Creating 3D Models for VFX with TNG Visual Effects

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.

Create your digital assets with the right team and the proper equipment.

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.

http://tngvisualeffects.com 877.879.2040

Who’s got character?

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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.

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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.

  -Nick Tesi

http://tngvisualeffects.com

Replicating Your Environment

Create exactly what you want via TNG 3D scanning visual effects technology.

 

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.

Bringing Your 3D Data to Life

Motion Capture and 3D scanning go hand-in-hand.  We are constantly looking at changes in the market and are currently working on a solution to facial performance capture. We are still in early testing mode, but are continually looking for ways to bring about a good looking solution that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

 For full body motion capture we are making alliances to work with some of the best mocap studios out there. This also helps us understand how to set up the 3d scanned character to better receive the mocap data. It is important to us to see the entire picture as opposed to taking a limited view that doesn’t include what the character will do once the 3D model is created.

As TNG proliferates the market within the US and Canada, we are also looking for local mocap studios as a source to recommend to our customers looking for that type of service. We also find out what type of rig will work best for them, but that also needs to be requested by the customer.

Other important issues we are working on to use in conjunction with 3D scanning and mocap are cyber cloth and cyber hair. As your character moves, everything needs to be in fluid motion to bring out the realism of the action.  All of these synergistic elements are dependent on each other to work together.

We are constantly looking for better and more extensive ways to help in the process of making your project stay in budget and on time. Other areas we are currently investigating include HDRI as a service as well as photogrammetry and supportive modeling. All these areas complement each other to supply you the data needed for your project.

The Environment is Our Stage Now

In Visual Effects we utilize 3D characters and props, but how about local environments (sets, buildings – interior and exterior), large vehicles (trucks, buses, tanks, airplanes, trains)? These too can be scanned digitally to create your location or asset, and be replicated or used as many times as needed.

Re-create the environment you need to use in your production with TNG 3D scanning services.

3D scanners, or the replicators of today, will be building inventories of digital assets for use in the future. Of course, there will always be a need for customized models of all sizes and shapes, but the option to use generic models should be able to give your show a better look on a smaller budget.

Until then, we are taking on the challenges of 3D scanning multiple buildings, very large animals, cars, buses, trains, and planes.  We are doing our best at providing a one-stop shop for all of your 3D scanning needs. The efficiency of having a team on site that can scan your talent, props, and then move into scanning the sets and other large items will be a plus for the 3D visual effects show. Budgets are getting tighter and the need is increasing for a cost effective solution that can show up fast, do their scanning, and then leave the location to advance on to capture other visual effects.

We are setting up satellite offices all around North America to service our accounts faster and more cost effectively.  In Canada, the tax incentives are great, and the studios and production houses and not willing to pass them up. Having a 3D scanning service bureau close at hand will help in lowering the costs and upping your flexibility to get all your scanning done without incurring travel costs. 

You will begin to see additional services in the future as soon as we feel our new products are complete and can fully service your needs. We guarantee our work at TNG.

What’s your poly count?

 

Whether you’re creating digital content to be used for mobile apps, video games, television episodes, commercials, trailers or feature films, we’ve got you covered. TNG Visual Effects specializes in creating custom 3D digital assets for virtually any production. Email info@tngvisualeffects.com to inquire about what we can create for you or call Nick Tesi (310.717.2937) directly to discuss your needs.

How Would You Like Your Assets Delivered?

You are using more digital assets created by many different means. Our unique ability to provide last-minute 3D scans for a wide range of objects coupled with various delivery options is no secret. As a way to fully meet your production needs, TNG Visual Effects remains the most flexible option for 3D scanning services in the entertainment industry as we’re able to be anywhere you need us. So what exactly can we deliver?

Scalable Base Mesh

We are developing a base mesh that will feature an adjustable resolution to save production the cost and time currently associated with processing models at multiple resolutions. The texture map may also be very requested at varying resolutions.

 Bits and Subsamples for Texture Maps

Ordering high-resolution models will allow you the ability to subsample as needed (for example, foreground and background characters or objects for film and media). Another area of flexibility lies in the ability to choose whether the texture will be 8-bits or 16-bits. 16-bit texture maps have more color information, allowing us to supply you with a well-defined, striking texture to go with your 3D model. For contrast, an 8-bit image has 16.8 million color possibilities, however a 16-bit image has 281 trillion color possibilities! [www.photoshopessentials.com] The higher level of color information allows for more photo manipulation and control without degradation.

 Range of Specs

If you have a number of modelers at your command to develop your character/s, we can give you clean, raw meshes, and they can extrapolate upon them. You will also get buildings, vehicles, props, and anything else you need scanned delivered to your specifications.

Beyond Raw Mesh

Our team is staffed by talented artists who are sculptors, modelers, and texture specialists. They will get you started with 3D scans and see your models through to the level of detail you’ve requested. Your call, raw to ready-to-rig.

The future begins today. Let us give you the best digital assets available for your time, money, location, and exact specifications. There are many solutions, but few will meet all the parameters that define your needs. Our team of scan technicians and artists are here to ensure you get what you need. Let us be your catalyst from concept to reality.

Transition from Creative Thought to Reality with Digital Assets

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The digital age is here, and you might already know this. The time is coming when every production will be all digital. For movies, this will include the set environment, foreground, elements or props, characters, plus the action taking place on the stage. If you’re producing commercials, television episodes, video games, documentaries, etc, how long will you wait before including the necessary digital assets needed to cut time and cost?

We now have scanners for small objects, people, animals, cars, buildings (inside and out) plus most other things that need to be digitally created. Recently, we scanned a historical locomotive (circa 1864). In the past we have scanned cars, ships, buildings, tanks, etc. We’ve also scanned an entire 2 block area of buildings including both sides of the street. We will help you find a solution to creating the digital assets you need for your production.

As we move into the future more digital content will be needed to support more than 500 channels on TV, all the movies headed to the big screen, commercials, and print ads on magazines and billboards. We haven’t even begun mentioning all the video games that will be produced. And remember, you’ll want to be able to cross platforms with customizable resolution for screen sizes ranging from large screen to tablet to smart phone.

As we prepare for the future by building in the present, we can use our knowledge from the past to help us turn our creative thought into reality. Paying attention to current trends also aids us in this endeavor.  No, the time for 100% digital is not today or tomorrow, but it is coming. More producers and directors have increased their usage of digital assets. As time goes on that percentage will continue to increase. We are ready now, and will be here to help you get the data you need to include more digital assets in your production.