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  • Writer's pictureFernanda

FACS #1: Photogrammetry Data

Updated: May 21, 2021

Photogrammetry is the practice of scanning real life assets to create a true-to-life replica in 3D. In FACS, photogrammetry is used to scan the head of actors and models so we can use them in 3D software.

This is usually accomplished with a setup such as this one:

Norman Reedus sits in the middle of the setup while cameras photograph him from all angles. The images are later composited into a single 3D mesh.

If you don't have the setup, you can do like me and buy a set of scans online. I bought the following scans from

When you scan something for photogrammetry and bring it into a 3D software, the topology will usually look like this:

Not very useful!

Before we do anything rigging-related, we have to re-topologize it. Because I am very spoiled I figured there has to be an easier way to do this. I found a software called Wrap3. It basically "wraps" a base mesh around your scan based on landmarks in the texture maps.

When I tried it myself for my FACS rig, some of the scans required a little bit of cleanup but overall it did a superb job. Here's a video of the process:

After I was done, I imported all of the scans into a single file. I reviewed my resources and decided which shapes I was going to keep for my rig.

For FACS#2, we'll be working on these blendshapes in Maya! Stay tuned :)

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