Products Used


Artec scanners and software are used in the process to generate life like silicone figures, right down to the finest details.

Look at these faces. In the middle is a live person, and on the left side is a powder mask created with the help of the Artec MHT 3D scanner. This is the first step toward the creation of silicone figures – perfect copies of famous personalities of our time, like the silicon mask on the right side.

The museum Planetarium of Unione Sarda in Cagliari (Italy) has already added “hand-made” figures of Barack Obama and Monica Bellucci to its collection.

However, the incomplete resemblance of the figures to the live heroes induced the mask creators to use three dimensional technologies in their work. The company 3DDD, which, among its other activities, produces silicone dolls, acquired an Artec MHT scanner. With the help of the scanner, 3DDD hopes to attain maximum resemblance between their dolls and the originals.

The experimental process

The 3D scanner is needed in the first stage of work – to obtain a three dimensional image. The scanning process itself takes only a few minutes, and the subsequent processing in Artec Studio takes about an hour.

1) live person, 2) digital model, 3) finishing silicon mask, 4) finished silicon mask

After scanning, the images are processed in Meshlab to improve the color, and processed in Rhino to create a prototype of the face. Then a 3D printer prints the powder mask.

Subsequent tasks are performed by Elena Sardelli and Danilo Carignola (CreaFX) from Florence (Italy), specializing in the creation of silicon masks.

1) plasticine mask, 2) raw silicon mask, 3) powder mask, 4) finished silicon mask

Clay is used to produce a negative mold into which plasticine is poured, to fine-tune the model (eyes and roughness of the skin).

Clay is used again to produce a negative mold into which silicone is poured: the mask is then hand painted, eyes are attached, and eyebrows and hair are glued on, strand by strand. When the mask is complete, it is attached to a mannequin.

Previous work

Before the scanner was bought, they obtained a prototype by using a 3D model sculpted digitally by Oleg Koreyba from Kiev (Ukraine).

1) live person, 2) digital model, 3) powder mask, 4) silicon mask, 5) full figure

The subsequent work process is in principle not very different from how they do it now, but from the images below it is readily apparent how different the results obtained are. And no wonder – the same difference can be seen by comparing a living person to a painted portrait.

Future trials

The project is still under development.

Owner of the company, Filippo Di Todaro, said a major advantage of this scanner is the use of a normal flash: to create a mask with an expression, you must scan a person with open eyes, impossible with a laser scanner.

Filippo has also noted the lightness of the scanner, making it easily transportable and simple to use, and the scanning speed: it takes only minutes, and it is much faster and less invasive than the traditional mold of clay.

These are great advantages, especially if you are working with a famous person.

Of the various scanners from Artec, Filippo chose the МНТ 3D model : this model is necessary to obtain high quality color scans of a full face.

However, experience has shown that to display the very fine details in facial expressions, each line and wrinkle, the model Artec S 3D scanner is needed. It has very high precision, with a resolution of 0.2 mm, which allows the device to work with miniature objects and internal details.

The combination of these two scanners will allow Filippo to achieve this high degree of similarity in the creation of figures which, at first glance, might well be taken for real people.

We will follow with interest the further activity of 3DDD, and certainly we will show and describe his new creations.

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