Cygames Facilities Vol.1: The Scanning Studio

Here’s a first peek inside our facilities at Cygames! One of the best photogrammetry studios in Japan.

At Cygames, we have a number of facilities that allow games of the highest quality to be created within the company.

In this column, we will be introducing some of these facilities!

In the first volume, we’ll be taking a look at the scanning studio , which uses a kind of cutting-edge 3D technology called photogrammetry*.

This studio is used for a wide range of purposes including game development, the production of promotional videos, and more.

*Photogrammetry: A kind of technology in which a subject is photographed from multiple angles so that 3D data can be generated based on the collected images. Photographed images are used to create both a highly detailed mesh object and a high-resolution texture map.

Let’s take a look at how photogrammetry works, what it’s like in the studio, and the process through which 3D models are created!

Studio Overview

■Name: Scanning Studio
■Established: February 2017
■Specifications: With a total of 221 cameras and 22 strobes, our studio is one of the largest facilities in Japan using photogrammetry technology. A single shoot collects data on the subject from all angles. This allows a highly detailed 3D model to be produced.

The walls of the studio are all white, allowing subjects to be beautifully captured using only white flashes from the strobe lights.

A special space is available for modeling to be done directly in the studio.

Let’s look at an actual example of modeling done at the studio!

Using photogrammetry to create a 3D model!

(1) Photographing

The subject is positioned in the center of the cameras and photographed in a 360-degree arc. Costumes and make-up are included in the shoot to produce detailed 3D data that is as close as possible to the desired image. The actual photo shoot only takes a few seconds. A sequence of shots can also be made with no downtime.

The cameras used. We said 221 cameras, but there’s actually a 222nd! One small toy camera is hiding among them.

As the data collected from the photo shoot is immediately sent to a computer, photos can be checked, developed, and promptly converted into a mesh. This allows high-quality 3D models to be produced in a speedy fashion.

Checking photos after the shoot PC. The photographed subject can be checked from various angles on the computer.

(2) Builds

Data is created on the computer using the photos taken.
First, positional data is generated , calculated from the position of the cameras. (Camera alignment)

Next, a cluster of points called a “point cloud” is created. (Dense cloud build)

Next, polygon data is created. (Mesh build)

Finally, texture data is created to make the object look real. (Texture build)

All of these processes are performed via calculations based on the photos taken. This allows the 3D modeling process, which used to take months by hand, to be completed far more quickly.

The process does not only help to save time, but is also effective in maintaining a high level of quality as a certain standard of photogrammetry is guaranteed.

(3) Cleanup

Once the build is completed, any leftover protrusions or noise is removed.

Before cleanup
After cleanup

Bring everything together at the end and it’s finished!

At its quickest, the process can be completed in a single day. With the studio available in-house, processes (1), (2), and (3) can run smoothly with no travel time needed between them.

Expect more high-quality 3D data from Cygames in the future!

At Cygames, we’ve also taken on the challenge of using wide-field 3D conversion.

At CEDEC 2018, Cygames staff member Tsutomu Kokufu (CG director, 3D CG artist team/design department) took to the podium and gave a lecture on “How to Convert Large Physical Spaces into 3D Data by Combining Aerial Photogrammetry Technology and Laser Scan Technology.”

During the talk, he provided an explanation of how the Best Amenity Stadium (currently the Ekimae Real Estate Stadium) in Tosu, Saga was converted into 3D data. (This was a joint lecture with Daiki Hayashi from Pasco Corporation.)

Video introducing the stadium. The completed image was created using photogrammetry technology.
*Footage taken from the lecture.

Look forward to more amazing content from Cygames as we continue to expand on 3D scanning technology to create the best in entertainment!