My exploration in 3D portraiture originated during my Computational Portraiture class at ITP. Coming from a traditional photographic background I had not been overly impressed with what available 3D technologies was bringing to the table, I constantly saw artists battling with the technology, trying to fix its imperfections, creating odd looking 00s’s style videogame caricatures. My first experiments were with an original xbox kinect where I scanned myself using skanect software for mac, after my first scan I plugged the file into meshmixer and began distorting it. My final product from this experiment ended up being a quick GIF I made (photo 1). Afterwards this experiment I got excited about making statuesque surreal figures based on 3D scans, I quickly took a Micrsoft Scanner home and started creating scans of spaces and friends, with the holiday of passover was approaching and I thought it would be a good idea to create scans of my family. Instead of a Microsoft Kinect I decided to try the structure.io sensor which ran on iOS devices. For my needs the structure.io was a failure – it did not allow me to get close enough to my subjects to obtain detailed portrait scans. Through research I found the best scanner for my needs was an ASUS XTION with RGB camera, which is basically a rebranded Primesense scanner (a pioneering company in 3D scanning that was recently bought by Apple). Through mounting my ASUS XTION to my laptop I was able to create a semi portable “rig” for 3D scanning photography.
After finishing my passover scans I didn’t feel satisfied with the results, after discussing details of the project with my friend and co-classmate Pat Shiu we decided to collaborate on a series of images. Using her wearing a winter coat we created unique character who we followed along in different situations around New York. We walked the city doing outside environmental scans,carefully composing scenes as we searched for detail in physical depth (not light as in traditional photography) – sometimes combining elements from different scans to create surreal atmospheres for our character to travel through.
The resulting project is a series of three images (with more in the works) following our character through a surreal journey in New York City.