Does Your Head Work for You?

3d head scan, facial scan

In the visual effects world, it is expected that anything can be created and/or replicated. Our expertise is in replicating anything that we can scan (and we can scan pretty much everything), but our most time is spent on replicating a head shot. It is the most important work we do because every part of it from the hair line, to the ears, to the nose, to the mouth and especially the eyes need to look photo real, and it is our challenge to make the transformation from a real person to a live action cyber character 100% believable. They are what you can call our money shot; we make sure everything matches exactly to the character.

3d head scan low resolution to film resolution

Of course our model does not have a soul when we send it out, however it must be adaptable. The head may be for a movie or a commercial or a trailer in a video game and it needs to do its part in holding up the story-telling process, while at the same time having the vision come through in the VFX shot or it does not work.

We start by getting in front of the character and first scanning their head to capture every detail. It only takes a few minutes to scan, so we may shoot it a few times to make sure we have what we need. The next step is the pre-processing phase which is slowly matching and stitching the head together. We then re-topologize following the standard head cage to make sure the rigor will have the setup they can rig. Lastly, we set up the quads and edge loops for animation and UV the model to prepare for texturing.

swat team member, 3d head scan

The texture shoot is a separate photo shoot on site with a very high resolution camera to get all the details needed for texturing. We also use a polarization system to take the highlights out giving production a flat lit model to re-light and match to their own environment. When the texturing is complete, we do a final run through and QC of the model to make sure it has the level of detail needed.

Where is your closest location?

tng vfx locations

We welcome your feedback! Comment on our blog or visit our Facebook page.