Photo booths are all the rage these days—earlier this year we discussed creating your own slow-motion photo booth to boost your photo business, and the booth trend was certainly prevalent at this year's WPPI trade show—but one with 3D capture capabilities? Now, that's a whole new ball game.
Alexx Henry is the innovative mind behind this setup, called the xxArray, which he built with the help of 64 Nikon cameras. Here's how it works: the subject walks into the 15 x 15-foot xxArray photo booth. With a click of a single button, all 64 Nikon D5200 cameras, which are assembled all around the subject and angled to capture every detail of the subject's form, go off at once. The xxArray also relies on an AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR, WR-T10 and WR-R10 wireless remote controllers, an EH-5b AC adapter and a EP-5a power supply connector. Each image becomes a whopping 15.5 gigapixel file.
Based in photogrammetry (or high-speed imaging that captures 2D and 3D motion), Henry explains on Nikon's website: “Take several high quality photos of the same subject from different angles, then compare points on each of the images. Use those shared points to build a point cloud and depth map to solve the geometry. There are many readily available software suites you can use for 3D mapping. Unfortunately, many of the current 3D systems fall short. Most methods, such as structured light or laser systems, often produce poor texture quality, if any at all.”
The xxArray aims to squash that by offering supremely clear quality, and while it's fun to see subjects interact with their 3D capture avatars, Henry has a more ambitious outcome in mind for the photo booth's potential: he's making a 3D digital magazine of Art and Skin, a publication showcasing intricate and colorful body art. Nothing, he explains, will be able to present the full nature of tattoos quite like the xxArray: "The integrity of the photos is amazing, and the multiple camera setup permits us to effectively see around corners on the human form. These high-resolution files permit us to zoom-in on minute details."
As all new innovations, the xxArray will open a host of doors for photo reality and the way consumers interact with upcoming 3D publications, editorial work, advertising and photography in general.