Working on a VR Fashion Showroom: 3D Asset Workflow

Working on a VR Fashion Showroom: 3D Asset Workflow

Izhar Coletti talked about Fashion Showroom, a project developed by inVRsion to provide brands with the possibility to showcase their products in VR.

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Introduction

My name is Izhar Coletti, I work as a Lead Artist at inVRsion.

I studied computer graphics at Bigrock School near Treviso. In 2018-2020, I got into VR production and developed my skills in this field. With the inVRsion team, we adapted our supermarket VR system to build a procedural VR showroom.

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Fashion Showroom: About the Project

The project is a VR showroom environment that allows brands to showcase the latest products to their customers.

The environment is editable and customizable allowing different brands to adjust it to their specific needs.

Why VR?

VR and real-time rendering in general are becoming great tools that not only allow brands and industry retailers to pre-visualize their products but also help communicate and sell their ideas.

From the consumers’ perspective, VR opens the way to new immersive, compelling shopping experiences that bring together the advantages of online and offline shopping.

Customization is also a greatly contributing factor. Different brands have different ways of adjusting the look of the space to better match their needs and brand mood.

VR Showroom Production

Search for references is approached like in an Interior Design project.

We first define the mood and the color palette based on the collections and campaigns of the top brands in 2020. We then research structural elements and furniture that would properly match that.

Art pieces, props, and decorations come as the second part of the research.

Each object and material is carefully selected according to a precise design rule and guideline.

The blockout on the other hand is similar to a gaming pipeline. 

The main differences are: 

  • You define customer flow instead of player navigation
  • You define the products to sell and how to showcase them instead of pickups/powerups or loot

Asset Modeling

Asset modeling follows a classic modeling pipeline, we don’t bake high polys, we just produce a mid-poly asset that respects certain rules defined by the asset’s purpose and the requirements for the editing. Then it’s modeled and split accordingly.

For this piece of furniture, we used only tileable materials to be able to quickly change colors/textures.

The assets are integrated into our system. We use our own in-house software Shelfzone which manages the placement and the layout editing of the assets.

A mini-map top view of the space is editable via web by moving furniture inside, then all the furniture gets access to a planogram editor that lets you manage the position of the products.

The software manages all data and sends all the necessary information to Unreal for the final result.

Photogrammetry Assets

The assets are digitized using a combination of traditional photography, photogrammetry, photometry, and laser scanning.

Photogrammetry is the main technique we use to obtain high-fidelity objects.

We have an automated setup that we keep testing and developing – it lets us obtain all the data for the photogrammetric reconstruction in a few minutes. The setup is a multi-camera rig that can be adapted based on the subject, allowing us to change the camera position and have full lighting control.

Reference image from photogrammetry shooting:

We then use an array of computers to concurrently process the images in a semi-automatic pipeline and use them with state-of-the-art photogrammetry software to obtain a highly detailed mesh with high-resolution textures.

Photogrammetry reconstruction:

Main Challenges

The main challenges for this project were:

  • Art Direction and Lighting

When retopology is done, we proceed by baking the texture to the optimized model using the photogrammetry as a high poly and the retopology as a low poly to transfer color information.

Once information is transferred we get the roughness value from the base color and tone base color, roughness, normal, and metallic using the reference acquired to achieve the final output. 

Final:

The main challenge is then to author the same asset so that it's not only available in our catalogue but can also run on many different platforms based on the project. In the case of this project, either the UE4 or the VR version is loaded into the scene, based on the requirements.
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Main Challenges

The main challenges for this project were:

  • Art Direction and Lighting
The lighting and the overall look of the scene are pre-determined in the creation phase but which assets are going to be there and how they are going to be placed is procedural and up to the final user.
Thus “having control” over the final look, especially using pre-baked lighting, is quite a challenge and requires a lot of going back and forth.
  • Performance
Since the scene has to run in VR you can’t use any ray-tracing and/or dynamic lighting yet. Everything has to be static and baked (even though it’s procedural). Basically, you’re back to the PS2 era.
  • Compatibility
Many of the assets don’t just run on one platform. They need to be high quality for close-up renders and be able to run (with multiple instances) in VR/AR or on the web. Thus the pipeline has to account for all of this.

Izhar Coletti, Lead Artist at inVRsion

Interview conducted by Ellie Harisova

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