Smithsonian Creates 3-D Portrait of President Obama

Posted on December 10, 2014

President Obama is the first president in history to be scanned in 3D. The portraits created from the 3D scan data are now on display at the Smithsonian Castle. The Smithsonian-led team included experts from the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies and Autodesk.

The video below shows how the 3D portrait of the President was created. A unique looking image capture technology called the mobile light stage face scanner is used to record 3D data. The life mask and bust of President Obama were printed using 3D Systems' Selective Laser Sintering printers.

The inspiration for the 3D scan comes from the Lincoln life mask. President Obama can seen sitting down in front of the light stage face scanner and and holding his presidential pose. The President was also scanned with a structured light 3D camera. Obama can seen looking at his 3D bust near the end of the video. Take a look:

The Smithsonian says President Obama life-mask scan will join three other presidential life masks in the Portrait Gallery. These include one of George Washington and two of Abraham Lincoln.

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