Photogrammetry for Game Development

Photogrammetry is becoming increasingly common in the world of game development, cumulating in Epic Games recent acquisition of Capturing Reality, creator of Reality Capture. Photogrammetry is essentially the process of recreating 3D objects and textures from a series of images and is a technique used to capture many of the objects and textures in the MegaScans archive. In the video below, we look at three of the more common photogrammetry options, including:


Meshroom is a free and open source option we previously discussed back in 2018. It is both the cheapest and slowest of the options we cover.


RealityCapture is the photogrammetry application that was recently acquired by Epic Games. It uses a credit based approached where you pay a certain amount of credits to export the generated results. The program itself is free to download and the credit costs were reduced after being acquired by Epic. This is the fastest of the three programs.


Metashape is the most traditional commercial offering on this list, with a $179 fixed price tag (there is a 30 day trial available). Metashape was close to RealityCapture in performance, but had the easiest user experience (to me at least).

All three of these programs export a 3D model (often in obj format) and textures. They are all also capable of reducing the number of polygons as the results from all three applications will be a generate a huge number of tris. That said, if you are looking to use the results in a game or real-time environment, you should also check out the free and open source Instant Meshes. You can learn more about using these three photogrammetry applications for game development in the video below. The dataset used in all three examples came from this aerial drone mapping site and is an excellent testbed.

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