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Technology Is Accelerating & Helping Us Live Smarter

Usually we talk about 3D scanning and visual effects and how the two connect. But let’s take a moment and talk about technology today. Do you think we have seen it all? Look at where we are already. We can ask the devices in our pockets what the weather is, for a phone number, for directions, to send someone a text, and the list goes on. It takes us back to an earlier episode of Star Trek where Scotty tries to talk to a Mac computer.

star trekCars are finally starting to catch up with our expectations. Maybe we haven’t discovered how to make them fly yet, but they are driving themselves. Tesla has jumped out with their version of getting on the highway and letting the car steer itself, change lanes and slow you down before you hit the car in front of you.

tesla car

For those tailgaters not driving a Tesla, maybe the break lights will flash “SLOW DOWN.”

We’ve also noticed more cars coming out with parallel parking assist. By the time we have to give up our licenses, cars will drive themselves!

Another technology that could be coming our way is Corning’s vision of the future. In their video “A Day Made of Glass,” they highlight a multitude of benefits of having the ability to easily transfer video from one surface to another. Click on the picture.

A Day Made of Glass

We are in for some real treats in the not so distant future. In fact, we are getting little tastes of them now. For those of you that take some time to adopt to change, there’s always the option of moving to the country and living in a cabin. :)


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

Last Minute 3D Scanning?

You wouldn’t think something like 3D scanning would be an afterthought or that it could be done last minute. But you would be surprised at how many of our customers call us asking for a 3D scanning session within a day or two of the call. Sometimes the need isn’t realized until it becomes obvious the story line calls for it.

full body 3d scan

The question is can a 3D scanning session happen last minute? The answer is yes! Our equipment is small and portable and allows us to bring it to any location needing 3D scanning. We go on site most often, but from time to time the talent will come to our studio in Los Angeles. Typically it is not the 3D scanning part that can lock you up, unless of course the talent suddenly becomes unavailable. What can become time-consuming, however is the clean up and polish.

full body 3d scan

3d scan day

As with many companies in this industry, when we are called on a bigger job we work with contractors to assist us with the project. The contractors work under our guidance to keep all work secure and to keep the quality at its highest level. With smaller projects we find our core group to be sufficient.

Catch the Christmas Spirit

When deciding to work on last minute needs for 3D scanning, be sure to do a thorough check of the company you select. Compare your options not only for quality but delivery time as well.

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

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

Building Characters in Challenging Conditions

Not all 3D characters or digital models are easy to create or build. Some are more difficult than others. Even though there are a number of circumstances that can make a 3D scanning session more challenging, there’s always a way to make it go as smooth as possible. Here are some challenges we’ve faced over the years, and some ways we’ve been able to get through it.

full body 3d scans

Challenge #1: The talent is confused, upset or nervous.

Solution: In our experience, we’ve found explaining some of the process before we get started helps to calm down the talent. Many times they are going from one place to the next and haven’t been briefed on what is about to happen. Patience and understanding goes a long way.

Challenge #2: The talent is only available for a short amount of time.

Solution: Find out what will be needed in the final delivery, what definitely needs to be 3D scanned in detail, and what can be left out.

Challenge #3: One or more of the following occurs:
1. The talent is very tall.
2.The wardrobe has many layers and details, or is is shiny/transparent.
3. There are prosthetics involved.

full body 3d scan plus textures

Solution: If there is a limited amount of time to scan the talent, we will consult with the person in charge to see what is absolutely necessary. We can also scan wardrobe and prosthetics separately. With shiny or transparent material, one solution is to spray it with a dulling spray.

Challenge #4: The scanning session is outside in bad weather conditions.

We have come across some situations where the scan must be outside in the hot sun or with strong wind and sand blowing everywhere. Sometimes it’s too hot or cold to take out all of the equipment.

Solution: One suggestion is to have production build a tent to protect the scanning of the talent from the weather conditions. Sometimes a simple relocation between trailers will also work. We have found production crews to be very resourceful and creative in finding a solution. Again, if time is an issue we will always ask which parts are most crucial.

full body 3d scan with props

We know it won’t always be perfect so we try to keep our minds open and focused on the task at hand.


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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

Cyber Characters That Can Move It

If you are developing characters for film, television, or game project, you will certainly want them to move, and even more – you want them to come off with personality, punch, and pizzazz. Whether the character is dancing, fighting, or just being a zombie, in order for the audience to believe in the character their body language has got to show it.


There is a level of expectation when it comes to people because we know how we are supposed to interact and move. The best measurement of movement is what we can record and emulate. The real test of human movement is in the face. This is where we need the most focused attention. We need to stay out of the uncanny valley when dealing with conversations between the character and the real actors. Creating an Avatar using Motion Capture helps it move in the same likeness. At some point in the future we could even mix our cyber characters with real actors and not know the difference.

3d scan_full body_lidar_large vehicle and building

When this is mastered we will be headed toward an all CG or digital entertainment programming that looks like the real thing. It is an exciting time in the industry as the momentum of using digital elements permeates the screen. With more and more effects added with no seams the audience is left with the thought of, “How did they do that?”

3D Head Scan, superhero

We still need to master the clone in appearance and performance both in body language and facial performance, thus being the puppeteers for future programming.

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