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TNG Visual Effects - 3D Scanning Services

Characters On The Move

If one or more characters needs to perform incredible stunts like jumping off a cliff or catching on fire, or if they need to transform into a liquid or a creature, creating a digital double of your talent is a great start.

viking 3d model, digital double

There are several ways to create a digital double or 3D model.

Option 1: Buy an already made 3D model online and use it as a template.

Option 2: Hire a 3D modeler to create one for you.

Option 3: Buy a 3D scanner and create one yourself.

Option 4: Hire a 3D scanning service bureau.

To start, find out the details about the type of model you need. For example, does the model need to be high quality or is a lower quality model ok?  If you need high quality, how detailed does it need to be? Will the character be wearing anything on their face or body such as glasses or gloves? Do you need facial expressions? Does the model need to be ready for rigging? These are some questions to ask yourself.

facial expressions for reference

Once that is sorted, if you decide to go with Option 4, it is a good idea to get several quotes from various providers. This way you can compare prices and see what you can get within your budget. Have the vendors give you a break down of each service included in the price and what is an additional cost. This will help you identify exactly what you will be charged for and not be surprised later.

As you are going through the vetting process, ask the vendors to send you samples of their work. What you receive will dictate how much work you may need to do on your end.  Find out how long it will take them to deliver the final model. Since everyone is on a tight schedule these days, the last thing you need is your VFX crew waiting around for the final model to complete a shot or segment.

full body 3d scan

Make sure to get references on the vendor you decide to use, if you don’t already know them.

Lastly, ask if they offer onsite scanning. If they are local, ask if they have a studio you can send your talent to if budgets are tight. At times there is no charge if you go to their location.

This is just a little insight we have gathered working in the industry. Good luck with your shows, films and other projects. Hopefully this bit of information brings you some luck.


Where is your closest location?

tng vfx locations

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

Click here to see our list of credits on IMDb.3d scanning services

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Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality

The hot topic right now is virtual reality and the tools that support it such as the Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard.

There’s also been some talk about augmented reality, but what is the difference between the two? Let’s see if we can sort it out for you.

Virtual reality (VR)
replicates an environment that simulates physical presence in places in the real world or imagined worlds and lets the user interact in that world. Virtual reality artificially creates sensory experiences, which can include sight, hearing, touch, and smell. (Wikipedia.com)

oculus rift

Augmented reality (AR)
is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. (Mashable.com)

google cardboard

That was easy enough. Maybe some examples will help.

VR:  As the excitement continues to rise for the release of the new Star Wars movie,
Star Wars: The Force Awakens , a couple months back an ‘Immersive 360 Experience’ was released exclusively to Facebook. Watching the clip through a VR headset, you are taken across the Jakku desert and have a full 360 degree view of your surroundings.

360 degree of jakkuClick here to watch. You will need to be signed into Facebook.

AR:  At SIGGRAPH Asia this year, one of the panelists was an AR researcher from Columbia University named Steven Feiner. In his interview with fxguide about AR in today’s world, he stated AR can provide us with “…information that is otherwise invisible be made visible directly in the real world context to which it applies.” (Click here to read the full interview.)

In this clip, Steven Feiner’s research group takes you through a procedural task using AR. You can see how it makes the procedure easier to complete and also cuts down on time.

AR procedural task AR Procedural Task

We can understand the hype around VR and AR. It brings new experiences not only for entertainment but for education and medical procedures. However, it is still in the development stage and in need of more content (which we’ve heard is not easy to create).

We’re betting on it though and hope to see some real uses for it in the future.


Where is your closest location?

tng vfx locations

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

Click here to see our list of credits on IMDb.3d scanning services

Creating Your Digital World Using LIDAR

It’s been a gradual and steady move towards using digital assets in film and television. Today anything can be 3D scanned and placed into a scene during pre-production or post. How can LIDAR 3D scanning enhance your film or television project?

lidar scan_carousel

LIDAR is typically used when a set, vehicle, environment or interior/exterior of a building needs to be replicated digitally. A 3D scan gives accurate measurements up to 1 mm, and allows such things as lighting and shadowing to fall correctly. Visual effects artists are a large part of the process and using a 3D scan is a great starting point. Some visual effects teams will use digital sets during pre-vis to see how the scene will play out. For example, digital assets can be used when a set needs to be highly manipulated, such as turning modern scenery into mid-century scenery.

lidar scan building

For the film Ant-Man, VFX Supervisor, Jake Morrison used 3D scanning, along with several other processes, to create some of the major scenes. If you’ve seen the film and recall the Thomas the Tank Engine scene, that was entirely computer generated.


LIDAR 3D scanning in conjunction with character 3D scanning is an efficient way to begin any production, whether it is for film or television. We continue providing our mobile 3D scanning service to productions throughout North America. We are currently forming teams in the tax credit localities for those looking for a tax break. Let us know how we can help you with your next project.

Where is your closest location?

tng vfx locations

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

Click here to see our list of credits on IMDb.3d scanning services

Marketing Your Products Online

Consider how many people shop online. With Amazon and eBay being household names, and nearly every large chain retail store being online, how do you make your merchandise stand out?

3d scanned shoe

When you think of 3D scanning you wouldn’t typically think about online shopping, but you should. 3D scanning your merchandise for display online is a great starting point for any manufacturer. The 3D scan gives almost exact dimensions of each product and essentially a template for products that come in many colors and textures. You can also create a digital prototype as you’re creating new products.

3d scanning merchandise

Recently, Amazon acquired Shoefitr which has a database of 3D scanned shoes. When a customer is shopping for shoes online, Shoefitr will compare their specific shoe size with certain brands of shoes to help the customer choose the correct size. For example, if a size 8 tennis shoe of a certain brand is equal to a size 8.5 in another brand, Shoefitr will provide suggestions on sizing of the shoe you are shopping for.


The hope is to eliminate returns that not only cost the company but affect the customers experience as well.

3d scanning props

This is just one example of how 3D scanning can assist in marketing your product online. A 3D scan also provides a three-dimensional look for your customers where they can view every angle in detail before purchase.

3d scanned glasses

3d scanned glasses

How can 3D scanning help you in your marketing efforts?

Where is your closest location?

tng vfx locations

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

Click here to see our list of credits on IMDb.3d scanning services