Video game developer Slow Bros. has revealed that it used photogrammetry to create the in-game assets for its debut title: Harold Halibut

Set aboard a city-sized spaceship submerged in an alien ocean, Harold Halibut’s retro-future world is populated by handmade characters. That’s right, its developers created the sets, props, and environments themselves, before digitizing everything to turn them into 3D models.

Think stop-motion clay animation, only in video game form – like Wallace and Gromit on steroids! 

When they first dreamt up their idea, 3D scanning wasn’t as prevalent as it is today, so the developers began digitizing with photogrammetry. Their workflow, which is still used to this day, has seen each character painstakingly photographed, modeled, and animated on-screen. 

To make each asset, they took 200-500 photos, so they got very high-poly models from the process. This necessitated a lot of data crunching, but also yielded ultra detailed models, and allowed characters to be animated using motion capture, so they move realistically. 

“It was 2013 [when we started] and resources for 3D scanning were not as widely available as they are today – we didn’t know of any games that used it,” game director Onat Hekimoglu told XboxEra. “[Photogrammetry] gave us a glimpse where working with 3D scans could lead us.”

Without giving too much away, Harold Halibut is said to challenge players to question what they’re told, if they can escape, and whether they’re alone in this animated universe. 

Big issues to tackle – but fitting for a title made with such lofty ambitions! To dive in and experience Harold Halibut’s immersive underwater world for yourself, you can buy the game from April 16, 2024 on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series S/X.

Subscribe to my Monthly Newsletter

Get great contents delivered straight to your inbox everyday, just a click away, Sign Up Now.
Email address