TNG Visual Effects

3D Scanning - Mocap   

September 2012 - Vol 3   

Issue 09    

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TNG Visual Effects

Main Office - Los Angeles




North American Productions

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

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 


Faro_Race Car  



3D Scanning Masters


Nick Tesi

Nick Tesi

TNG Visual Effects Founder


 With 15 years experience in the 3D scanning for visual effects in the entertainment industry, Nick saw a need to enhance the ability to provide more convenient, mobile 3D scanning services to the markets needing it. Out of this vision TNG Visual Effects was born. Nick 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.


Looking Back at 9/11: Beyond the Rubble 

9.11_NY Skyline  

Let's take a moment to honor anyone affected by the events that took place in the US on this day 11 years ago. From such a horrific display of disregard for life, a stronger and more aware people have risen. As we continue to rebuild our lives and technology let us always remember how fragile life is. 


-Nick Tesi 


 3D Scanning and the Character Creation Process

 People, Animals and Aliens


The process of replicating characters is getting better all the time. While each process varies from company to company, the 3D models will look the same by the end of a production process that began with 3D scanning and included modeling and texturing. This is simply another pipeline for optimal workflow. The actual scanning is the fastest and easiest part of all. It is then accompanied by a professional photo shoot of the character or talent. 


The photo shoot must be very clean and well done, complete with polarization to remove any highlights that might negatively affect the quality of the texture maps. We provide raw as well as .jpg files in the event any aspect of the color or lighting needs to be adjusted. The process then includes the cleanup of the 3D scan, retopology, UV's and then the texturing followed by a Zbrush touch up to add any minute details. Now it's becoming a real work of art.


Character Line-up  

 Animals are a challenge in and of themselves, and still, lots of fun to work with. It's best if they are trained to stay still. You can attempt to scan an untrained animal all day and still not get the data you need. Our next challenge depends on the type of hair or fur covering the animal. Layered hair is always preferred, next to the best possibility: a hairless animal. We don't encounter the latter all too often.


Aliens are much harder to find, and it's rare to get your hands on them when you need one. The challenge with prosthetics occurs when all the angles you need differ in order to capture the complexity and detail of the character. Some wardrobes have very extreme looks. With an exaggerated size (heights of seven feet or more) along with our desire for perfection, and the task might seem daunting. It's all in a day's work here at TNG. It gets done, and we move on to the next one.


Whether at your location or ours, we can accommodate the most challenging situations. We have a great track record for providing on-site scanning services in different parts of the nation, and world. What kind of character can we replicate for you?


 Large Area, Vehicle and Object Scanning

Applying Vision to Large Visual Effects Assets


In order to accurately portray the vision of the Director, 3D scanned cg buildings, set, cars, trains, and airplanes are created for set backgrounds, foregrounds, previs and of course to be able to manipulate this data as needed. A stellar pipeline with digital assets is critical to making these great movies full of effects, adventure, and excitement. One could say this is the stuff dreams are made of, or more accurately, dreams people have had and brought to reality onto the big screen.



As part of the pipeline, we bid and go on site as directed to scan all items needed by production when we've coordinated which vehicles and buildings are not in use and available to be scanned. Our job is to set up markers and a plan to scan. The size and proportions of the data to be collected will determine the amount of time needed to scan. Having a good understanding of the exact needs to be met will play a vital role in determining exactly how a project is planned, scheduled and executed.


Vehicles, especially cars, will need to be treated with dulling spray in preparation for a scan as their reflective surfaces can result in a loss of data during the scanning process. We also use a thick paper to black-out the windows in addition to taping chrome. If the vehicle is weather-beaten or painted military style, we will need minimal prep to begin the scanning process. We take all these factors into consideration when coordinating a scan. 



The next step is to prioritize your needs. What needs to be done first? Will you require an interim model to begin working on in the event your model is highly complex and will take additional time to complete?  We have found that some larger productions choose to use several vendors or VFX production houses working on various shots simultaneously. In this case, it is better to centralize models for redistribution. This gives you more control over the models while they're being created.  


Working with these larger assets will take more time and space on FTP sites, discs, hard drives or whatever form of delivery you prefer. It also means more time is needed to upload and download the data. While speed is increasing through an improved infrastructure, it seems as though models are keeping pace with an increase in size and complexity. Increasingly, we are dealing more and more data.


We are creating a digital world. As we continue to build and expand our services in an effort to provide you with more localized support, we are also working hard to improve our methods that allow us to keep prices down.  Let us know how we can help you capture and create the data you need.

 Replicate Anything You Need


Virtually Everything Else Around You: Props


Props are necessary elements to movies and other forms of entertainment. They are an integral part of the storytelling process. We recently participated in a demo that presented a bow and arrow as a virtual prop. We were then able to use a real bow which propelled a virtual arrow. We've concluded it's definitely better to be on the receiving end of a virtual arrow as opposed to a real one!


Guns can give a whole new meaning to the word "detail." It can take up to a week to complete a 3D scanned gun with only a single modeler working on it. For some projects (although an artist is skilled enough) it is unnecessary to model every minute detail of a prop. It's important to balance the needs of production along with the artists' abilities. We carefully communicate the needs of our clients to keep projects on target.



Props come in all shapes and sizes. We realize that most props are in physical form, but there are also many needs based on availability, safety, the purpose of the prop... the list goes on and on. 3D scanning will bring with it the same list of challenges affecting other scans. Is the object shiny or transparent? Consider the spokes on a bicycle wheel. There will typically be some modeling needed to cover any data not picked up by the scanner due to reflection and material width. All these obstacles are overcome in order to keep the project moving forward.


3D scanning helps propel the speed of 3D model creation, especially when the resources to model are in short supply or you just do not want to deal with them. We have added some props here as ideas, or samples for review.



 Short of completing characters and vehicles plus buildings, most other items are props. We have created virtual props for commercials which use objects like food products (packaged and unpackaged), etc. Whatever objects you need, we're here to build your virtual world, one 3D scanned model at a time.



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 for "Knight & Day"



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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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