• Reuters


Shooting photographs and storing them digitally has become old school for South Koreans taking imagery to the next level with 3-D figures of themselves, as well as their babies and pets.

“I really wanted a 3-D figure of my son to show him when he’s older what I can’t capture in photos right now,” said 31-year-old Lim Su-jung, who was with her 2-year-old at a studio in Seoul run by Ioys, a 3-D figure printing firm launched in 2014 and due to open its fifth South Korean location on Saturday.

“He’s at that time in his life where he’s doing so many cute things,” she said.

To make the figure, Lim placed her toddler in a column-shaped booth where more than 100 cameras simultaneously snapped two-dimensional photos from all angles.

The printing is done at a plant in Seoul where the photos form a digital blueprint for a machine that builds figures ranging from 5 cm (2 inches) to 30 cm (12 inches) in height using more than 1,000 layers of gypsum powder.

The one-of-a-kind figures start at 110,000 won ($100) and can cost three times that or more.

“We have couples, families, babies and animals who visit our studios,” said Lee Si-cheon, an assistant manager at Ioys.

“And some people who are in love with themselves.”

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