Celebrity 3D Models: Useful, Silly or Just Out of Control?

I’ve encountered several 3D models based on celebrities recently and wondered whether this is a good or bad thing, and for whom. 

It’s easy to find some “celebrity” 3D models, but others are strangely absent. Using the number of Twitter followers as a reference, I looked through a number of 3D model repositories and found several instances of celebrity 3D models. 

Here’s a Justin Bieber, with the customary haircut. Unfortunately, the name of this 3D model is “Justin Bieber’s Severed Head”, by CalmTom. 

Here’s a “Taylor Swift martini glass”, which seems to have only the silhouette of the popular signer.   

Some celebrities are made into color 3D models, like this one of Justin Timberlake. 

A popular theme is sports heroes, like footballer Christiano Ronaldo. 

A rather voluptuous 3D model of one of the Kardashians was also available (partial view only shown here).

In most instances, these celebrity 3D models are innocuous, but sometimes they’re not. Consider this “BarackTopus”, a hybrid of the well-known Octopus 3D model. It’s not just Barack Obama, but a strange mix of the person and other stuff, leading to a weird result. Also, it prints quite nicely. 

Sometimes these celebrity hybrids are made to provide editorial comment, such as this Ashtray-Obama, where apparently you can put out your butts on the face of the President. 

At top is a Donald Trump 3D model, but I’ve printed it differently than intended. My print is in solid PLA, while the intention was to print it in a flexible plastic to create a “Donald Trump Stressball” that you can squeeze when you’re angry, or perhaps when made angry by Mr. Trump. 

There’s even worse celebrity 3D “implementations” that I shan’t mention, in particular a series involving Russian President Vladimir Putin, where his image is transformed into a personal device. 

My question is, when do these celebrity 3D models cross a line of ethics or legality? Does the celebrity have the right to demand such works be removed? Should they? Or are they just a 3D manifestation of a newspaper editorial cartoon? 

On the other hand, some celebrities would likely WANT to have as many 3D models of themselves as possible, simply in order to increase their notoriety. 

While the celebrities may discuss their 3D model strategies, it’s somewhat reassuring to know that you can easily join this group by capturing 3D models of yourself and submitting them to any of the public 3D model repositories. 

Just don’t put yourself on an octopus. Or an ashtray.

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