Get Crystallised on the South Bank
Find Out How Others Really See You
Just past the kick flipping skateboarders and London Eye tourists you will find a hive of futuristic activity in a busy blue tent on the South Bank. The 4D Centre is enticing tourists and the curious with the chance of eternity; to be forever crystallised as a 3D laser engraving inside optical crystal blocks (the block being the extra ‘D’). The images can show how you look in the mirror plus how others see you and yes, there is a noticeable difference.
The process is quick and uncomplicated. You enter a small dark room where your face is scanned by a terrain mapping camera. A quick white flash and that is it; in seconds you will see your 3D head gradually forming inside a crystal, in a way that is not too dissimilar to how ‘perfect human being’ Leeloo is recreated in the movie Fifth Element – it is all very bizarre!
The technology is called sub surface laser engraving. The camera registers up to 1 million points from a subject’s face which a powerful computer then converts into a file called a ‘point cloud’. A green laser uses this to pierce a blank crystal to etch a tiny crack below the surface of the cube representing one point of ‘the cloud’. The process is repeated thousands of times, creating thousands of miniscule fractures which together form a photo realistic replica of the subject’s head. The result is a fun 3D portrait stored inside a crystal block which will last for life.
4DCentre is next to the London Eye (open 10-11am to 7-8pm). Each personal crystal costs £25 (1-2 people) + £29 (3-4 persons).
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