A 3D Scan as the Modern Daguerreotype

Reblogged from: http://dadhoc.com/2013/07/a-3d-scan-as-the-modern-daguerreotype/

“OK, we’re scanning kids. Stay still.” The man behind the camera instructed us, his subjects, to remain as motionless as possible.  But this is not 1850 and we don’t have to stand still for photographs any more. But this was no ordinary photo shoot. This was a Father’s Day 3D Portrait Studio put together by Fred Kahl, aka The Great Fredini at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.

Fred has developed a remarkable contraption – a spinning platform and a pulley system that works with the Kinect camera and ReconstructMe software to capture very detailed full body 3D scans. Me and the kids stood on a circular platform, got into a comfortable pose, the were spun steadily in a circle. At the same time, Fred used a pulley mechanism to glide the Kinect along the entire length of our body. It is essential that us “subjects” remained absolutely motionless during the scanning.


The process reminded me of what it must have been like to have a daguerreotype take of you over a century and a half ago, when people had to remain still for as long as ten minutes to have their image captured. The complete 3D scan took about a minute once we got settled.

The result was an amazingly accurate 3D rendering of me and my two kids that I then had 3D printed. The white statuette has a prominent place on my mantle, a happy reminder of a great Father’s day. Fed was also nice enough to do separate scans of each of my kids, which they totally love. I know what you are saying, “That is so cool. You are so lucky.” And yes, I would agree. I was totally lucky to get to be an early subject on The Great Fredinis Spectacular Full Body Scanning Contraption, or what he calls the Scan-a-Rama. But now, he’s giving everyone a chance to get in on the scanning fun through a Kickstarter campaign he recently launched for opening a 3D portrait studio in Coney Island and a plan to create ”a fully populated model of Coney Island, New York’s Luna Park as it stood 100 years ago!”

At the $60 reward level, Fred will scan you (at events in Coney Island or Manhattan) and make a 3D print of your portrait. Totally fun and worth it.

Here’s the Kickstarter page.  And here’s a photo of my daughter getting the full scan treatment.


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