It’s been great working together in person for the last few months and we’re finally feeling at home in our new office 🙂
Load shedding is still a major issue (yesterday it switched into Stage 6, meaning 10 hours per day with no power), but our solar system is scheduled to be installed next week!
While most of us were quite happy to work from home forever, we’re finding it quite valuable to be together as well – high level discussions happen more naturally and more frequently, which has helped give us more direction and makes planning our excursions easier.
Speaking of excursions…
We made a short trip to a dilapidated park near us as a trial run for the “excursions” idea (traveling around the world capturing distinct environments and biomes to make asset collections).
So far we’ve just done a scouting trip to plan out the workflows and roles for team, and we plan to go back for a day or two to actually capture everything.
We have a list of assets we want to create from that location, and then we’ll build a demo scene to showcase what can be done with the assets.
The assets will be added to the new collections page on the site, with the scene file made available for download as well.
Not all our work will be done in the field – half the purpose of setting up the new office is to create spaces for scanning small assets and developing new workflows like photometric stereo.
Just this week we’ve started working on that, with the results looking promising!
Concluding The Shed
Our first community project was a wild success, you can read all about it and see the final results on this page: https://blog.polyhaven.com/the-shed/
Next: The Hidden Alley
We wanted to immediately follow up the Shed project with another community project, so we gathered ideas and asked our patrons to vote on the theme for the new project, which resulted in: The Hidden Alley
Check out the project page here, and join us in making free 3D assets for everyone!
I spent a little time setting up a wiki for us over on docs.polyhaven.com.
The goal of this wiki is to be a centralized place for documenting our workflows so that we can share with everyone how we make what we make, while also explaining the intended way to use our assets in different software. We also have some technical standards there, and some internal documentation just for our team.
In more interesting news, we now support Pixar’s Universal Scene Description format for all our models, which makes it even easier for users of some software to use our content.
FBX and GLTF are additional standards that we (mostly) support, but for some reason every 3D software has it’s own preference for interchange formats, so we have to try and support everything.
Once Blender’s exporter supports displacement, we will also make our textures available as USD files. If this is important to you, please add your feedback to this thread so the Blender developers might prioritise it.
Speaking of supporting software other than Blender, Epic recently announced that they are merging all of their marketplace and asset platorms (including Sketchfab, Quixel Megascans, the Unreal Marketplace, and Artstation) into one new one, Fab.
The plan for this platform, as far as I can tell, is to be the centralized marketplace and asset manager for all 3D software and game engines. Something like Quixel Bridge, but for more than just Megascans.
We think there is huge potential for this if it is executed well, so we would like all of our assets to be available there (for free) from the start.
This could be a significant time investment for us though, so we will be working with them to see what it will take to add all our current and future assets to the platform, and potentially applying for another Megagrant to hire someone to take care of that.
Finally, a little treat for those like me who are obsessed with pretty graphs and charts…
We recently started (anonymously) tracking searches on our site. The motivation for this is explained in this post on Patreon, but in a nutshell we found we needed a clearer picture of what kinds of assets people were looking for that we didn’t already have a lot of.
After tracking these for a few days, I set up some charts on our public Stats page which map the top 50 searches of the last 2 days of each asset type on a graph, comparing the number of results that search returns vs. the number of times that term was searched for.
This way we, our regular texture author contractors, and anyone interested in donating assets to us, can learn what people need the most.
In the past I would add a few sneak peeks into what we’re working on, but at the pace of our work now (an asset a day!) it would be futile to try and do that.
Instead, I recommend you check out the asset library and set “Show upcoming assets” to All to see the mass of content that will become public in the next few months (patrons can download these already).
Thanks for reading, see you next time!