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head scans

head scans

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.