A different angle: 3D photo booth set up in Pottsville
Business preserves memories with sculptures
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.
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.
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.