Once upon a time I was quite passionate about game development. About four years ago at the height of my game development aspirations, I was involved in a number of activities. I worked with a team of students at my college to build a game using XNA. I wrote a basic cross platform 3d engine using OpenGL/GLUT, and I wrote a simple tank game for Android using OpenGL ES 2.0.
For better or worse, since that time I've been swept up in the winds of corporate profit, and for the past few years I've been mostly preoccupied with building corporate applications and websites and I've done very well by it.
Even so, I've been trying to build games on the side, and one of the major limiting factors has always been the acquisition of quality resources (models, textures, sprites, audio) to support the game itself.
Basically what I am trying to say is that given an individual whose greatest strength is the programming, and is mediocre at best at developing graphical and media assets, what do you think some techniques I could use in conjunction with a 3d scanner to help me produce realistic or at least decent 3d models and/or 2d renders of scanned objects?
The catalyst for this thread is that I recently came across a kickstarter for a relatively affordable high quality scanner called 'Robocular'. Aside from being excited about the project as a huge nerd, I am quite frankly intrigued by the possibilities introduced by having the ability to cheaply manipulate a medium and subsequently scan it as a model. Although a device like this seems most suited to scanning terrain assets, I can't help but wonder whether it may be feasible to utilize multiple scanner runs to produce model animations, or perhaps scan individual body parts and cobble them together, applying animations later by manipulating the pieces in Blender. Or perhaps simply using a physical object as the initial base for the model manipulation.
Either way it seems way to potentially save a huge amount of time compared to how long it would have taken me to produce a model myself. I know there are a lot of free or affordable resource packs online, but one problem I've always had with them is that they don't necessarily combine with each other well. I.E. That cheap pack of humanoid models just doesn't quite work with the vehicle pack I purchased, or the free weapon pack I found, etc. It's often the case that the art style or level of detail from one pack to another just doesn't match up... But like I said I haven't been very active in the game dev scene for a while, so I'm not sure if a 3d scanner is necessarily going to provide as much of a shortcut as simply purchasing model packs...
It's just that the concept is so cool and open ended that it's difficult not to be excited about it.
Basically I was hoping to spark a discussion on the practical applications of such a tool. Given the high precision of the scanner and the fact that it supports color, it seems like you could do a lot with it.
Some of the initial ideas I had are:
Play Doh or clay + Paint
Wooden models + Paint
Soap models + Paint
Construction Paper or paper mache' + glue/tape
Purchasing toys as base models, then augmenting the toy with clay or play doh to produce something unique
Casting objects in wax, then carving details in the wax shape
I'm confident that some of these techniques could be significantly faster than using the actual 3d modeling tools, at least to start off. Anyone have some killer ideas on how to utilize a 3d scanner to create assets?