January 3, 2020

3D Scanning and Video Games

Video games and 3D technology go way back. For many, it has become integral to the game design itself. Faces are incredibly difficult to sculpt and paint because humans are notoriously good at recognizing when something is off.  In the early days, the resolution of game characters was so low, it was still possible to paint the faces by hand.  But as technology became more and more advanced, it became increasingly difficult to create faces for in game characters. In the 90s, VFX companies began to create digital doubles of movie actors.  One of the earliest instances of this in video game design was The Getaway released 2002. It is an action-adventure open world video game developed by Team Soho and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for PlayStation 2.  

Image Credits: Getaway (2002), Last of Us (2013), 1cenator99 (2013), Unitl Dawn (2015), and VRChat (2017)

Since then, games have been scanning their voice actors and incorporating those scans into their character design. This can be seen in Last of Us (2013), Bioshock Infinite (2013) and Until Dawn (2015). The quality of the effects and animation are leaps and bounds ahead of those seen in film and tv media, at least in my opinion. 

But in the last few years, with the rise of modding communities, it is now possible to play as yourself using a 3D scan of your face for your in game avatar.  This is most popular with games available on Steam - Skyrim, Fall Out, and GTA.  While the original formats of the games do not support the 3D scanned avatars and look a touch goofy at times, it still is incredible to be able to play as yourself in a roleplaying adventure style game.

3D scanning has also made its way to online platforms. VRChat is a virtual reality playground where anyone can upload a 3D avatar and make Virtual Reality communities for other users to explore.  While many people use avatars of famous media characters, some users explore the worlds with avatars of themselves.


Gaming is a constantly growing and evolving endeavor.  From the days of snake and 8 bit pixel games to massive online games like League of Legends.  Augmented Reality, Pokemon Go!, and virtual reality, VR Beats, are commonplace in today’s gaming spaces.  Gaming drives technology and pushes the boundaries of what is possible. I, for one, am truly excited to see what the next decade of gaming will bring as 3D technology continues to accelerate. 


Interested in learning more?  We are launching a Twitch channel soon - Scandy3D.   We will be streaming 3D creation and gaming with 3D avatars. Join us to have a good time, ask us anything, and nerd out about 3D gaming. Follow us on social media for updates @ScandyCo.



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