Modeling and Texturing Photoreal Environments using Photoscan and ZBrush

Taught by Liam Whitehouse

Course Number:
Software Version:
Original Run Date:
March 2018 
5 hours 37 minutes 
This in-depth course covers how to create photoreal textured 3D environments, props, and scenes using photography and two software packages. Agisoft Photoscan is 3D reconstruction software and Pixologic Zbrush is high end 3D sculpting software. By the end of this course, you'll be armed with the knowledge to recreate all kinds of different and challenging objects including rocks, trees, roots, and large ground surfaces as well as entire environments as photoreal photo-scanned assets.

You will also learn how to re-toplogise and UV map high resolution geometry in Zbrush so that it efficiently renders in many VFX and game pipelines. The course features over 2900 photos used to recreate the photo-scanned assets, and some of the most detailed and complex high end production level photoreal 3D assets which are amazing to train with.

The course is taught by Liam Whitehouse who has been in the 3D and visual effects industry since 2003, graduating from Griffith University with a degree in Industrial Design. He has most recently worked as a Technical Director at Industrial Light and Magic where he completed work on Transformers 3. He has extensive experience using commercially available software for water simulations as well as experience using proprietary software available inside Lucasfilm for generating Rigid Body (Physbam), Gas Simulations (Plume) and particle simulations (Zeno). Liam has been recently teaching VFX at Griffith University Film School, and Nuke at Queensland College of Art in Brisbane Queensland.
Modeling and Texturing Photoreal Environments using Photoscan and ZBrush
Watch our overview of the course

Class Listing

Class 1: Overview of Agisoft Photoscan

An introduction to the process of photo-scanning and the 3D reconstruction of objects using photos.

Class 2: Creating a tree root system

How to create a highly detailed tree root system in water using Agisoft Photoscan and how to align the cameras, generate a dense point cloud, and create a high resolution mesh.

Class 3: Edit and sculpting

How to edit and sculpt the exported high resolution meshes in Zbrush.

Class 4: Creating topology and UV maps

How to create five levels of detail and quad topology for a high resolution mesh using Z-Remesher in Zbrush. How to create efficient, clean UV maps using UV Master for high resolution scan data.

Class 5: Importing UV maps in Photoscan

How to import the Zbrush UV mapped retoplogised models into Photoscan for texture mapping. Covers which settings to use to generate texture maps and how to edit texture maps in PhotoShop.

Class 6: Creating close-up trees

How to create high detailed trees for foreground VFX shots or high resolution game assets, using Photoscan. How to photograph the trees, align the photos, generate a dense point cloud, and export a high resolution mesh ready for Zbrush.

Class 7: Editing scanned trees

How to edit high resolution scanned trees in Zbrush, retoplogise, and UV map them ready for export for texturing.

Class 8: Creating photoreal ground surfaces

How to create large photoreal ground surfaces in Photoscan. How to break up scenes for meshing as well as generate the camera alignment and dense point cloud.

Class 9: Photographing and generating entire 1:1 environmen

Creating extremely high detail environments in Photoscan. How to shoot the location and which settings to use to keep memory limits under control on the system. How to break the scene up into volumetric blocks for exporting to Zbrush. High resolution texture mapping to create a seamless huge environment.

Class 10: Game engines

How to create geometry and textures from the high resolution sections of environment in Zbrush and Agisoft Photoscan so they are ready for use in a next-gen game engine or Renderman PBR lighting pipeline.