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TNG Visual Effects - 3D Scanning Services

This Ain’t Your Father’s Car!

Remember your dad’s car, the old station wagon that was big enough to hold the entire family? Yes, it was a sensible solution for transportation, but it wasn’t too exciting. Times have changed and dads are now driving renovated or re-engineered muscle cars like the Charger, reliving the days of their fathers and grandfathers. They can go with a big engine that can pass anything (but a gas station!), or look good in a 4 cylinder that just sips the gas and saves you money.

lidar scan_dodge charger

Whatever your pleasure, or need, we can scan it. We’ve been involved in scanning a variety of cars for films, tv episodes and commercials and have scanned everything from the ultra sleek Lamborghini to hard tops, convertibles, VW Bugs and Ford Thunderbirds. We’ve scanned them all.

We handle each car like it is our own, with tender loving care. First, we have a photo shoot to get high resolution reference pictures for texture maps. Next, we prep the surface of the car by coating it with a dulling spray that can be easily washed or polished right off. We then paper the windows as the scans go right through them. Finally, we scan the car using our FARO scanner, a high-speed 3D laser scanner for detailed measurement and documentation, to get every side of the car and collect as much information as possible. If more than one vehicle needs to be scanned, we will do the photo shoot and preparation simultaneously, building a work flow that keeps the process moving quickly.

3d scanned chevelle, lidar scanning

Once we are back in the studio, we go through the data and rebuild the model and re-topologize with quads. Depending on your needs, we can also place UV’s on before delivering the product, since most customers like to finish the cars with reflection maps themselves. The whole process can take a few days to a week to complete, again based on your needs and how many artists are on the project.

We also have the ability to scan larger vehicles like vans, trucks and trains, as well as period pieces like covered wagons, stage coaches, planes and tanks from different wars. Whether your father drives it, you drive it, or a chauffeur drives it, we can scan it and make it a 3D model for your show.

Where is your closest location?

tng vfx locations

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

Elvis Presley for Halloween?

What better way to honor Elvis Presley than to impersonate the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll?

We took it upon ourselves to get out there and find an Elvis impersonator, who was also an expert. He came dressed in Elvis’ iconic white jumpsuit and was the same size and weight for that period. We did a full body 3D scan to get the entire suit. Our biggest challenge was replicating the transparent stones through modeling and getting them back on the suit.

full body 3d scan of Elvis

Although the performer didn’t look exactly like Elvis, we used his head as a place holder. We then looked through the web and chose a picture we felt represented that period in his life and really showed the King in full performance. We went with an action shot that captured the essence of Elvis singing his songs. We recreated that look in ZBrush and added cyber hair. We then modeled the mic stand and mic. It was a labor of love to honor such an icon and a talent.

So, if you’re Elvis this Halloween, walk proud, smile and sign lots of autographs. It would be all the better if you can sing and move too! You will bring back lots of fond memories to people who watched him or had seen him perform in the past.


Where is your closest location?

tng vfx locations

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

How Do Your Buildings and Sets Measure Up?

While scanning buildings, accuracy is often a question that arises, and for good reason. The system we use captures one million points per second. These buildings, which are scanned, will be used as targets to build additional pieces either physically or digitally. This gives the project (film or TV) a real-time blueprint, in which they can safely plan around, saving time.

tng cg town, lidar scanning, 3d scanning

Our large-scale scanning system is precise and fast as it creates a virtual copy of reality with millimeter-accuracy. This gives us the ability to acquire our scan data rather quickly so that we can both be out of production’s way and on our way to pre-processing the data. These types of 3D scanners, which can scan large real-world objects, are known as Lidar scanners and are used in dozens of fields because of their accurate measurements. Surveyors are commonly seen using this type of equipment. Ours is highly transportable which allows us to be on-set, as needed.


We use this technology to scan building interiors and exteriors, car interiors and exteriors, trains, planes, and many other objects that would not be practical for other types of scanners. Although the scanner we use is able to capture color information, we prefer to shoot high resolution HD images. This allows us to project the HD reference photography onto the texture maps.

lidar scan building

When in pursuit of 3D scanning, it is highly effective to use one 3D scanning company for all your needs. This will minimize costs and delays, save you time in communicating and reduces the number of people you have on the set. This makes for less things to coordinate and more precise control, which is vital for production.


Where is your closest location?

tng vfx locations

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

From Statue to Real Life – Texturing for 3D Models

Do your artists possess the talent required to get the most out of reference photos and software like Mari and Photoshop?

To begin building your textures, it’s best to start with the highest resolution photos. We capture raw images in our photography and process them to ensure that the white balance, exposure, and any other needed adjustments are made prior to texturing. We output the images as non-compressed tiffs so that the final delivered texture has no unnecessary compression which degrades the colors and details. When shooting photography, we opt for cross polarization filters to eliminate highlights if necessary, or use a macro lens if we’re dealing with small objects. The reason to use cross polarization is to end up with a flat texture that can be lit later to match the lighting conditions of the film, television or game project.


To apply the texture on the 3D model, UV’s must be set down. Based on your project, you may want to use a variety of maps to get the effect you desire. Our most commonly asked for texture maps are diffuse (color), normal maps, and displacement maps. Ambient occlusion maps, specular maps, and cavity maps are available upon request.

full body 3d scan

Likewise, the size of the texture can be suited to your needs. Regardless of your desired output, we’ll texture at a high resolution and downsize it to your needs or keep it as high as necessary. The most asked for resolution on texture maps is 4k (4096×4096).

Textures give your model life. Whether your artists drink Xango juice or not, your 3D scanning company should offer customization and specifications to meet your needs. Top notch texture maps will make you think, “Yea, that’s my model!” Go ahead, you can say it…Winning!


Where is your closest location?

tng vfx locations

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

3D Scanning Services: Have It Your Way!

If you have a strong team of modelers, and proprietary topology, you may want your 3D scanning company to only deliver raw scans. If your 3D scanning company also provides the reference pictures, you may also want to request them separately and at a high resolution since you will probably need to UV and re-texture the model anyway. This could be a cost-effective measure based on the project budget. However, if your resources are an issue, your 3D scanning company should be able to provide you with a textured re-meshed model. This would only leave you with the rigging of the characters. It will be prudent to have the CG Lead send your scanning company a wire-frame that your riggers can use right from the scan, saving you time and money.

swat, full body scan, wireframe

Time schedules are also a useful measure to ensure prompt delivery of your models. Proper scheduling enables you to prioritize your characters. Your 3D scanning company understands that priorities change, projects become halted, and can undergo major transitions throughout the process. This experience allows your 3D scanning company to give you the flexibility you need in order to complete your project.

swat team member full head scan

Working closely with your 3D scanning company is imperative to ensure proper and timely delivery of your models. Communicate clearly and frequently as you work together to complete the project.


Where is your closest location?

tng vfx locations

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