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TNG Visual Effects - 3D Scanning Services

The Future of Visual Effects

Visual Effects are used more than ever in the entertainment industry. Each year more sets, machinery, props, and characters are becoming digital.

full body and lidar scanning

With the use of green screens and stand-in props, an actor can be anywhere in the world, fighting off monsters or flying an alien spacecraft. The character or prop can be scanned or modeled and then sculpted, or if you have the proper permissions, taken from another show and used again.

Before you know it, there will be a world of digital images accessible to the entire industry through a virtual library. Shows and projects will be completely computer generated from the characters to the weapons to even the locations. The human element will exist only through motion capture and voiceovers. Story generators exist today, but maybe in a dozen years such programs will develop blockbuster scripts. Perhaps there will still be a need for a director to make sense of it all.

mocap stage

What are we getting at? We believe that in the near future movies, commercials, and television programs will be 90-100% digital. Today, 3D scanning is used as a starting point to create a digital asset, but if our predictions become reality, are you ready?

3d scanning before & after

The cameras on set may be able to capture 3D scan data as well as visual color, allowing for the viewer to pan around environments in movies – to be able to basically be your own 3D camera flying around in a free roam – or to be able to have a viewpoint from each character in a 360 degree bubble.

 

Where’s your closest TNG location?

tng vfx locations

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

5 Ways to Prep for a 3D Scanning Session

Preparing for a 3d scan is a breeze. Production life however is more chaotic because of the many scheduled activities. The right people must be available and things must be synchronized.

Here is a list we put together to help the process run smoothly:

1. Have a Visual Effects person on site with the talent with a detailed list of what needs to be scanned, as well as someone from Wardrobe to ensure they have the correct outfit that will match the scene. Determine if the talent needs their face, head, and/or full body scanned and how each part needs to be scanned: do jackets need to be open, do zippers need to be zipped up or down, does the clothing need to be layered, will their caps/masks need to be scanned separately, should jewelry be on or off, will there be any other props that need scanning? This will make sure the final product looks correct and will eliminate any back and forth during final quality control.

full body 3d scan

2. Determine if facial expressions will be needed. Will the final product need the use of blend shapes or should just a neutral pose be used for the scan?

Facial Expression Capture, 3d scans

3. Consider briefing the talent on what will be scanned. Most are OK whether they know or not, but on occasion a talent has just come out of hair and makeup and the last thing they want to do is put a wig cap over what took hours to create.

4. Coordinate the timing. What are the expectations? Always add additional time as a buffer for unexpected events and situations.

5. Prep for the scanning crew. Their needs are typically small, however it is helpful to have a table for computers and cameras, electricity, some chairs, and a certain amount of room to do the scanning.

full body 3d scan

As you can see there is not a lot of overhead, but when there are a lot of things going on at the same time, this can be more difficult than it needs to be. If done with minimal man power and some planning, it will be an easy operation. Good luck with all of your projects.

Where’s your closest TNG location?

tng vfx locations

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

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