3D Body Scanning for Next Generation Video Games

3D body scanning technology makes it possible for video game designers to scan and import entire characters into CGI platforms. These tools can capture the human body in its entirety or specific parts,generating highly detailed 3D models within a few seconds. The resulting digital models are viewable on a computer, and can perfectly match the original in color and texture, or they can be mesh clouds of dots that form the shape of the human body.

Why is the gaming industry investing in 3D body scanning?

It is very difficult to paint high-resolution bodies manually. In the past, games featured low-resolution characters, which artists could easily sculpt by hand. However, as gaming hardware has become more powerful, developers’ expectations have increased. They now want higher-quality and more realistic characters – an undertaking that’s not always possible without the help of technology. As such, many video game companies have turned to 3D body scanning to create realistic, high-resolution digital gaming characters.

The technology pushing the limits of what’s possible

There are two primary 3D scanning technologies used for video game characters. The first is photogrammetry, the science of making measurements from photographs, especially for recovering the exact positions of surface points. This approach involves taking many pictures of the body at various angles, and then processing them using algorithms to generate high-quality, colored, and textured 3D models.

The second technology involves using structured light. With this method, a 3D scanner casts a series of linear light patterns on the body, generating a 3D model using triangulation. It allows developers to leverage the power and convenience of a portable 3D scanner, which is flexible and can be carried around the subject to rapidly complete the scan.

3D body scanning: Driving innovation in the gaming industry

3D scanning and all of its associated processes are powering the next generation of video games and virtual simulation. The technology makes it possible for developers to produce a large volume of high-quality gaming characters with ease, enabling richer user experiences and bigger, more complex, and more commercially successful productions. In addition, the speed of these solutions allows gaming companies to innovate efficiently, generating new and exciting content that keeps pace with consumer demand.


  • James Rawstron

    James Rawstron is a Senior Marketing Specialist at Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence North America, located in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. Rawstron has 20 years of marketing communications experience in the software, high tech, industrial, advanced manufacturing machinery and medical device markets. He has written numerous articles for B2B publications, including blogs for a variety of industries. Prior to joining Hexagon, Rawstron served as a web marketing professional at IBM and a Marketing Manager at Vector Software. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and European History from Union College of Schenectady, New York.

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