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TNG Visual Effects - 3D Scanning Services

SIGGRAPH: A Show With Longevity

SIGGRAPH has been around as long as I can remember, and is a must for me every year. I’ve had the pleasure of hosting several booths, big and small, as well as be an attendee exploring and discovering the innovative technology and ideas that are emerging. I like that it crosses all markets from science, industrial, and medical to education, music and entertainment.

siggraph poster, tng visual effects

The SIGGRAPH Conference has taken place in many locations, which gives people the chance to get out of their comfort zone and visit other parts of North America. This year it is being held near my home base, but a few years back the conference was held in Vancouver, a popular area for filming these days.

The SIGGRAPH Conference is also a great place to network, to see new innovations, and to visit with past and present vendors showcasing upgrades. I believe we all like to know about the improvements in hardware and software that make our work easier and more efficient.

siggraph poster, tng visual effects

 Last, but not least, make sure to check out the parties. They not only give you the chance to unwind a bit, but they provide another opportunity to network and reconnect with old friends in the industry. There will also be plenty of bands, dancing, and people enjoying their time together. SIGGRAPH is my annual energizer. I hope to see you all in Anaheim this week!

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tng vfx locations

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We’ve Got the Power to Meet Your Project Needs

Here are some applications available with our FARO system.

Vehicle and Large Object Scanning – vehicles and objects can be digitized for placement into virtual environments allowing them to be blown up, crushed or altered as many times as you need them to be.

3d scan, lidar scan, dodge charger, vehicle scan

Set Capture – capturing a set in 3D allows virtual placement of objects and characters at any point in time, even after the set has been torn down.  Lighting and other after-effects can also be applied as a part of a post-process if the entire geometry of the set has been captured in 3D.

Set Extension – long range laser scanners give you the ability to capture entire city blocks in their exact condition. This data can be used to build a virtual set extension.

tng cg town, lidar scanning, 3d scan

Camera Tracking – scanning the set immediately after each shot gives the location of cameras, lighting and objects allowing after-effects to be applied in reference to the camera position.


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tng vfx locations

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Game Trailers vs. Movie Trailers: The Action And Quality You Expect

Game trailers are strong; the better the quality, the more they feel like a big budget movie trailer. Of course, the idea is to show the audience a cool looking game using high resolution and partial live action. This entices the gamer and challenges them to try their hand at playing.

This kind of high-end media calls for all the tools and techniques a producer has available in order to construct something compelling to advertise the game. In fact, the trailer should take the viewers breath away with graphics and action. The producers do anything possible so the animated characters look and act real, showcasing the best of what the game has to offer.

Typically, the company will use Mocap plus 3D Scanning of the characters for replication. Not only will you save time and money, but this method produces an exact replica of the character in days, as opposed to the typical month (or longer) to model a character “from scratch.”  The character’s movements will also be fluid and natural.

Building an environment based on 3D scanning helps to keep the pipeline flowing at its highest efficiency.  Parts of this extensively produced trailer can also be used in the cut scenes to help amortize the cost, and keep the model consistent.

Batman Arkham City: Hugo Strange Trailer, 3d scanning services, video game trailers

Batman Arkham City: Hugo Strange Trailer

Between time constraints, the look and feel of the trailer, and overall quality, there are few companies who excel at making game trailers comparable to big budget movie trailers. These companies maximize their  use of all the tools available in the market, and as a result the trailer above is evidence that game trailers can compare to movie trailers.


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tng vfx locations

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Optimizing the 3D Scan Character Pipeline

Virtual characters are a great way to maximize story telling through visual effects. After you have decided which 3D scanning service bureau to use to scan your talent, the first questions you face are: Where? and When?

If you need to shoot in full wardrobe, perhaps the answer is obvious and just a matter of actor availability on set. For facial replacement, you might have more options for scanning either at the scanning facility, another location or on set. *Note: your scanning bureau should offer discounts for scans performed at their facility.

Once your talent is scanned, who will integrate the scan into the project? Most times, it will be more efficient and cost effective to have your scanning facility take the raw scan, clean it up, then re-topologize it. This process is also known as resurfacing.

swat team member, 3d head scanPhoto-Remesh-Normals-Color Map-Final

Resurfacing covers multiple areas of a character. The topology determines how the model will deform and which areas will have more deformation. It also determines how heavy the mesh will be. There is not one simple solution for resurfacing, and the process is a complex one and extremely important for the following reasons:

  1. Although a checker board pattern was considered the ideal flow for a character, it became apparent that muscles, creases, and body definition didn’t work in that pattern flow. For example, a grid pattern of one million polygons would work, however, you could get the same results with the topology following the anatomy and reducing the model to 250,000 polygons. That 75% reduction will also allow for more workability of your model. This is all part of the optimization process.
  2. Scan data gives the volume data. What you choose to do after that is a hallway of endless doors and possibilities. However, choosing the right one can make or break a pipeline.
  3. Another production friendly approach is the topology recycling technique. A facility will have the average man mesh that should work in most cases. Check with the riggers to make sure they can use it. If not, there should be an average man used in house that the riggers can work with repeatedly.

These are just some of the reasons why having a team on your side who fully understands body deformation, mechanics and anatomy is very important to obtain the best results. An efficient virtual character creation pipeline will help keep your project on track, on time, and within budget.

swat 3d scan, full body scan


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tng vfx locations

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