photogrammetry was used to create the environments for the new Star Wars Battlefront game.

    Photogrammetry and Star Wars Battlefront

    Here are some more rocks, this time much lower poly and 4 Textures...Albedo, Normal, Roughness and Metalness.  I uploaded them to Sketchfab if anyone is interested. 

    Here is a quick phone pic to show scale.

    Here is my updated process...I have ditched crazybump in favor of using normal maps baked from the high poly.
    Originally I was doing more inside in 3D coat, but I have found that the baked textures from xNormal to be sharper and just better quality.  

    1. Find Object/ Take Pics - I take 60-80 pics of the rock using a small lightbox and turntable. 
    2. Photoshop/ Camera RAW - Do a few level adjustments to the pictures to make them pop off a white background. I also save out another set of photos where I try to delight the object as much as possible. (You can swap out the photos later)
    3. Photoscan - Create high poly and high res texture.
    4. Maya - I then import the high poly mesh into Maya to scale it up and rotate it (for some reason 
    Photoscan  gives me microscopic models) I scale my rocks to be like 50-100 cm...much larger than the real-life rock which was around 10-15cm...
    5. 3D coat - I jump into 3d Coat for retopo and UV's. (So far I have made my rocks around 1500 polys.) I save out the low poly model...
    6. XNormal - Time to bake the base color texture and the normal from my high poly model onto my new low poly model with new UVs...
    7. Quixel DDO- Here I load up my low poly and materials and make any adjustments to the base color or normals- on one of my rocks I added some more small surface details. I also make a roughness map. So far I have used a mostly white texture with some subtle noisy details. 

    Art Station recently hosted a Gnomon Presentation by Alex Alvarez- with some useful info on his Photogrammetry process. I may end up learning Zbrush after all...
  • _moonlightbays
    Many thanks! This is very helpful!
  • Elie
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    Elie polycounter lvl 6
    thanks for the star wars post, do you know how the team was built ? Is it for exemple one team of lighters for each world, or the entire group on every asset, etc...
  • WileyArt
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    WileyArt vertex
    @ Elie - It looks like they have a pretty small environment art team. At the end of the video, they show some credits...7 environment artists and 1 lighting artist and a rendering engineer.  I believe that game shipped with a relatively small number of worlds/maps.

    A few more scans from last week...

    ...still trying to figure out how to do tiling terrain textures and trees/plants.  Gonna look into speed tree.

  • WileyArt
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    WileyArt vertex
    A few more scans from the weekend- Tried some tree trunks... I'm going to try some tiling bark textures soon! 

    I played around with the textures in these last 2 rocks... Made them feel more like a beach rocks with some additional color variation... the real like rocks were pretty boring color-wise.

    These rocks are pretty small in real life- pretty impressed with the amount of detail Photoscan captures. 

  • mickeyvpn
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    mickeyvpn polycounter lvl 3
    Hi @WileyArt
    Very nice rocks here, especially in the previous post(colorful ones), by the way I didn't find them on Sketchfab it's unfair :)
    Can you tell which resolution do you choose for rocks - 1k, 2k?
  • Elie
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    Elie polycounter lvl 6
    Yeah, do you know if there is a good free software like Vue, to work with environments ?
    I always dream of making a beautiful picture of a jungle...
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