Architectural visualizations are only as good as the scene they’re placed into. No matter how fantastic your building model, if it's placed in an environment constructed of low-quality, low-poly assets, it’s not going to shine. That’s one of the reasons architects and designers have long turned to Quixel Megascans to give context to their archviz scenes.
Founded in 2011 in Uppsala, Sweden, Quixel has a very simple mission: to capture the entire world. How? By building a CG asset collection of everything that exists in real life. Quixel Megascans is the largest and fastest-growing library of 3D scans in the world. In it, you’ll find the highest-quality photorealistic assets available on the market. “We're incredibly obsessed with quality, and so we have these internal pipelines that allow us to capture an insane amount of detail,” says Quixel’s Director Teddy Bergsman Lind.
Since Epic Games joined forces with Quixel late last year, the entire Quixel library has been made free for commercial use with real-time archviz tool Twinmotion.
Scanning Everything on Earth
Quixel scans entire biomes and ecoregions on global scanning expeditions. Everything from blades of grass to craggy cliff faces is scanned and made fully modular, enabling you to create the most detailed worlds imaginable.
Each 3D scan is captured by hand on-site using custom-built hardware. The geometry is then manually processed with over 200 steps of cleaning, reconstructing, retopologizing, UV mapping, LOD creation, baking, and quality-checking. The whole process takes around six days of manual labor to complete for a single asset.
It’s not just sizes and shapes that are captured—Quixel’s scans also catch the exact texture of surfaces and the way they refract light. That means a single raw scan can comprise up to three billion data points and weigh in at hundreds of gigabytes before being compressed so it can be downloaded by end-users.
The technology to perform such high-quality scanning is a closely guarded secret, but what is known is that it builds up a 3D image of the object using a light scanning process. The first scanner the company constructed was big, bulky, and needed six people to carry it around. Today, the Quixel scanning team mostly uses handheld scanners for small objects, or drones to capture anything larger than a bus.
Bergsman Lind’s epic scanning adventures have taken him to the ends of the earth, from the glaciers of Iceland to the jungles of Asia. They’ve even seen him at the business end of a rifle in Pakistan when soldiers stumbled upon one of his pre-dawn scanning sessions.
Learn How to Use Megascans in Your Twinmotion Project
Back in the US, Tyler Puryear is an architectural designer who works for Quixel at Epic Games as a 3D artist, producing educational content for the Quixel ecosystem and supporting software.
In the recent webinar ‘Working with Quixel Megascans in Twinmotion’, he’s joined by Martin Kraseman, Twinmotion Technical Marketing Specialist at Epic Games, to explain how Quixel Megascans can be used to add life to archviz scenes in Twinmotion.
The pair discusses Quixel’s mission to capture the world, including how it scans everything from food to foliage, and from modular interiors to parquet floors. They explain how to easily find perfect surfaces and 3D assets for projects and how to take these assets from Quixel Bridge to Twinmotion.
Watch the webinar now to learn how to enhance your Twinmotion scene with the highest-quality 3D scanned materials, objects, and plants.