A dif­fer­ent an­gle: 3D photo booth set up in Pottsville

Busi­ness pre­serves mem­o­ries with sculp­tures

The Republican Herald - - FRONT PAGE - by daVid barr STAFF WRITER

POTTSVILLE — Tech­nol­ogy is chang­ing the fu­ture of fam­ily me­men­tos and keep­sakes.

For those who find flat pic­tures are no longer enough, who in­stead seek new ways to pre­serve im­por­tant mo­ments, they will find some­thing in­ter­est­ing at the Mar­tian Ma­te­ri­als Me­te­orite Store at 18 N. Sec­ond St.

In the back of the store is Stu­dio3D Photo Booth, a small struc­ture that will take a pic­ture of what­ever is in­side the booth and, with a com­puter’s help, pro­duce a three-di­men­sional fig­urine of the sub­ject. The busi­ness is co-owned by John Al­ber­tini and Roger We­hbe, who also owns the Mar­tian Ma­te­ri­als Me­te­orite store.

Al­ber­tini said he was in­spired by see­ing a sim­i­lar de­vice in Philadel­phia and brought the idea back to Pottsville.

“It’s a great lo­ca­tion in down­town Pottsville,” Al­ber­tini said. “It seemed like a nat­u­ral ad­don.”

The cus­tomer en­ters the tent and in a quar­ter of a sec­ond, 89 cam­eras take pho­tos cap­tur­ing him or her from all 360 de­grees. From there, the pic­tures are ap­proved and the com­puter servers “stitch” the 178 pho­tos into a 3D ob­ject in 10 to 15 min­utes to pro­duce a pre­view. If the cus­tomer likes the fi­nal im­age, the item is or­dered. The turn­around time from ap­prov­ing the pic­ture and re­ceiv­ing the fi­nal prod­uct is two weeks.

“I’ve never seen any­thing like this be­fore,” We­hbe said.

Cus­tomers can ei­ther book an ap­point­ment, or walk in and be scanned. Cus­tomers can even bring their pets. The booth can ac­com­mo­date up to four peo­ple at once. The fig­urines can be full-body, half-body or busts. Pric­ing ranges from $34 for a 3/4-inch bust to $604 for a 9-inch full-body fig­ure of four peo­ple. Cir­cu­lar bases and pro­tec­tive coat­ings are also avail­able for an ad­di­tional cost. Pric­ing ul­ti­mately de­pends on which model is cho­sen and its size.

The stat­ues are made of finely pow­dered sand­stone. It is ad­vised to be han­dled like a porce­lain ob­ject and not played with. Other tips in­clude keep­ing out of di­rect sun­light and ul­tra­vi­o­let light. Cus­tomers can ei­ther have the fi­nal prod­uct shipped to them or they can pick it up at the store.

“It’s dif­fer­ent than a photo. It’s a keepsake,” Al­ber­tini said.

Some tips were given for po­ten­tial cus­tomers. They in­clude: any­thing smaller than 3 feet should be held, i.e. ba­bies and small pets; shiny items like glasses, leather, mesh items and any­thing with less than a 1-inch di­am­e­ter should be avoided; base­ball caps should be avoided or be held close to sub­ject’s chest; long, thin ob­jects like golf clubs, swords and canes should be avoided as they tend to break in the print­ing or ship­ping process, how­ever, if they are held close to the cus­tomer’s body, they can be in­cluded.

JACQUE­LINE DORMER / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

John Al­ber­tini, owner of Stu­dio3D Photo Booth, shows a three-di­men­sional scan of Repub­li­can-Her­ald staff writer David Barr on the com­puter screen af­ter he was scanned in the 3D photo booth in­side the Mar­tian Ma­te­ri­als Me­te­orite Store on April 10 in down­town Pottsville. The 3D photo booth is seen in back­ground.

A 3D scan of Barr is pre­sented on the com­puter screen af­ter he was scanned in the Stu­dio3D Photo Booth.

JaCQUe­LINe Dormer / STaff pHo­Tog­ra­pHer

Roger We­hbe, owner of Mar­tian Ma­te­ri­als Me­te­orite Store, holds a life­like sand­stone fig­urine of Savas Lo­go­the­tides, Pottsville, that was made in the Stu­dio3D Photo Booth in­side the store on April 10 in down­town Pottsville.

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