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TNG Visual Effects - 3D Scanning Services

3D Scanning: Replicate Your World

3D scanning is the science of using various types of scanning technology to scan objects and turn them into “digital assets.” Whether your digital assets are created via a small handheld scanner, or a machine that has to be transported, the amount and types of digital assets you can create are limitless. Here are a few examples of objects your 3D scanning company should have experience creating:

  • Dynamic Objects: People, Animals, Zombies
  • Large Static Objects: Buildings, Sets, Environments
  • Transport Objects: Automobiles, Ships, Trains, Planes
  • Props or Miscellaneous Objects: Guns, Weapons, Jewelry
3d scanned props

No job too big, too small, or too awesome.

 It is recommended you use your 3D scanning company as a single source vendor to meet your needs. Keep it simple. Having one direct contact (who can provide high level customer support) for all your 3D scanning needs will simplify the process. You should also feel confident knowing your scan team has experience troubleshooting in the field.  You shouldn’t even have to ask whether or not your scan team will have back-up equipment on site. A good 3D scanning company won’t leave home without it!

The many facets of the entertainment industry are not lost on 3D scanning. Scans are useful in TV episodics, mini-series, commercials, game cinematics, trailers, and previs. Or, let your game developer begin working on your video game while you’re still shooting scenes for the main title. Asset reuse across various markets is also an attractive factor as to why your production needs cost effective 3D scans.

3D scanning is now more important than ever for creating varying degrees of visual effects shots. This technique gives the director and writer the ability to translate their story more precise to their vision. No more crashing expensive cars or wasting money on props that can’t be reused. The possibilities are greater than ever.

Go ahead, 3D scan your world. What will you replicate next?

3d scanned angel statue

The applications for your 3D scans are endless.


Where is your closest location?

tng vfx locations

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



Get What You Need! Raw Scan to Ready-to-Rig Model

Let us paint a picture. The decision to have 3D scanning done for your project has been made, and thanks to your impeccable planning and choosing of a vendor who was easy to work with, you’ve had all your characters scanned without incident. Now what?

Let’s evaluate your resources. Do you have the time to work on these models in-house? If so, can your team take the scans from ‘raw data’ to ‘fully textured’ models on schedule? If you have a staff of modelers, you can put them to work immediately and get ahead on your model development.

swat team member full head scan

Raw to Ready to Rig

On the other hand, if you are doing multiple projects and your resources are being used elsewhere, or you just don’t want to hassle with any part of the 3D model production process, your 3D scanning service company should be able to help you out.

Some 3D scanning service companies will take your models from creation in the scanning session, all the way to preparing them for rigging. In fact, some may even be able to rig the model. This service will enable you to get through projects faster. With your 3D scanning service company providing ready-to-rig models, your team can focus on other parts of your project. Just make sure your 3D scanning service company has a copy of your preferred wire-frame set-up to avoid any unnecessary back-end edits.

raw to ready to rig

Raw to Ready to Rig

Your CFO may want to run an analysis to compare the costs and determine if there are savings available. Remember, time is money. When your 3D scanning service company provides a full range of services for you, you’ve automatically increased the size of your team. As your team stays focused on other aspects of the project, the time you’ll save will be beneficial. While a cost/time analysis may seem like a chore, we believe in the end you’ll be satisfied when you see the potential savings.

The bottom line is: Get what you need! Go raw, or rig the project in your favor.

Where is your closest location?

tng vfx locations

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

One Stop Shop Scanning

You’ve heard of 3D scanning people, props and maybe an animal here and there, but what if you wanted to scan an entire Ark to house these characters? How about several store fronts along a sea port, or perhaps a 350 foot cargo ship? Yes, we know that script sometimes calls for props in all shapes and sizes.

Lidar scanning on site, battle ship

There are quite a few 3d scanning companies that offer lidar scanning, or large area scanning, but the key is to find a company that can meet all of your 3d scanning needs, big and small. That way you can get all the data you need from one place, rather than having to coordinate with several companies, not to mention having to negotiate with all of them.

Building exteriors and interiors for sets give production the ability to first use them as pre-vis and then as rendered backgrounds. The same goes for ships, airplanes, tanks and any other item you may need for your environment. Scanning a set before it is taken down is a great insurance policy in case you need it as background for a shot in the future. Having a building or area 3D scanned will also give you the exact measurements which you may find helpful when matching the set to the needs of the film or situation.

lidar scan building

We continue working on our database of digital assets and look forward to the day that we have enough buildings, ships and other vehicles to cover most of what production needs. In the meantime, we are always available to scan your buildings, sets, and anything else you need. We are mobile, flexible and affordable, and will provide you with not only a usable asset, but a good quality one.

Where is your closest location?

tng vfx locations

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

The Truth About 3D Scanning Systems

There has been a lot of talk recently about the new 3d scanners and their capability, but what does it take to actually operate one? And, most importantly, do they really save on time and cost?

3d scanned full body and head

These scanners provide a basic starting point at a lower quality of detail, and at times are more work for a modeler. It is just one step up from sculpting your entire model, and does not include precision detail. Not to mention, it takes experienced scanning technicians to operate these systems. Believe me, if they could easily and automatically create what was needed, we would have 10 of them around the world.

We are constantly shopping for better systems out in the market to get faster, higher quality results, and at a lower cost, but everything seems to be a trade off. So we find what works, and what works well for our projects to give our clients the best value for their money.

3d scanned head

Another item to think about is the color capability of a 3d scanner, which is typically low resolution and not usable. When we are on a job, we have a professional photo shoot allowing us to deliver high resolution texture maps of up to 8k x 8k to our clients. It is a process of setting up and delivering the content needed by production, or the game company looking for photorealistic models for their cinematic’s or trailers.


I have no doubt that in the future technology capability will increase for the end user, and thus putting scanning capability in everyone’s hands. Until then, evaluate what you need and either decide to buy a professional grade 3D Scanner, or call your local 3D Scanning Service to have your work done with great, reliable systems that you can count on for today’s projects.

Where is your closest location?

tng vfx locations

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



Navigating the World of 3D Scanning

You almost need a road map to navigate through the 3D scanning world, that is if you use 3D scanned models. There are so many choices and so little time, and even less budget. The shrinking budgets and growing needs of production, the “more for less” syndrome, have affected all of us, and multiplied by the need for faster turnaround times, more ploy’s, deeper bit depth and more maps (texture, ambient, secular, normal, displacement, occlusion, dirt, etc.), can feel demanding. However, this is our industry today, so it is either get on board or move over.

dynamic cloth test

To help make the 3d scanning process more of a breeze, we put together a few tips that hopefully provide a more efficient and cost effective experience during your next project.

Tip # 1 – Know what you want from the start. This may seem simple, but often difficult as the show unfolds and needs changes. However, you are in a powerful position if you know what the needs are ahead of time and can focus on that. Abstracts are confusing and slows down a bidding process.

Tip # 2 – Be specific and detailed when explaining what or who is being scanned. To make sure the 3d scanning crew captures what you need, give full details ahead of time about what they will be scanning, and what you expect the final product to look like. For example, you may want the 3d model to be wearing a jacket, but want it open. Make sure to communicate that detail to the crew to eliminate having to rescan or remodel parts of the jacket.

Tip # 3 – Let the 3d scanning crew know how much time they have to scan and deliver the product. There are certain clothing items that take more time to scan and replicate, such as lacy items, transparent material, a high gloss leather jacket or anything black and shiny. All of these items will slow down the process, so it is important for the team to know if the director needs the items back on site right away, or if a stand in cloth can be used.

Tip # 4 – Find out what part of replicating the character you can do in house. To possibly save on time and cost, find out what your team has time to do. Perhaps you have an awesome texturing department that may want to take cleaned up scans that are remodeled and UV’d to texture them. Normally this is done by the scanning crew, but it could be done in house if you have texture people available, or even modelers to take it from a raw format.

expressions, 3d head scan

Our goal through these monthly columns is to take what we see in the field and provide you with information that can save you time and money, and to help you see your characters as you have envisioned them.

Where is your closest location?

tng vfx locations

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