Studio News

Virtual Visualization Series – Asset Building & Virtual Scouting

04.27.2020 — Categories: , ,

As we learned in our last two editions, previs combines with techvis to help creatives explore their vision and then bring it to life with surgical precision. This week, we’re taking a closer look at how 3D Assets are generated and prepared for use in the previs; and how recent advances in game-engine technology are enabling new ways to scout real-world locations and interactively arrange any set.

Pathfinder, TTF’s virtual scouting tool, was originally developed for the showmakers behind Game of Thrones. It was a huge hit on location in Northern Ireland, allowing directors to jump into VR and quickly show the crew what they were imagining in the moment. The overwhelming success of the pilot version of Pathfinder encouraged us to continue development, and we’re proud to see its expanded capabilities demonstrated in these videos. Imagine scouting real-world locations without having to leave your office or walking onto a set long before it’s been built!

So, cancel that plane ticket, unpack your bags, and consider embarking on a Virtual Location Scout to help choose an ideal location, stage your action, and even visualize the sun-path for perfect natural lighting on any given day.

Pathfinder’s interface was designed from the ground up to be ultra-intuitive, and to enable DPs, directors and designers to move set pieces around and improve the staging instantly. A Virtual Set Scout can help answer key questions, such as:  What parts of the set need to be built? Where will props be placed? Are any changes and adjustments needed prior to physical set construction? These quick validations can save countless hours, reduce waste, and align the crew’s understanding of what to expect on the day.

Visualization teams help prepare the 3D Assets needed to have an effective Set Scout, and often work from Art Department models, diagrams, location photos or scans to build a virtual version of any set or stage design. To make this process much more efficient, THE THIRD FLOOR has created an expansive Digital Asset Library, containing thousands of hand-made environments, props, characters, effects and other useful 3D building blocks that can be repurposed to cost-effectively prepare any custom set for a live scout.

We invite you to see how Pathfinder is used as a Virtual Set Scouting tool in the video below.


To learn more about our 3D Asset Libraries and Virtual Scouting Tools, or any other visualization support for your project, email

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