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scanning on set

scanning on set

Mobile Services: Tips For 3D Scanning On Site

Creating digital doubles of talent, props, vehicles, and buildings is becoming more prominent in film and television along with video game trailers and cinematics. It is vital for a company to provide a mobile service that is flexible to those involved in projects in the entertainment business. Due to their schedules being moving targets, they have come to rely on such benefits.

Mobile 3D Scanning Services

As a mobile company ourselves, here are some tips on how to provide this service, and how to best travel with your equipment.
  1. Only stay on the set as long as you’re needed. If possible, arrive and depart on the same day, or within one or two days, to save on cost. Try to travel with your equipment in the cabin so that it does not get lost in transit or in the airport.
  2. Make sure to have back-up equipment. You never know what could go wrong while you are on site, so if it is possible, carry along back-ups for each piece of equipment. Overnight shipping might work, but if you have the talent right in front of you and they are leaving that evening, it may not be an option.
  3. A mobile service needs to be reliable and produce a quality product. A decent delivery schedule is also a must. Get references if you are using someone or a company for the first time. Saving money is important, but not at the expense of losing a great shot or model.

Mobile 3D Scanning Services

Where’s your closest TNG location?

tng vfx locations

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5 Ways to Prep for a 3D Scanning Session

Preparing for a 3d scan is a breeze. Production life however is more chaotic because of the many scheduled activities. The right people must be available and things must be synchronized.

Here is a list we put together to help the process run smoothly:

1. Have a Visual Effects person on site with the talent with a detailed list of what needs to be scanned, as well as someone from Wardrobe to ensure they have the correct outfit that will match the scene. Determine if the talent needs their face, head, and/or full body scanned and how each part needs to be scanned: do jackets need to be open, do zippers need to be zipped up or down, does the clothing need to be layered, will their caps/masks need to be scanned separately, should jewelry be on or off, will there be any other props that need scanning? This will make sure the final product looks correct and will eliminate any back and forth during final quality control.

full body 3d scan

2. Determine if facial expressions will be needed. Will the final product need the use of blend shapes or should just a neutral pose be used for the scan?

Facial Expression Capture, 3d scans

3. Consider briefing the talent on what will be scanned. Most are OK whether they know or not, but on occasion a talent has just come out of hair and makeup and the last thing they want to do is put a wig cap over what took hours to create.

4. Coordinate the timing. What are the expectations? Always add additional time as a buffer for unexpected events and situations.

5. Prep for the scanning crew. Their needs are typically small, however it is helpful to have a table for computers and cameras, electricity, some chairs, and a certain amount of room to do the scanning.

full body 3d scan

As you can see there is not a lot of overhead, but when there are a lot of things going on at the same time, this can be more difficult than it needs to be. If done with minimal man power and some planning, it will be an easy operation. Good luck with all of your projects.

Where’s your closest TNG location?

tng vfx locations

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