Captured Dimensions 3D Photo Booth Takes Center Stage at Smithsonian X3D Launch Expo

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This article was written by Lisa Perez, a regular contributor to On 3D Printing.

As part of the Smithsonian’s X 3D launch, the museum hosted a two-day conference this past week to discuss its 3D initiatives and showcase the work of its Digitization Program Office and outside partners.  Among these, the Dallas-based Captured Dimensions team proved itself to be a leader in 3D photo imaging with a pop-up studio that delighted attendees and rendered 3D captures in extremely high fidelity.

The Captured Dimensions pop-up studio was located in the Smithsonian Castle and featured approximately 80 digital cameras arranged in a dome formation, all connected to 3D imaging software.  By triggering the cameras simultaneously, the Captured Dimensions is able to capture live subjects in 3D virtually instantly and in 360 degrees. The experience is as quick and easy for the subject as taking a picture, and action shots are definitely an option.

Smithsonian X 3D Pop-Up SetSmithsonian X 3D Pop-Up Setup

Captured Dimensions CEO Jordan Williams explained during the X 3D expo that “the general process gives you the ability to capture living subjects that are difficult to scan using other methods and to capture other objects that are outside of a traditional scale.”

The Smithsonian’s X 3D Expo attendees made full use of this capability, by posing for a range of 3D captures that included yoga poses, head stands, ballet moves and jump shots.

On Wednesday morning, the Captured Dimensions team kicked off the expo by taking an official 3D portrait of Secretary of the Smithsonian Dr. G. Wayne Clough which was processed and digitally imaged that day, and then 3D printed into a scaled full color replica the next day by fellow exhibitor 3D Systems.

The Smithsonian subsequently confirmed that this portrait marks the first official 3D capture and rendering of a sitting Smithsonian Secretary.

Indeed, at the time of this writing, it appears that the official 3D printed portrait of Secretary Clough is the first of its kind for a federal secretary, and could even present a potential solution to recent debates over the high cost of traditional portraits of government officials.  Currently, a scaled full body figurine from Captured Dimensions can be obtained for as little as $399 for a 1/12 scaled print, and $199 for reprints, while a recent oil on canvas portrait of Air Force Secretary Michael Donnelly is reported to have cost $41,200.

With the growing popularity of 3D imaging and portraiture, even Queen Elizabeth II is getting in on the action, so it stands to reason that a new tradition of 3D portraiture among high ranking US government officials can’t be too far behind.

For Captured Dimensions, the opportunity to take Secretary Clough’s portrait comes on the heels of exciting collaborations with Abilene Christian University’s Maker Lab (ACU Maker Lab), and New York-based fashion innovator Francis Bitonti.

The ACU Maker Lab project consisted of scanning and digitizing an 8-foot maquette of ACU’s 34-foot Centennial Celebration statue entitled Jacob’s Dream.  From this scan, the Captured Dimensions team produced a 27-inch scaled bronze-coated replica by printing it in 8 different sections on a MakerBot Replicator 2.

The team then assembled the replica using custom 3D printed dowels, applied a bronze coating and attached it to a weighted base.  The final result is an extremely precise facsimile of the original statue that can provide a lasting memento for the artist and for other lovers of the work.

Representatives from ACU’s Maker Lab and Department of Art & Design, including Jacob’s Dream sculptor Jack Maxwell, also attended the Smithsonian X 3D expo to share their work and their experience in digitizing the Jacob’s Dream statue.

Captured Dimensions was also recently called upon by the groundbreaking New York designer Francis Bitonti to scan several butterflies used to develop the world’s first 3D printed paper dress.  Mr. Bitonti developed his ”butterfly dress” in partnership with MCor Technologies and expects to unveil the design in the near future.

Smithsonian X 3D Pop-Up Cameras

In addition to Captured Dimensions, 3D Systems and ACU’s Maker Lab, the Smithsonian Castle also hosted other exhibitors highlighting 3D capture and 3D printing resources available to researchers and members of the public.  These included, among others, the Digital Commons team at DC’s own MLK Library, and Anderson Ta of the Maryland Institute College of Art’s Digital Fabrication Studio.

For those interested in learning more about the Smithsonian’s 3D initiatives and the X 3D launch event, the institution has made a webcast available on UStream.

Smithsonian X 3D Pop-Up Team

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One Response to Captured Dimensions 3D Photo Booth Takes Center Stage at Smithsonian X3D Launch Expo

  1. […] the principle we used when creating our human scanning studio, which we recently showcased at the Smithsonian’s X3D Event. Using this type of setup, we are able to capture very high fidelity information about a subject […]

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