Stuck on an idea for a costume? You could always dress as a papercraft version of yourself. Will Smith and Norman Chan of Tested crafted giant papercraft masks of their own heads to wear at Maker Faire. They used a combination of materials and software including: “photogrammetry with PhotoScan, modeling in Maya, and papercrafting with Pepakura.” They had to cut a lot of small pieces and assemble them just right; the tedious process took around two weeks. The cutting alone was a full week. To get started, you have to capture an image of your head with photogrammetry:
The first thing we needed to do was get a digital copy of our heads. This could’ve been done a few different ways, ranging from a completely manual process to a fully-automated one. On one end, we could have sculpting a model from scratch in a CAD program like Maya or Sketchup, which requires 3D sculpting skills we didn’t have. This method also doesn’t give us an image texture for our faces. On the other end, we could have generated a computer model of our heads using a 3D imager, like a hand-held laser or optical scanner. 3D Systems makes one, but these tools are generally pretty expensive.
We went with a middle ground–somewhat automating the modeling with photogrammetry. That’s the process of generating a 3D model computed from the processing of numerous photographs, all taken around one subject from a multitude of angles. Photogrammetry apps like 123D Catch would’ve worked for our needs, but we invited Brandon to our office to take high-resolution photos using a DSLR rig to import into a piece of software called PhotoScan.
See the masks in action in the video below and read about the complete process of making them at Tested.
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