Photogrammetry for Modern Games
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Registration Starts On
August 7, 2017
Class Begins On
October 14, 2017
Jonathan Rush
Jon is currently Lead Character Artist at Battlecry Studios (Bethesda Softworks) following working for four years at EA Bioware, where he worked primarily on the MMORPG, Star Wars: the Old Republic.

Course Description

Photogrammetry is the process of pulling visual data from an array of photographs for the purpose of generating fully textured, high-poly models. This is a tool used in many different industries, such as map making, archaeology, and cinema.

Only recently has this process begun to creep into the video game industry, with the most notable example to date being EA's Star Wars: BattleFront. Photogrammetry has significantly raised the quality level people expect out of their games, and will become much more of a standard practice in the years to come. This technique is about to really catch fire!

In this course you will gain mastery of the associated software, and the photography techniques required to yield the best results. You will aslo learn how this practice fits into a game development pipeline--translating your photogrammetry creations into industry standard game models for us in real time engines, and surfaced in physics-based materials.

Software: minimum camera requirement (iPhone or smartphone camera is acceptable), Agisoft Photoscan, ZBrush, Knald or Xnormal, Photoshop, Marmoset Toolbag

Course Format

Course Format: Standard
Duration: 6 Weeks
Lecture Type: Pre-recorded
Assignment: Deadlines each week.
Feedback: Individual Recordings
Q&A: Once a week.

*For classes with less than 6 students feedback may be provided during the live QandA session.

Course Outline


Introduction to Photogrammetry

-Overview of photogrammetry and practical application in modern video games

-Touch on required software packages

-Basic photogrammetry techniques

-Discuss ideal qualities in photos for the best image processing


Isolated Objects

-Students are to choose a theme for their isolated object shooting lessons

-Advanced photogrammetry techniques

-How to handle objects with bright specularity

-Discuss how to set up a rig for shooting isolated objects



-Students are to choose a theme for their assortment of facades

-Overview of photography techniques specific to facades

-Discuss time of day, ideal lighting conditions for shooting outside, and work-arounds


Cleaning Up the Data

-How to import models and textures into ZBrush

-Cleaning up scan data in ZBrush: geometry and textures

-Looking ahead: overview of industry-standard game model creation

-UV mapping theory and practices


Building the Final Assets

-Students will learn how to make texture bakes, and what the roles of the various bakes are

-Looking ahead: overview of physics-based materials (PBR)


Bringing it All Together: Introduction to the Marmoset Toolbag

-How to import your model

-How to construct a material

-How to set up your scene