Associated Press Features Smithsonian’s 3D Portrait of Obama, Notes Use of USC Light Stage Scanner

Published: June 18, 2014
Category: News

A widely carried Associated Press story stated that a team at the Smithsonian Institution has scanned President Barack Obama to create the first 3D portrait of a sitting president.
The story noted that scanning used two distinct 3D processes. The team used handheld 3D scanners and cameras to record 3D data to create a bust of the president and experts from the University of Southern California used their “light stage” face scanner to document the president’s face from ear to ear.
According to the story, a 3D printed bust and life mask of Obama will become part of his presidential depictions in the National Portrait Gallery collection. Both were shown Wednesday, June 18 at a gathering of inventors, entrepreneurs and students at the White House.
In describing the scanning process, which took about 5 minutes, the story explains that the Smithsonian set out to update plaster casting with 21st century technology. The result was a 3D scan of the president at a higher resolution that is currently possible to print in 3D.
“You can see down to the wrinkles in the skin and the pores on his face,” said Vince Rossi, a 3D imaging specialist.
Photo Credit: Smithsonian Institution