The Power of Photogrammetry

The gap between reality and pre-renderd graphics is closing fast. As a technical 3D artist Rens has created astounding realistic renders of nature scenes. Motivated by achieving photo-realistic results and ignoring hardware limitations, Rens has been iterating the quality of his environments to match the results of AAA movies that have continued to fool us with realistic images.

Over the past year Rens developed trees, foliage, and stone as a basis to develop a jumping off point for realistic renderings of 3D environments. He uses the Unreal Engine to run environments and build content. Utilizing dynamic lighting and global illuminate with NVidias' VXGI solution he uses 10 different photographs to recreate a single leaf to build life-like plants. Incorporating photography with a custom built light-rig, Photoshop, and Allegorithmic Substance Designer to process photos. He combines information of color, subsurface, normal and height textures into his assets. With each leaf being processed into a texture, cut into a 3D model, and shaped by hand. To recreate the realism of leaves laying on the ground he uses PhysX simulation to have them collide with each other and find natural placement. Creating depth of space as each leaf falls on top of the previous. To diffuse texture he reuses his material set up for its specular and roughness value. Processing the material in itself rather than through the process of filtering and processing in Photoshop or Substance. Thus saving memory and having textures that can be re-purposed and allow for real time adjustments.

In combining his love of photography, nature, and 3D modeling Rens has created some truly astonishing worlds that would be unbelievable to the human eye. With an eye for shapes and looking at the world around him in a different way he is able to understand the basic patterns, placement, colors, and surfaces necessary to create his worlds.

Truly want to not believe your eyes? Give this a watch.