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How to render an ATST

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  • How to render an ATST

    Hi Forum,

    I'm using Zephyr Lite to construct a model of an ATST (think the dark-side of Star Wars!) that one of my family has constructed and painted. The model is 200 mm high. In the first instance the idea is to load this and some similar models into TiltBrush and make a bit of art.

    The first image shows the Dense Point Cloud (build from 140 photo's- 16 MP SLR; Close Range Preset), which looks I suspect looks OK other than the noise on many of the edges. This is explored more in the close up in the second image.

    So the first question relates to removal of this noise if possible. I have been using Masquerade to remove a lot of clutter around the feet of the model which has seemed to work quite well. Given this, is it just a matter of cleaning up all of the aliased edges to reduce the noise?

    The third picture shows the model after the mesh has been constructed and texture added. Again preset options have been used- Close Range + Default Sharp Features for the mesh; max texture size of 8192; 50% image resolution; max of 4 textures 10% sharpness filter. The meshing and texturing generally appear to be OK other than there are examples of the textures being smeared across some of the finer geometry in the model. This is illustrated in the 4th photo where it can be seen that the (previously open) area between a couple of the guns is now filled in and textured.

    Anyway, this has been a great learning process to date. Any advice as to how to reduce the noise and improve the texturing would be great to hear!



  • #2
    Hi Martin,

    Using masquerade is definetly the best option as you can explicitly tell zephyr to remove data before they are actually processed. if you used a turntable, i recommend you try the "turntable mode" that should help speed up the process a lot. However i understand this is not always possible or that it is far too manual.

    Since it seems that all the noise you have is coming from the edge and is of uniform color, my personal first choice would be to try and use the RGB selection before the mesh computation:

    Click image for larger version  Name:	rgbselection.jpg Views:	1 Size:	64.5 KB ID:	2692

    It may also be that the textured mesh is getting simplified and thus is connecting some points where it should. If so, you should try to first get your target polycount on the mesh and then create the textured mesh with the maximum polycount. If the textured mesh generation target is lower, these things might happen. I suggest you try by running an additional photoconsistency filter rather than the decimate, so as to keep as much detail as possible where needed and eventually a retopology filter.

    edit: jpeg compression killed my image text, sorry! it is:

    1. select the point selection by color
    2. pick on scene
    3. adjust threshold
    4. delete unwanted points

    Great job anyways!

    The Empire did nothing wrong.
    Last edited by Andrea Alessi; 2018-06-12, 10:53 AM.


    • #3
      Also, i noticed some floating blob in the fourth image. Also remember you can use the triangle selection tool by connected component when you are at the mesh stage to clean up all disconnected triangles from the main reconstructed mesh


      • #4
        Thanks for the helpful suggestions Andrea- I'll provide an update once the model has been cleaned up.


        • #5
          Well, after quite a bit of work masking images and cropping out noise in the point cloud and mesh, the ATST model has reached a point where I suspect that any further progress is limited by resolution of my camera lens (Fujifilm X-Pro1; 18-55 lens). I've uploaded a panorama of the model on to YouTube.

          The workflow in building the model was interesting in that I initially started with the goal of masking all of the image edges in all 140 photos, however this idea got shelved after a while simply because it was going to take way more time than I had available. So in the end I focused on masking a few of the very detailed components (i.e. the guns and some of the finer pipework), and then focussed on cleaning up the point cloud and the mesh. There are still a few glitches- which I guess may only be resolved by using a good macro lens, and building separately building models of the detailed bits. Any feedback and advice is much appreciated :-)

          I've now started work on photographing some (tiny) stormtrooper models (more on this in the next post), and have also been playing around with integrating the ATST into a Tilt Brush model of Endor.

          Here's an early shot of the Tilt Brush environment- with much to do!
          Click image for larger version

Name:	Untitled_2_04.png
Views:	8
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ID:	3045


          • #6
            There might still be some minor issues, but the results look pretty good to me!


            • #7
              Hi Forum,

              My work on turning a set of Star Wars models built by a family member into digital rendered objects for inclusion in a Tilt Brush creation is progressing well.

              I have to say that one recent addition to Zephr which has significantly cut down the development time has been the ability to mask photo imagery on the basis of colour. This has been a very handy feature.

              One challenge is how to deal with transparent or translucent areas on a model- such as a transparent canopy on a Star Wars A-Wing. For example, the video below shows the A-Wing digital model, and it can be seen that the pilot canopy needs further work!!

              I've read a number on threads on the forum which talks about the issue, and it does appear that this particular aspect of the modelling will need to be sorted out using other software. Just interested to know what is the best way to add enhancements to a model- noting that whatever I use will require climbing up the learning curve!

              Many thanks,


              • #8
                Hey Martin, great job!

                Unfortunately transparent surfaces are always going to be a problem. In your case however, since your subject are pretty small (and only a small part of them transparent) i would probably simply try to dirty them a bit (if, of course, this is not an heresy for the model owner ) for example with flour. This way you'll have at least the mesh, which you'll later cut and replace with an appropriate transparent material in blender or other post processing software.


                • #9
                  Thanks Andrea. I will go and negotiate with my family member about covering his model in flour. It’s all for the greater good!