WASHINGTON — A team at the Smithsonian Institution has scanned President Barack Obama to create the first 3D portrait of a sitting president.
Digital imaging specialists recently created a 3D printed bust and life mask of Obama, which will become part of his presidential depictions in the National Portrait Gallery collection. Both were shown Wednesday at a gathering of inventors, entrepreneurs and students at the White House.
The Smithsonian team scanned Obama earlier this year using two distinct 3D processes. Experts from the University of Southern California used their “light stage” face scanner to document the president’s face from ear to ear. The team also used handheld 3D scanners and cameras to record 3D data to create a bust of the president.
Similar life masks were created of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, using plaster casting, and they are kept in the Smithsonian collection.