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littleclaude's Avatar
Old (#1)
Hi guys,

Could you tell us what are the best practices for "Photogrammetry" for use in the games industry.

We would love to know more about cameras used, software used, break downs, pipelines, software and any other hints and tips for us to look into would be great.

What are your favourite pipeline to get the detail and texture information from a digital scan transferred to a texture?

Who are the people at the forefront in this area? people like 3D Scanning Specialist - Jeffrey Ian Wilson.

http://www.theastronauts.com/2014/03...-ethan-carter/


http://www.itsartmag.com/features/ma...ame-cinematic/


From Googling around it looks like this company is the bees knees? am I right or do you use/know off some other software?
http://www.agisoft.com/community/showcase/

Okay I think that's all for now, thank you.
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claydough's Avatar
Old (#2)
John Gaeta got me interested back with his research for the first Matrix movie.
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claydough's Avatar
Old (#3)
been itching to try Autodesk's free 123d catch

http://www.123dapp.com/catch

haven't had the time but would be really interested in anyone who has given it a chance...
( wondering if realviz tech made it into the app or application: windows, android, ios, or web app )

from phone pic capture to geometry sounds like an awesome on the fly werld geometry note taking strategy.

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littleclaude's Avatar
Old (#4)
123D works quite well I grabbed my kids toys and took about 15 pictures, I will try it again in the day light with around 40 and a steady hand.



You can even download the OBJ files all for free
http://www.123dapp.com/catch/2014-10...-25-49/2904590
http://www.123dapp.com/catch/2014-10...-33-05/2904618

Last edited by littleclaude; 10-09-2014 at 05:48 PM..
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claydough's Avatar
Old (#5)
sound promising...
I hope to start scanning the werld with nikon soon!
thanks fer the obj.
Do u think environments and architecture possible?
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grimsonfart's Avatar
Old (#6)
I have used Photoscan for a while now. Works great for me. I tried making a tree trunk, which turned out barely decent, i only got 20 photos (you should always get around 40-50 for small/medium objects, and 100+ for big ones) because my memory card ran out :/



*no displacement though, which would really help it.

Going out hunting tomorrow, i will contribute a bit more to this thread. If you need to know anything about Photoscan ask me and maybe i have an answer, really interesting subject and TRUE NEXT-GEN! ;)

To claydough, im sure architectural stuff like houses will work, but it will be alot of work later on, especially retopologizing it, and because it's such a big object, unique UV's will not look good because the object is too big to give a crisp texture unless you want to use 8k-16k haha.

Last edited by grimsonfart; 10-10-2014 at 07:19 AM..
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claydough's Avatar
Old (#7)
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleclaude View Post
123D works quite well I grabbed my kids toys and took about 15 pictures, I will try it again in the day light with around 40 and a steady hand.



You can even download the OBJ files all for free
http://www.123dapp.com/catch/2014-10...-25-49/2904590
http://www.123dapp.com/catch/2014-10...-33-05/2904618

jes opened the dino"s in maya...
looking dead on geometry awesome gorgeous! very exciting> ( great job... thanks again fer the obj reference! )

starting point for texture capture turned out very nice as well!
BORAT niiiiiccceee!!!!
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mattyinthesun's Avatar
Old (#8)
Almost any camera that has a decent sized sensor and a good lens should work fine. I personally like to use a 50mm lens on a full frame camera (Canon 5D Mk2). I tend to avoid zoom lenses (Primes have higher quality for the price) - some photogrametry software prefers shots in a project to all be shot with the same camera/lens - a prime (non zoom) lens fixes that. Even if you use a zoom and never touch the zoom dial, it can still move a little.

Try to use a high F Stop, get as much in focus as possible. Shoot in good light and make sure your pictures are correctly exposed. Use a tripod if you have to when taking shots.

Take WAY too many pictures (or think that you are taking way too many pictures). The #1 rule of photogrametry is that you can never have too many photos.

As for software - Agisoft Photoscan is great, and honestly quite a steal at the price. Autodesk 123D Catch is fine and free, however it doesn't use full resolution photographs, and will only give you an averagely dense mesh. The higher end Autodesk solution (Recap Pro) can do a great job - often stuff looks better from that than Agisoft - plus it supports GoPro (super wide) images now, so if you do photogrametry from drones, that is a plus.

My personal preference is to keep my work somewhat private, so I don't much like the idea of my data being sent off in to the cloud for processing, but I might just be old and jaded.

When getting the data back it is super useful to not only get an OBJ/textures of your model, but also a scene that has the cameras in, along with images corrected for lens distortion. Since 3d packages don't compensate a camera for lens distortion, you need to make sure that the images you load in to a camera in your 3d app as a background image have been corrected for lens distortion too, otherwise the mesh wont match up with the camera image plane correctly.
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grimsonfart's Avatar
Old (#9)
So i was outside for a while and decided to make a new model, this time a brick i found.



The most important in my opinion is equal lighting. Go outside on a overcast day. And as matty says, never enough pictures. There are still a few blurry parts on my model after 45 pictures so i think you get the memo.
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littleclaude's Avatar
Old (#10)
Base head model in about 5 minutes using 123D catch and using my Samsung 3 mobile phone. Lighting was far to bright, I will try again with a darker back drop but not bad just as a test. I will try again with a Cannon 5D and then work out how to bake the textures down and patch it up or just hand paint it, all fun .













Last edited by littleclaude; 10-11-2014 at 10:28 AM..
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claydough's Avatar
Old (#11)
looking good how many photos for the head?
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littleclaude's Avatar
Old (#12)
About 40, I need to do more from a low angle to capture under the nose, chin. I will try an come back to it today or tomorrow and see what's the best way to clean it up.

Do you guys bake textures across meshes in world space in maya/ mental ray? or how do you do it?

Last edited by littleclaude; 10-12-2014 at 02:00 AM..
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JedTheKrampus's Avatar
Old (#13)
Xnormal can do that easy peasy. Look for the base texture bake option. I'm sure Maya can do it too, but I don't use Maya so often so I couldn't tell you how.
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3devo's Avatar
Old (#14)
WALL O TEXT ALERT

nice. ive been looking into this stuff for a while now so ill pass along some infos ive got from googling and trial and error. SORRY IF THIS GOES LONG.
123 catch is alright but some of users don't like its blackbox nature and apparently it will limit the dimension of your image for bandwidth reasons(or whatever).
another alternative way to work is detailed here http://wedidstuff.heavyimage.com/ind...etry-workflow/
Open source and gives you a good idea of how photogrammety/sfm workflows work. but apperently there are restrictions on commercial use.
My favorite program for this sort of work is Agisoft Photoscan(Standard Edition)http://www.agisoft.com/features/standard-edition/

$189(pro edition has nice feature but price is a little high(lol) for what you get SE is good enough).

WARNING SOME STEPS MAYBE PERSONAL PREFERENCE and/or UNNECESSARY EXTREMELY W.I.P

now on to shooting (I use a sony a6000 and am not the world greatest photographer so please take these as guidlines only)

Drop your iso as low as you can in the lighting conditions(i'll drop it all the way to iso 100 if i can)
Drop down you aperture if you are able(again lighting conditions) ideally you want all your subject as sharp as can be(as little bokeh as you can get)usually between f4 and f8 works for me.
shutterspeed is more dependant on how you are taking the photos i take most of mine handheld so i need a slightly faster one to avoid motion blur(SHARP!SHARP!SHARP!) but slow would probably be better if you can stabilise(but since you have to go around the subject a tripod is probaly overkill, a monopod is probably my next purchase).
MAKE SURE THE SUBJECT IS IN FOCUS(this is OBVIOUSLY important)
Also if possible use a prime lense(i don't think photoscan(or any photogrammetry progam) can deal with images of different focal lengths)

Elimination of noise and blur the key goal when setting up camera settings.

Currently i'll circle the subject twice (trees, statue, rocks) taking 2 steps then reframing as much of the object(preferabley all) into the shot as possible.
usually end up with 30 to 40 shots. Keep in mind that there must be overlapping details for this to work and there may be parts you need take extra shots for(ie under the park table,to avoid gaping holes in the mesh). Usually anything that can be obscured by other objects needs this(ie legs, arms, tree branches). COVERAGE IS KEY
Also some things will absolutly not work with this method(Leaves,grass,Hair mainly stuff with insanely high detail)

If you want to just push the images into photoscan(or others) you can just use jpgs(but use the highest quality setting allowable(again noise is the enemy)). I personally use either RAW or RAW + jpeg(gives more options). jpeg will limit you to eight bit colour(not a problem with geometry building but the textures can be processed in 16bit or as HDRs(haven't tried this yet also))I to process the RAW images into 16 bit TIFFs and remove any stray noise(probably unnecessary but im still refining this part )

(IMPORTANT NOTE- Photoscan requires Exif data to process focal length, shutterspeed, etc, automagically so don't use programs or file formats that detroy this).

RTFM with photoscan its not long and will reveal all the steps and setting involved

Photoscan can take a long time to process the image for each part(beefy gpu and cpu with a nice amount of ram a must). MEDIUM QUALITY setting will probably be more than enough for most subject(unless you really have all day).

Still learning these parts but any mesh will require ALOT of clean up work at several stages.
Most meshes will be extremely dense and with horrible topology. but these are problems that many polycounters already have solutions for so. maybe look those up.

once thats done(relatively low poly mesh with good uvs,topology) you can re import and reproject photos onto the model in Photoscan so hooray

sorry for the long post but this is something ive been having fun with lately good to see some other polycounters are checking it out though(to be honest i probably need some people to bounce ideas off, doing it all on your own sucks). HAVE FUN GUYS
P.S. Ba should have read whole thread half of my infos already there oh well.

Last edited by 3devo; 10-12-2014 at 02:47 AM..
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fearian's Avatar
Old (#15)
I work for Plowman Craven in their VFX team, and worked on the 3d scanning for Edge of Tomorrow, Guardians, Avengers 2 and other stuff. We use a bunch of different scanning methods and photogrammetry is something we use more and more often as its been getting better and better. I can't go into workflow specifics but I can give some general advice.

Firstly, Agisoft Photoscan is definitely the King of photogrammetry. It's cheap, it works brilliantly, that's about it. There are so many aspects that affect the quality of a scan, but you can boil nearly all of them down to the photos you put in. Unfortunately that mean camera body, lens, f-stop, iso, shutter speed, lighting, movement, camera position, shadows EVERYTHING. And what's good for a nice photo is not usually good for agisoft.

As others have mentioned, you want generally to stick to ISO 100 and keep everything as sharp as possible. You may end up manually masking out blurred parts of photos later, so save yourself some time.

Now this will give you very dark photos, but bright lighting is also key. You want flat lighting, meaning shoot on an overcast day or using polarising filters in a studio environment. You may need to shoot in raw and pull up the exposure quite a bit later. I've found that for best texture results you want to be taking photos that look almost like flat albedo textures off the bat. Also, keep the lighting constant from photo to photo.

Now coverage, you want to cover the object as much as possible. Think about covering every part of it from at least two angles or more, and by angles I mean 20 degrees or so. A common mistake I see people make is photographing say, a cube, from the side. And then from the 45 degree corner. And then the top. You can infer the shape of the object from the photos, but agisoft is looking at similarities between clusters of pixels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grimsonfart View Post
I have used Photoscan for a while now. Works great for me. I tried making a tree trunk, which turned out barely decent, i only got 20 photos (you should always get around 40-50 for small/medium objects, and 100+ for big ones) because my memory card ran out :/
Not true! I would say shoot for around 60-100 photos of any object. Size does not factor into it, just the level of detail. In fact smaller objects usually have smaller details that are harder to capture.

Finally a word on formats - shoot in raw so you can get the best images to use in agisoft, but unless it is SUPER important that you get 16 bit colour, just give Agisoft Jpegs. Much much quicker and no really change in the quality of the mesh.

For more reading check out the Infinite Realities blog, this guy is an Agisoft Pioneer. And the Agisoft forums. Literally every question you have about agisoft has been answered there by people who have sweated through the trials and troubles of learning how it all works from scratch. My advice is find someone answering a question and just dig through their post history because they probably have a lot of useful information.

Oh and lastly, a crap mesh with photo textures will look like a photo, but ultimately you want something you can light in engine and don't have to spend days editing!
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littleclaude's Avatar
Old (#16)
Thank you Fearian for your tips, I will look into Agisoft some time this week and dig out a Cannon 5D. Say hello to Webb & Judge from me

A couple more 123D scans I tested today while out and about with my mobile phone.

Download links
http://www.123dapp.com/catch/door/2917565
http://www.123dapp.com/catch/lion-door-handle/2917573



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littleclaude's Avatar
Old (#17)
Head Scanning Webinar with Jeffery Ian Wilson

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grimsonfart's Avatar
Old (#18)
Hi there. Wondering if anyone has tried this technique?

Let's say you wanted a brick texture, instead of having to have worry about lighting conidions or having your camera parallell to the bricks allignment, take maybe 10-15 pictures of the "area" where the bricks are. You will have alot more flexibility as you can practically choose which area to use.

I have tried this method today, and it works, but the workflow is still VERY WIP. You can get real heightmaps if you take enough pictures, plus real normals (this depends on how good your software handles the pictures).



An example of what you can achieve (note it's not tilable, as i said it's WIP). Very good lighting and detail. If anyone is intereted i would love to go into a bit more details.

My main issue though, is if you look closely, there are small white lines which comes from the original UV map (because it came straight out of PhotoScan, it's a mess). Working on a fix, but kind of stuck at the moment.
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3devo's Avatar
Old (#19)
probably your best best is to take the meseh into zbrush(or any other program that can deal with uvs) Create planar uvs and reimport model back into Photoscan and bake texture using keep uvs feature(export model is under file,import model is under tools.go figure).
problem is photoscan doesn't really like reasonably flat surfaces the chances of it failing with a surface like this is high still nice work
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grimsonfart's Avatar
Old (#20)
I have tried this method with Mudbox. But the issue i got was that the transfered textures on the clean mesh got a bit distorted. Going to look into this again today

EDIT: From my expirience it does not really hate flat surfaces either. Taking some close pictures can get you really nice HP mesh and possibility for a sculpt-like heightmap.

Last edited by grimsonfart; 10-14-2014 at 06:55 AM..
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jeffreyianwilson's Avatar
Old (#21)
Hi Guys,

Neil pointed me to this forum.

As far as 3d scanning, there are many ways to get the job done. I use photogrammetry, structured light and LIDAR depending on the job at hand. I am interested in giving an online masterclass covering all aspects of 3d scanning in the near future.

In the meantime, visit the 3d scanning users group on facebook
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1439036619645915/

My corporate Facebook Fan Page
https://www.facebook.com/2cgvfx

And my personal webpage
http://www.jeffreyianwilson.com/

Hope to see you soon,

Jeff
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Geezus's Avatar
Old (#22)
Tons of great information here. Welcome, Jeff!
Environment Artist - Bethesda Game Studios
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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grimsonfart's Avatar
Old (#23)
Now we are talking. Issue resolved. Thanks for the planar tips, worked greeat
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grimsonfart's Avatar
Old (#24)
Well i got my tileable workflow to work finally. Here is the result, if anyone wants the workflow il share it .

PBR calibrated.

So is it a viable option? Depends on what you are after. For brick textures and textures in general that has a certain repeating pattern i would definitly recommend trying it out.

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3devo's Avatar
Old (#25)
go ahead and share it grimson. most of the prepping for use stuff of photogrammetry is where i fall down for sure.
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