Why do you do this work?
When I show people an entirely new way of seeing their bodies and instead of immediately judging themselves (a reaction we are all familiar with) they immediately engage and explore with curiosity about their body... that lights me up, every time.
Because we are rapidly progressing with mixed reality and virtual reality. Creating meaningful avatars of ourselves within these worlds requires we learn how to see ourselves as volume.
What are the other applications of this technology?
3D scanning with infrared lasers is primarily used for architecture and industrial design, my application for expression is fairly unique and the application of scanning in the dark has surprised everyone I've talked to who is in the 3D scanning space, and who just never thought to do that (and yes, it is as fun as it sounds).
How can I touch this/own my portrait?
I'm still in the process of experimenting and expanding the options to touch and own the digital assets I'm creating. I've had great success with printing 2D versions of the portraits onto glass, they look gorgeous and the url of the hosted 3D interactive version is printed on the back, however, I'm still figuring out the best way to share or sell a piece of 3D interactive art. Ideally, you will be able to touch your own portrait, pinch, zoom, spin (NIIO is a new platform innovating in the space of interactive digital art distribution, and I'm beta testing with them). I'm also very eager to start fabricating some of the sculptures by 3d printing in metals that conduct electricity.
How did you come up with this idea?
I've been around infrared lasers my whole life. My big brother is a physicist and was always building his own lasers in our garage, playing with night vision goggles, and using lasers to measure distance. I originally bought the 3D scanner to test the concept for a startup that archived family heirlooms as digital assets as part of a healthy process of letting go of physical objects after a family member passes. That startup idea didn't end up having legs, but as I was playing in the studio I also got curious about capturing bodies, and with my dance background was quite comfortable with being captured in the nude. The idea to do it in the dark was how I could make it comfortable for other people who would never phathom having their portrait taken in the nude.
How long does it take?
One capture takes about 120 seconds. I usually spend at least 60 minutes during a collaborative portrait session from start to finish.
Which scanner do you use?
Structure Sensor created by the folks over at Occipital. It attaches to my iPad easily and the app interface is intuitive enough that I can pass the device back and forth with my collaborators during a portrait session so they can try a capture on their own as well.