29 agosto 2015

From real world to real-time

Since May my life has been a mess. I moved to Tenerife with the idea of building my home-studio. It's progressing, slowly, but progressing. But well, thats another story for another post. The thing is that there is a mountain close to my house here in Tenerife with very interesting rock formations. I really wanted to have that kind of rocks in my assets bucket to use them here and there.
I have tried to model rocks several times, but the result was always terrible. So the solution was obvious, photoscan!
I asked my brother if he may like to climb that mountain to take some photos. I told him the plan and he agreed.

This was the target:

Climbing and searching interesting rocks to scan.

Scary views!

Although there were rocks everywhere, it was not easy to find good ones because most of them were not accesible, covered with lichens, or with vegetation growing everywere.
The ideal rock should be shadowed, with no vegetation on it, young enough for not being too eroded or covered by lichens and accesible from every side. But well, we found some. We had to remove all the vegetation on/around it first.

The first attempt on processing the data took 15 hours to complete. I made a 200k mesh. The final mesh should be at least 2 million dense! How long would that take? Absolutely impossible. I had no choice, I spent 2000€ on new hardware: 
Then I was able to compute a 4 million triangle mesh in 2-3 hours or so. Here is the rough mesh

Then I had to remove all the crap in the borders:

"And what now?" -I asked myself
- O_o
- Do I have to fill all of that by hand?
- I guess...
- It will never look as good as the original
- I know, but what else can we do?
- -_-' 
- Do you know how to do that?
- No idea. you?
- ¬_¬
- Okay, I'll find the way

Yeah, I had to fill all the missed surface to convert that into an usable asset. I started with a rough shape:

 Then I applied Dynamesh in zBrush and removed the bottom cap:

5 hours later:

Once with the modelling "done" I made the low poly with decimation master and the UVs with UV master (easy way). The next step was to project the texture, bake normal, AO and cavity to use them in DDO.

I used DDO mostly to render the model, I didn't use much of it in this case. The texture fix was done with Mudbox. I didn't spend much time on that, probably less than 3 hours.

PS. Special thanks to Lee Perry-Smith for the support and advices

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