3D scanning has proven to be a useful technique in order to create 3D models from actual objects. The only problem, however, is that big objects can’t be scanned. Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro’s 38-meter-tall statue is such an object. If you wanted to make a replica from Rio’s iconic statue, you weren’t able to use any kind of 3D scanning tool. Nevertheless, thanks to the work of a drone, an international team has now changed the pattern and became able to 3D scan the entire statue.
The team consisted of scientists from the NEXT Lab at PUC University of Rio de Janeiro in conjunction with 3D scanning company Pix4D, and drone manufacturer Aeryon. They used a single drone and let it fly around the statue. A total of 19 ten-minute flights led to 3,584 images, of which 2,090 were used.
The new 3D model is now made up of 2.5 million triangles and has a point cloud consisting of 134.4 million individual points. This is enough to sufficiently capture the statue. Normally it would be impossible to 3D scan a statue as big as Christ the Redeemer on such an extraordinary high location. Thanks to the combination of 3D scanning techniques and the use of drones, such things are suddenly possible.
Pix4D has has some experience with these kind of projects in the past. Back in 2013, they even managed to map the Matterhorn, a mountain of the Alps. They used a drone here as well, and the team obtained 2,000 high-res photographs of the mountain.
Image credits: Phil Whitehouse.