There will always be something special about photographs taken with a traditional film camera, even if many of them aren’t as sharp or vibrant as digital photos. Film photographs do have their downsides, though, which is why they’ve been replaced almost entirely by digital photography. For one thing, film photographs tend to fade over time. Look at an old portrait, and you’ll see that colors have started to leach away, and features become less distinct. That’s not just an issue of photography, though – surprisingly, 3D printed portraits can be subject to fading as well.
Full-color 3D printers like the ProJet 660 are great for 3D printed portraits because they offer bright, varied colors, but those colors can fade when exposed to humidity or direct sunlight for extended periods of time. To prevent that from happening, Twindom, maker of full body 3D scanners, has developed TwinProtect, a specially formulated coating that makes 3D prints resistant to water and UV rays. The coating seals in color and allows users to keep their 3D prints anywhere, including windowsills, without worrying about losing color vibrancy.
Twindom debuted the coating, along with a service called HD Retouching, in a beta period that has proven to be extremely successful among testers.
“During the beta period both services have been incredibly popular with Twindom’s customers,” said Twindom Co-Founder Will Drevno. “Close to half of all 3D portraits are now getting some form of HD Retouching or TwinProtect applied to them.”
HD Retouching is exactly what it sounds like – a retouching service for 3D printed portraits. It’s designed, according to Twindom, for HD portrait businesses that want to offer premium 3D portraits without having to spend thousands of dollars on a full body scanner, plus fees to 3D artists to fix scan data. HD Retouching runs 3D scan data through a set of advanced algorithms, developed through the many scans Twindom has processed in the past. The algorithms fix any imperfections, and whatever they don’t catch is fixed by a senior Twindom 3D artist.
“The HD Retouching feature came about after seeing a lot of unexpected demand from our 3D portrait business customers located in more affluent or touristy areas,” Twindom CTO Richard Berwick told 3DPrint.com. “They wanted to sell 3D portraits at more premium price points rather than the mass market price points for a 3D portrait that Twindom helped pioneer.”
HD Retouching is a two-part process that does more than Twindom’s Basic Retouching feature. It sharpens 3D portraits by texturizing hair, enhancing facial features, and even highlighting creases in clothing. Once the portrait is completed, the portrait business receives a notification and can comment if any additional revisions are needed. The file is then passed along to one of Twindom’s print partners for 3D printing, then shipped to the portrait business or customer.
“To our customers, details are everything and to us, reputation is everything,” said Dylan Saloner, CEO of 3D portrait business PocketMe. “With HD retouching, the extra effort and attention to detail translate into a higher quality PocketMe product and preserves our good name.”
Twindom runs its business on the belief that eventually everyone will have a 3D model of themselves for uses in online shopping, virtual reality and more. Like photography, 3D portraiture is evolving, with 3D portraits becoming more detailed, more realistic, and overall higher quality. Services like TwinProtect and HD Retouching take the technology another step forward, offering people 3D portraits that come close to photography in terms of resemblance.
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