Maybe the 3D data doesn’t mean what we think it does

imageA reader writes:

This may sound like heresy. Maybe the 3D information encoded in the image doesn’t represent body to cloth distance. I see in Wikipedia, “optical physicist and former STURP member John Dee German has since noted that it is not difficult to make a photograph which has 3D qualities. If the object being photographed is lighted from the front, and a non-reflective "fog" of some sort exists between the camera and the object, then less light will reach and reflect back from the portions of the object that are farther from the lens, thus creating a contrast which is dependent on distance. Shroud researcher Colin Berry has observed that the scorch marks and holes in the shroud also produced clear 3D images under the VP8 analysis. He deduced from this that the shroud image was produced by light scorching, and has produced 3D images from scorches using appropriate software.”

I have long wondered if perhaps the apparent three-dimensional data that is the image represents something altogether different than anything we have imagined. Ray Rogers used to point out that a drop of ink on a filter paper would look like a mountain when plotted the same way (e.g. VP-8).  Colin Berry is right that scorch marks and holes on the shroud produce 3D images; the scorches, obviously, are not spatial information.

Here is a link to the paper, On the Visibility of the Shroud Image by John Dee German. Given the following concluding paragraph it would be nice to see an example:

One final thought on the “impossibility” of making a photograph that has 3-D qualities: it is not impossible, or even very difficult. If a front-lighted facial portrait is taken in a chamber where a uniformly distributed, moderately dense grey or black “fog” is present, less light will reach the receding portions of the face due to absorption of the light by the fog. Furthermore, of the light that does reach the more distant parts of the subject, more of the reflected light necessary to make the photograph will be absorbed on the way back to the camera, increasing the distance dependent contrast even more.

Back in early October Hugh Farey had written here in the blog:

Almost any monochrome painting (or photograph) made full face, with the light from in front and a dark background, shows three dimensional attributes that are at least as good as and often better than those exhibited by the Shroud. This can be tested by any suitable image processing software such as ImageJ.

OK responded:

Wrong Hugh. I tested this using ImageJ. No monochrome painting or photograph has 3D properties as good, as has the Shroud -and in case of the Shroud they are callibrated to the surface of the cloth, not to the plane in infinity. Check pictures in my article:

http://ok.apologetyka.info/racjonalista/jak-nie-zosta-zrobiony-caun-turynski,473.htm

Again, I would like to see just one example of 3D plotting from a full face photograph other than the shroud. I don’t think it is so easy.

But then the question is whether or not the 3D data represents cloth to body distance. I’m not convinced that it does.

Note: Image above is taken from OK’s paper.

29 thoughts on “Maybe the 3D data doesn’t mean what we think it does”

  1. Hello ‘Reader’

    You ask: Again, I would like to see just one example of 3D plotting from a full face photograph other than the shroud. I don’t think it is so easy.

    Here’s one I did earlier, in May 2012. Caveat: I did not start with a photograph (does that matter?) but with a quick hand sketch of the as-is TS negative image by the world’s most inept artist (me) using charcoal. And it’s a copy of the Shroud (for starters) but I did the same for a Mickey Mouse cartoon as well. Does that matter? Anyway the end-result showed a surprising degree of 3D-ness in ImageJ, and dare I say a luminous ghostly quality. But I don’t claim to be the world’s best aesthete either…

    http://shroudofturinwithoutallthehype.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/a-scientists-eye-view-of-how-the-iconic-turin-shroud-image-could-have-come-into-being-a-happy-accident-of-thermographic-and-photographic-inversion/

    1. PS. I now see the question I responded to was from Dan, not “Reader”. Apologies. At least no one can accuse me of being “Reader” to plant a question… ;-)

      Dan – why not provide a link to a photograph of your choice, a person’s face preferably in black and white, and I’ll see what I can do with it in ImageJ?

  2. Hey Dan.

    One must understand what 3D on the Shroud really is. Every monochromatic image has three dimensions, the X,Y coordinates and intensity, which is the third dimension (call it Z). So every picture will look 3D in VP8 or ImageJ. but only in the case of the Shroud this third dimension can be correlated to the body-cloth distance (what Jackson &Jumper have shown). This is what is popualrly called as 3D properties of the Shroud. However, Petrus Soons argues that besides those, the Shroud has additional holographic properties, which is another distinct way of encoding 3-D. information.

    http://shroud3d.com/

    So if Soons is right, the Shroud is both height field (as you write on your page http://greatshroudofturinfaq.com/Science/Image/heightfield.html) and a holography (which was invented in 1940s, and popularised after invention of laser in 1960).

  3. One final thought on the “impossibility” of making a photograph that has 3-D qualities: it is not impossible, or even very difficult. If a front-lighted facial portrait is taken in a chamber where a uniformly distributed, moderately dense grey or black “fog” is present, less light will reach the receding portions of the face due to absorption of the light by the fog. Furthermore, of the light that does reach the more distant parts of the subject, more of the reflected light necessary to make the photograph will be absorbed on the way back to the camera, increasing the distance dependent contrast even more.

    Yes, in theory it is possible. Anyway VP8 was designed to process photography. But there are two major problem. First: the lighting must be full face, and stable which is hard to obtain (even Secondo Pia had problems with lighting back in 1898, not to say about medieval). The second problem is that the intensity is not correlated to the plane in infinity (what to the high degree can be assumed in case of planetary images taken by space probes) but to the distance between body and the cloth, circa 0-4 cm, so some 3D distortions will appear (for example cheeks are higher than the space between them and the nose). So one must simulate this. Is it possible to do so? In theory yes. One must create a bubble from transparent glass or plastic, with specifically designed shape that represents the shape of the cloth wrapping up the body. And then fill it up with some opaque liquid.

    Creating such bubble is extremely complex task even in the era of computers and robots!

    Something like that on much smaller scale (only small model of the face) however was presented in the brilliant The Real Face of Jeus

    See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vs96aPyw2i8 (from 6:00) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAnn82g4Cag

  4. The “fog” may be water: emitted light from the surface, diffuses through water and intensity is attenuated.
    Jackson has done this experiment (the real face of Jesus, 47′), body cloth clearance with a plane / wrapping the body surface.

    That said, the shroud was not underwater, and a heavy molecule diffusing through air may do the task, at first order.

  5. Would love to get Ray Downing to comment on this. He is the 3-D animator who developed “The Real Face of Jesus” for History Channel. In a conversation with him, he assured me that he was able to extract a 3-D image from a 2-D surface because the data is there to allow for it.

    1. I met with Ray Downing for lunch and he assured me of the same thing. There is no question that the data is there. I’ve made projections with ImageJ, POVRay and Corel Brice. The questions is what does the 3D data represent, 1) cloth to body distance, 2) elevation from a plane (which is what we plot) or 3) something altogether different that we believe is 3D data (such as proposed if it is some sort of trick photography). I don’t think it is cloth to body distance, even approximately or inaccurately. I don’t think it is a painting or a photograph or a scorch-o-graph or anything like that.

      The 3D data isn’t encoded. It isn’t in the image in the sense that it can be extracted from the image, leaving something behind. I think the 3D data is the image. Except for spurious noise from dirt and wrinkles and such I think it is all 3D data that just happens to look like an image. I think it is connected to the resurrection but not caused by it. I think it is a real image of Jesus. It might have been imprinted before, after or during the resurrection. At this point I don’t see it being formed by chemical reactions from gas, light, particles, etc.

      1. The most convincing point relating the data to a cloth body distance would be to correct the distortions according to the projection/formation mechanism and see which model is the best match to a real human form.

  6. What would the 3d characteristics be on the Shroud if the image were imaged on a modern day bed sheet?

    1. What is your interpretation why it is difficult to obtain Shroud-like 3D properties on normal photographs?

    2. Perhaps you could answer a question for me, OK. When references are made to the importance of cloth-body distance, that involves a radiation model (yes?). So differences in image intensity that are supposed to represent differences in cloth-body distance are assuming that Newton’s Inverse Square Law is operating (yes?). But all the radiation models I have seen that lack imaging lenses etc have to assume collimated (“unspread-out”) radiation. But why would that obey Newton’s Inverse Square Law?

      Newton’s Inverse Square Law is based on the supposition that radiation streams out in all directions as a cone, with an ever larger but fainter circle of light on a screen the further from the source of radiation, falling off as the square of distance. So why is cloth-body distance a factor when one is having to assume collimated radiation? If there is no speading out of the radiation, it should not matter whether the cloth is 1cm or 1 metre from the radiating object.

      So there has to be some other reason for the fading of image intensity that is unrelated to radiation (yes?). That means other mechanisms of image imprinting have to be considered (yes?). Reminder: there are three chief mechanisms for transfer of thermal energy between two bodies – assuming it is thermal energy that has produced the tan-coloured dehydration products of linen carbohydrates – namely radiation, conduction and convection.

      Raymond Rogers had no time for radiation models. Nor do I. So forgive me if I switch off when folk refer blithely to cloth-body distances. That is not dispassionate objective science. It is (more often than not) agenda-driven, subjective “science”…

      I believe that the Shroud image has to be examined as a product of conduction (primarily) and convection effects, involving very close contact between subject and cloth. Conduction requires zero distance of separation, but convection probably allows a little more, maybe a few mm, possibly a cm or two at most. But conduction and convection are accommodated better in models that assume the correctness of the radiocarbon dating…

      Take away message: if Shroud authenticity is to be buttressed by science, it has to be science that operates according to the known laws of physics. Collimated radiation, indeed any kind of emitted radiation, stretches credulity. Collimated radiation that results in cloth-body distance as a factor makes no sense at all to someone like me whose science background is traditional and no doubt boring to some..

  7. Are you saying that the herringbone weave plays an important roll in creating the 3D affect or the heringbone pattern is considered a 3D distortion between body and the cloth?

      1. In my opinion, tit is the lensing affect of the image caused by the herringbone pattern we see such a distinct 3D pattern.

  8. Dan :
    The questions is what does the 3D data represent, 1) cloth to body distance, 2) elevation from a plane (which is what we plot) or 3) something altogether different that we believe is 3D data (such as proposed if it is some sort of trick photography). I don’t think it is cloth to body distance, even approximately or inaccurately. I don’t think it is a painting or a photograph or a scorch-o-graph or anything like that.

    Cloth to body distance. The problem is, we don’t know how the image of the body was projected on the Shroud, that means what is relation between body points and cloth points There are four major hypotheses:

    1. Vertical projection (as assumed by Jackson and Antonacci)
    2. Projection perpendicular to the surface of the body
    3. Projection perpendicular to the surface of the cloth
    4. Projection at the lines of minimum distance between cloth and the body (supported by Mario Latendresse and I also consider it most likely)

    See my figure:

    Usually all 4 models create very similar results, so they are rarley discussed. However they are vital to the study of 2D and 3D distortions present on the Shroud, and to image creation mechanism. There are some mathematical subtleties which can be crucial in this case.

  9. colinsberry :
    Perhaps you could answer a question for me, OK. When references are made to the importance of cloth-body distance, that involves a radiation model (yes?). So differences in image intensity that are supposed to represent differences in cloth-body distance are assuming that Newton’s Inverse Square Law is operating (yes?). But all the radiation models I have seen that lack imaging lenses etc have to assume collimated (“unspread-out”) radiation. But why would that obey Newton’s Inverse Square Law?

    No, the Newton’s Inverse Square Law plays no vital role here. Jackson assumes that there is some opaque medium (like air in case of the UV), some “cloud” that is responsible for intensity-distance correlation, according to the law:

    I=I(0)*exp[-tau] , where tau is optical depth of the medium.

    colinsberry :
    So there has to be some other reason for the fading of image intensity that is unrelated to radiation (yes?). That means other mechanisms of image imprinting have to be considered (yes?). Reminder: there are three chief mechanisms for transfer of thermal energy between two bodies – assuming it is thermal energy that has produced the tan-coloured dehydration products of linen carbohydrates – namely radiation, conduction and convection.
    Raymond Rogers had no time for radiation models. Nor do I. So forgive me if I switch off when folk refer blithely to cloth-body distances. That is not dispassionate objective science. It is (more often than not) agenda-driven, subjective “science”…
    I believe that the Shroud image has to be examined as a product of conduction (primarily) and convection effects, involving very close contact between subject and cloth. Conduction requires zero distance of separation, but convection probably allows a little more, maybe a few mm, possibly a cm or two at most. But conduction and convection are accommodated better in models that assume the correctness of the radiocarbon dating…

    In case of the Shroud only conduction plays a vital role, radiation and convection are usually negligible. Conduction requires direct contact, while on the Shroud there are areas which were not in direct contact with the body. That’s one of the reasons why schorch hypotheses makes no sense, because it is binary, either there is a contact or no. So 3D always fails, even despite the image looks like 3D. On the contrary the Shroud image has quite smooth gradation of greyscale.

    1. “No, the Newton’s Inverse Square Law plays no vital role here. Jackson assumes that there is some opaque medium (like air in case of the UV), some “cloud” that is responsible for intensity-distance correlation, according to the law:

      I=I(0)*exp[-tau] , where tau is optical depth of the medium.”

      That all looks impressively scientific, especially as it tries to gain an exemption from Newton’s Inverse Square Law. But I don’t think it does the business, at least in the context of Rogers’ model, whether you call it diffusion, convection or a mixture of both, and I’ll tell you why.

      If you are going to posit that something in the intervening air is radio-opaque and is absorbing radiation so as to give the impression that Newton’s Law is being obeyed for collimated beams, you have to consider another Law – the most fundamental one of all in physics, namely the Law of Conservation of Energy. If your mysterious source of radiant energy is being absorbed on the way to its target (linen), then its energy cannot just disappear. It has to be converted to another form of energy. Without knowing the wavelengths being proposed it’s a matter of guesswork, though it would have to be longer wavelength energy, probably infrared. That’s the thermodynamics – the start and result if you like. But consider the kinetics too, that the absorption of radiant energy will increase the kinetic energy of electrons in chemical bonds causing excitation, or simply increased bond vibration, and sooner or later, probably sooner, that energy will be transferred to neighbouring air molecules as increased kinetic energy, i.e translation, straight line speed. In other words the air would heat up, expand, cause thermal convection currents etc, and almost certainly destroy any imaging system that depends on diffusion or convection.

      It would be nice to think that Shroudology could open up new undreamt-of fields of physics, but I personally would prefer to know about those new phenomena first from other systems than have them snuck in the back door so to speak by folk who are trying to work their way around Newton’s Law.

  10. anoxie :
    The most convincing point relating the data to a cloth body distance would be to correct the distortions according to the projection/formation mechanism and see which model is the best match to a real human form.

    But your use of the term “projection” means you are only comparing within a subset of models, i.e. radiation models, unless you envisage transport of matter across air gaps. The latter is possible in convection models, notably Rogers’ with his gaseous amines, and might be possible if one had superheated air that was hot enough to scorch linen. But if we are to be scrupulously scientific, we have to ensure that our models are not restricted to those that happen to fit a particular or favoured narrative – if you see what I mean. I’m trying to recall a saying about a road to a certain destination being paved with good intentions. Maybe it’s now been fitted with one of those moving walkways for the benefit of those who come laden with baggage. ;-)

    1. Rogers ´ model is not a convection model but a diffusion model. Convection ruins the resolution.

      1. True, anoxie, but only up to a point. It was initially proposed as a diffusion model, but that immediately raised doubts re credibility, especially with ammonia or the lighter organic amines diffusing away too fast for there to be any real prospect of sharp imaging (even assuming there was enough reducing sugar present, recalling that degraded starch does not necessarily equate to sugar, depending on many factors). So correct me if I’m wrong, the model has since been refined to incorporate the idea of laminar flow, as distinct from random diffusion in all directions, and one needs laminar flow to get enough mass transfer anyway, aided perhaps by elevated temperature (though it’s hard to see how the temperature in a rock tomb, even with post-mortem changes, can ever be high enough to kick- start a Maillard reaction with a very steep temperature response curve (probably a reflection of unfavourable thermodynamics as well as kinetics).

        But there’s a more fundamental objection one can make to the diffusion model, whether aided or unaided by convection currents – it starts by assuming the very thing that is supposed to be under critical scrutiny, i.e. that there was a 1st century starch-coated cloth in contact with a real dead (and rapidly) decomposing body. Sorry – that’s not my idea of dispassionate science. It’s agenda-driven, which doesn’t necessarily make it wrong – just suspect, and thus deserving of the closest critical scrutiny – it being the reputation of science and scientists that is on the line, thanks to our sensation-seeking media, ready to emblazon the latest discoveries (including crackpot ideas) before they have been properly assessed and/or vetted by the scientific community.

      2. Convection can work if there is a receptor that isolates the theromal exchange. This is why I don’t agree with the assertion that the Shroud’s image is continuous tone or a smooth gradation of grayscale. What Enrie’s images detailed is on the contrary. It is a low resolution image that appears to have a lensing affect imaged the surface of the herringbone pattern. If I’m not mistaken, Collins successfully demonstrated a carton with 3 D characteristics which is represented with approximately 65 dpi. That is why I asked, how would the 3d characteristics appear on the Shroud if the image were imaged on a modern day bed sheet?

      3. I don ´t know, there are various interpretations of Rogers ´ theory. That´s why i asked Thibault back in June 2012 for more details and he has written what is in my view the most comprehensive and coherent theory (though to be continued) concerning image formation. It was a mail from Ray Rogers and is on the right side of this blog.
        It is random diffusion, as random diffusion attenuates light intensity according to the lengh of the path in the water in John Jackson ´s experiment

        Concerning heavy molecules, this is a critical point, Thibault is working on it.

        Concerning the reactant on the cloth, given the distribution of image it has to be (double ?)-superficial (as long as you consider a diffusion mechanism). Is it a starch coating ? A modification of pcw of superficial fibers during the production of the cloth ? More tests are needed. Btw, Rogers didn ´t know the pcw, no wonder he never mentionned it.

  11. “Opaques” can account for collimation.They can easily be found in the Judean desert dust… Archaeologically speaking, just imagine the TS man’ s bloodied body covered in desert dust and tightly wrapped up within an in-soaked long inner shroud of which pressure gradually and slightly loosened up via a purifying and drying ritual (fumigation). Methinks Mr CB just cannot, he is no archaeologist at all.

  12. Without going into the physics of how the image was formed, the 3D appearance as imaged by ImageJ depends on a linear relationship between darkness and vertical distance from a horizontal plane, whose floor level (zero darkness, zero height) corresponds to the background colour of the shroud. Has anybody experimented with non-linear relationships, does anyone know, say exponential – twice the darkness corresponds to four times the height? That would be interesting, I think.

    1. Interesting point, Hugh. There is no fixed relationship, needless to say. One fiddles with a gain control that magnifies or reduces the height according to taste.

      What I did some time ago was to try what I called normalization. One makes a scorch imprint off a template, then adjusts the 3D image to get the best match with the original template, and then applies those same settings to the “as-is” Shroud image (e.g. on ShroudScope). It resulted in one of the best 3D-enhanced images of the Man in the TS I’ve ever seen (though I say it myself) ;-)

    2. Has anybody experimented with non-linear relationships, does anyone know, say exponential – twice the darkness corresponds to four times the height? That would be interesting, I think.

      As far as I know, no one yet. The linear approximation (the first order of Taylor’s series of unknown relation) is usually good enough for previous uses. But of course checking higher orders would be good to improve the results.

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