TNG Visual Effects



November 2014 - Vol 4 

  Issue 11


Let's take a moment and say a prayer for all the fallen soldiers as we remember all Veterans and active duty soldiers this Veterans Day. Thank you for putting your lives on the line everyday.
Michael Tesi (Nick's father), U.S. Navy, WWII (left), Nick Tesi, U.S. Army, Vietnam (center right),
John Mesplay (TNG 3D Modeler), U.S. Army, Kuwait (right)



TNG Visual Effects, Los Angeles, and TNG Visual Effects Canada, Inc., is a 3D scanning company in the entertainment industry that specializes in the creation of photo-realistic digital assets. Many characters, vehicles, cars, sets, props, animals, sculptures, and other items have been added to our scope of work since inception in 2009. 


Our 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. We are also highly noted for our 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. 

TNG Building


Janelle - Geisha scaled



Nick Tesi Image

Nick Tesi


This month we honor our Veterans who gave it their all for our country, and at times even their lives. We thank you for your service and for your allegiance to our country. You are in our thoughts and prayers.


On a lighter note, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. It's a great time to enjoy family and get started on that Christmas shopping! It's also the perfect occasion to think about volunteering your time in helping others throughout the season, which will only bring more happiness to all.


At TNG we are doing more in 3D scanning to give you better models and are getting deeper into cars and products to expand our markets with our talented scanners and modelers plus our mobility. It is a challenge, but a well worth effort to move forward in our business, and to share the skills and technology we have to offer. 


We are always researching new technology and software to keep the quality of our service at the highest level, and to accelerate our pipeline. We do our best to provide a great product to our customers. 


We continue our search for partners who are synergistic to our service. Together we can help our customers save more while using better products. Contact us for more information.




"What can I say about Nick Tesi except that he always delivers and does a terrific job. Over the past many years, I have had great experiences with Nick when I hire him to do any type of cyber scanning. His 3D digital models are superb and are of very high quality.  I know I can count on Nick to help create digital actors or digital models for any type of show. I would highly recommend Nick and his team for projects that requires any type of 3D cyber scanning. Thanks Nick for your help on 'Vamps.' See you on the next big one!"
VFX Producer

They are quick to respond to your call, text, or email.


They understand your needs and ask relevant questions.


$$  They do what they say they're going to do and in the time frame they commit to.


$$  They are more concerned about a win-win solution.


$$  There is a 100% guarantee for their service. 


The Process Behind 3D Scanning & Processing Data

There are clear cut differences between 3D scanning a human character and a hard surface object. When 3D scanning an object, you will receive precise and accurate measurements because an object does not move. A person, however, cannot remain entirely motionless which results in creating an alternate way of 3D scanning a human to locally obtain tight alignments that provide good measurements. Larger objects require larger 3D scanners or at least larger 3D volume boxes, which are calibrated for their size, and thus a smaller 3D volume box has less chance for incongruities.

To begin with the process of 3D scanning an object, reference pictures are first taken which aid the 3D modeler, 3D texture artist, and during final QC (Quality Check) to make sure the 3D object matches the real life counterpart. After the object is 3D scanned (sometimes multiple scans are needed), the scan data is aligned and fused together. A good alignment requires some pre-requisite factors such as having overlapping data and choosing intelligent places to start and stop scans as well as the angle of the scanner at the time of the scanning. Once the 3D scan technician acknowledges they have as close to 100% coverage as feasibly possible, the scan is complete and can be processed.

Processing the data can take a longer or shorter time depending on the resolution needed. The higher the resolution you work with in 3D, the slower the process. It's much easier to work with 5,000 to 500,000 polygons versus 5 million to 50 million polygons. In fact, when working at such high resolutions, decimation (or multiple) must take place (and at the right time within the process). Once the scan data is processed and decimation has been executed, the 3D modeler can begin their work. With the use of the images captured from the professional photo shoot, along with a perfect silhouette and scale of the item provided by the 3D scan, the modeler will 3D model out the many components and unwrap the geo for the 3D texture artist.

The texture artist then paints the object (or projects images) as well as paint seams of where the UV coordinates were cut. The completed texture is given back to the 3D modeler who will bring out further detail through sculpting. As the model is finished off, the normal maps and displacement maps are generated. These maps provide multiple ways for the 3D model to be viewed; taxing the render engine less and proving a higher quality result.

What is Lidar Technology?

In recent years, Lidar has become the most used technology and is a necessity for many industries. Lidar is typically used to scan large areas or environments, buildings, and vehicles. It's been used for mapping cities and for agricultural use, however our main use has been for visual effects purposes.

2nd Stage of Large Area Scans
Old Time Vegas
When we use the FARO scanner on a job, the data captured can be used for Previs and then again as a background for a set. The scanner can either be mounted on a tripod to scan a large area or object, or can be attached to a vehicle or helicopter to collect the data. Some units can now scan point clouds at much a higher rate than past units. If the job is in a more remote area, we make sure to bring along a portable generator for the scanner. One thing to note is the need for a collection of SD cards to store the scans on.

Battle Ship to scan

Whether you are scanning in a studio or for a commercial at a baseball stadium, planning is paramount to getting the best results in the shortest period of time. You observe your surroundings, consider the timeframe you have been allotted and are willing to spend on location, and you think about how many scans there will be along with their positions to optimally cover everything vital.

Early Vegas

There are some tricks to aligning the point cloud Lidar data. For example, light bulbs in street lights can be used as markers - or anything for that matter of a consistent size that's throughout the scene. Another style of alignment is to use printed out targets that are seen by each scanner position - with enough overlap on each scan. Line of sight is very important as well as observing the conditions such as wind and anything that can move in the scene during the capturing period.

Virtual Characters in Entertainment

Virtual characters are being used in all aspects of entertainment from film to television to video games as we've seen in many productions over the last few years, and even in musical performances ala the famous Tupac halogram. Whether a character is modeled, 3D scanned or sculpted, they are in the production.

Virtual characters have been used to create heavy crowds of armies like in 300: Rise of an Empire, and the mob of zombies in World War Z. To create this, predetermined virtual paths (waypoints) are used based on our common movements and are randomly chosen to mimic real humans.

Nearly all video game characters are computer generated (CG) with some becoming the main star through the use of Motion Capture (MoCap) and voice-overs, such as Ellen Page's character in Beyond: Two Souls, or the newly released Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare featuring Kevin Spacey.

Every year we inch closer and closer to bridging the gap between virtual and reality, and like all endeavors, change is inevitable. Stay tuned for more updates. The wave that is technology is something you want to be on top of rather than submerged in, gulping for air and glimpses of the surface life.

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. 


Nick Tesi
Founder & President

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