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.