The video above shows early work from a game in development called Rustclad in which the models in the game have been created using real-world artifacts. The developers are scanning objects using Autodesk’s 123D Catch, which you can see the demo of below. The software is free and is runs on iOS and PC (not Macs for some strange reason).
First of all, I feel like the future is here when stuff like this happens. It’s taken fifteen years to get from the predecessor of 123D Catch to today when we can carry the technology in our pockets. For some context, it took a small team of people to make the video below, which can now be done better using only one application today.
With the imaging technology there and free to use it was only a matter of time before an indie game developer would make a game utilizing 123D Catch. Even though the technology is workable it dosen’t mean things can go wrong, it’s easy to make an incomplete or inaccurate model.
The developers of Rustclad have a post on their development blog to what it’s like using 123D Catch and how to best capture images. They note the difficulties of getting good source images and importing them into the game.
How they use green screens and milk cartons is interesting unto itself.
Heck, the fact that they have gone from being digitally-trained artists to creating physical items for a digital world using advanced imaging software to scan in real objects into a game is flabbergasting. I feel like I need to travel back in time to the Frankfurt School to fully understand what’s going on or to Jean Baudrillard.
Seeing tools like 123D Catch being used this way makes me wonder what will other exciting technological developments we’ll see in the coming years. May all the old empirically based thinkers spin in the grave.