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A 3D Portrait of Your Friendly Neighborhood Bagel Man

'Meet Adam,' is a virtual portrait of a real food cart vendor, created by Michelle Hessel.
Screenshot from Meet Adam

Every New York City student is acquainted with the quickness and affordability of street cart food, but one grad student at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) took her love for food cart bagels and coffee one step further: Michelle Hessel created an audiovisual 3D portrait of Adam, a food cart proprietor who has been selling snacks to one corner of Broadway for 15 years.

In the portrait, called Meet Adam, the viewer uses their arrow keys to walk and their cursor to shift their view. Adam and his food cart stand inside a snow globe-like bubble in the middle of a digital void. When the viewer enters the bubble, they enter a 3D, virtual version of Adam’s corner of the NYU campus. You can even enter the food cart, to see pastries, coffee machines, and a large tub of cream cheese.


The portrait is accompanied by a soundtrack of street noise and an interview with Adam, where he tells all about his life and daily routine. The model of Adam was created using photogrammetry, and the portrait mixes still and moving images to create a realistic simulation of the bustling Manhattan street corner. See videos of the process of creating virtual Adam and his virtual food cart below.

Adam - Photoscan from Michelle Hessel on Vimeo.

Computational Portraiture Photoscan from Michelle Hessel on Vimeo.

Experience the project here, and see more of Hessel’s work on her website.


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