In Japan, Little Plastic Figures Make Lovely Portraits

Screw traditional portraits! Who wants that when you can get a miniature figure of yourself, right? That's exactly what people in Japan can soon get. But don't expect them to overtake traditional photos anytime soon.

What's being dubbed the "world's first", the Omote 3D Shashin Kan is a portrait studio that scans your likeness and uses a 3D printer to create a miniature figure in one of three sizes: 10cm (small), 15cm (medium), or 20 cm (large).


Small individual figures are priced at ¥21,000 for an individual 3D portrait; medium ones cost ¥32,000; and large ones cost ¥42,000. Note that the prices double for a two person portrait (it is possible to add a third or fourth person, but there is a surcharge).

Japan has a long, proud history with photography and cameras—whether that be the country's numerous camera makers or innovations such as the sticker picture booth.

Family portraits as well as individual portraits to mark special events in one's life—such as Shichi-Go-San, Coming of Age Day, and, of course, marriage—are still commonplace.


Before Japanese people die, they also sit for portraits that are displayed at their funerals. Some photo studios even recommend that you take funeral portraits every few years after you reach the age of forty! However, most people in Japan probably don't take funeral portraits at such a rapid clip. And while interesting, I seriously doubt that these 3D portrait figures would ever replace traditional photos for funeral rites.


Still, it's interesting to see how 3D printers are being tested in exhibits, such as this. As Kotaku previously posted, a company in Tokyo's Akihabara began using 3D printers to make customized action figures.
Starting November 24, it will open in Tokyo's Harajuku for a limited time on a trial basis and wrap up on January 14.


For those interested in getting their own figurine, contact information can be found in the Japanese language link below.


Omote 3D Shashin Kan [Official Site via livedoor]

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