(NEW YORK) — Just in time for the annual holiday family portrait, designers in Japan have come up with a unique alternative to standard prints: miniature action figures of the family.
Gone are the days of photo sessions requiring nothing more than a still camera and lights. The photographers behind the world’s first 3D studio, “Omote 3D Shashin Kan,” use a high-tech scanner that captures every wrinkle and every strand of hair.
The catch – you need to hold your pose for 15 minutes.
“CT-scans used to be the only way to accurately capture a person’s (body shape and texture),” said Naoki Ito, creative director for Party Inc, the group behind the project. “The advancement of technology has changed that.”
Data used to create the mini-mes are manually captured by a hand-held scanner with two built-in cameras. One scans the body’s shape, the other the texture. All the information gathered is processed through software, traditionally reserved for the medical field.
The result is a hyper-realistic figurine that brings every last detail back to life. The mini-mes range in size from four to eight inches, with prices starting around $260.
“I didn’t expect the replicas to turn out so realistic,” Ito said. “The minute I saw mine, I knew I had to go on a diet. I lost 11 pounds in a month.”
3D printers have been used to recreate everything from toys to prosthetics. In the most recent James Bond movie “Skyfall,” filmmakers used a large VX4000 printer to reproduce three 1:3 scale models of the Aston Martin DB85. One of them was auctioned off at Christie’s for almost $100,000.
Ito’s project is the first to bring full-body 3D replicas to life, but the idea is catching on quickly. Since word of Ito’s exhibit spread online a few weeks ago, he has been flooded with calls from the U.S. to India and Australia.
More than 500 people have already signed up, to get a mini-me.
“We’ve gotten so many requests, we’re trying to figure out how to meet demand,” Ito said.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Ahiza Garcia, CNN
Ahiza Garcia, CNN
Jethro Mullen Ivana Kottasova and Patrick Gillespie, CNN
Sara Weber, Deseret News