In the world of today, movies, tv shows, and other varieties of media work with a lot of super cool effects from chroma backgrounds to 3D models. Recently, I have had the pleasure of exploring the 3D modelling side of things at a studio called Pixel Light Effects. Originally a 3D printing company, PLE went a little further into business with the 3D modelling and came up with the next best thing, which was generating 3D images of actors. Because 3D effects are considered cheaper than the real thing when it comes to fake explosions, car chases, and anything you’d see in a Marvel movie (or any movie that’s live action) there’s no way one could afford quite all the resources that used to be required (Pyrotechnics, stunt doppelgängers, etc.) 3D modelling makes that easier. With a team of VFX professionals who take on the challenge of working frame by frame and putting up with the patience of waiting during render time, this technique has been proven to be quite successful. If an actor is ever supposed to be caught in a nasty explosion or maybe hit by a semi truck or even attacked by wild animals, 3D modelling is the way to go.
But PLE doesn’t just focus on what I’d call After Effects for Actors, it also focuses on other interesting tactics like simply scanning the face for facial expressions. The studio can also make 3D models of props and even vehicles, getting every last little bit of texture in the process. And the best part is 3D scanning is mobile. Full body scanning is done in the back of a moving truck where the trailer is filled with cameras pointing in every single angle of an individual standing in position. One quick flash later and photos are taken and ready to process. This has been proven to be a quick and amazing process that has worked for productions such as ABC’s Dead of Summer and Once Upon A Time, as well as SyFy’s The Magicians, and Van Helsing.