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cyber scans

cyber scans

Pilot Season is Coming!

Has Pilot Season already begun? Some say we’re always in Pilot Season with television episodics now starting all year long. Nevertheless, it’s an extraordinary time as the hundreds of pilots get whittled down to about 70 for internal consideration, with a handful finally making it to air.


Many new shows have incorporated visual effects which is impressive due to the fast-pace and long-hours culture of filming for television. It takes an exceptional team of talented and dedicated producers, directors, supervisors, and visual effects artists to achieve incredible visual effects. It’s amazing when you think about it.

Some great examples are shows like HBO’s Game of Thrones and Netflix’s Marco Polo. Although some may have a larger budget to work with, that doesn’t take away from the amount of work it takes to produce a visually stimulating series.


Other episodics that air on network television like Star Trek, CSI, Agents of Shield, Once Upon a Time, Sleepy Hollow and Grey’s Anatomy (which has been on air for 10 years!) have also produced great visual effects, and with stories that captivate their viewers. The proof is in their large following of fans. Television shows have always had a tighter budget and now with the right technology in place, coupled with a lot of hard work, they get it done.


It really is a fascinating market to be part of today. We continue providing our 3D scanning services for television series and films and love seeing how these characters, sets, and props are transformed. Our hats go off to the VFX Producers and VFX Supervisors that make it all work. These are the real magicians in the field. Keep those great shows coming.

To see a list of Network pilots in consideration for 2015, click here.


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Artec Interviews TNG: Eva and Spider: Bringing you mind-blowing visuals

Artec scanners really help us bring excellent, high quality 3D models to our clients. Our founder, Nick Tesi sat down with Artec Group Inc. and discussed the process behind 3D scanning and how it plays a big part in the entertainment industry.

Read the full article here.

3d scanning, head scan

full body 3d scan

3d scanning merchandise


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When Is Our 3D Scanning Job Complete?

We just finished a complex scanning job that involved several large elements – all to be 3D scanned on stage using Lidar Scanners – within one day.

We were asked to scan all of the elements immediately because one of the sets was scheduled to be immersed in a water tank, which would make it difficult and possibly more time consuming to scan later.

lidar scan of building

To complete this job, we needed to coordinate not just our scanning schedule and professional photo session, but also plan around the various painters, the special effects crew, the riggers, the grip and electric crews, and the production department – all of whom also needed access to the same elements in order to meet their own deadlines.

Naturally, the crew’s workflow constantly changed, so we had to work around these shifting schedules; however, because we were well prepared, and had carefully coordinated with each of the various department heads, we were able to successfully scan all of the required objects within a normal day’s schedule.

lidar scan, building scan, large area scan

For TNG, it’s not just about creating an exceptional 3D scan, but it’s also about accommodating our client and their own schedules throughout the entire process. We keep our clients continuously updated on the progress of each stage of cleanup and texturing. Our job is complete when our customers walk away with a smile and the satisfaction that the project was accomplished not just professionally, but also as smoothly as possible.

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Bringing 3D Scanning into the World of Immersive Media

TNG Visual Effects is working with Vortex Immersion Media to bring 3D scanning technology into the world of immersive media – a form of virtual reality.

Vortex specializes in 360-degree immersive visualization environments and programming, ranging from large-scale digital domes to home experiences on virtual reality headsets. Founded in 2007 by entertainment technology engineer Ed Lantz and his partner Matt Fannon, Vortex brings a mesmerizing ‘stimulation of senses’ into mainstream entertainment markets.

Vortex Immersion Media Dome

Vortex has produced immersive media experiences for themed entertainment attractions, digital planetariums, and for numerous Fortune 500 companies including Microsoft, NFL, Nike, and Turner Broadcast. Earlier this year, Vortex created a ‘branded experience’ for PepsiCo at the Super Bowl Village in Times Square, supplying branded projection mapping onto an 80′ diameter dome stage. They also built two mobile dome theaters at Comic Con in San Diego.

PepsiCo, Vortex Immersion Media Dome

The Comic Con domes presented a 360-degree 4D “thrill ride” adventure within narrative story worlds for television networks. The Constantine Dome, created for NBCUniversal in cooperation with Pop2Life, was a 3.5 minute cinema journey into the spooky world of the new series. The venue incorporated 46 theater seats and 4D effects including wind and strobes.


Vortex also operates the Vortex Dome, the first commercial immersive media production studio and events venue located in downtown Los Angeles. The 50′ diameter venue has been home to a number of “black box” theater productions, in addition to shoots for feature films and TV shows.

– Ed Lantz, President & CEO, VORTEX Immersion Media

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Building 3D Character

There are three components to creating a great life-like 3D character. The first component is making sure the character design itself looks realistic. The second component is the full body animation and seeing how it moves – whether it’s stiff, jerky, ill-timed, or even too smooth like an astronaut on the moon. In working with live action, the character needs to have fluid movement to match that of a live character. The third component is facial animation, which is nearly always the giveaway. The facial performance needs to be strong because we know what faces look like and interact with them every day. It’s easy to comprehend a person’s emotion by looking at their face, but in 3D that must be created. It’s not difficult to land in the ‘uncanny valley’ with the dead flat eyes with a thousand yard stare and lower forehead. But as a VFX community, we’re getting closer to mastering this.


Melika as a fully rendered image in high resolution

Building a 3D character can be done in several ways. The quickest way, and which is now becoming the most acceptable method, is to use 3D scanning. The dimensions that come from a 3D scan are accurate, saving a character artist more time to develop the final look of the model. The overall structure of the body and the look of the skin all need to look like a real person. From the hair to the cyber clothing, every part needs to flow naturally. The real life character and the virtual character need to make a person wonder which is which. It shouldn’t even be a question. All elements on the screen should look real – right out of our world – and not polygons or pixels.


When using a motion capture system to create and capture the movement of a character, the only decision to make is to find a system you feel best serves your needs and your budget. As time goes on the prices will fall as more and more characters are done this way. There are systems on the market if all you need is a simple walk or run, however, in most cases there is a need for custom movement that will go through current pipelines using a standard like Autodesk MotionBuilder. This industry has had some vast improvements over the last years, especially with movies like Avatar and The Lord of the Rings. It was a combination of technology and talent that allowed the Mocap movements to translate so well into the final result.

The last piece is the facial performance capture. If not done correctly, the upper part of the face (dead eyes or a low forehead) could give it all away. It takes time and talent to get this right, not to mention the cost. Now that we’re offering full body motion capture systems and services, our next stop on the road will be facial performance capture. Naturally all this technology blends together to create 3D effects that look entirely real.

Good luck in 2015 to all of you on your search for the best and most cost effective service that meets your delivery times, and gives you the product you need.

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tng vfx locations

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