Wednesday, March 10th, 2021 Posted by Jim Thacker

Epic buys RealityCapture creator Capturing Reality

Epic Games has acquired Capturing Reality, developer of the popular photogrammetry tool RealityCapture, used to create the 3D scans for Epic’s own Megascans library.

Capturing Reality now becomes Epic Games Slovakia, with all of the firm’s employees joining Epic Games. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In the wake of the deal, the cost of perpetual Enterprise licences of RealityCapture have been slashed, the cost of pay-per-input licences reduced, and other subscription plans scrapped.

Epic now plans to “integrate [RealityCapture] into the Unreal Engine ecosystem”, but says that it will continue to support customers who do not use the game engine.

The photogrammetry tool used to create Epic’s Megscans library of 3D scans of real-world objects
Founded in 2013, Capturing Reality quickly became one of the key players in the photogrammetry market, through the popularity of RealityCapture, its image-based modelling and laser scan data processing software.

Although the focus of recent updates has been reconstructing entire 3D landscapes from aerial surveys for urban planning, RealityCapture is also widely used to reconstruct smaller objects for games and VFX.

In the entertainment market, one of its key clients is Quixel, which used RealityCapture to create its entire Megascans library of 3D scans of real-world objects like rocks, ground surfaces, plants and buildings.

Quixel founder Teddy Bergsman describes RealityCapture as “one of the fastest and most accurate photogrammetry solutions in the world”.

Both Quixel and Megascans were subsequently bought by Epic Games in late 2019 as part of the company’s ongoing program of acquisitions of technology partners – a program that now includes Capturing Reality.

Price cuts for perpetual and PPI licences of RealityCapture
As it did on acquiring Quixel, Epic has now cut the price of its new acquisition’s products.

The biggest change is to the perpetual Enterprise licence of RealityCapture, which provides access to the software’s entire feature set, and which falls in price from €15,000 (around $17,800) to just $3,750.

The cost of RealityCapture’s pay-per-input licences, which enable artists to use the software offline for free, then pay to export 3D models on a per-asset basis, have also been reduced.

The minimum payment has been cut from €19.90 ($24) to $10, and that buys you 3,500 credits, not 2,000.

Epic has also scrapped the old subscription plans for RealityCapture entirely, along with PGM licences, which lacked the laser scan processing and command-line scripting features of the Enterprise edition.

The online FAQs imply that anyone with a current subscription will be migrated to a perpetual Enterprise licence, although we’re checking that with Epic and will update if we hear back.

Updated 11 March 2020: Epic tells us that “users with active licenses from the PGM, CLI or enterprise products will all receive a perpetual Enterprise license”.

We’re checking the situation with subscriptions to the lower-price Steam edition, which is still available.

Continued support for non-UE4 users and non-entertainment clients
Epic says that it now plans to “integrate Capturing Reality’s powerful photogrammetry software into the Unreal Engine ecosystem”, although it doesn’t provide specifics on how it will do so.

In the official news announcement, Capturing Reality co-founder Martin Bujnak says that the firm will be “partnering with [Epic’s] team to accelerate adoption of our technology”.

The announcement also states that Epic will “continue support and development” of RealityCapture for fields outside the entertainment market, “including [for customers] that do not use Unreal Engine”.

Pricing and system requirements
The current version of the software, RealityCapture 1.1.1 Blaze, is available for Windows 7+ and Windows Server 2008+. It’s CUDA-based, so it requires a suitable Nvidia GPU.

A new perpetual licence now costs $3,750, while pay-per-input licences now cost $10 for 3,000 credits or $20 for 8,000 credits.

At the time of writing, subscriptions to the Steam edition are still available and cost $39.99/month or $109.99 for three months. We’ve contacted Epic to ask if they will be continued.

Read Epic Games’ announcement that it has acquired Capturing Reality

Read Capturing Reality’s FAQs about its new pricing