Realtime – aj-concepts.net

Despite starting off as a 2D concept artist, I’ve found a lot of my personal projects have drifted into technical experiments in realtime and VR.

Houdini ocean test. I found it’s possible to bake 10.6 secs of a Houdini ocean sim to an 8k flipbook as vector displacement data. The texture is huge, but since it’s only sampled once, is extremely fast.

Houdini Vector-displaced water in Unity HDRP

Two Houdini procedural assets combined in Houdini Engine for Unreal

Houdini procedural assets – one that warps photogrammetry scans to fit a custom shape, and one that grows dripping moss on arbitrary objects.

I’ve been making good use of procedural tools and workflows for the work shown here – something I think will only grow in future.

Unity Scene containing a number of assets shown elsewhere on this page. This is a legacy render, before the switch to HDRP (which greatly increased the quality of translucent leaves).

Unreal scene, combining the same assets

Interactive showroom concept for a clothing label. A lot of emphasis was put on accurate fabric representation in VR.

Coming from Europe, one of the best ways to learn North American trees has been to model them. This is a Western Hemlock created in ‘Plantfactory’. The base is made from 3 photoscans merged together.

This experiment splits up a tree into 8 atlased billboards. The field of view is limited to around 90deg, but the results are promising, and (apart from the overdraw) quite efficient.

As a technical challenge, I coded a matrix transform in a substance FX node. This allows position and normals maps to be manipulated within substance, for some interesting effects. In this example, whatever angle the fern is rotated, the leaves nearest the ground are retextured to brown and decayed.

Some more polished photogrammetry assets, from Lighthouse Park and the Capilano River.

This ‘virtual runway’ was a project to really push my skills with Substance Designer. Everything, including the animated raindrops, was textured using the tool.

The photogrammetry rocks were shot on a relatively old camera (before I replaced it with a Sony A7R), and were quite soft. This is a substance designer script to up-res and sharpen the edges, to create the appearance of higher quality assets.

Photogrammetry de-lighting experiment. Uses a partially emissive shader to create realistic baked indirect lighting from the photogrammetry solve itself. I haven’t yet found a use for it, but the results were promising.

Like a lot of artists, I was very impressed with ‘Real Displacement Textures’ when they were first released. This is an experiment on how I could replicate something similar results on my own kit.

Two of my earliest photogrammetry experiments, both around mosquito creek in North Vancouver. I was comparing ‘Photoscan’ (now ‘Metashape’) and ‘RealityCapture’ at the time, so I don’t know which one these were solved in.