3-D photo booth makes a miniature you
November 15th, 2012
12:00 PM ET

3-D photo booth makes a miniature you

By Heather Kelly, CNN

If you've always wanted a smaller replica of yourself, but are hesitant to commit to the cost and stress of parenthood, there is now an alternative. If you're in Tokyo, you can sit for a 3-D portrait.

Omote 3D Shashin Kan is a pop-up portrait studio that uses a handheld scanner to create a three-dimensional model of your entire body.  A 3-D printer then makes a small, intricately detailed plastic figurine. The final, full-color models look exactly like the larger you, down to the wrinkles on the clothes and part in the hair.

The 3D photo-booth project is part of a photography exhibition at the Eye of Gyre gallery in Tokyo's Harajuku neighborhood. It's the brainchild of PARTY, a young ad, branding and entertainment company based in New York and Tokyo.

"[The] photo studio is a very special place for Japanese families to shape their memories," explained Naoki Ito, PARTY's creative director.

Ito says the idea was inspired by a Japanese custom called Shichi-Go-San, which is a festival that celebrates children coming of age. Japanese families often head to local photo studios for these types of big life events.

"Our idea is to attempt to capture you and your family's portraits in 3D," said Ito.

At the studio, you can order a small you in three different sizes: 3.9-inches (10cm), 5.9-inches (15cm) or 7.8-inches (20cm) tall. A pocket-sized person does not come cheap. Prices range from $264 (21,000 yen) to $528 (42,000 yen). The price tag is more reasonable when you think of them as miniature sculptures.

If you buy in bulk - three or more identical models - the price per replica is lower, and you can have a portable like-minded friend for the car, home and office. They also make great stocking stuffers.

There are some ground rules for subjects. It takes 15 minutes for the artists to scan your entire body, so you'll have to pick a comfortable pose that you can hold. The artists don't recommend bringing kids under six or pets, as they do not excel at staying still for long periods of time. You can't wear fluffy fabrics like fur, small detailed patterns like polka dots, shiny materials such as patent leather, and any accessory too detailed for the 3D printer to replicate such as earrings, glasses or bags.

Unlike a traditional photo booth, there is no instant gratification. The models take about a month to complete.

The studio is only open for a limited time, starting November 24 and going until January 14. The photo sessions require a reservation, and you have to book your appointment through the project's website.

If you can't make it to Tokyo before it's over, don't worry, PARTY could be bringing its photo booth to a gallery near you.

"We [are] considering the possibility of going on a world exhibition tour," said Ito, "and also planning to establish it as a permanent business in the future."

The booth is just one of PARTY's many ongoing projects. The group's philosophy is that "new creations are born from new processes," and they're constantly experimenting with new creative techniques that combine design and technology.

[Via Spoon & Tamago]

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Filed under: Art • Design • Innovation • Tech • The Next List
soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. mark devs

    Our booth lets your guests take pictures and videos, and then share your celebration or special event instantly to the world through Facebook,twitter and other social media. And of course print the photos as well! You also have the option of texting or emailing photos video. Fun props included- can add specialty themed props
    too.Available in Bakersfield, Fresno and Visalia perfect for wedding.

    July 3, 2014 at 1:44 am | Reply
  2. Photo Booth Chicago

    3D Photo Booths? Interesting and making you minature like honey I shrunk the kids!!!

    Magic Moment Photo Booth

    March 20, 2013 at 12:52 am | Reply
  3. PoleCat

    A Mini-Me key fob. My life would be complete.

    November 19, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
    • ken

      I agree, very cool and the price will drop as it's westernized!

      November 19, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Reply
  4. chris

    $400? Hmm...a little expensive.

    November 19, 2012 at 11:59 am | Reply
  5. Hogan's Goat

    At that price, it's useless. Get it down to ten bucks with a ten-minute wait and you'd have something.

    November 19, 2012 at 11:07 am | Reply
  6. Mark Estes

    Excellent new product! Imagine the bride and groom atop the cake or your child in their Halloween costume. What I see later would be couples engaging in their favorite love-making position and then possibly these replicas would be bought and sold on the open market. Now that's what I call stimulating the economy!

    November 19, 2012 at 9:16 am | Reply
  7. NooYawkah

    Other than holding it in your hands, how is this better than just looking in a mirror?

    November 19, 2012 at 7:47 am | Reply
  8. Miked

    It brings a whole new definition to the term "playing with yourself".

    November 19, 2012 at 4:31 am | Reply
  9. Reggie

    I can see corperate giants collecting these of their workers. Then playing them like Chess pieces.

    November 18, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Reply
  10. newsworldinside1

    WOW....looking great....

    November 17, 2012 at 3:27 am | Reply
  11. kelly

    I liked your post very much. thanks for sharing with us. Effluent filters

    November 16, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Reply
  12. FrmerMrine


    November 16, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Reply
  13. Abe

    Better wait for next year model, it will be a live mini you, but who want that!

    November 16, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Reply
  14. daguru

    Disney is already doing these kinds of items... During their Star Wars Weekends you can get a figure of yourself frozen in carbonite (like Han Solo). They also offer 3D scanning so little girls have a figure or ornament of them dressed as their favorite Disney princess... Not to mention a few different companies that offer scanning of people for their own action figures...

    November 16, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  15. GC

    This should win the award for the funniest lead of the year. I cracked up @ work after reading that. I guess that's what I get for reading while working.

    November 16, 2012 at 10:50 am | Reply
  16. Mombie

    I could see these being used as wedding toppers... Sweetness.

    November 16, 2012 at 9:34 am | Reply
  17. rbrewer

    Does it cost more for fat people?

    November 16, 2012 at 6:55 am | Reply
    • KD

      No you will not cost more.

      November 16, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Reply
      • JCQueipo

        That's what I call a comeback !!

        November 17, 2012 at 10:14 am |
  18. trollol

    Kind of neat and freaky at the same time. Imagine the perverted things a guy would do.

    November 16, 2012 at 2:33 am | Reply
    • Al

      Why only a guy? I have plenty of female friends who would do the same XD

      November 16, 2012 at 11:32 am | Reply
  19. Cody Walton

    I would get a mini-me and hold it itn my hand while I was getting another one so I could have a mini me holding a minimini-me

    November 15, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Reply
  20. BigNMeaty

    I would dress up and pose as a GI Joe figure complete with metal detector or bazooka.

    November 15, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Reply
  21. jamesdusch

    I want one

    November 15, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  22. Fiona

    But would the little me be thinner than the maxi me?

    November 15, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Reply
    • jamesdusch

      no, it is what you are.. LOL

      November 15, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Reply
      • uaregay


        November 15, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  23. Rich

    That is awesome also check out PROTOS EYEWEAR they are a 3D printing company that does the same in America but for sunglasses.

    November 15, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Reply
  24. Chuck

    That is pretty awesome,

    November 15, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Reply
  25. xavier

    XD that´s funny

    November 15, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Reply
  26. ron

    Get the price down, and you could REALLY play chess with your friends.

    November 15, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  27. Bruce

    Seems kind of creepy to me.

    November 15, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  28. Bob

    But will they work as voodoo dolls is what I want to know.

    November 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Reply
  29. Hot Carl

    Hmmm, can I make them lifesize, anatomically correct and posable?

    November 15, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Reply
  30. Amber

    Just think, you could have a complete collection of ex-boyfriends or girlfriends.

    November 15, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Reply
    • observer59

      To stick pins in.

      November 15, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Reply
  31. cleareye1

    3D copying is just beginning. In a few years we can go to a booth, be scanned, pay by cc and have a mini-you in seconds.
    Good for charm bracelettes, key rings, cake toppers, tosy for ?, games, voodoo, better family records, on and on. Family photo albums will never be the same.

    November 15, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Reply
  32. cleareye1

    I do 1/32 scale architectural models and would love to 'people' them with real client models.

    November 15, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Reply
    • Jeff Kinzer

      Our company 3D Prints full color architectural models with the Z Corp Z Printer. We also sell the printers. Feel free to contact me if you would like more information.

      All the best,

      Jeff Kinzer
      Team Bastech, Inc.
      937 470-9140

      November 19, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Reply
  33. Yes1fan

    Wonder if you get to keep the digital scan data?
    You could do a LOT of cool stuff on a computer with THAT info.

    November 15, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Reply
    • Hogan's Goat

      Yeah, I was thinking that. Add bones and put yourself in a video game.

      November 19, 2012 at 11:09 am | Reply
  34. Siggie

    What a boon to the voodoo industry...

    November 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Reply
    • cleareye1

      Good one!

      November 15, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  35. cleareye1

    Where can I buy stock in this outfit?

    November 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Reply

    Love Asian ideas :). Keep rocking!

    November 15, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Reply
  37. Eric

    Customized Chess Board... I can finally be King.

    November 15, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Reply
    • bitnar

      I was thinking the same thing!

      November 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Reply
    • Hot Carl

      Don't you mean queen, needledick?

      November 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Reply
      • ericgoestoholland

        Don't be weird, Carl.

        November 17, 2012 at 8:11 am |
  38. Gus

    While this may not seem like much now, this could be the death of mass production as we know it. Why buy what everyone else has, customize everything. As this advances, parts will not have to be mass produced and sitting on a shelf somewhere. It can be created as needed. Just think, sunglasses that fit your face perfectly not to mention sports equipment, aror, etc. Should not only allow unique one of a kind at very reasonable cost but should drive down waste, time, labor. Hmmm....maybe this will be the new technology that puts our economy back in zoom drive as it is a game changer for how we now do things. Pretty cool.

    November 15, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Reply
    • Matt

      I agree, but what would will we replace all the lost jobs with?

      November 15, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Reply
      • Emeljay

        The jobless can become designers.

        November 16, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • observer59

      You are correct. Google "Rapid prototyping" to see what commercial grade 3D printers can really do. They've been around for years and the technology seems almost Star Trekish. There are many DIY versions but the final product is far from great. It will get there though.

      November 15, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Reply
      • JeffinIL

        I've seen video demonstrations of 3D printers. I wonder what is different about this particular process that causes a one month turnaround time? The demos I've seen are full color and much faster than this. Maybe it's a level of detail thing.

        November 15, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
  39. smartaz

    does it cost 1 millllion dollars?

    November 15, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Reply
  40. nicola

    You can give everyone a replica of yourself for Christmas.

    November 15, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  41. Chris

    You can finally play with yourself.

    November 15, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Reply
    • RapidOne

      haahha nice one!

      November 15, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Reply
  42. Jimi

    Hmmm, first thought I had was custom wedding cake toppers

    November 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Reply
    • bitnar


      November 15, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Reply
    • lannistercurator

      The initial applications are amazing. Cake Toppers is an ultimate vanity item. Architects can place models of their high end clients in models. Gamers can get models of their online characters.

      It's quite exciting...

      November 15, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Reply
  43. Mark

    Custom Dungeons & Dragons miniature set starring yourself.

    November 15, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Reply
    • Beth

      I instantly thought the same thing! That would be cool. 🙂

      November 15, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Reply
  44. Carlos

    It would be intersting to see a mini-me with erection.

    November 15, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Reply
    • Mel

      You left yourself open for MANY little jokes. lol

      November 15, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Reply
    • james

      Small accesories may not turn out too well 😉

      November 15, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Reply
    • Doug

      Look in the mirror!

      November 15, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Reply
    • Gus

      It would be more interesting to see what you would try to hang on it.

      November 15, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Reply
    • RealityCheck101

      15 minute pose – too old to keep it up that long...

      November 15, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Reply
      • John Stone

        One word: Viagra.....and you have yourself a four hour pose long enough to scan the little guy !!

        November 19, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • Trollslayer

      Your current microscope may not work. You may have to special order a high-powered microscope this time...

      November 19, 2012 at 9:51 am | Reply
  45. observer59

    The only useful thing I can see for this is to make a couple of me and my wife for the kings and queens, a bunch of friends for other important pieces and a bunch of people I don't like for the pawns for a chess board.

    November 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Reply
    • Capiers

      What an excellent idea

      November 15, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Reply
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      I don't know, Mitt. Are you sure Ann will go along with it?

      November 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Reply
      • Berik

        Isn't it amazing that poilitcians talk about the same issues every election campaign season and people are like dumb "%^# that still applaud to it. Candidates always talk about "for the good of our children; for the benefit of our aging mothers and fathers; education etc." because those can easily get vote. I guess Americans of this generation (I mean those who vote) are so stupid that they elect whoever is the popular candidate. No matter what Pol Party he or she is in. Why complain about the kind of government we have. We deserve it.

        February 26, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
  46. John

    Amazing how little it takes to amuse people

    November 15, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  47. Gary

    I have to admit that I didn't read the article. I was more fascinated by the comments below the article. It's clear that the U.S. is packed full of pervs, critics and smart-asses. God Bless America! (And no were else.)

    November 15, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Reply
    • Jan


      November 15, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Reply
      • Denzig


        November 15, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Nobu Yakasan

      Bless you too. Did you sneeze or something?

      November 15, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  48. Shady Tree

    $264 for a stocking stuffer? Eff that! $5 scratch-off tickets for the whole clan and they'll like it!

    November 15, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Reply
  49. LoveIt

    I want a model of every pair of labia I have ever licked.

    November 15, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Reply
    • The Master

      Wouldn't you want that life sized?

      November 15, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Reply
    • PistolPete

      I'm sure that won't cost you much. lol

      November 15, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Reply
    • Gus

      Then I guess you already have as many as you wished for.

      November 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  50. malik

    This is the most stupid invention I have ever known. What would be the purpose of a miniature 3-D person? Nothing. A wax sculpture the same size of you makes more sense.

    November 15, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Reply
    • tim

      Relax. Not everything needs to cure cancer.

      November 15, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Reply
    • LoveIt

      You're an idiot, malik

      November 15, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Reply
    • Gus

      Before we made bombs we threw rocks. This is just a step in the evolution of how we create things- enjoy while it creates silly toys. Someday ot will make body parts that look like the original or replacement parts for an old car. The cool thing is that

      November 15, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Reply
      • Emeljay


        November 16, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
  51. Mark

    This is crap journalism. The writer is trying desperately to make this thing into something it's not. He acts like this is some amazing photo booth at the mall where you walk away with a mini you and then waits until the end of the article to clarify that it takes a month to make the sculpture and it's expensive.
    All the amazing parts of this story were the parts the writer insinuated but turned out to be misleading.
    This is really not all that impressive. This could probably be done 10 years ago, perhaps 20. I also noticed that there are no clear pictures of the scuptures. Do they suck that much that you don't want to even post a good picture of them?
    I've got a 40 year old action figure at home that looks exactly like Mr T. It probably took a lot less then a month to make. Does it look any worse then the scupture of the guy with the moose knuckles there at the end? lol

    November 15, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Reply
    • Fish Food

      Hysterical, Mark! Keep up the good work.

      November 15, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Reply
    • lannistercurator

      Why, I remember when they were talking about stupid things like cell phones... The first ones were the size of bricks, weighed as much and cost well over $1000.. in 1980 dollars... No sir, that will NEVER catch on.

      November 15, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Reply
  52. KIMKIM

    Camel-toe alert on the guy in the last picture! lol

    November 15, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Reply
    • John


      November 15, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Reply
    • Dan

      Do you and Tracie know each other? Her statement is even sicker than yours.

      November 15, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Reply
      • KIMKIM

        LOL i just saw tracie's comment. Made me spit out my drink through my nose. LOL Thanks.

        No, we're not related.......and by the way, my Camel-toe comment is FACT! 🙂

        November 15, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • LoveIt

      Clearly a cross-dresser.

      November 15, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Reply
    • Ahabu Yakas

      But those people have little wee-wees!

      November 15, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  53. Alex

    Spelling error :S "The price tag is more reasonable when you tink of them as miniature sculptures."

    November 15, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  54. tracie

    I want to take a 3D picture of my but!h0le and smell it. My husband sat on my face for 2 hours last night. I love it. We had a steak and eggs dinner at Waffle House.

    November 15, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Reply
    • Dan

      Tracie, you are writing to the wrong blog. This is CNN, not Penthouse Forum.

      November 15, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Reply

      Your husband is a lucky dog!

      November 15, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Reply
      • Peter

        Her husband IS a dog!

        November 15, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Peter

      you are sick ... my kind of girl!

      November 15, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Reply
      • ObiWon

        That's no girl.

        November 15, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Full Name

      Comment of the day!

      On a sidenote, stocking stuffers? Really? Maybe in the Hamptons but...

      November 15, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  55. JonfromLI

    That is so cool. It's too bad it's so expensive though. When I was in Tokyo I had my picture taken and they transposed it onto a mini Godzilla keychain. What will they think of next?

    November 15, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Reply
  56. KingMe

    This has the makings of the ultimate personalized chess set. Let's see, I'll be the king, but who am I going to use for the pawns?

    November 15, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  57. The Angry Humper

    Innovation everywhere else, but the U.S.

    November 15, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  58. weezer

    I'm thinking of other novelty applications. I'm going to have to take three Viagras to stay "still" for fifteen minutes, though....

    November 15, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Reply
    • lannistercurator

      It's a handheld scanner. A whole body takes 15 minutes. Your peen would probably take about 5 seconds.

      November 15, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Reply
  59. phearis

    I'd love to have a Phearis action figure. Playing with myself would be fun for hours on end.

    November 15, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Reply
  60. Outraged

    First two pictures are obvious Photoshops, but I guess not to the editor...

    November 15, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Reply
    • 99.94% Sane

      The first two are OBVIOUSLY pictures from the website showing price and the different sizes. Of COURSE they are probably Photoshopped!

      November 15, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  61. Josh

    If it can't do "fur", then how does it handle hair?

    November 15, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Reply
    • 99.94% Sane

      I think it's a time constraint. Rendering a normal amount of head/facial hair doesn't take as long as trying to replicate an entire fur garment, I would guess.

      November 15, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Reply
  62. Mini ME.

    So going to make a few hundred of these and hide them around town... Fuggin awesome.

    November 15, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  63. SyncUP

    Future wedding cake figurine disasters written all over this one!

    November 15, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Reply
    • 99.94% Sane

      Think of it this way-if the marriage fails, each spouse has a life-like miniature of the other to stomp in effigy. Might be a safe way to relieve the anger.

      November 15, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Reply
  64. amanda

    seems silly but I think it could be a cute thing for a cake topper at a wedding

    November 15, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Reply

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