Building Digital Doubles: More Art or Science?

All characters in our world are first 3D Scanned. Whether we are scanning a human or a Marquette, it all starts with the scan. The question is, is there more art or science in creating a realistic digital double?

raw to ready to rig

SCIENCE. The 3D scanning system uses white light technology to capture all parts of the model or object – measurements, wrinkles, clothing, shapes, bumps, etc. These items are the first level of the character and provide our artists with a great starting point. This is not saying that an artist couldn’t get there without the science of 3D scanning, but as the clock is always ticking, who has the time to start from scratch?

3d scanned full body and head

When we’re working on a project with a short time-frame, typically the speed of the project is a “push and pull” process with technology. We are pushing to keep our quality and the company needing the finished product is pulling to get it in production. Now, if there was the option between the two, we’re sure speed would be the easier choice; however it is our practice to create production lines that are built for quality.

ART. The artists (modelers and texture artists) take a 3D scanned model or object and mold or sculpt it into an exact replica of the original. This relies on the talent of an experienced artist whose eye can see things most can’t. An artist must have the skill to use their tools as their forefathers; however, instead of applying paints to a canvas, they use computers with specific software.

3d facial scan, low resolution to film resolution

Yes, we still use some of the old tools in the 21st century, but the tools of the majority are based on science and how you can have your whole studio with you in a computer. You can even output that final work to a color printer, film, a 3D printer or whatever the need. It ends with the mastery of your tools.

Today, Art and Science are described as the tools of today and tomorrow. As time passes, the tools change, we change and the world goes on.


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