3D print of dog golden retriever

Our first stab at pet capture

In Pets, Progress Journal by Jordan1 Comment

The past several months have been quite exciting, and it has been amazing to experience our progression from simple low quality model captures to highly detailed face and head captures and beyond to giant statue recreations full-body replicas. One of the services we had been eagerly anticipating from the outset was the capture and replication of pets.

A couple weeks ago we were finally given the opportunity to try, when my brother was kind enough to bring his dog Riley to our studio for a session. Now, to be honest, I was a bit nervous about this. After all, we have tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment in our studio, and I get a bit apprehensive about spending a great deal of time around the cameras myself. An enthusiastic tail wagging golden retriever was going to be an entirely different story.

Riley in studio with Darren

It took a while for Riley to feel comfortable on the stage.

This place was not made for dogs

I held my breath as my brother led Riley through the tangle of cables connected to our array of finely tuned equipment. Though excited to be around other people and curious about his surroundings, it was easy to see that Riley was a bit anxious about the situation.

It took several minutes of acclimatization for him to remain on the stage without direct contact, and the flashes and sounds certainly didn’t help matters. Overall though, Riley performed remarkably well and was a great sport about the various strange costumes we put him in.

The shoot actually ended up being a lot of fun. We had several great shots and a lot of laughs (at Riley’s expense).

I am, however, a bit concerned about trying to make this a regular occurrence. Riley – despite his exuberant and playful nature – is an extremely well-mannered dog. I doubt we would be so lucky with every shoot if we were to open pet sessions up to the public. Most pets would probably not sit on our stage as willingly, and a dog relieving itself on or knocking over a camera stand would be a very unfortunate event.

Pets are hard to model

The shoot is only the beginning of our work on each project, and the road to a ready-for-print 3D model of a subject is often long and painstaking work. This proves to be especially true with animals.

Riley was very handsome in his cowboy costume.

Riley was very handsome in his cowboy costume.

Basically, in order for us to accurately stitch together a model from our images, we have to capture multiple angles of every piece of the subject we wish to use. This includes even the tiny details. Hair is notoriously difficult to model with accuracy and takes up the greatest amount of our 3D Modelers’ time on most projects. Most pets happen to be covered in the stuff, so there is simply no way for us to accurately model pets without spending a significantly greater amount of time on the cleanup and texturing of the model. Therefore, our prices for pet sessions are likely going to have to be higher than for people.

Our Plans for Pets

All that being said, we are still very interested in pursuing the capture and replication of pets. For many people, a beloved pet is a member of the family; and I know a lot of people who would jump at the chance to have a lifelike statue made of a dog or cat who may not be around much longer. We really want to help facilitate that goal.

For a while, we will probably have to carefully screen any pets coming in to the studio. It’s not that we want to be discriminatory or anything like that. We just know that some pets would be unable to endure the conditions in our studio. Perhaps we will come up with a magical way of universally putting pets at ease soon. If you have any ideas, please share them in the comments or contact us.

If you have a pet that you think is ready for the limelight, contact us to schedule a session. We are truly excited to help you!

  • Andrea Hull-Vaughn

    My dream is to be able to do images of pets in 3D! I just emailed you on the best way to set up a studio!