Photographer Creates Dramatic Sports Action Shots Using 3D Printed Models

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Let’s say you’re a sports fan whose team has just won the big championship thanks to the heroic action of one outstanding athlete who stepped up and the saved the game, the day. Wouldn’t you love to commemorate that winning jump shot, goal, or tackle with the help of 3D printing? Imagine preserving one of those edge-of-your-seat, game-changing moments when your favorite athlete makes team history.

In the spirit of front-cover-caliber images of those pivotal moments, Photographer Dan Vojtech teamed up with Czech Red Bull sponsored wakeskater Zuzana Vráblová to create a stunning, lifelike 3D model of the athletic Vráblová, which he used to create a series of out-of-this-world photographs in his studio.

studio shot

Vojtech made the original images — 115 separate ones — of Vráblová in his studio using a complex DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera rig. The athlete posed on her wakeboard on a raised platform surrounded by a ring of cameras set at varying heights as the shutters clicked away. After the photo session was completed, Vojtech took the images, cleaned them up, and produced 3D models with the help of Ludvik Hurka, Martin Benes, and Tomas Zika of Czech-based 3D Gang.

Vojtech cleans up one of the 3D printed models.

Vojtech cleans up one of the 3D printed models.

After 3D printing several models of Vráblová based on the scanned and edited images from the DSLR session, Vojtech set up the models in a miniature set in his photography studio. He posed the 3D models and created a spectacular, lighted backdrop for each one, which he captured in photographs. The photo series — the Dark Night Story — set the completed models into a scene of a wakeskating move in an urban setting, giving life to the figures.

They condensed the entire project into a 6-minute long video that captures the essence of the start-to-finish spirit of combining athletics, photography, 3D scanning and printing, and Red Bull’s own energy. Check out the full process, including a look at Vráblová’s photo shoot — in which she had to act like she was really wakeskating in the midst of over a hundred cameras — and the creation of the 3D printed models, below:

While the end result — Vojtech’s in-studio photographs of the young athlete — is impressive, it seems like the more promising aspect of the project is the creation of the 3D printed models themselves.Producing 3D printed models of athletes, preserved for posterity in the act of making a historical shot or touchdown or jump, is surely a great marketing idea for Little League teams to professional sporting clubs.

What do you think of this use of 3D modeling and printing? Will athletics prove a new niche for 3D printed figures? Let us know your thoughts in the forums at 3DPB.com.

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