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Technology Is Accelerating & Helping Us Live Smarter

Usually we talk about 3D scanning and visual effects and how the two connect. But let’s take a moment and talk about technology today. Do you think we have seen it all? Look at where we are already. We can ask the devices in our pockets what the weather is, for a phone number, for directions, to send someone a text, and the list goes on. It takes us back to an earlier episode of Star Trek where Scotty tries to talk to a Mac computer.

star trekCars are finally starting to catch up with our expectations. Maybe we haven’t discovered how to make them fly yet, but they are driving themselves. Tesla has jumped out with their version of getting on the highway and letting the car steer itself, change lanes and slow you down before you hit the car in front of you.

tesla car

For those tailgaters not driving a Tesla, maybe the break lights will flash “SLOW DOWN.”

We’ve also noticed more cars coming out with parallel parking assist. By the time we have to give up our licenses, cars will drive themselves!

Another technology that could be coming our way is Corning’s vision of the future. In their video “A Day Made of Glass,” they highlight a multitude of benefits of having the ability to easily transfer video from one surface to another. Click on the picture.

A Day Made of Glass

We are in for some real treats in the not so distant future. In fact, we are getting little tastes of them now. For those of you that take some time to adopt to change, there’s always the option of moving to the country and living in a cabin. :)


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Click here to see our list of credits on IMDb.3d scanning services

Cyber Scanning and its Future

Cyber scanning, 3d scanning,  and lidar scanning are all popular terms being used right now, but do you know what the difference of each term is? Cyber scanning and 3d scanning refer to the scanning of people and small to medium sized props. Lidar scanning refers to large area scanning or vehicle and building scans plus landscapes and sets. There are also technologies that allow for CG pipelines to be condensed, which speeds up production time and saves capital, solving budget issues.

3d scanning before & after

CG elements are very useful and flexible to work with. When you are shooting a scene on location, afterwards during post production, characters, materials and objects can be added to the scene. If you were to 3D scan the entirety of an environment using lidar scanning, opposed to modeling CG elements, you would be able to add precise detail, as lidar scanning captures exact measurements. For example, if you were to click on two points in the scan data, you would know the actual distance from one wall to the next, or from the ground to the ceiling, or one object’s distance in relation to another object. This makes for a more believable effect, and allows you to destroy an environment in any way you want. Utilizing a lidar scanned environment will also allow an entire scene to be acted out on a green screen, minimizing travel time for the talent.

lidar scan, building scan, large area scan

This technology is also used in film. By having the characters cyber scanned, they can be used for a video game version of the film using the same exact characters in the same exact environment.

full body 3d scan

A film can be an immense experience. To take things a step further, imagine being a character in a film, opposed to watching the story unfold statically and safely in an armchair. Imagine having a free-roam 3D camera at your disposal as the viewer. As a scene plays out, you would be observing each moment from multiple angles as if you were really there. What if you could appear as an avatar in the film and could have this experience with friends online. The non-human actors could be programmed with AI to react differently depending on your dialogue and actions, making movies transform from one you’ve seen 100 times and can quote every line, to a dynamic experience that is free-flowing and rapidly changing before your eyes.

The meld between forms of media all taking advantage of the latest technology will create a seamless model to be used in film, television, commercials, episodics, or even game cinematics. Soon the same characters will be performing in over-the-web multi media or social media. The list goes on as digital assets with photo real characteristics find their way into our experience more and more every day.


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What Do You Expect from a Service Bureau?

In a service bureau of any kind, there are times when you need specific tools to get the job done. If you are true to your profession, you will have whatever your service requires to be immediately accessible.

3d scanning of hand

In the 3d scanning world, we use a combination of people and technology. We have photographers, scan technicians, modeling and texture artists, as well as a number of software programs and 3D scanners to choose from. Throughout the years we’ve discovered that having an array of solutions and scanners available for projects has saved us, and our clients on time and money. Our clients appreciate using a “one stop shop” rather than several companies to get the job done. Since we have not yet found one scanner that can do everything, we have several types of scanners as well as back ups of the same 3D scanner in the event we need to serve a few clients at the same time.

Getting Ready for the Photo Shoot

Full size light for Body 3D Scanning Photo Shoot

For example, scanning smaller items like character props and then larger items such as cars and buildings use different types of scanners to get the data. That data is then taken through a variety of software applications our artists use when working on a model. To eliminate too much time being spent on one thing, we have some cross-trained employees who can work on any stage of the project at any time.

Behind the Scenes on site

Being a 3D Scanning service bureau, we believe we need every tool we can get our hands on to service our clients and give them a professional experience they expect.


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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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SIGGRAPH: A Show With Longevity

SIGGRAPH has been around as long as I can remember, and is a must for me every year. I’ve had the pleasure of hosting several booths, big and small, as well as be an attendee exploring and discovering the innovative technology and ideas that are emerging. I like that it crosses all markets from science, industrial, and medical to education, music and entertainment.

siggraph poster, tng visual effects

The SIGGRAPH Conference has taken place in many locations, which gives people the chance to get out of their comfort zone and visit other parts of North America. This year it is being held near my home base, but a few years back the conference was held in Vancouver, a popular area for filming these days.

The SIGGRAPH Conference is also a great place to network, to see new innovations, and to visit with past and present vendors showcasing upgrades. I believe we all like to know about the improvements in hardware and software that make our work easier and more efficient.

siggraph poster, tng visual effects

 Last, but not least, make sure to check out the parties. They not only give you the chance to unwind a bit, but they provide another opportunity to network and reconnect with old friends in the industry. There will also be plenty of bands, dancing, and people enjoying their time together. SIGGRAPH is my annual energizer. I hope to see you all in Anaheim this week!

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