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The TNG Visual Effects Team
Please follow us here: http://blog.tngvisualeffects.com/
The TNG Visual Effects Team
TNG Visual Effects scan technicians and artists know just what to do when creating digital assets from 3D scanning for use in film, television, or video games.
The scanning process begins as soon as the talent arrives at our studio (or we arrive on the location of our clients’ choice). Once everyone is settled in and our equipment is calibrated, we begin by taking high-resolution reference photographs. The quality of these photographs is critical to producing high-resolution texture maps at 2K, 4K or as high as 8K.
We use structured light scanners to capture the geometry of the talent who will become a photorealistic 3D cg model. The scanners create the digital models at up to a million polygons. Once the data is captured and created, we move on to the post-production process.
The first step in the post-production process involves ensuring the accuracy and integrity of the scan data. We align, stitch, and register the scan data. It is then re-topologized (the process of intelligently placing edge loops) in order to ensure the data is a manageable size for our clients, in addition to optimizing it for animation.
After re-topologizing the model, the team of artists at TNG UV the polys and then texture the model using the high-resolution reference photos. They will sculpt any additional details necessary to make the model worthy of the title ‘photorealistic.’ Accurate measurements are verified through the use of the scan data throughout the process. In the final stages of post-production, TNG artists will use various shaders and materials to produce the best looking render possible.
Good quality photorealistic looking 3D models can only be accomplished with a complete pipeline, a dedicated team, professional equipment, and good coordination with clients to ensure they are getting what they want. Choose 3D scanning technology services as your number one source for visual effects assets.
There are so many different characters out there it will make your head spin. We enjoy finding new and unusual characters. They define life. What they bring with them and what they face every day fascinates us. These are the real characters of life. No prosthetics, no makeup. Just a face for the world to look at. This is the face we enjoy working with. A face someone is proud of, that has distinction. It carries a distinct imprint and also that aged look whether it is in years or experience. Now that’s a face!
Of course in this business, it is the project you face and do the best job you can. The tools afforded to us today give you the ability to get in close; see the eye socket structure, the corner of the lips and the lines within the lips, the scars on the face and even the wrinkles. The challenge with creating a new character is not 3D scanning the head and body, but rather the cost, quality and speed of delivery. I’ve heard some people say which two out of the three would you like, but it doesn’t have to be that way. My clients do not want to make that choice. They want it all. That is what we aim to give them – everything we can to meet their needs.
In the course of preparing for the scan, it should be realized that the hair is the hardest part to capture. Whether using lasers or structured light, it is a challenge. I find, however, that most companies do not concern themselves with this aspect as they would like to build cyberhair to react with the dynamics of the scene. Therefore, we use wigcaps to cover the hair. This will give the character a bald or hairless appearance. A major advantage of this is that it helps us develop a better ear thanks to the process. There will also be some small issues like, sideburns, beards, mustaches etc, but we do find ways to make it all work to give you something that gets you the most realistic character possible.
Facial expressions are also a source of concern regarding developing good facial performance. There are numerous choices out there and we are looking at several new ones to offer an even better product. In the meantime, we have employed a way to do it that serves most needs. However, the future is always changing, not only the way we look, but also the way we do things. This dictates the need to keep aware of what the market has that makes sense and works.
At Siggraph last month, I was watching the “Demo” of a product and the company was pushing a Siggraph special. The product sounded good and the price sounded okay until I asked what the regular price was and found out they didn’t know or didn’t have one, but I should still buy at the Siggraph special price. The second question was; if I did, can I bring the software with me or download it? That’s when I heard it hadn’t started shipping yet. This is not to say there are not other solutions, but beware of what you are buying lest your character ends up having a look of bitterness and rage.
By Xavier Coleman
Today I had the pleasure of interviewing the company TNG Visual Effects. Here is a transcript of the interview that took place.
TG24/7: Can you tell me a little about Mr. Nick Tesi, the founder of TNG Visual Effects?
TNG: Mr. Tesi has been a pioneer in the visual effects industry for over 25 years and is widely considered one of North America’s leading experts in 3D scanning, motion capture, and other visual effects technologies. A passionate innovator, Nick brings an incredible depth of experience and talent to his work. His relentless enthusiasm for creating unlimited digital realism in visual effects has made Nick a valued colleague at production companies throughout the entertainment industry.
Continue article here: http://www.techgaming247.com/category/features/interviews/
What’s your dream car? Ours is the Chevrolet Chevelle. It’s a great car, even at stock. However, if you want, we can add to the basic 3D scan of the car. We can add things like a hood scoop, chrome exhaust pipes, chrome spinners, a big spoiler on the back, race stripes, or even a body kit. We can trick out your virtual ride until it’s just what you desire.
We prep and scan a car in about four hours. It can be scanned in your garage or ours, provided we have enough space and time. We can provide static or movable pieces on the vehicle if needed, such as a door opening, or the hood, or the trunk. As you can imagine, the interior is much more detailed and will take additional time and expense.
If you’re producing a commercial or movie that has cars, motorcycles, scooters, horses, tractors, buses, trucks, planes, or even trains, we can scan it. Once processing is complete, we can deliver a quad mesh, or a fully textured 3D model. We will give you a price that is more than competitive.
So bring your automobiles to TNG, and we will treat them like our own as we prepare your virtual copy. Remember, digital is forever.
Regardless of whether you are in the market for sculpting, modeling, or 3D scanning, the decision often boils down to a matter of cost plus time. At TNG Visual Effects, our research and experience in the 3D scanning industry has revealed that ‘the time it took an artist to model’ versus ‘the cost of scanning’ was almost equal in nearly all scenarios. When you compare modeling to scanning, scanning usually takes about half the time to complete that modeling does making it the most time and cost efficient route to choose.
Why is 3D scanning so much better than modeling? The scanning process allows the ability and flexibility to scan in bulk. Even people can be quickly scanned in a single session which keep your workflow moving smoothly. Like any project, it is always advisable to plan a 3D scanning sessions as early, as possible. The best time is generally in pre-production, or once the required talent, props, or other items to be scanned become available. When you plan from previs to post production, you will get the most from your models.
it is important to keep in mind that there are very few artists with the ability to replicate a person quickly while still delivering incredible detail. If you have these types of artists in your network, you should regard them as valuable assets because you won’t run across them everyday. Companies will generally take their modelers and cross them over to other aspects of the project to get them most of them as is possible. The advantage of this practice is that it provides the artists with valuable experience which increase their skills in other areas of the post-production process. The sculpting then comes in handy to quickly enhance the model for finishing.
Whether you choose modeling or 3D scanning, you need to think of scanning, modeling, and sculpting as complementary disciplines. These various methods aren’t competing with each other. Ask your 3D scanning company how they can save you valuable time and money on your next project.
Have you noticed that game trailers often look as good as or better than the trailers for many movies? They have the great same feel as movie trailers and, they tell a story the same way. Gaming is big business and nowadays, only the best high resolution and partial live action graphics will do. It is all about enticing people to play in the same way it is to get them to spend money on a movie ticket.
When you deal with high-end media, you need the right support with the best techniques and tools available to create something that motivates people to take action. The graphics and action need to reach out and be so realistic that whoever is watching the game trailer feels as if they are already in the game itself. The producers of game trailers do this by showcasing the best aspects of the game in the most visually appealing way possible.
To do this, Mocap plus 3D scanning of the characters for replication is the best option. If you are really serious, it is the only option. This method is the most time and money efficient process to choose. An exact replica can be created in as little as day rather than taking up to a month to model a character from scratch. The other major advantage is that character movements will be smooth and flowing – even as or more natural in appearance than many of the more time and labor intensive processes.
In regard to building an environment as opposed to a person, 3D scanning allows for the greatest pipeline efficiency possible. The newly created 3D scanned environment can be re-used, as can portions of the trailer in cut scenes which provides a consistent model and helps amortize production costs.
Few companies excel at creating game trailers that can be compared to big budget movie trailers. Between demands on time and money, it takes a company that has an intimate working knowledge of exactly what is and isn’t needed to create a compelling game trailer. When you do have a company that understands how to maximize the use of their tools efficiently, the evidence of such can be seen in the finished product.
Since we have three days on the show floor, I’m sure we’ll be able to see everything- twice. Therefore, I look forward to any meetings we can set up to discuss projects, concepts and/or business relationships that you might be bringing to Siggraph this year. See you there!
Have you ever stepped on set, and immediately wished you had a digital scan of it? Or have you wished the set was still there after it’s been taken apart? You might think you need a time machine, but all you need is a 3D scanning company with the right tools. This is why we provide a service akin to insurance scanning. It’s the same concept of scanning characters in the event that they become unavailable later during production. With insurance scanning, you can have the sets scanned, and the data archived in case you need it in post production. The same can be done for location shooting as well.
We can scan houses, buildings, and structures that may be on the location to provide you with the ability to add (or subtract) cleanly from the scene. Sometimes pedestrians or traffic may be obstructing a location, and in that case, we can scan in the middle of the night with our infrared laser scanners.
It is the customer’s choice as to what they want and when they want the final delivery. You may want to consider what type of format you want the data: be it a point cloud, a surfaced model, or perhaps a complete model with textures is your ideal delivery.
Consider using 3D scanning on your project. TNG can save you the resources of both time and money.