There’s certainly nothing new about paying tribute to one’s beloved four-legged, winged or feathered friend. From extravagant portraits in oil of horses, hunting dogs, and over-indulged lapdogs commissioned by the wealthy to touching (and occasionally, kitschy) ceramic likenesses of the family cat, humans confirm that, in many cases, non-human best friends are the ones most worthy of memorializing. If photography supplanted traditional art forms in some ways, it might well be argued that 3D printing has gone a step further, at least in this regard. Now, those who are so inclined can preserve the likeness of their cherished pet or pets with small-scale 3D portraits.
The web-based company, PetPrints3D, offers a variety of 3D portraits/sculptures, that continue the tradition of animal portraiture in a manner that is a bit more nuanced than, say, that of a 3D photo booth. The company claims it can capture the “true essence” of its subjects with “customizable,” multiple photographic images.
They ask customers to submit a series of photos, including “side shots” or profile views, close-ups of the pets face and other distinctive features, seated, reclining and frontal poses. They also encourage portrait commissioners to try to capture in photos the idiosyncrasies of Spot or Fritz or Rover. “Does your pet do that cute little thing where they cock their head or shake a paw? Are hey a well-styled fashionista that is often seen flaunting a frilly pink skirt?” The latter question verges on the ridiculous, of course, but isn’t so far from the truth in the context of the enduring and sometimes extravagant expressions of fondness for non-human BFFs.
Apparently, the creative process comes into play when multiple images submitted by customers are considered and cleverly combined–customized–to produce convincing portraits, which, claims PetPrints, “capture [a pet’s] distinct personality.” It seems the more images a customer submits, the more thoroughly the artists at PetPrints can proceed.
The final sculpture or, “model,” as the company refers to its 3D pet portraits, is printed in a material that is a combination of sandstone and gypsum. The models range in size from four to nine inches in height, with “small,” “medium,” and “large” sizes available at prices ranging from $250 to $1500–a modest seated pose of one pet (rather than a grouping of the same pet or three different ones), to a more complex horse-and-rider composition, for instance. The company accepts the basic photographic formats–.JPG, .TIFF, .PSD, and .PNG.
Even those customers who wish to preserve the memory of a deceased, beloved pet have options. The company’s website notes, “If your pet has already passed on, we will take any photographs that you can provide us with and we will do our best to bring a part of your pet back to you.” They explain that, when confirming an order, they can’t be completely precise with regard to the final dimensions of a model. “Due to specific pet attributes,” says the website, “we are unable to give you exact dimensions of your PetPrint but we do adhere to some standard measurements.”
Thanks to the precision of 3D modeling and the detailing now possible with 3D printing, the models pictured on the PetPrint’s website actually do have a sense of individuality and the heightened realism is nicely tempered with sentimental touches. Have you had your pet 3D printed? Let’s see how it turned out. Post your images and discuss this company in the PetPrints3D forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out some more examples of PetPrints’ work below:
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