These days we use a lot of 3D scans in VFX productions.
They are very useful, the got a lot of detail and we can use them for different purposes. 3D scans are great.

But obviously, a 3D scan needs to be processed in so many ways, depending on the use you are looking for. It can be used for modelling reference, for displacement extraction, for colour and surface properties references, etc.

One of the most common uses, is as base for modelling tasks.
If so, you would need to retopologize the scan to convert it in a proper 3D model, ready to be mapped, textured and so on.

In Maya 2014 we have a few tools that are great and easy to use.
I’ve been using them for quite a while now while processing my 3D scans, so let me explain to you which tools I do use and how I use them.

- In this 3D scan you can see the amount of nice details.  They are very useful for a lot of different tasks.

- But if you check the actual topology you will realize is quite useless at this point in time.

- Create a new layer and put inside the 3D scan.
- Activate the reference option, so we can’t select the 3D scan in viewport, which is quite handy.

- In the snap options, select the 3D scan as Live Surface.

- Enable the modelling kit.
- Use live surface as transform constraints.
- This will help us to stick the new geometry on top of the 3D scan with total precision.

- Use the Quad Draw tool to draw polygons.
- You will need 4 points to create a polygon face.

- Once you have 4 pints, click on shift yo see (preview) the actual polygon.
- Shift click will create the polygon face.

- Draw as many polygons as you need.
-LMB to create points. MMB to move points/edges/polys. CTRL+LMB to delete points/edges/polys.
- CTRL+MMB to move edge loops.

- If you want to extrude edges, just select one and CTRL+SHIFT+LMB and drag to a desired direction.

- To add edge loops SHIFT+LMB.
- To add edge loops in the exact center SHIFT+MMB.

- To draw polygons on the fly, click CTRL+SHIFT+LMB and draw in any direction.
- To change the size of the polygons CTRL+SHIFT+MMB.

- To fill an empty space with a new polygon click on SHIFT+LMB.

- To weld points CTRL+MMB.

- If you need to do retopology for cylindrical, tubular or similar surfaces, is even easier and faster.
- Just create a volume big enough to contain the reference model.
- Then go to Modeling Toolkit, edit -> Shrinkwrap Selection.

- The new geometry will stick on to the 3D scan.

- The new topology will be clean, but maybe you were hoping for something more tidy and organize.
- No problem, just select the quad draw. By default the relax tool is activated. Paint wherever needed and voila, clean and tidy geometry followinf the 3D scan.

I built this rotating base for shooting references for modeling and texturing purposes.

Seems to work pretty good with a wide range of sizes from small objects to people around 1.85 cm and 80 kg.
It has two diferent positions, for 8 shots (45 degrees) and 16 shots (22,5 degrees).

Cracks references.

January 21, 2012

I shooted these images to use them as references for some destruction modeling task which I did some time ago.

Click for a bunch set of images.

Arcade machine.

August 3, 2011

Asset for Tron Legacy :)

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