THE JOB IS TOUGH: VFX Producers looking for the right vendor and 3D Scanning Process to capture their Prime Talent, Under-Fives and Extras
First of all, you need to figure out what your production constraints are and the flexibility of those constraints: budget, production schedule, talent availability.
Second, you need to figure out which resources are available to you to pull from and what’s available on the market to get the job done in the most efficient manner possible.
And third, you need to make sure that all security provision and insurances are in place to protect you and other stakeholders from exposures to risk. This later factor is of greatest importance, as you and others are emotionally connected to it. Time, effort, credibility and clients could be lost.
“High Moon”, 2014, SyFy
Everything starts with the end in mind.
Lets start with why 3D is the right choice for your project and then dive into variables.
Why is 3D Scanning important?
3D Scans of your Principal Talent and Extras gets you the Warranty you need to jump in and pick up the slack at any time during Pre or Post Production stages.
Principal Talent becomes unavailable, as their contracts end, you risk spending more of production funds on getting the talent back. …Back to contract negotiations. Oops, your Talent’s publicist just let you know they cannot proceed, because of a collision with their new contract.
Here are a few more reasons: Compensation rates move up, Screenplays evolve, Stunts become more dangerous. Executive Producer, who is also a Screenplay writer, puts a new twist on how a character transition happens. Fine, that’s something you can always get your VFX Production company hand-sculpt in 3D. But wait, your VFX studio has just re-prioritized and moved their star artist onto another, more demanding/important project, placing you at risk, but that’s not something you get to know about. So, they assign your shot to a junior, who may not have that much experience, but is a nice person and will substitute experience with some Overtime.
Things happen. The only one way to protect your efforts is by 3D Scanning all possible on set Talent data, with an option to develop it on ‘as necessary’ basis.
And that is what we do.
How much does 3D Scanning cost?
The truth about cost of 3D Scanning is simple. In a free market economy nothing will not cost you more or less, than what the supply/demand curve dictates. But, as more options become available, this does put some downward pressure on the price. I think now would be a good time to list your options and do cost-benefit analysis.
Your options are:
- Do nothing
- Hire a junior level sculptor and a supervisor
- Hire a senior level digital sculptor
- Quote a local VFX vendor with a dedicated modeling team
- Quote a professional 3D Scanning vendor
- Buy/build your own 3D Scanner
When your goal is to make a movie and be most efficient with your budget then only one option should stand out. Quote a professional service provider to get the job done. They will provide you with more options to suit your needs.
Remember, that scans do not need to be processed unless requested, a single capture will suffice.
Discuss the potential scope of work with your vendor to determine the price based on your immediate needs.
There’s one thing that I want to mention and it is this. You might feel pressure to support a local VFX shop to keep your friends busy and you might feel pressure from wanting to buy a scanner just to play with some cool new technology. But, this will cost you in time and money.
Go with Professional Service for whatever you decide to do, for their techniques have survived and evolved through natural selection, or risk perishing like a dinosaur.
How Long Does 3D Scanning Take?
3D Scanning Process is FAST, but be sure to Schedule Your Session in advance!
The time it takes to get you a finished 3D scanned model will most definitely be shorter than digitally resculpting it from reference pictures and footage, as there will be no more back and forth of subjective opinions. Pre-plan a scan session beforehand to make sure that your principal talent is available for the time slot. Just a little bit of pre-planning will bring you the peace of mind. Usually, a professional vendor should be available to travel to your set/location to do their capture on the site, but there will be overhead costs for this. Again, there’s always cost-benefit analysis to be made.
- Pro Studio Scanning:
- Pre-calibrated equipment
- Higher Quality
- Lesser Capture session price
- Faster Turnaround
- Talent has to be taken off the set
- Make up crew member may have to travel with talent
- Not as easy to schedule
- On Location Scanning:
- Easier to schedule
- Talent can be scanned in between takes.
- Wardrobe, Makeup, Props are all available to be scanned
- Price increases if no volume exists to take advantage of volume pricing
- Potential for lesser quality, unless enough time given for pre-calibration
- A room or a tent space is needed to protect the film set from light flashes