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Wow, the YouTube video was released in November. How have I never seen it before? I've probably watched it three times in the past hour. It's an absolutely amazing production. What was the budget for this?
We’ve talked to the team behind a project called Anatomy 360. Ten24 creates high-quality packs of 3D scanned references, which can be used for all kinds of art. What are the advantages here?
How did you come up with the idea of production of the reference
The idea came about fairly early on, more or less as soon as we started capturing full body scans back in 2011. It was a thought process along the lines of, “what are these scans useful for other than VFX”. Having worked as a character sculptor and digital artist for a long time, it was pretty evident that they were a great source of reference. But not every artist works with industry 3d tools such as Zbrush and Maya, etc.. So our idea was to create an application that anyone could use on any computer and view/relight/render the scans from any angle and use them as reference.
2D is great but limited to how many pictures you actually have of your subject. 3D is a lot more interesting in the fact you can render and view from any angle in one place. Having the ability to change almost anything about the image opens up a lot of possibilities and gives the artist a lot of freedom to experiment and generate and an almost infinite amount of reference material from a single scan.
In your work with scanning did you get a lot of requirements to use scans for artistic references?
Not particularly at the beginning, in the early days of photogrammetry it was seen more as a tool for VFX and character production. It was only when we started tentatively probing the art community with teaser trailers and 360 reference images that we realised very quickly that it was something that a lot of people were interested in working with. A lot of digital 3d artists work with our scan store scans but we are aiming Anatomy 360 at artists who draw paint and sculpt in more traditional mediums. That is not to say that digital sculptors and artists can’t use it too of course.
Could you talk about the Anatomy 360 functionality? What are sort of the main tools you got there?
The main functionality of the application stems from the ability to manipulate what is essentially a 3d photograph. We have a lot of lighting tools and settings in there which allow the artist to adjust Key, Rim and Fill lights, as well as camera position and colour settings. It makes it very easy to setup dynamic lighting situations. We like to think it’s a virtual photographic studio with almost unlimited scope for taking images.
Currently, we only have one range of motion pack but this is something we find very interesting. Our scanner can capture at a fairly fast frame rate so we’re able to scan people with a sort of stop motion style. This means that you can actually cycle through the scans and observe dynamic anatomy in motion. It’s something that we’re going to be doing a lot more of over the next few months and is perhaps the most exciting aspect of the application.
We’ve also built in a lot of sketch tools, such as the perspective box which works wonders for foreshortening and working out complicated perspectives when using a long field of view.
We have a sketch mode feature which essentially inks your model for you creating a nice outline, this can also be used in conjunction with the lighting tools to create a shaded sketch which is a great starting point.
Other tools include the Slice, which cuts the model horizontally allowing you to examine the profile of the model in 3D.
Our colour grading tools also allow you to grade the scene with a set of predefined look-up tables, a bit like Instagram filters. This is really useful for producing nice looking renders without having to go through 3rd party software like Photoshop.
What about the models? What models do you have in stock? Can you import your own models?
Currently, you can’t import your own models, we are going to be looking into that but it won’t be for a little while. Our library of scans is in the 1000’s, the time-consuming part is preparing them for the application and getting them all working and looking nice with the shaders. However, we now have a very fast streamlined process for loading them in which takes a matter of minutes as opposed to hours. So expect the available packages to expand over time.
How does the lighting work here? How can you manipulate your lights? What kind of lights do you have here?
The lighting is one of the key features of Anatomy 360. Currently, we have 3 main lights, Key, Rim and fill and some ambient or global illumination controls. As well as simply adjusting the lighting you can control the colour of each light and the falloff of the key light which can be used to great effect when trying to create some nice dynamic lighting.
At the moment we are aiming Anatomy 360 at anyone who uses human reference for their work. Both traditional and digital artists can take advantage of it. But our main aim is to provide something digital for all the traditional artists out there. It seems that all the cool toys are reserved for the 3d artists and we wanted to change that. The whole idea of Anatomy 360 is that it’s a 3D application for people who don’t have the time to learn complicated 3D software, it’s very user-friendly but still has a huge amount of functionality and gives the user a lot of control over the look of the scene.
Trevor Hairsine drawing from our Male Hero pack
We have a lot of plans for the app. Including reference packs aimed at different areas of the industry, including Storyboarders, Comic-book artists, Environment artists and Lighting artists. We have a lot of work to do!
We have 5 packs available to download at the moment all of which can be purchased on our website.