The attention to detail Nike pours into crafting a shoe to match NBA star Kyrie Irving’s status is impressive. It could only be bettered, we thought, by an enhanced precision instrument that is so accurate it can perfectly capture even the smallest intricacies. So we brought in Artec Space Spider, paired it with a high-res mirrorless camera, and unleashed Artec Studio 16’s new features on the photos and scan data. The result speaks for itself.
Looking at this textured 3D model of the Nike Kyrie 7, it’s easy to see why the sneakerhead community has an almost pious devotion to their shoes — kicks, in the correct parlance. The Space Spider scan is so perfect and the texture so rich it almost gives the Kyrie 7 an air of sanctity one dares not desecrate. You begin to understand how an entire demographic could count a crease in their footwear among their worst nightmares.
Space Spider’s ability to achieve great detail with objects of this size made it the ideal choice for the task. It’s a lightweight, high-resolution 3D scanner based on blue-light technology that was initially designed for the International Space Station. It is perfect for scanning small to medium-sized objects or the intricate details of larger ones.
Perfection, however, demands perfection. Such is Space Spider’s level of precision that the slightest deviation in the shape of an object results in artifacts and flaws in the final model. Space Spider has a 3D point accuracy of up to 0.05 mm and a 3D resolution of 0.1 mm. Those are dimensions roughly the thickness of a piece of paper — barely perceptible to the human eye. To properly capture the shoe, adequate preparation would be absolutely key. And with a soft, flexible object, this was no small feat.
To start with, the sneaker was placed on a rotary plate in a white box to eliminate glare and shadows. On the shoe itself, the tongue and collar were widened to enable Space Spider and the camera to capture the interior surfaces, and the laces were tied in such a way that they would not dangle loosely and change position during the process.
With the shoe on the rotating platform, it was first scanned with Space Spider to capture the interior surfaces and top of the shoe and then photographed from essentially the same angles. The shoe was then hung upside down on a short pole to scan and photograph the sole without distorting the sneaker’s shape. The Sony A6400 provided around 140 high-res images for Artec Studio 16 to wrap around the flawless scan data from Space Spider.
The results are impressive, especially considering the whole process was done in just over 30 minutes. If you zoom in to the mesh upper wraps and what Nike calls the 360-degree traction on the soles, you’ll find that the final 3D model’s level of detail is spectacular and difficult to get enough of.