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sterlingsurveys

3D Laser scanning for games production

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Hi,

We're not involved in the gaming industry however as Chartered Land Surveyors, we are specialists in 3D laser scanning and generating 3D models within AutoCAd and Revit.

At a recent trade show (@DigiConWeek), we were interested in the vast amount of people using VR both in construction and gaming.

It was suggested to us that the games industry uses real world 3D laser scans within their games.  It was mooted that collecting real world data is more cost effective than creating a new virtual world.

Could anyone provide any information or feedback on this assumption?

As a business, it's an area we'd like to break into, especially as we're very close to Guildford which I believe is something of a games center within the UK.

Many thanks.

Edited by sterlingsurveys

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This is about photogrammetry, not LIDAR/etc, but it's the same workflow -- often you'll use both laser scanning and photogrammetry at the same time and import both data sets into Reality Capture ;)

https://unity3d.com/files/solutions/photogrammetry/Unity-Photogrammetry-Workflow_2017-07_v2.pdf

As you can see, it's a hell of a lot of work to go from scans to game-ready assets -- a lot more than going from scans to assets for other industries.

Your potential clients might be happy to do most of this work themselves (just give them the high poly / high res results, and they'll do the rest of the work), or, more likely, they'll want you to be the experts and perform all of the steps noted in the above link, including re-topologising by hand, de-lighting, and baking of several kinds of texture maps.

Yep, this is becoming more and more common in games where the cost of asset production is a big issue, and where real-world scenes/objects exist that fit their needs.

Some more links: 

http://starwars.ea.com/starwars/battlefront/news/how-we-used-photogrammetry

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

https://80.lv/articles/environment-building-with-photogrammetry/

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