More Photogrammetry Tests

3D Heads generated by FaceBuilder

I’ve been experimenting with more photogrammetry tools and techniques. This time recreating 3D human heads using a Blender add-on called FaceBuilder which is developed by KeenTools. Using FaceBuilder is pretty straightforward:

  1. you take 7 photos of the head you’d like to recreate at various angles,
  2. import those photos into Blender using FaceBuilder,
  3. align the FaceBuilder mesh to the 7 photos using their pinning system,
  4. bake the photos into a texture used by the generated head mesh, and
  5. clean up the baked texture by doing a bit of clone tool work over anything that may look off.

I’ve found that taking photos on a bright, overcast day gets the best results as well as trying to capture the 7 key photos as quickly as possible (before your subject shifts around too much) and well as detail shots around the head to be used to texture paint in anything that may look off when the textures are baked.

This guide that the KeenTools folks wrote helps to breakdown the process and a high level of what their add-on is actually doing.

FaceBuilder Pins

Texture generated by FaceBuilder

Photogrammetry Tests

Photoscan Skull

I’ve been doing some photogrammetry tests using my iPhone 11’s camera, Agisoft Metashape, and a Proko Anatomical Skull. The goal is to accurately convert a physical 3D object into something that can be used within a game. I think if I focus on taking less blurry photos (like the back of the skull were) the results will be spot on next time. It’s interesting how you can see the lack of details translating into the glitchiness of the generated mesh. There’s a bubbling particle-like explosion wherever the details drop below a certain threshold.

Anywho, after I get a workflow to reliably capture a 3D object the next step would be to retopologize and possibly rig the object in Blender. I’m anxious to be moving onto that soon. 🙂

Photogrammetry WireframePhotogrammetry Setup

Localizing Toy Gun Office Simulator

Localizing Toy Gun Office Simulator

Aside from myself, I’m the only person within my family and group of friends that owns a VR Headset. This is more than a little concerning when I plan on releasing a VR Game that I want people to actually play. To get around this issue I’ve been localizing Toy Gun Office Simulator in order to make it playable by as many folks as possible.

For its initial launch on Steam it should be translated into Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and Ukrainian. I’m using I2 Localization in Unity which at least makes the coding part of this relatively painless. Although it has been interesting working through the design challenges involved in this effort and I’m hoping that it makes a difference in how accessible the game is.

Shootout Level

Shootout Level

I’ve finished the fourth level Toy Gun Office Simulator will be launching with! In this one you try to survive waves of enemies trying to shoot you with their own toy guns. I tried to make this feel as close to how a toy gun fight would in an actual office with your co-workers and am really happy with how it turned out. This level’s definitely my favorite so far and the handful of folks I’ve had test it really enjoyed it too. 🙂

Starting the Steam Submission Process!

I’m excited to report that my Steamworks Developer account has been approved and I’m currently going through the process of submitting the shooter game, which is now titled Toy Gun Office Simulator, to Steam! Here’s a taste of the game’s description:

Toy Gun Office Simulator is an action VR shooter where you test your mettle in four unique, atmospheric levels. Improve your sharpshooter abilities and survive as many waves of targets as your can!

I’d like to have Toy Gun Office Simulator released by the end of August — which nearly meets the “have one game self-published within a year” goal I had about a year ago when I setup Wanana, LLC.

SHMUP Level

SHMUP UFO

I’ve been working on a SHMUP-style space level for the game. In it waves of targets move towards and past where the player’s standing. I was a bit concerned with motion sickness but since we’re doing this whole “augmented office” look-and-feel — having the persistent office scene that the game’s overlaid on seems to ground the player well and prevents them from getting sick.

SHMUP Boss

The level also has these boss waves that breakup game play and provides another challenge for the player to conquer. I’m pretty excited to have some folks play test this one!

It’s Getting There

Shooting Neon Skeletons

As of this afternoon the skeleton level is done! Or at least done enough for folks to start play testing it. I’m a bit of a fraidy cat so it’s been a little stressful building this level where you really have to keep your head on a swivel. Overall I’m really happy with how it’s turned out. Above is a GIF of how things are currently looking.

I’m working on a space shooter level next. A lot of its components should already be built out from when I was prototyping things so hopefully finishing that level will mostly consist of putting a bunch of pre-existing pieces together.

New Look And Feel

Over the last couple of months I’ve been working on the game’s look-and-feel, menus, and target practice level. I feel like the game’s come quite a long way and will hopefully be in beta soon.

These screenshots don’t really do the colors justice. It’s a neon nightmare with a VR Headset on. I’m going for a low-poly, early video game aesthetic to the AR layer of the game so I’m really happy with how gross and retro it is.