An­drew White

If ef­fi­ciency and flex­i­bil­ity are top of your wish list for 2018, ‘shoot­ing’ tal­ent us­ing cut­ting-edge 3D scan­ning tech­niques could be the so­lu­tion

3D Artist - - CONTENTS -

The cre­ative di­rec­tor on the fu­ture of 3D scan­ning

i t’s the 21st cen­tury, tech­nol­ogy is more ad­vanced than ever be­fore and 3D scan­ning prom­ises to be a hot trend mov­ing for­wards through 2018. nowa­days, it’s pos­si­ble to scan al­most any­thing and cre­ate a per­fect dig­i­tal copy – from the small­est of props to live horses. But what are the ben­e­fits of do­ing so?

in the vis­ual ef­fects in­dus­try, this so­lu­tion of­fers ul­ti­mate flex­i­bil­ity and the abil­ity to store re­us­able el­e­ments for fu­ture projects. As­sets can be pulled from one shot, then reused in any still or an­i­ma­tion across mul­ti­ple plat­forms, which can come in handy for pro­mo­tional cam­paigns.

3D scan­ning can be par­tic­u­larly use­ful when cre­at­ing dig­i­tal dou­bles, or a ‘vir­tual tal­ent’, as we call it. A to­tally unique hu­man be­ing.

in the past, we’ve cre­ated a lot of fully-cg vir­tual back­grounds and matte paint­ings at Sadding­ton Baynes. How­ever, it can be in­cred­i­bly dif­fi­cult to repli­cate light­ing or bal­ance shad­ows with live ac­tion pho­tog­ra­phy; you may even be stuck with a par­tic­u­larly un­work­able cam­era an­gle. More and more re­sources are be­ing di­verted into find­ing new ways to fuse live ac­tion and CGI to­gether.

Re­cently, we’ve found that by scan­ning a tal­ent with neu­tral light­ing, it’s far eas­ier to ad­just the scene later in 3D. Artists can achieve a more in­te­grated re­sult.

Us­ing ‘vir­tual tal­ent’ will en­able an artist to ex­per­i­ment with cam­era an­gles, re­light a scene or even re­pur­pose as­sets for another shot. need to change or add ex­tra shots? The tal­ent is there to break out and use in any scene, sav­ing pro­duc­tion costs and giv­ing our clients more flex­i­bil­ity to re­alise their cre­ative vi­sion.

At Sadding­ton Baynes, we’ve been pri­mar­ily us­ing 3D scans to cap­ture frozen mo­ments in time, rem­i­nis­cent of iconic Fight Club or Dead­pool scenes. A scene is frozen, but the cam­era still moves – an­gles can de­velop and change. We’ve cre­ated sev­eral an­i­ma­tions for Honda, in which sim­ple ac­tions like hold­ing a door open or walk­ing to­wards a car, are made far more vis­ually pow­er­ful. So how does it work?

When talk­ing about peo­ple or tal­ent, you have to in­vest in a fixed, cus­tom-built ar­ray of cam­eras. Based on a tech­nique called pho­togram­me­try, 3D scan­ning takes a large num­ber of shots from dif­fer­ent an­gles. We use 100-150 DSLR cam­eras in part­ner­ship with FBFX, with each shot taken si­mul­ta­ne­ously. in­stant cap­ture is another key ad­van­tage here, es­pe­cially when tack­ling ac­tion-heavy se­quences or tak­ing a ‘show, don’t tell’ ap­proach to sto­ry­telling. project Statue is the per­fect ex­am­ple – an R&D ex­per­i­ment de­signed by Sadding­ton Baynes to test 3D scan­ning ca­pa­bil­ity. one ac­tor leaps into the air while another swings his leg up in a high Muay Thai kick. High-in­ten­sity move­ments such as this are no­to­ri­ously dif­fi­cult to cre­ate. But with 3D scan­ning, not only can a per­for­mance be cap­tured in­stantly and real­is­ti­cally, but it can be ad­justed with vis­ual ef­fects as the artist sees fit.

Af­ter the shoot, soft­ware is able to fig­ure out where those points ex­ist in 3D space in order to cre­ate a cor­re­spond­ing sur­face, re­sult­ing in a grey model. pho­tog­ra­phy is pro­jected onto that model and it can be ef­fec­tively wrapped up with an im­age. Fur­ther work then needs to be done in terms of dig­i­tal sculpt­ing and tex­tures – for cloth or skin – per­fect­ing a true-to-life dig­i­tal copy.

3D scans and the re­sult­ing vir­tual tal­ent has proved worth­while in many sit­u­a­tions, in every­thing from cos­tume de­sign to back­ground char­ac­ters. project Statue is our most com­plex use of 3D scan­ning to date, us­ing ad­vanced pro­ce­dural dis­place­ment tech­niques, com­plex shaders and dy­namic par­ti­cle sim­u­la­tions to de­liver a fierce fight­ing show­case. The re­sults have be­come pro­lific across the dig­i­tal arts com­mu­nity, achiev­ing plat­inum in the in­ter­na­tional Me­dia & in­ter­ac­tive De­sign Awards, as well as Best CGI in the Le Book Cre­ativ­ity Awards. new av­enues for 3D scan­ning open up ev­ery day, not to men­tion the count­less other tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments we see de­but ev­ery year, of­ten at events like SIG­GRAPH and FMX. The Sadding­ton Baynes team is cur­rently in the mid­dle of a project com­bin­ing 3D scans and mo­tion cap­ture to cre­ate truly pho­to­re­al­is­tic hu­man faces. it’s an ex­cit­ing time to be part of the cre­ative com­mu­nity – and an even more ex­cit­ing time to work in vis­ual ef­fects.

An­drew white Cre­ative di­rec­tor at Sadding­ton Baynes sadding­ton­

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