Nov.20, 2014 | By Alec

While most desktop FDM 3D printers are capable of printing some very cool objects, action figures (my toys of choice as a child) are still largely their grasp. That's why people-scanning projects, like this very unusual photo-shoot by Czech photographer Dan Vojtech are so exciting to read about.

For while he generally produces beautiful photographs of sport events or people (just look at his webpage for some examples), his latest project takes things to a completely different level. For what he's done is make a photo-shoot of miniature action figures resembling wake skating world champion Zuzana Vráblová, who happens to be a fellow Czech. She won the first prize at the Byerly Toe Jam wake skating championship in Orlando, Florida in 2013, but was now honoured in a very unique way: to be scanned, 3D printed and photographed as 3D action figure.

To do so, Vojtech teamed up with the 3D Gang company, a 3D scanning and printing business from Prague in the Czech Republic. With a giant Artec EVA at their disposal, they offer full-body scanning services in their studio. As one of their employees explained, this scanner essentially creates 115 different fully body images, and thus 115 different scans. These are all subsequently 'linked in a 3D model, which needs to be cleaned and adjusted so it can be used further.'

These scans can then be 3D printed on their Zcorp 650 3D printer, an industrial level printer capable of producing highly-detailed, multi-coloured objects. For those of you interested in full body scanning (and in Central Europe), check out their website here.

Vojtech convinced the wake skating champion to pose for a series of in-action scans; while most of full-body scans simply feature someone standing upright, Vojtech wanted to capture his model as an athlete. As the video below shows, this required here to balance herself on an awkward, wave-free construction.

As she later said, 'It was interesting that it was not only based on the photographer, but we had to create it together and think about it. It was definitely the most interesting photo-shoot I ever had! I had to visualise the right spots and how I would approach them so that it looked authentic – it was a bit harder than usual.' In the end, they developed a whole series of figurines.

But it doesn't stop there. After scanning, printing and painting, Vojtech's main role began. For then he posed this series of models in various city landscapes. As the photos suggest, this was actually a photo-shoot of 3D printed objects.

Reportedly, Vojtech found this very challenging to capture properly 'One thing was to scan and create Zuzana's 3D figurines, but it was another to arrange the figurines in such a way as it made sense. When it was all ready, we arranged the final composition and added light to the scene.' The series of photos was shot using a Nikon D810 camera, with various lighting arrangements.

And here we were thinking that 3D printing itself is an expression of creativity. But who says a 3D printed object can't be a prop for an additional level of creativity?

For more, check out this clip on the entire creative process:

Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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