What is a 3D Selfie?

What is a 3D Selfie?

A 3D selfie—also sometimes called a 3D replica, 3D miniature, 3D portrait, or 3D figurine—is a scale replica of a person or pet. They are realistic miniature versions of people or pets created using 3D scanning technology, a 3D printer, and specialized photogrammetry software. 3D selfies are what happen when 3D printing technology collides with selfies!

In recent years, 3D selfies have become popular across the country in major cities from New York to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Dallas, and now Houston. Why just take an everyday 2D selfie of that special moment when you can capture it from every angle?

How Do 3D Selfies Work?

In extremely simple terms, a 360-degree image is taken of the subject and uploaded to special photogrammetry software to align all the images. The resulting point cloud is then processed into a 3D computer model. The photogrammetry software is used to compute texture and wrap it around the 3D model. Next, a 3D artist digitally edits the model to ensure everything is perfect. Finally, your 3D selfie is printed on a special CMYK powder-binder 3D printer, then cleaned, strengthened, and sealed.

A 3D selfie starts with a set of photos being taken from specific distances at specific angles. Some 3D selfie businesses have a 3D scanning booth that takes many high-resolution photos all at once. Other similar businesses use slightly different technologies, but they all end up with a set of images taken from a variety of angles to create a 3D computer model from. Some 3D selfie businesses offer partial 3D selfies in which a generic 3D body is attached to a 3D scanned or photographed head or bust. Others engage full-body 3D scanning technology so that your 3D figurine is fully you.

Why Would You Want a 3D Selfie?

The reasons people get 3D selfies made are probably as varied as the people getting them made. Why do people take 2D selfies? To capture a special memory, right? The reason most people want a 3D selfie mostly boils down to pretty much the same thing but with a twist: having a unique memory of a special moment captured from every angle.

Many people like to memorialize their beloved pets with a 3D figurine. One recent customer had their daughter’s dog made into a 3D miniature as a high school graduation gift so she could take her favorite pooch to her college dorm with her. Other people want to remember what they looked like in their sports uniform, graduation cap and gown, during pregnancy, in a theater or cosplay costume, or on their wedding day. 3D selfies make beautiful and completely unique wedding cake toppers, and mother and newborn 3D miniatures will make your heart swell.

Fitness models often get 3D selfies done to mark progress. Tattoo afficionados like to use 3D replicas to memorialize their skin art. Some of our personal favorites are first responders such as police officers, fireman, or paramedics who get 3D selfies done in their uniforms. Sometimes parents have 3D replicas of their kids made each year to show growth progression and remember their littles when. Some people just think it’s cool and want one of their own just because they can.

Sure, photos also work for many of these memories, but they don’t capture every angle. And there’s just something extra special about having that figurine to see, touch, turn over, and remember every detail.

What Can I Use My 3D Selfie For?

3D selfies can be used for anything you like, but here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Gifts: What grandparent wouldn’t cherish figurines of their grandbabies? 3D portraits also make great graduation gifts, anniversary presents, Mother’s or Father’s Day gifts, and so much more. If a photo would be a great gift for a particular occasion, a 3D selfie takes that gift to the next level!
  • Weddings: Want a wedding cake topper that absolutely defines your relationship in a completely unique way? A 3D replica of the happy couple is the ultimate way to go. And when the wedding day is over, the happy couple has a beautiful memento to display in their home.
  • Souvenirs: There is no better way to capture a truly special memory than with a 3D replica of a beloved pet, a cherished pregnancy, a mother and her newborn, graduation day, your favorite sports uniform or dance/drama/cosplay costume, and just about any other memory you want to capture and cherish for a lifetime.
  • Workplace decor: Have a mascot for your business? Do your employees wear cool uniforms? Want your team to know how special they are? 3D selfies displayed around the office are sure to build morale and get your customers talking.
  • Just for fun: Having 3D selfies displayed in your home is a sure way to start fun conversations with guests and make your friends jealous of all the cool artwork you have—of your family.

3D selfies are a relatively new offering, and working with a 3D scanning company with the expertise, equipment, and technology to capture your most precious moments is the key to getting incredible 3D figurines that capture exactly what you want to remember about your special experience. Everyone has photos of their special moments—as well we all should—but a 3D selfie takes memory capturing to the next level and provides a presentation you just can’t get any other way.