Teddy Bergsman is a veteran of the games industry, having worked on multiple AAA titles. He has been passionate about creating computer graphics from the age of 10. He started Quixel in 2011 to help develop groundbreaking 3D art tools and asset resources for fellow artists. From the first 3D scanner he put together at the age of 16, to a company that helps tens of thousands of artists with an ever expanding array of tools and assets. What began as a vision to enable artists to create a world close to reality, is now a massive library of PBR (Physically Based Rendering) ready scans, covering a spectrum of surfaces and 3D assets geared toward every sphere of the visual effects space; be it games, visualizations, VFX, and mobile.
Welcome aboard Teddy. How did the idea of Quixel come about?
I had been building, for a few years till that point, tools that could help artists. While doing all this, I realised that the best way to get these tools out there was to start a company dedicated to refining and promoting them. That’s when I started Quixel. The name Quixel came from mashing “Quick” and “Pixel” together – a kind of representation of what the tools are all about, being able to create digital art in new, streamlined ways.
It was also my intention from day one for Quixel to be the launching pad for what we know today as Megascans.
There are two major products: Quixel Megascans (Megascans, Quixel Mixer, Megascans Bridge) and Quixel Suite 2 (DDO, NDO, 3DO). Kindly furnish in-depth details of each individually.
Quixel Megascans is the world’s largest library of photorealistic physically-based scans. The library includes thousands of scanned surfaces, 3D objects, 3D plants, atlases, scan-based surface imperfections, paint and displacement brushes, and much more. Megascans also comes with two standalone apps for Windows and OSX: Quixel Mixer and Megascans Bridge.
Quixel Mixer is a powerful material mixer that allows you to very quickly create your own custom library of scan-based environment tileables.
Megascans Bridge helps you manage all your downloaded assets, and allows you to easily send them straight to your favorite game engine or renderer.
Quixel Suite 2 is a set of powerful tools for scan-based PBR texturing in Adobe Photoshop. Access a huge scan-based material library and a responsive, fluid 3D painter made for PBR. It is a fully Photoshop integrated texturing suite with a highly customizable, user-friendly interface. The Suite includes three primary tools: DDO, NDO, and 3DO. The names were spur-of-the-moment. Think of them as doing normals (NDO), doing detailing (DDO) and… well, you get the idea 🙂
DDO contains over 1,000 industry-leading scan-based materials, smart materials and brushes, allowing you to texture your assets with speed, flair, and consistency.
NDO is the ultimate normal creation toolkit. NDO allows you to design stunning normals with any tool that Adobe Photoshop has to offer. From hard-surface details using vectors, selections and custom brushes, to the most customizable normals-from-photo tool around, all in one.
3DO is more than a previewer; it allows for smooth 8K painting directly onto your mesh, in Photoshop, with the tools you know and love. Here you’ll find a comprehensive brush library, all tailored to physically-based workflows.
How did you decide which kinds of assets and materials to upload onto this massive scan library?
Having worked on various game, film and AAA productions for over a decade, and keeping a close relationship with customers and our community, we had a preliminary sense of what creators as well as the industry in general were looking for when it came to asset and materials.
Share details of all essential technical parameters, which Quixel provides with each 3 scanning file.
All our scans are fully PBR-calibrated and support both Metalness and Specular workflows. All scan components come in multiple resolutions, ranging from 2K all the way up to 16K (for an increasing number of assets).
For 3D assets, we provide a wide range of model LODs; from VFX-ready down to mobile. Other metadata that ships with our scans include real world measurements, model scale and mesh type (open or closed), to aide artists in visualising the asset’s use.
Which third party softwares/ plugins are supported by Quixel Megascans and Quixel Suite 2?
Anything that includes Metalness and Specular workflows. So the usual;
Unreal Engine 4, Unity 5, Amazon Lumberyard, CryEngine, Autodesk Maya, Autodesk 3DS Max, Blender, Cinema4D, Modo, Houdini, Redshift, Octane, VRay, Arnold, FStorm, Mantra, The Foundry’s Mari, Marmoset Toolbag 3, and the like.
What are the USPs of Quixel Megascans and Quixel Suite 2?
Quixel Suite 2 is the world’s only fully Photoshop integrated PBR painter, and ships with the largest library of scan-based materials, Smart Materials and brushes. Quixel Megascans is the largest, most high-quality and fastest-growing PBR scan library, covering a wide variety of ecosystems from around the world. It integrates easily with every major DCC, includes artist-friendly and incredibly easy-to-use standalone creative tools, and is used extensively by nearly every major game and film studio enabling the next generation of entertainment.
Share a detailed list of awards and recognition won by Quixel.
MPC, using Megascans, bagged the 2017 Oscar for ‘Best Visual Effects’ for The Jungle Book, 3D World Magazine named Quixel Suite 2 the “Year’s best texture app” in 2016, and gave Quixel Megascans its coveted 5-star “Best in Class” award.
What are the production credits of Quixel Megascans and Quixel Suite 2 so far?
There are hundreds of great projects that are infused with Megascans and Suite. From student projects to professional architectural renders; from AAA games to blockbuster films. Our tools and materials have helped bring to life The Jungle Book (MPC, Disney), Transformers: Age of Extinction (ILM), Overwatch, StarCraft II (Blizzard), Monster Hunter: World (Capcom), Star Wars Battlefront I & II (EA DICE), Civilization VI (Firaxis), Shadow of the Colossus (Bluepoint), Book of the Dead (Unity), ADAM (Unity, Neill Blomkamp, Oats Studios), and American Gods (Starz), among others.
After successful 3D asset creations, texturing and manipulation; what is Quixel aiming for in upcoming versions?
We’re passionate about automation and machine learning applications of our tools. We want an artist to be able to draw a concept, and have the objects and materials automatically source themselves from the Megascans library based on that concept alone! And we’re closer to that future than you think. Meanwhile, we’re vastly expanding the library and the capabilities of the standalone creative tools and integrations. Expect to hear more on all these advancements in the days to come.
Meet up with Quixel in the upcoming GDC (Game Developers Conference) this March in San Francisco. Teddy and his team will be revealing much more advanced applications with industry level tips and tricks to ease the work of digital artists.
The Virtual Assist thanks Teddy Bergsman for sharing insights into Quixel and its offerings. Kudos to him. Keep an eye on this space for more updates on Quixel Suite and Quixel Megascans.
Check out production gallery of Quixel Suite and Megascans.