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TNG Visual Effects - 3D Scanning Services

New 3D Scanners Are Coming Out All the Time

With new 3D scanners hitting the market, like the Kinect Solution and accessories that can turn your iPad into a 3D scanner, are you thinking about bringing 3D scanning in-house?

The cost of buying and maintaining 3D scanning equipment is high, and when we read about the new scanners and their lower costs, we were very excited. As we investigated further we found the lower cost does not actually include a quality scan. The reality is, quality comes with a price and it would be difficult to bring a lower quality scan to a professional environment.

Here are some issues we found with the lower cost 3D scanners:

1. The measurements, distance and size are not a close enough match to the model or object and there is little detail in the scan data. Although our artists would be able to sculpt something out of these scans, our customers on occasion ask for the raw data. With the data the lower cost scanners put out, only some scaling can be done based on camera lenses, but not much more.

LIDAR SCANNED BUILDING, 3D SCANNING2. Unable to provide texture maps. We provide texture maps to our customers from a system that captures non reflective looks and detail for texturing back onto the model or object to make it look realistic. The data the new scanners capture is not detailed enough to provide any type of map. Production studios at times require the final product to be shown on 4K x 4K screens.


The lower cost scanners are good for smaller projects or specialty items that do not require a lot of detail, and will be challenging if you are looking to create a professional digital asset. Because we work with 3d scanning equipment everyday, we wanted to let you know our thoughts on the lower cost scanners. Please share any ideas or insights you have if your findings are different than ours.

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tng vfx locations

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

Building Digital Doubles: More Art or Science?

All characters in our world are first 3D Scanned. Whether we are scanning a human or a Marquette, it all starts with the scan. The question is, is there more art or science in creating a realistic digital double?

raw to ready to rig

SCIENCE. The 3D scanning system uses white light technology to capture all parts of the model or object – measurements, wrinkles, clothing, shapes, bumps, etc. These items are the first level of the character and provide our artists with a great starting point. This is not saying that an artist couldn’t get there without the science of 3D scanning, but as the clock is always ticking, who has the time to start from scratch?

3d scanned full body and head

When we’re working on a project with a short time-frame, typically the speed of the project is a “push and pull” process with technology. We are pushing to keep our quality and the company needing the finished product is pulling to get it in production. Now, if there was the option between the two, we’re sure speed would be the easier choice; however it is our practice to create production lines that are built for quality.

ART. The artists (modelers and texture artists) take a 3D scanned model or object and mold or sculpt it into an exact replica of the original. This relies on the talent of an experienced artist whose eye can see things most can’t. An artist must have the skill to use their tools as their forefathers; however, instead of applying paints to a canvas, they use computers with specific software.

3d facial scan, low resolution to film resolution

Yes, we still use some of the old tools in the 21st century, but the tools of the majority are based on science and how you can have your whole studio with you in a computer. You can even output that final work to a color printer, film, a 3D printer or whatever the need. It ends with the mastery of your tools.

Today, Art and Science are described as the tools of today and tomorrow. As time passes, the tools change, we change and the world goes on.


Where is your closest location?

tng vfx locations

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

Mobility in Service

To have a studio today is a wonderful accomplishment. This means you can afford the overhead of providing a place to ply your skills. The biggest advantage is being able to control your set up – your full crew on hand and all of your equipment available in the event you need to fix or replace anything. It is almost the perfect scenario.

Getting Ready for the Photo Shoot

Full size light for Body 3D Scanning Photo Shoot

However, if you service the entertainment industry, this changes quite a bit. It is the industry that never sleeps which makes the talent in high demand with definite time constraints. It’s a fast-paced environment of get in, wait, do your part in the least amount of time skillfully and then get out of the way. It’s not a cruel business; it’s what makes working in our field so exciting.

3D scanning equipment

The ability to be a mobile business that is also flexible is important in the entertainment industry. Production is always on the move whether they are working on a film, a commercial, a trailer for a game or a TV Series, and depend on businesses that understand their demanding schedules. As their budgets get tighter, the need to be available at a moment’s notice is what they rely on. This can add a bit of stress on all involved, especially as things change based on the needs of the project, availability of the talent and sometimes the weather, but the more flexible and mobile we can be help us meet the needs of our clients.

Lidar scanning on site, battle ship

This strategy is not for the weak of heart, it is for those who excel under pressure. They need to have efficient technology allowing them to get in and out quickly, the ability to get back to their facility, unload all of their data, process it and send it out to the group that needs to integrate it into their part of the project. We know it sounds a little militaristic. Maybe we’ll start recruiting from Special Forces in the military – just the strategists of course.


Where is your closest location?

tng vfx locations

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

Transition from Creative Thought to Reality with Digital Assets

You might already know that the digital age is here and as we move into the future, more digital content will be needed to support television, movies headed to the big screen, commercials, and print ads on magazines and billboards. We haven’t even mentioned video games. If you’re in production, how long will you wait before including the necessary digital assets needed to cut time and cost?

tng cg town, lidar scanning, 3d scanning

More producers and directors have increased their usage of digital assets. This includes their set environments, foregrounds, elements or props, characters, and at times even the action taking place on the stage. We have scanned several large vehicles and areas for production, including an entire two block area of buildings on both sides of a street. By building in the present, we can use our knowledge from the past to help us turn our creative thought into reality, paying attention to current trends that aid us in this endeavor.

3d scanned locomotive, train

No, the time for 100% digital is not today or tomorrow, but it is coming.  We are ready, and will be here to help you get the data you need to include more digital assets in your production.

Where is your closest location?

tng vfx locations

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

Happy Thanksgiving from TNG Visual Effects!

We are thankful for our wonderful clients!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and your family!



Where is your closest location?

tng vfx locations

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