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The World Now Has a Perfect Copy of Christ the Redeemer Made By Drones

Illustration for article titled The World Now Has a Perfect Copy of Christ the Redeemer Made By Drones

Nobody's ever been able to make a perfect copy of Christ the Redeemer, the towering statue of Jesus that watches of Rio de Janeiro. That's largely because the sculpture is sitting on the top of a craggy hill near a windy coastline. What to do? Call in the drones.


A team of experts recently created an incredible 3D scan of Christ the Redeemer with a drone that took over 3,500 of images of the statue and surrounding area. Using software from a company called Pix4D, they used 2,090 of those images to create a point cloud of 134.4 million points that created a full textured three-dimensional mesh. When rendered, the data looks just like the real Christ the Redeemer statue, in all its glorious detail.

You might remember this technique from a couple years ago, when Pix4D used a swarm of drones to 3D-map the Matterhorn. While it certainly wasn't as big as one of Europe's tallest mountains, the Christ the Redeemer project faced a different set of challenges, namely crappy weather, high winds, and bad lighting.


You can read more about it in a surprisingly compelling white paper that Pix4D just published. Or you can just spend your lunch hour looking at Jesus from every conceivable angle—up to you. [Pix4D]

Christ the Redeemer Rio by Pix4D on Sketchfab

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Cool, but the drones have to dodge the crazy parachute guys. Felix Baumgartner, he of the stratosphere jump, once base jumped off the statue's outstretched arm. Later some wingsuit guys buzzed the statue.