Case Study Alex Patel
Name: Alex Patel
Location: Swansea, United Kingdom
Category: 3D Artist | Environment Artist
What got you into the 3D content creation space?
I started seeing a lot of concept art flooding the internet, and was super impressed. I had never seen anything like it. At that moment, I knew I had to be involved in the 3D art space.
What interests you most about this space?
I think one of the most powerful things about art is the way it can transport you to another place – both emotionally and ideologically. It gives you the ability to see things from a different angle. With VR getting mainstream recognition, this becomes even more important, and through VR we have even more tools to make these types of transformative experiences. I have been blown away recently by how hyper-realistic VR has become. And how AI is playing a big part in that.
Describe your workflow
Usually, I have ideas floating around in my head; however, not all make it out of there as I like to always map out which ideas will impact me and others the most – before I work on them. The feasibility of the project and the technical ways to accomplish it always plays a big part too. Time is the main thing as it can be a hindrance to most projects. Most projects can be done – if you have the time. Hence why I am always looking for tools to help with a quicker turnaround.
Creating scenes from scratch can be very time-consuming, especially if you want them to be photo-realistic, so it’s no surprise a lot of artists are now using a scan-based photogrammetry 3D workflow such as my own at times. Once I take a picture of any material, with any camera including the camera on my phone; and create the meshes with photogrammetry software, I can put them directly into ArtEngine. I can then apply these textures directly onto the scene.
After a period of refinement and adjustment, I get a feeling that the scene is ready. And then render out the final shots and away we go. The time it takes changes with the project – it could be hours, days, weeks. I have to say though, having the power of automation to take out the painfully dull and time-consuming tasks is excellent, and means I have more time to spend on value added tasks.
Where do you see this Industry going?
I think in the near term, we will see Mobile Gaming become even bigger, which can only be a good thing for the industry. Long term, I think VR and AR offer some incredible advancements to our lives and we can start to see the benefits infiltrate our lives. The Dream of VR is to make fantasy worlds seem as real as reality. This has to be the goal of entertainment in the future. With most industries now getting involved with the 3D digital world, I see a huge push for content. Artists are a limited resource, and I feel something will have to give to try and fill the supply-demand gap for 3D art.
How did you hear about Artomatix?
I actually saw another artist on Artstation using the software and how much time it was saving them. To be honest, I wasn’t very familiar with computer vision and AI working in this way. I became very interested – very fast. I quickly learned about the enterprise software called ArtEngine, and knew I needed to get this into my workflow.
What has been your favourite piece of art created with the help of ArtEngine?
Definitely my woodland environments. I first tested Artomatix software to create these scenes and was amazed at how I could get one of these done in a day instead of a week.
How is ArtEngine helping you?
One of the unique features about ArtEngine is the ability to color match from one set of textures, and then Intelligently apply it to a target set of textures. This was instrumental in getting the textures for my scene to blend together well. It worked fantastically! The seam removal feature is also great and so much better than doing it manually as it saves so much time. What used to take hours and days, now takes minutes and seconds.
Other features are also incredibly powerful such as the mutation node allowing you to get different variations of the same texture from a single source scan. Ideal especially for natural landscapes where you need to break up repetition with variations.
It’s an incredible program combining machine learning & neural networks, enhancing the texture creation process significantly. Although its focus is 3D Scans (photogrammetry), it can also be used for photos to create PBR materials for real-time applications. Texture asset preparation for a scene can be done in minutes instead of Hours and days!