Resident Evil VII: Biohazard‘s developers have set out to revolutionize the franchise, and they certainly are doing a great job with the game’s graphics. During a panel at CEDEC 2016, the team showcased how those visuals have been achieved, thanks to photogrammetry.
Photogrammetry is the use of very dense photographic data to create the assets for a game, from the 3D model to the textures and even the normal maps. At the bottom of the post you can see the metric ton of images that the developers shared during the presentation.
Initially, the team had to overcome four challenges. This Resident Evil was the first native to PS4, the first FPS, the first compatible with virtual reality, and the first using physically based rendering.
In order to overcome those challenges, they looked into photogrammetry starting their experiments simply by using a bunch of iPhone cameras. Encouraged by the results, they purchased 140 DSLR cameras to create two arrays, one with 100 cameras for full body scanning, and one with 40 for facial scanning.
In the video below, you can check see the result of this technique on a character.
You can also see how facial animations were created below.
Photogrammetry can also be used for objects, as showcased in the two videos below. The technique you’ll see is named Photometric Stereo, and involves taking pictures of objects in every possible lighting condition.
Photogrammetry actually brings game creation closer to film making, as you actually have to put make up on the actors, so that they can be scanned. You can basically reproduce any kind of prop with nearly photorealistic results and reduced costs.
The graph below represents the growth in quality (measured in points on the left) compared to days of work, with photogrammetry and traditional modeling.
Following, you can see a “breakdown of quality” for Photogrammetry and traditional modeling. effort (blue) and artistic sense (yellow) remain the same, but technology is boosted massively.
Below you can see a comparison in cost (in days of work) of various aspects of development between Resident Evil VII (above) and 6 (below).
The technique was also used in Umbrella Corps, and the as you can see in the gallery, alongside a metric ton of images for Resident Evil VII‘s characters and assets.