A Neat Look at How the World’s First 3D Photo Booth Works

Earlier this month, we wrote that the world’s first 3D photo booth had popped up in Japan. The studio looks like it’s designed for ordinary portraits, except the “photographers” capture you with fancy handheld scanners and then turn your into miniature sculptures instead of photographs. Since then, more information has emerged that provides a better look at how the whole thing works.

First, check out this interesting promo video that shows glimpses of the processes and a number of final products:

Called OMOTE 3D SHASHIN KAN, the studio uses a process consisting of three steps.

First, the subject’s body is scanned into a computer using a handheld 3D scanner. The person must remain motionless for up to 15 minutes during this step.

Next, a 3D model of the subject is generated using the scan data. Since the data isn’t too specific, smaller details (things like hair and clothes color) need to be manually specified during this step.

Finally, the 3D model is turned into a physical miniature figurine using a color 3D printer. From start to finish, each of the sculptures can take 1-2 months to create after the “photo shoot.”

The photo booth will be open until January 14th of next year. If you live in Japan and would like a sitting, you can make a reservation over on the official website.

  • Rodge

    In what sense of the word is this a “photo booth”? Fifteen minutes of remaining motionless … then waiting ONE to TWO MONTHS while the scans are turned into figurines through hand-carving and hand-painting… Please. A photo booth is synonymous with quickie portraits taken without a photographer’s intervention, and most often there are prints while you wait. This is…let’s see…NONE of that. Either the “photo booth” monicker is a poor translation from Japanese to English, or it’s a little PR effort to give the whole thing some veneer of hipsterism. Either way, it’s dumb.

  • Dark Star


    I’m sure you are the wisest man in the world and anything you say should be framed, here’s a new technology that’ll only get more efficient in time and you’ll look back at your trolling and realise how much of a douche you are, either way, stop trolling.

  • Chill Out.

    Why exactly does anything quirky, new or ‘cutting edge’ immediately have to become synonymous with hipster culture? People are eccentric, photographers doubly so. Just because somebody purchases a lomography camera or likes the idea of a 3D ‘photobooth’ that doesn’t automatically make them a hipster surely? My nan likes safety pins, does that make her a punk? Doubtful.
    I guess you’re trolling but the world’s changing and new things happen all the time. Try being a bit less cynical and opinionated and take a look out the window once in a while. Who knows it might make you happy.

  • Rodge

    I know reading is hard, but do try to keep up.

    • Turning image scans into 3D figurines — cool.
    • Calling it a “photo booth” despite the fact that it takes up to two months to see the results — dumb.

    So (one more time for the really slow ones like Dark Star) love and kudos to the pioneers, and boo-hiss to the careless misnomer in the Petapixel headline.

    Words mean something, or at least they used to. Some of us would like to keep it that way. Shocking, I know.

  • That Dude with the Camera

    I’m sure this is more advanced then what I think it is. I had this done for a wedding couple about 6 years ago in Las Vegas.
    Now granted, it wasn’t a full on “photo-booth” or studio, but they took digital scans of you or an object and turned them into mini-sculptures. Cost around $200, back then.

    The studio could also render a sculpture from your 2D photos that you would send them. The software they used would sort of photo-merge the photos from the suggested front and side profiles. Obviously, the more detailed the profiles and more of them, the better the detail would be.
    The turn-around was about the same back then, 2 weeks.

    Never really seen it anywhere else, so I wasn’t sure if it was a popular seller or not. Maybe it is making a comeback

  • Dark Star

    hey Rodge, keep living behind that keyboard mate.

  • mick

    “Booth” does imply a booth ! I’m looking but hey no booth ? whats with that ?

  • Myles Rothacker

    anyone know what 3d printer they are using?