Epic Games releases RealityScan app, putting photogrammetry in the palm of your hand

Epic Games has collaborated with Quixel to introduce RealityScan, a free 3D scanning app that converts smartphone photos into high-fidelity 3D models.

Available now as part of a limited beta test, RealityScan leverages the technology of RealityCapture, desktop photogrammetry software for Windows and puts similar power into a mobile device. The possible applications for such technology are numerous, including the ability to quickly scan real-world objects and use corresponding 3D models in different projects, such as games or digital animations.

When using the new RealityScan app, the app prompts the user to capture at least 20 photos of a given item. Your results will improve as you capture more photos from as many angles as possible. The app then processes the images and converts them into a 3D object. You can export the scan to Sketchfab, a 3D asset platform that Epic purchased last year.

As of now, the app is being beta tested on iOS by up to 10,000 users. A broader beta test is expected to commence this spring, and an Android version should come out later this year.

Photogrammetry isn’t new, but it has generally required specialized equipment to do well. If RealityScan delivers upon its promise in terms of ease of use and 3D model quality, it will go a long way to reducing the barrier to entry of photogrammetry. We’ve previously seen photogrammetry used to great effect in games such as Star Wars Battlefront and Forza Horizon 5, which uses photogrammetry to build out the racing game’s Mexican biomes. With many games and other digital media being created by individuals or small teams, making photogrammetry more accessible and affordable has potentially huge benefits.