Photogrammetry Breakdown: Snow-Covered Grass

Photogrammetry Breakdown: Snow-Covered Grass

Grzegorz Baran has recently shared another great photogrammetry guide.

Grzegorz Baran has recently shared another great photogrammetry guide. The artist has showed the way he created his snow-covered grass with the help of Photoscan, Substance tools, ZBrush, Photoshop and Marmoset.

Another scan but definitely a tricky one. Trying to improve final height map I decided to utilise height map data which usually sucks on seam removal stage by filtering just height detail information (used Equaliser node) and blend it together with bent normal based height map.. theoretically it should give me even better results for game purposes as I eliminate cons and keeping pros from both. Level of additional height details is controlled by blend node. Before I update my tutorial I need to proceed few more tests, as I need to be sure how it affects final results. 

Capture itself was a tricky one as snow is very rare in UK and when happens, melts super fast. Usually after few hours there is just wet mud left. Also as I had just few hours window I had just one shot and had to proceed with sun trying to catch me. I failed, sun caught me but equaliser node did great job. Another change I introduced was using remote to speed up capture – it saved about 20-30% usual capture time.

Grzegorz Baran

Here goes the breakdown from the artist:

The artist’s worflow (more details here)

Source – before I started capture and after capture was done. I captured 224 images with wider focal length – set to 24mm – to move faster, unfortunately sun caught me in 2/3 of capture. You can see how surface had changed just within 15 minutes.

As I was in a big hurry, to speed up capture I used wired remote. It let me to capture surface about 30% faster than without it. I decided to get one on cable as it is cheap, easy to plug in and super handy to use, especially when compared to wireless one

Surface details – height preview.

Color Calibration – Auto White Balance (camera’s guess) vs Custom White Balance (reality). It is easy to check with simple color picker that camera’s guess shifts towards blue too much.

Photoscan – highpoly preview. First half of capture was fine since the second one as sun came out is brighter with shadow of the tree cast on it. Direct light was eliminated during seam removal stage and finally with Equaliser node in Substance Designer.

Zbrush – low poly over high poly. Unfortunately, to get space of 2×2 meters I had to cover also part with covered by direct light

Substance Painter – Seam removal – before and after (I used my +20% plane)

Substance Designer – improvement for height map part which is still in experimental phase but looks like it might work quite well. Few more tests and will update my tutorial with height map processing section same as add new .sbs substance there.

1k texture PBR preview

Grzegorz Baran, Game Artist at Ubisoft

The breakdown was originally published on ArtStation.

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    Photogrammetry Breakdown: Snow-Covered Grass