We talk to Ten24's James Busby about their break into 3D scanning, what it involves, as well as their plans to release a host of incredible new 3D models for artists and studios
3dtotal: Tell us a little about Ten24 – what's your story?
James Busby: Ten24
began back in 2008 with the aim of providing high-quality assets to the games and entertainment industry. We got a lucky break early on working on the Dead Island trailer
and ever since then have been pretty busy with some very cool projects.
We have done everything from high-end game characters to cars and designer handbags. Now the scanning side of things is really taking off we are getting to work on some amazing projects.
We're very lucky to have had the opportunities that we have, and we owe a lot to our clients for the trust they have shown in us over the years. Special thanks go out to Axis Animation
and Realtime UK
– 2 of the best companies we have ever had the pleasure of working with.
When Realtime UK wanted to create some of the most visually stunning and realistic characters ever seen in a computer-generated cinematic, Ten24 was able to help with its 80 x DSLR photogrammetry rig, capturing over 20 different high-res body and head scans with various poses and expressions
3dt: Can you describe your 3D scanning process to us? What is your rig like and how do you capture such detailed scans?
The rig is a fairly straightforward photogrammetry matrix with 80 Canon DSLRs arranged in a circle around the subject. The key to capturing the details we do is mainly down to 3 important factors:
The arrangement of the cameras
The process is pretty straightforward: we take a shot, firing all 80 cameras at the same time, load the images into Agisoft's
and build the mesh on the highest possible quality setting we can get away with.
Generating the mesh can be a time-consuming process, so we use a custom-built, dedicated 20-core Xeon machine with two NVIDIA Titan
cards and a massive 128GB of RAM.
3dt: When it comes to cleaning up the scans, what work goes into this and what software do you use for this?
Clean-up is a tricky process and has taken us a while to really perfect the pipeline. We start by loading the raw scan into ZBrush
and removing the noise and scan artefacts, sculpting and correcting any small details as we go.
The next step is to UV the mesh and load it back into Agisoft's PhotoScan for texture re-projection. We clean up any errors in Photoshop
and then combine the whole thing in ZBrush. Typically, we provide our body scans with texture maps up to 15,000 x 15,000 pixels.
3dt: Can you tell us a bit about the new heads and expressions in the Ten24 shop – what are your plans for these going forward?
These are the first of a new generation of scans we are releasing; for this session we scanned 10 models in 1 day with 35 expressions each. We cleaned up the neutral scans and then processed the 35 expression sets as RAW scans.
Each scan is stabilised so that the key facial features are in the same position on each scan, which makes for easy generation of blend shapes and morph targets.
"3D scanning is the future of realistic game character development and, as such, being able to work with it is fast becoming an essential skill for anyone interested in working as a character artist"
Going forward we are planning on releasing thousands of scans – there is no limit to the amount of content we can put on the store, so you guys can expect a lot more in the future.
3D scanning has been the reserve of the larger studios for too long. We figure it's about time we opened it up to the public to give everyone the chance to work with this kind of data. It's the future of realistic game character development and, as such, being able to work with it is fast becoming an essential skill for anyone interested in working as a character artist.
Visit the official Ten24 website
Check out the 3D scans and expressions available on the 3D Scan Store