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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:27 am 
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I came across an article on a new way of building a 3D virtual worlds. The process is being used to create the independent adventure game: Rustclad. The development team has a video out showing the process and early scenes from the game.

Rustclad Site

Several of the blog posts are interesting. It is too soon to tell what the game will be like. It has a cuter feel-look than the Myst games which I think had a more realistic immersive feel in an Uru sort of way. Since Rustclad is cute-ish I expect it to be less violent than most, but who knows?

The Photogrammetery Process of modeling the world is described in more detail in another post: Photogrammetry in Video Games: Frequently Asked Questions. It links to a forum they have where one is supposed to be able to get even more information.

A highlight of the article is they point you to the free program they use for the process: Autodesk’s 123D Catch[. There is a 1:40 minute video on the 123D Catch page. You can jump to the video on YouTube.

123D Catch is free but requires a login with social media or a previous Autodesk account. The process is confusing or maybe it is my browser, Chrome. The first time I clicked DOWNLOAD I had to login and then was looped back to the page I started from. The second time a clicked download, the program downloaded. The download file is 75mb. Install requires 121mb of space.

This software is made by Autodesk so it is going to work with 3DS, Maya, and FBX. Which means with some effort one could move things into Blender.

It works with most any digital camera, even crappy phone cameras. Of course, the better the camera the better the result will be. The Rustclad site has information on how they are using the software and their technical design process. So, if you are thinking of being an age builder and you are weak at 3D modeling, consider following the Rustclad team’s progress.

They are doing pretty good creating a game engine in 9 months. So, while their process is not a replacement for good 3D modeling, it can certainly give a new modeler a head start.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:24 pm 
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I've used photogrammetry as a 3d-asset creation method too, for years.

I have used it for VFX, mainly so far - but I'd like to use it in an interactive-world context.

I've even posted earlier about how I'd like to use the technique in Uru, but... well, we'll see.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:40 pm 
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The visual result is quite impressive ! :D
Hope this game will be released soon.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:41 pm 
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Rustclad looks beautiful.

Real time 3d photogrammetry-based content used to be a contradiction in terms... You couldn't have done this very well a decade ago - the poly count required to pull in these types of models, was generally unacceptably high.

Now though, on desktops at least, the limitations for game developers are less and less about the polygon/vertex count and more about the production side of things, how the level designer can create increasingly detailed and massive levels while still staying on schedule and on budget.

Photogrammetry is one of the techniques that may point the way towards the future of digital asset creation. Instead of spending hundreds of hours sculpting a realistic object, you can simply scan the real-world equivalent to get a more convincing result with less effort. Incidentally, the Starry Expanse team is using photogrammetry also, to extract a textured mesh of the various areas of Riven... Essentially using the 4000 images in the original game as a way to reconstruct the original model, or something close to it, with reasonable accuracy. Of course, they still have to clean up a lot of geometry errors and create more detail where there wasn't much in the renders to work from in the first place.

Ironically, the future might use miniature effects*:
If you're going to 3d-scan physical objects for use in a photorealistic 3d scene, and your project is sci-fi or fantasy or in some way uses elements that don't exist in the real world, and you need to 3d-scan something... You could always sculpt a miniature by hand - then scan it and load the asset into the digital scene. That way you get the flexibility of digital, endless camera movement, duplication, etc, but the intrinsic realism and random surface detail, of a real-world object.

The advantages of this are numerous. You can even take the scanned model, scale it to another size, 3d-print it... A good example is the antique car in Skyfall. They scanned the car, then 3d-printed a 1/3 scale replica... Which they then destroyed on camera... Leaving the original vehicle (valued at over $400,000) unscathed.

In other words... We're entering a time when real objects can be turned into digital ones and vice versa. That is pretty cool, I think.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:48 pm 
Tron did it first!


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