Logo: University of Southern California

NEWS-ROUNDUP: President Obama in 3D

CS Prof. Paul Debevec from USC ICT helps create the first 3D presidential portrait
By: Regina Wu
December 03, 2014 —


The Smithsonian is now displaying the first-ever 3D portrait of a U.S. President, created using technology from the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT). Computer Science Professor Paul Debevec was part of the team from ICT that worked on the Smithsonian-led project to create detailed 3D scans of President Barack Obama's face. A bust of Pres. Obama was then fabricated using a 3D printer.

Below is a sampling of recent of media articles about this project.

The very first 3D-printed bust of a sitting U.S. president made its debut. The bust of President Obama was created by a Smithsonian-led team of 3D-digital-imaging specialists, Autodesk and 3D Systems, in collaboration with the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies. It took two different technologically sophisticated 3D documentation processes to generate the data needed to create this portrait. (View article)

The first presidential portraits created from 3-D scan data are now on display in the Smithsonian Castle. The portraits of President Barack Obama were created based on data collected by a Smithsonian-led team of 3-D digital imaging specialists and include a digital and 3-D printed bust and life mask. A new video released today by the White House details the behind-the-scenes process of scanning, creating and printing the historic portraits. The portraits will be on view in the Commons gallery of the Castle starting today, Dec. 2, through Dec. 31. The portraits were previously displayed at the White House Maker Faire June 18. (View article)

The White House offered a behind-the-scenes peek Tuesday at the making of a presidential portrait—in three dimensions.The video on the White House YouTube channel, entitled “The President, in 3D,” shows Barack Obama smiling wide, surrounded by a scaffolding of 50 custom-built LED lights and a team of digital imaging specialists from the Smithsonian Institution. (View article)

Bbc News-logo

President Obama has become the first US president to have his portrait produced through a 3D scanning process. The data used to create the bust came from eight sports photography cameras, six wide angle cameras and the use of 50 custom-built LED lights. The team from the Smithsonian also used handheld 3D scanners to collect peripheral data. (View video)

President Obama stepped away from the White House Maker Faire last June to take in a novelty: A bust of himself printed out of plastic, created from a scan of his body. (View article)

Tourists flocking to Washington, D.C., hoping to get a glimpse of President Barack Obama might not get the chance to see him in person -- but they can now get pretty close thanks to the Smithsonian Institution. The first-ever 3D-printed bust of a U.S. President -- a life-size replica of Obama -- is now on display at the Smithsonian Castle after a project that was inspired by the life masks of President Abraham Lincoln. (View article)

The University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies is partnering with the Smithsonian Institution to create a 3-D presidential portrait of President Barack Obama. (View article)

The Smithsonian recently documented the creation of a 3D portrait of President Obama, and the results are remarkably authentic. The USC Institute for Creative Technologies used 50 custom-made LED lights, eight hi-res sports photography cameras, and six wide angle cameras to capture every nook, cranny, and worry line on Obama's head. The result is the highest resolution digital model of any head of state in the world, so suck on that, Merkel! (View article)

Researchers with USC have teamed up with the White House to take a 3D portrait of President Obama in what is being billed as the highest resolution digital model of a head of state. (View article)


A 3-D portrait of President Obama is now on display in the Smithsonian Institution Building. (View article)


The White House teamed up with the Smithsonian to make an exact 3D replica of President Barack Obama. A video released by the White House on Tuesday showed Smithsonian staffers using scanners, cameras, and computer programs to obtain measurements that were used to make a 3D-printed bust of President Barack Obama. (View article)