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Hold on to your memories

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Don’t you love looking through your wedding album, wishing you could re-live the day? Jeet Dalvi speaks with Nikhil Kapur to find another fun way to preserve precious memories, which you can literally hold on to

Photojournalist Nikhil Kapur recently launched a brand called Mini Klone, which produces 3D printed photographic portraits for special occasions. This fun, cool replacement for photographs basically means that you can own a doll-sized version of yourself as a memory! They are photo-realistic miniature replicas of any person or an object. We caught up with Nikhil to find out more about the innovative concept.

  •  Give us a view into the technology that is used in these 3D portraits.

The technology is called 3D printing, which is a process of creating a 3-dimensional object in a machine using computer generated images. The printer creates the product layer by layer, with extreme accuracy that would never be possible by hand. 3D printing, as of now, allows us to print in various materials such as plastic, sandstone, edible sugar, metal alloys, bronze, gold and silver.

  •  What was your inspiration for the concept of these 3D portraits or figures of people?

The idea for Mini Klone came to me when I first saw what was possible with 3D printing technology. As a professional wedding photographer, my endeavour is to make a memorable moment even more special for my clients by capturing it in photographs. 3D printing allows me go ten steps further by bringing that moment to life and creating a unique visual memory. It’s a moment in time that you can literally hold on to.

  •  When did you know wedding photography was your calling? Tell us about your interest in wedding shoots.

I was interested in advertising and films before I started college. I ended up studying filmmaking and working on television commercials. The intrinsic idea, I suppose, was to tell a story. I found that photography was the most comfortable medium to present stories visually. And, what better occasion to tell a story than a wedding? Indian weddings in particular have several layers and multiple stories taking place. They are special moments that are full of joy. Capturing those moments allow me to be an integral part of the couple’s happily ever after story.

  •  What is the process behind these realistic 3D printed figurines?

Mini Klone figurines are created by taking 3D-scanned photographs, which are processed layer by layer into a figurine with the use of high-end, state-of-the-art 3D printers. Made with sandstone and polyresin, the figurines are extremely detailed and a good alternative to photographs. A durable product with an infinite shelf life, there is no fear of fading colours or deforming shapes with these cute figures.

  •  How have people’s reaction to this new way of preserving memories been and what do they like the most?

Mini Klone is a photograph that is nothing like anything you’ve ever seen before. It is your very own personal moment — a memory in 3D that you can literally hold on to. People are intrigued by the figurines, and most of them love the accurate detailing. Apart from being a replacement for wedding and graduation photographs, these are great options for corporates, pregnant mothers, as superhero figures with your face on the outfit, for pets, wedding couples and as cake toppers — that’s just a few fabulous ideas of what can be done using the 3D printing process.

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