TNG Visual Effects

3D Scanning - Mocap   

Novermber 2012 - Vol 3   

Issue 11     

Background Building and Car with Character

Just A Reminder to get out and Vote, Your Vote Counts

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TNG Visual Effects

Main Office - Los Angeles




North American Productions

   American-Canadian Flag - FACE

TNG Visual Effects 3D scanning systems allow us to serve your production locally in Canada and the U.S. See map below for locations.
Character Line-up

About TNG Visual Effects



TNG Visual Effects is a 3D scanning company in the entertainment industry that specializes in the creation of photorealistic digital assets. Many characters, vehicles, cars, sets, props, animals, sculptures and other items have been added to TNG's scope of work since the company's inception in 2009. 


The TNG team knows how to work with producers, directors, coordinators, A-list talent and other agencies, making the most of their precious time and ensuring a successful project. TNG's work is always guaranteed.  


The TNG scan team is also highly noted for their ability to travel at a moments notice for a project. Exclusive use of highly mobile scanning systems allow for TNG to perform scans in practically any location. Express Scanning.     



What can we replicate for you?






SWAT_Full Body  SWAT-Head-progression

Battle Ship to scan  






Large Objects 





A Note from our Founder


Nick Tesi

TNG Visual Effects Founder


 It is voting time and we should all get out and vote( in the US that is). This is what we fought for, so lets make a forefathers proud.


New York is on our list and we just made arrangement to be local there as well. Hope Sandy did not hurt our industry to bad there, as we all know, you can't stay down long. As I came here from New York, I know a little wind and rain is just an inconvience. 


Looking forward to hearing from anyone with the need for 3D scanning or anyone with just a question that is looking for answers. My best to all and Happy Thanksgiving.



An Industry in Transition


 Build it and Scan it


Enter the VFX Industry where movies, episodics, commercials and music videos are using more and more digital assets. Whether they are modeled, sculpted, or 3D scanned, we are seeing an increase in the need for more buildings, building extensions, rooms, caves and larger vehicles needed for the scene or action.  


Scanned Set with Dimensions 


 At TNG Visual Effects we bring our experience and ability to come in and get the job done as quickly as possible while still maintaining the quality our customers need. Our 3D scanning equipment is small and travels with us by ground or air as needed. Once we arrive on location we quickly survey the area, set up markers for reference and get to work. We have been known to fly to location in the evening, go directly to the set and scan all night. It's not our recommended method, but gives our customers the peace of mind that if they're in a pinch we've got them covered.


In some cases the set will be torn down and you may want a digital copy on hand, just in case. If you opt not to have a digital backup you might be stuck recreating a digital version from photos which may or may not work. Sometimes it seems there is either never enough backup data when you need it, or you have an unnecessary overabundance. Err on the side of caution and use 3D scans as insurance. When scanning for insurance purposes (peace of mind) we do not process anything until you need it. Your data is safely stored as a way to keep Murphy's Law from becoming a reality on your project. This will save you both money and sleep.



Train   Full Scale Train  


Light it and Shoot it  


Light Them Up and Shoot: VFX Photos


When it comes to photography for 3D scanned digital assets, everyone has their own technique to get the job done. In the early phases of 3D scanning for VFX, photographs were looked upon as pictures purely for reference. As technology has advanced, and budgets have increased, high resolution photography now includes a much more extensive set up. This is necessary in order to obtain the best quality texture maps possible. There are many different cameras and lenses to choose from, although Canon and Nikon seem to be the most popular. Factors such as megapixels, dual memory cartridge units, and an array of other features are carefully weighed when considering the best equipment to use based on your market and other needs.


Lighting will make or break your photo. Here is another area where you must thoroughly define your needs. Considering the wide variety of umbrellas, soft boxes, and other choices, it may just make you dizzy. When shooting full bodies, we need even lighting that will accommodate a person up to 7 feet in height. Mylar materials with grids will allow you to capture a polarized photo, which will eliminate unwanted hot spots. Some companies will request 'specular' maps, which will call for the Photoshop experts or additional equipment. It can also be accomplished with one camera shooting through two lenses. You'll need many test shots to help you find the best way to shoot.

Light for Shooting Characters  


We choose to shoot pictures in the raw format as well as jpeg. This gives us a chance to make corrections in the event the jpegs just aren't cutting it. This (again) requires a Photoshop expert who knows how to get the best out of that format. The jpegs are also used as reference pictures for the contact sheet our customers will receive as they select their options of 3D scans to be completed.

The pipeline is key to getting what you need from camera and a very good understanding what the project is calling for. The average photographer cannot jump into this type of work until the have a thorough understanding of terminology and the needs of Visual Effects.


Wire frame to Texture Mapping
Wire frame to Specular Map 



3D Scanning, Art or Science 


3D Scanning: Art or Science?


Should we consider 3D scanning art, or science? It's a great question because 3D scanning for visual effects remains a driving technological endeavor. Take a quick browse on YouTube and you'll see laser scanners, structured light scanners, photo -based modeling, emerging technologies, and even the Kinect getting their fair share of air time. Much of the information shared is geared toward ensuring we have a good understanding of how to get the best out of these technologies. 3D scanning work is then followed up by stitching parts together as precisely as possible. This is all part of the technical process. It's a science of knowing how to get the best out of your equipment.




The process is then turned over to modelers and sculptors who take the 3D scan to the next level. This is where the real artists' eyes come in to play. A well-skilled or naturally talented artist will know how to take the digital scans and mold it to fill in any holes, smooth seams and make sure the 3D models look exactly like the talent or object in reference. Many pipelines call for the re-topology of the 3D model with quad polygons equipped with UV's. There's also a need to have edge loops set up on the lips and other high poly areas. Now the texture map artists take the high resolution photos and place them on the model to give them a flat, consistent look that represents the real look of the character or object. The finishing touches are usually done with Zbrush or Mud Box to add the very fine detail.


Janelle - Geisha scaled  

This is a process that creates a photorealistic representation of the character or object needed for that perfect VFX shot. Yet, the question still begs the answer... Is 3D scanning art or science? Consider the use of computers, software and 3D scanning equipment needed to get the results you want. Then, consider the artists who bring the 3D models to completion. Years of sketching, sculpting, schooling, training and learning how to apply their talents to software programs enabling them to inject just the right amount of everything needed to get the look we demand from them. They are digital artists. And therein lies the answer. 3D scanning is a delicate fusion of both art and science.


What our clients have to say:

"  I needed quality, so therefore I called Nick Tesi.   

Over the years Nick has never failed me.  His team whipped in and scanned twice as much as humanly possible in half the time needed and delivered me excellent lidar scans that were used extensively.  Nick's my scan man.  Wherever I am, whatever the circumstances, I can count on the team he provides.  Thank you Nick, I'll be calling again."             


Janet Muswell Hamilton   VFX Producer   "Knight & Day"



NA map
Thank You

We at TNG Visual Effects are continually looking for better ways to serve the entertainment industry by providing an excellent experience for our clients. Thank you for taking the time to review our newsletter. If you have any questions, or would like to consider TNG Visual Effects in your next bid, please contact us.


TNG Visual Effects
Ph:     877.879.2040
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