Here there be trolls! (WIP)

recently started doing some art on my free time again many years of doing it “only” at work, and what better way to begin than to continue/reboot an old project of mine that I started back in 2014. Scanning and recreating the forest near where I live using Photogrammetry and only my Iphone for the pictures.

Now I’ve upgraded some since 2014, using an Iphone 7+ now instead of the 4 (or was it 5?) that I used back then, I’ve also invested in some real Photogrammetry software, so I am now using Reality Capture instead of the 123D Catch iPhone App :P

This is very much a learning experience and I am mostly just winging it when it comes to techniques and processes used.
At the moment I am still building up my asset library with scans and trees while slowly trying out the scene. So any layout you see here is only temporary as I try out the assets to see that they fit.

My general process so far looks something like this
* Take pictures with the Camera+ App which allows me to control things like ISO, shutter speed and whitebalance.

* Bring photos into Lightroom for adjustments(reduce contrast etc) before going into Reality Capture to process the scan.

* Build lowpoly using Instant Meshes(I am using tessellation in Unreal so the very even triangulation from Instant Meshes is perfect) in 3ds Max and then bake maps in Xnormal.

* I then use a mixture of Substance Painter(I use clone tool!) and Substance Designer to clean up and delight the textures before bringing it all into    Unreal.

Why I am doing this with an Iphone? Well it started out as a fun thing when I discovered the 123D Catch App. Then it just grew from there, I wanted to see what could be done without any “real” equipment. And as it turns out, you can get pretty decent scans with just a phone! Now of course it won’t be as sharp or high res as with a proper camera. But I think it is more than enough and more importantly, shows that you don’t need much to have fun with Photogrammetry!

These are all captured within 1 km of my apartment.

For the trees I manually modeled the branches and alphas inside 3Ds Max. For the smaller vegetation/foliage I used a bluescreen approach and created a simple normal in Substance Bitmap2Material, then relied on actual gemetry go give me the bigger shapes.

 

 

 

 

Moss layer in my master shader for quick additional moss and variation (High Res .gif)