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TNG Visual Effects - 3D Scanning Services

Are Your Characters Spending Your Budget?

3D scanning characters can either be expensive or more cost effective for your project depending on how, when and where they are scanned.

We have experienced production needing a 3D scan of an actor after they had already left the show, and the cost for having them return for a scan was too expensive. We know there are a hundred ways to accomplish almost anything on a project, but if this particular actor was scanned in pre-production or between scenes, there would have been no extra cost or cause for worry.

ra data, low resolution remesh, medium resolution remesh, high resolution remesh

One suggestion that also acts as an insurance policy is to scan all of the main characters in the event their scan is needed later. These scans can then be archived until the processed data is needed. If you’ve found yourself rushing at the last minute on a project, consider the insurance policy service. It is the least expensive compared to last minute orders. Visual Effects Supervisors have confirmed that having the 3D scans readily available in post saved them a lot of work and time.

Below are some considerations to make when planning your 3D scanning.


Cut costs by performing your 3D scans in a studio. This saves you on associated costs of travel and on-site scanning fees.


If you have your own modeling team, just order the clean, raw scan. Then it’s a simple calculation of determining which type of 3D model is the most cost effective.


Consider the down time of the talent on set and schedule a team of scan technicians accordingly. This will save money and alleviate stress for the Producer, Art Director and talent.

We know you have a lot more to think about than 3D scanning your characters. Our goal is to make our service as efficient as possible. We guarantee our work and look forward to helping you experience 3D scanning at its best.

More Ways to Save: Discuss the Specs Before Your 3D Scan

  • What type of hair will your 3D models feature?
  • Will talent be in a wig cap?
  • Does the wardrobe to be scanned include clothes with reflective qualities?
  • Will you be animating cloth?
  • What is your delivery schedule?


Where is your closest location?

tng vfx locations

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



Does Your Head Work for You?

3d head scan, facial scan

In the visual effects world, it is expected that anything can be created and/or replicated. Our expertise is in replicating anything that we can scan (and we can scan pretty much everything), but our most time is spent on replicating a head shot. It is the most important work we do because every part of it from the hair line, to the ears, to the nose, to the mouth and especially the eyes need to look photo real, and it is our challenge to make the transformation from a real person to a live action cyber character 100% believable. They are what you can call our money shot; we make sure everything matches exactly to the character.

3d head scan low resolution to film resolution

Of course our model does not have a soul when we send it out, however it must be adaptable. The head may be for a movie or a commercial or a trailer in a video game and it needs to do its part in holding up the story-telling process, while at the same time having the vision come through in the VFX shot or it does not work.

We start by getting in front of the character and first scanning their head to capture every detail. It only takes a few minutes to scan, so we may shoot it a few times to make sure we have what we need. The next step is the pre-processing phase which is slowly matching and stitching the head together. We then re-topologize following the standard head cage to make sure the rigor will have the setup they can rig. Lastly, we set up the quads and edge loops for animation and UV the model to prepare for texturing.

swat team member, 3d head scan

The texture shoot is a separate photo shoot on site with a very high resolution camera to get all the details needed for texturing. We also use a polarization system to take the highlights out giving production a flat lit model to re-light and match to their own environment. When the texturing is complete, we do a final run through and QC of the model to make sure it has the level of detail needed.

Where is your closest location?

tng vfx locations

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

Lidar Scanning of Buildings, Sets and Extensions

lidar scan, 3 scan, building

More and more of the movie, TV and even game sets are being scanned and manipulated to match the vision of the director. The scanning team will start off by only scanning the building area of each shot that is set up, and later will add the surface and detail to make them part of the scene. Scanning and saving these sets will cut the cost of going back to a location in the future.

tng cg town, lidar scanning, 3d scan

3D Scanned buildings can be used for set extensions, detail, measurements, Pre-Vis, or whatever the need is.

This type of work saves hours or days of modeling and gives precision data to build extensions and props, such as gargoyles or other accessories as needed, onto or in front of the building. These scans are used to project or make videos of projected themes onto the buildings and can be blown up in war movies, or the like.

Sets that are marked to strike can take advantage of the insurance scanning concept which is to have sets scanned and then archived to eliminate the need for rebuilding.

lidar scan, 3 scan, buildingThe Lidar Scanning, or large area scanning, will also work on more organic settings like a park or country location and can be used for easements, planning and Pre-Viz. The leaves of a tree or other organic items may have to be modeled or generated in a different way, but the Lidar Scanning would be a great place to start.

TNG is in the process of building a database of 3D scans for future needs, call us for more info. Perhaps we already have something you could use.

Where is your closest location?

tng vfx locations

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

25% Discount from Memorial Day to Independence Day

To celebrate our Independence, we are offering a 25% discount on all of our 3D Scans*. Our 3D Scanning services include heads, bodies, props and large object scanning, such as cars, buildings, trucks and airplanes. We can scan on-site or at one of our locations in Los Angeles, Louisiana, Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal. Click on this link to get your coupon today: Facebook Coupon.


*Offer valid for purchases over $1,000.00. Expires July 4, 2013.

Where is your closest location?

tng vfx locations

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

Buildings, Sets, Environments: What is your background?

In Visual Effects we utilize 3D characters and props, but how about local environments (sets, buildings – interior and exterior), large vehicles (trucks, buses, tanks, airplanes, trains)? These too can be scanned digitally to create your location or asset, and be replicated or used as many times as needed.

lidar scan, 3 scan, building

3D scanners, or the replicators of today, will be building inventories of digital assets for use in the future. Of course, there will always be a need for customized models of all sizes and shapes, but the option to use generic models should be able to give your show a better look on a smaller budget.

Until then, we are taking on the challenges of 3D scanning multiple buildings, very large animals, cars, buses, trains, and planes. We are doing our best at providing a one-stop shop for all of your 3D scanning needs. The efficiency of having a team on site that can scan your talent, props, and then move into scanning the sets and other large items will be a plus for the 3D visual effects show. Budgets are getting tighter and the need is increasing for a cost effective solution that can show up fast, do their scanning, and then leave the location to advance on to capture other visual effects.

We are based in Los Angeles and have recently opened a satellite office in Louisiana. We also have partially opened offices in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.  In these locations, the tax incentives are great, and the studios and production houses are not willing to pass them up. Having a 3D scanning service bureau close at hand will help in lowering the costs and upping your flexibility to get all your scanning done without incurring additional travel costs.


Where is your closest location?

tng vfx locations

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