Scanning the Christ the Redeemer with the help of a drone.
Christ the Redeemer is a statue of Jesus Crist installed at Rio de Janeiro which is the second largest city in Brazil. The statue is made by a famous French sculptor Paul Landowski and built by the Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, in collaboration with a French engineer Albert Caquot. The statue stands 30 meters tall and the length is 28 meters with the arms stretched out. The statue which was featured a zillion times during the recently concluded Football world cup is a huge, humongous monument. So when a team of scientist decided to replicate the statue using a 3d printer, they had to be ready to put in enormous effort scanning the actual statue.
Scanning such a huge structure has never been done before, as the modern day 3d scanners are not engineered to handle such large build scanning. An innovative thinking was required to scan Christ the Redeemer. Scientists from the NEXT Lab at PUC University of Rio de Janeiro in conjunction with 3D scanning company Pix4D, and drone manufacturer Aeryon. Decided to use a Drone fitted with 3d scanners to scan the giant statue piece by piece and then they were joined like the pieces of a puzzle.
Scanning Christ the Redeemer was only possible because of the expertise of Pix4D, the company has been taking up challenges to scan impossible things. In 2013 the company successfully scanned and mapped the whole of Matterhorn, a mountain of the Alps. With confidence and backed by experience, Pix4D used just a single drone manufactured by Aeryon and flew if for 19 minutes scanning the statue of Christ. The drone took 3,584 images of the statue of out of which 2,090 were used for actual 3d version of the statue.
Strong winds, Low light conditions and the high altitude made the scanning doubly difficult but the end result is even more satisfying. The scanned files were taken to the NEXT Lab at PUC University of Rio de Janeiro where the artists used all the scanned images and edited them to be used as a 3d printable file. The 3D model is now made up of 2.5 million triangles and has a point cloud consisting of 134.4 million individual points.
Highly precise 3d printable version of the Christ the Redeemer would be made available for free at sketchfab.com, however that might take some time.