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TNG Visual Effects - 3D Scanning Services

Happy Thanksgiving from TNG Visual Effects!

We are thankful for our wonderful clients!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and your family!



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Pre-Vis or Lidar or Both?

Lidar Scanning has become one of the most popular 3D scanning services on the market. The data captured can be used for Pre-Vis and then again for backgrounds, sets or large objects such as ships, tanks, commercial airplanes, etc.

Lidar scanning on site, battle ship
The scanner can be mounted on a tripod to scan a large area or object, or can be mounted on a vehicle and driven through a city or countryside collecting a lot of data very fast. If that isn’t fast enough, you can hook it to a helicopter and scan even larger areas at an even quicker pace.

This has been by far the most used technology in recent years and the most advancing. Some units can scan a 10 times higher point cloud than its predecessors. One thing to note is the need for a well equipped computer to handle data of this size.

Where can you capture lidar scanning? Nearly anywhere on our planet. Just make sure to bring a portable generator for the more remote areas.

lidar scanning, 3d scanning
Whether you are scanning a model in a studio, a celebrity for a commercial at a Baseball stadium, or an extra on set at a production site, planning is paramount to getting the best results in the shortest period of time.

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tng vfx locations

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3D Scanning: Luxury or Necessity?

We have been in the 3D scanning business for many years and have spoken with a lot of people who are both for and against it. Some believe 3D scanning is a luxury, but in reality when you think about the amount of time and money it can save, it is a viable solution.

3D Scanning makes sense when you have a number of characters that need digital doubles in a short period of time, and especially if you need to match them to real actors. However, if the cost of this endeavor does not justify doing the job, then another avenue may be pursued.

3d scanned head

In the early days of 3d scanning, there needed to be a dark environment to scan a model, but now the scanning can be done just about anywhere. When scanning heads, you can also scan a number of expressions that will give you blend shapes or just references for your artists to use if facial performance will be needed. Texture maps, displacement maps, and normal maps are all available as well.

3d scan expressions

You also have the option of taking the scan model as a raw mesh and have your own crew finish it. This will save you from having to buy your own system and maintaining an operator. But if your crew is busy, the scanning team should be able to accommodate your needs fast and efficiently at a cost similar to what you would have paid your own staff.

ful body 3d scan

In the end, it’s your project and you dictate the finished look needed and the number of polygons. This is a service that puts you in control as to how you would like the modeled delivered. As you can see, 3D scanning is not a luxury when you consider the demanding schedules of our clients. It is an absolute necessity to have this service available.


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tng vfx locations

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

3D Scanning: What to Discuss When Going Through the Bidding Process

Swat 3D Head Scan

3D scanning may look easy, but there are varying degrees of complexity for each specific model. Here are some tips when going through the bidding process for your next project.

1. Discuss how detailed you need your model(s) during the initial bidding process. You will always have the option of choosing the resolution that suits your shot and your budget.

3d head scan, high resolution

2. Don’t allow too much time to be spent on characters that will be some distance from the camera. This will save you on time and cost, especially if you are close to budget.

3. Understand what you’ll receive for your texture maps. There are a variety of maps you can request, such as displacement maps, normal maps, specular and ambient maps to name a few.

Swat full body 3d scan

TNG offers variable pricing for 3D scans because not all 3D scans are equal. As budgets tighten, it’s concepts like these that can help to control costs. If you have cars or props that you also need scanned, we can work with you to create a package that combines all scans at a lower cost. TNG can ensure you get the results and resolution you need with your 3D scans. Remember, we guarantee all work.


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tng vfx locations

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

Insurance Scanning: The Time Factor

Imagine this: you’re running out of time to get all of your actors modeled and you were just told about a few new shots that production needs that will involve a car and a truck in a garage scene that hasn’t been used before, and all of your people are too busy to model all of these new add-ons. What do you do?

A great way to deal with this type of problem is to use 3D scanning. Have a 3D scanning service bureau come in and give you a quick bid on doing all of the work. Make sure they can 3D scan everything you need – the actors, the car, the truck AND the inside of the garage. Perhaps they can throw in a few props.

3d scan_full body_car_building

Using one company verses two or three to do the work will keep your cost low. You should make sure they can clean up your scans and texture as well. This will help keep your own people working on what needs to get done on other aspects of the shot(s). Ideally, the 3D scanning house can take all the front end load and leave it to your company to integrate and match plates.

You may even want to have your main actors scanned during pre-production and then archived. If they were not cleaned up, you will only pay for the day of scanning. This insures that you will have a clean scan available in the event the need comes up to use their head, or perhaps their whole body. This can also be done with sets prior to striking them, in the event you need a clean set for another scene that comes up.

tng cg town, lidar scanning, 3d scanning

In the long run, this will save you on time, money, and the need for worry if something is needed during post-production. We have seen it happen during several movies and have heard the horror stories. It is an inexpensive price to have to pay and will save you from wishing you could go back in time.

Where is your closest location?

tng vfx locations

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