Just a few weeks ago, this writer excitedly introduced you to Omote 3D Shashin Kan, the new 3D photography and modelling studio in Tokyo that immortalizes customers as tiny, intricately detailed figurines for just a couple of hundred dollars apiece.
Despite wanting to head down to the fancy new studio myself and decorate my apartment with a collection of mini mes, after much discussion in the office and comments being made like “too handsome” and “they might not have enough plastic to model your nose,” the RocketNews24 crew decided it best to send reporting legend Mr. Sato to do the honours instead.
This is no ordinary photoshoot.
Party, the company behind Omote 3D Shashin Kan, was founded by a group of industry experts who, with a passion for technology, struck upon the idea of providing customers with a new, exciting way of preserving their memories. Despite digital technology making photography more accessible than it has ever been, literally millions of photographs sit on SD memory cards and hard disks and are rarely accessed, let alone printed out, meaning that the overall value of photographs has been lost for many.
Enter Omote 3D Shashin Kan.
Using 3-D scanner and printer technology, the studio asks visitors to strike the pose they’d like to be remembered in while digitally capturing every inch of their body. Customers can choose the size of their figure from 10, 15 and 20cm models, costing 260, 400 and 520 US dollars, respectively. The figures don’t come cheap, but they’re certainly something special, and the idea of owning a lifelike, three-dimensional model of a family member, themselves on their wedding day, or a son or daughter in their graduation outfit is bound to appeal to many.
As is often the case with new technology, there are, of course, things to be borne in mind, as our reporter points out:
“Things like waist pouches and small bags have to be removed prior to capturing process. These things have a habit of bending or breaking off from the completed figure, so the staff ask that customers keep their outfit simple. For the same reason, we’re asked to avoid poses where we have our arms raised or extending limbs out from our bodies.”
There’s also bad news for anyone hoping to create a figure of themselves wearing a catsuit or a sequin-frilled disco ball gown.
“Because the light reflecting from shiny or sparkling materials like leather interferes with the camera, the studio asks that customers choose clothing with a matte finish.”
It’s probably for the best that I didn’t go down to the studio after-all, then; my gimp suit wouldn’t have gone down well at all.
Mr. Sato struck a sensible pose wearing surprisingly a conservative outfit (why no blue slime outfit!?) and settled in to let the technician work her magic. Although completion times may vary, it can take up to 15 minutes to capture an adult’s entire frame, meaning that you’ll need to be patient and able to hold in a sneeze if need be.
Omote 3D’s technician moved slowly around our man, capturing every smile line and crinkle in his jeans. With his hands in his pockets and staring into the middle distance, Mr. Sato’s handsome visage was transferred via the wonder of technology to a nearby computer, which he did he very best not to peek at while trying to remain still.
Kanta Shimizu, the project’s creative director, describes the 3D models as one of the only true methods of “immortalizing a person’s true appearance and physical shape.” Our posture, the way wear our clothes, our height and physical shape; it’s difficult to capture so many details in a single photograph. But with lifelike models like these, we’re provided with an accurate, long-lasting memory. Not to mention the fact that they’re seriously cool.
After the data is fed into the connected computer, a 3-D colour printer produces a model in intricate detail. Thanks to the surge of interest in the new studio since it opened late last month, however, Omote 3D currently has a hold on reservations for the next two months, meaning that you’ll have to be patient and visit their website often if you’re hoping to grab a plastic version of yourself any time soon.
Those fortunate enough to get a reservation will have to wait up to four weeks to receive their finished model, but they can rest assured that they are in the very select club of people reproduced in 3-D, staring up into space like they’re awaiting the arrival of an alien spacecraft.
As soon as our Mini Sato arrives in the post, we’ll have an update and plenty of photos for you. Perhaps we’ll even let you bid for it and donate the money to an awesome charity like this one. Who wouldn’t want their very own Mr. Sato to play with!?
In the meantime, feast your eyes on this collection of photos from the studio and Mr. Sato’s recent visit:
▼Our Mr. S has clearly been doing his butt clenches.
▼There’s that famous grin!
▼A great Coming of Age ceremony memorial model!
▼Literally every detail is captured
▼With any luck you’ll be able to make a reservation soon!
[ Read in Japanese ]