Warning: include_once(/homepages/10/d321986576/htdocs/TNGblog/wp-content/plugins/Akismet3/Akismet3.php) [function.include-once]: failed to open stream: Permission denied in /homepages/10/d321986576/htdocs/TNGblog/wp-settings.php on line 215

Warning: include_once() [function.include]: Failed opening '/homepages/10/d321986576/htdocs/TNGblog/wp-content/plugins/Akismet3/Akismet3.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php5.2') in /homepages/10/d321986576/htdocs/TNGblog/wp-settings.php on line 215
cyber scanning

cyber scanning

Virtual Characters in Entertainment

Virtual characters are being used in all aspects of entertainment from film to television to video games as we’ve seen in many productions over the last few years, and even in musical performances as in the famous Tupac halogram. Whether a character is modeled, 3D scanned or sculpted, they are in the production.

tupac-hologram

Virtual characters have been used to create heavy crowds of armies like in 300: Rise of an Empire, and the mob of zombies in World War Z. To create this, predetermined virtual paths (waypoints) are used based on our common movements and are randomly chosen to mimic real humans.

world-war-z zombies

Nearly all video game characters are computer generated (CG) with some becoming the main star through the use of Motion Capture (MoCap) and voice-overs, such as Ellen Page‘s character in Beyond: Two Souls, or the newly released Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare featuring Kevin Spacey.

Kevin Spacey, Call of Duty, 3d facial scan

Every year we inch closer and closer to bridging the gap between virtual and reality, and like all endeavors, change is inevitable. Stay tuned for more updates. The wave that is technology is something you want to be on top of rather than submerged in.

 

Where’s your closest TNG location?

tng vfx locations

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

TNG adds Motion Capture (MOCAP) to their Services

As a 3D scanning company who primarily scans human bodies and human heads, it was only a natural progression for us to branch out into motion capture. This technology brings static dormant objects to life. A 3D scan captures the surface of a person’s skin and clothing. Once we’ve put together the scan, we unwrap the UVs and remesh it to prep it for texturing. After this step we may render the model, but the next step is to insert joints (a skeleton) so that there is something to drive the skin of the character into movement. This process is called rigging.

Melika-Mocap

Once our skeleton is sitting nicely within our CG digital double (3D scanned human), a process called weighting takes place. This allows you to determine how much of each specific joint will drive the skin near that joint, and having smoothed dialed in weights will visually create lifelike movements when the character is animated. To animate these joints without having to actually grab the joints themselves, a GUI (graphical user interface) is created, which is connected to the joints via orientation constraints. This allows an animator to more easily and intuitively animate a 3D character. After animation, the video is rendered frame by frame on a network of computers called a render farm.

The MoCap system we are using is called Noitom’s Perception. It is fully wireless, fast to setup, and easy to use. The first step is to have the talent strap up the sensors. We calibrate it to the system, and then analyze their gait (walking style). As we know a person’s posture varies, you can adjust for any imperfections by having their torso lean forward or backward as well as for how heavy their heel strike is or how weak the strike is. These features allow us to basically pre-process the animation before it’s even recorded, which results in a human looking animation despite any real-life incongruities. Once the animation is recorded, we post-process the animation in a proprietary software from Noitom, focusing on each time the character’s foot makes and loses contact with the floor to make it more realistic and believable. This process is quite easy, and quite fascinating. After this, the animation is taken to a software like MotionBuilder in which further post processing takes place as well as binding the animation to a character, and finally you may export out your realistic human motion capture data along with your CG model and render it in any software you’d like.

 

Where’s your closest TNG location?

tng vfx locations

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

 

 

 

Capturing Space Shuttle Endeavour

In September of 2012, the space shuttle Endeavour left Kennedy Space Center in Florida and began a 3 day journey on top of a 747 into LAX (the Los Angeles International Airport) to be displayed at the California Science Center. It was a fantastic affair and left many of the city’s inhabitants with a memorable and lasting impression.

endeavor flying in hollywood

The Endeavour exhibit has been on public display for the last two years and has been an inspirational and educational experience for many viewers. The Endeavour will be displayed in a vertical position to symbolize its flight into space. It was in operation for nearly two decades.

space shuttle endeavour

Magnopus along with TNG Visual Effects were given the rare opportunity to board the space shuttle and capture the inside before it was sealed off permanently. We gathered as much data as possible in preparation for a variety of augmented and virtual reality experiences that will be designed to inspire future generations, and enrapture visitors from around the world. In addition to the photography and 360º videography, Nick Tesi and the team at TNG scanned the inside in great detail using LIDAR and other 3D scanners.

Nick & Sky_Endeavour

This data will provide us with total coverage within the shuttle, and nearly limitless possibilities in the final project.

Article courtesy of Ben Grossman, VFX Supervisor & CEO, Magnopus

 

Where’s your closest TNG location?

tng vfx locations

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

TNG is Growing

TNG opened their Canadian Corporation in Vancouver and is now opening and expanding into Toronto and Montreal. Vancouver has been referred to as “Hollywood North” since the late 1970s and is in reference to their hold on being the third largest movie production center after Los Angeles and New York, as well as being in the same time zone and having the infrastructure in place to handle production projects. The title has also been used to describe Toronto, as well as the entire Canadian film industry as a whole, and offers extremely versatile landscapes for production studios to take advantage of, attractive tax credits, and highly skilled laborers in all aspects of production.

USA and Canada

TNG is headquartered in Los Angeles, and along with their move into the major cities in Canada, they have a location in Louisiana and have been working on projects in New York. These efforts give TNG the ability to service the production industry and major hubs in North America ensuring tax credits for production houses in those areas.

 

Where’s your closest TNG location?

tng vfx locations

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

What is 3D Scanning?

3D scanning is becoming a favored service by several industries such as entertainment, medical, crime scene investigation, and merchandising. It can be thought of as a type of photography in which you capture a person, object or scene in 3D, allowing for it to be rotated 360 degrees. You may also projection map photos on to whatever you have 3D scanned thus making a true to life in-color 3D replica that can be inserted and composited into any form of video or computer generated (CG) render.

Lidar Scanned Charger

To scan an environment, a type of 3D scanner is used that emits lasers for measurements and 3D reconstruction. This is called LIDAR, and will capture what is called a point cloud of 3D data. Accurate measurements of the real life scene will copy over to the 3D data, allowing for correct proportions, and to have an entire environment converted to 3D. This data can be used for many things, and will allow for use of 3D cameras, which are not under any type of real world constraints.

lidar scan of old building

It’s becoming more common for the main cast of a film or episodic to be 3D scanned for visual effects purposes, which include stunt work and digital manipulation through the use of 3d shaders and texture maps. Green screens are used to switch out the background on a set and allows a location to be anywhere, likewise a 3D scanned object can be inserted into any location.

For 3D scanning humans, white light technology has many advantages. It is safe, fast, and transportable while still capturing dense accurate data. An alternative is to use photogrammetry, in which DSLR cameras capture the data, and that data is fed through software with complex algorithms that can interpret the photos from 2D to 3D by having enough variety of angles for overage, determining X, Y, Z space.

3d scanning, lidar scanning

Regardless of the type of 3D scanning used, there will be post-processing to clean up the data and to fit the data into a quad shaped mesh over the 3D scan data. This will make the data more flexible, allowing for sculpting, UVs to be applied, and texture maps afterwards. At this point, the 3D object or person can be rigged (inserting digital joints/bones), and then animated either like a CG cartoon with plenty of squash and stretch, or like the real world characters like you and I.

Ultimately the result is of a 3D object that is a replica of their real life counterpart. It can be used in a CG scene or a real life scene by compositing it in. The viewer will be able to experience the performance, and may not even notice when the 3D effect is on screen. This art is becoming more seamless and allows for an array of creative choices that at one time wasn’t even possible.

Where’s your closest TNG location?

tng vfx locations

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