Good 3D from a conventional photograph

We can probably discard the conventional claim that a 3D plot
cannot be produced from a conventional photograph.

imageThe thumbnail pictures to the right are four examples of death masks from a PowerPoint presentation put together by Joseph Accetta, which may give us a preview of his upcoming presentation in St. Louis. He tells us:

Shadowing is apparent in all of these images except perhaps the leftmost one. None of the other images would render a 3-d reproduction with a vp-8 or similar instrument.

imageImageJ is in agreement. The first of four photographs plots very nicely. We get good 3D from a conventional photograph. The other three, not so good.

Click on the photograph to enlarge it

How did I find all this? Colin Berry found it. He commented in Anticipating the Conference: Joseph Accetta on 14th Century Origins:

Try downloading this PowerPoint presentation from Joseph Accetta, David (he being the subject of a recent posting here, and one of STURP’s genuinely scientific, non-agenda driven, non grandstanding participants in my view).

(Unzip as if a pdf).

Go to the last few pages (approx 24/25). There you will see model spectroscopic (ir) studies not just with thermally-imprinted scorches, but also with linen that has been chemically dehydrated with 36% H2SO4 and even your invisible ink (lemon juice).

I’d be the first to admit there may be little to distinguish between an image produced by chemical as distinct from thermal dehydration (especially if chemical action was heat-assisted – see Luigi Garlaschelli’s model ‘frottage’ imprinting with acid-contaminated red iron oxide). It’s the vehicle for acid that is important (not too runny, not too viscous).

Some of us eagerly await details of what JA will say at St.Louis. Let’s hope it receives more attention than his meticulous and detailed studies to date.

Nuff said. I’m thinking of doing a post dedicated entirely to JA (he being my kind of scientist).

Nice find, Colin!

Everyman’s VP8

imageA reader writes:

Thank you for the update on ImageJ, the everyman’s VP8. The more I fool with it using everything from Enrie to Haltadefinizione images the more I clearly see that the images on the SOT are, by some measure of understanding, three-dimensional data. I cannot say that I’m convinced, as most shroud researchers seem to be, that the data represents body-cloth spatiality. In fact, I doubt it. It could be three-dimensional for many reasons.

It is not 1978 anymore. It is time to move on. We now have better images on the internet and better tools that are freely available to anyone in the world.  ImageJ does everything the VP8 does only faster, with more precision and with many more analytical options. Significantly, all data and settings can be automatically documented, shared and reproduced, which is something sorely lacking in the work done by Petrus Soons and Ray Downing. 

I have attached an interesting straight on view from a Durante picture using a magenta and yellow LUT to better see the effects of lighting from the left and above. Notice how sharp the eyebrows and lower cheekbones seem to be.


Anticipating the Conference: Emanuela Marinelli on Iconography

Emanuela Marinelli  |  11-Oct-2014   |  7:15-7:45 pm


The similarity between the Shroud face and most of the depictions of Christ known in art, both Eastern and Western, is clear and cannot be attributed to pure chance; it must be the result of a dependency, mediated or immediate, of an image from the other and of all from a common source. We can identify several elements on the Shroud that are not regular, hardly attributable to the imagination of the artists, that make us understand how the ancient representations of Christ’s face depend on the venerated relic. . . . After the victory of Christianity, sanctioned by Constantine in 313 with the Edict of Milan, a new image of the face of Jesus began to spread, which is characterized by not too long beard, mustache, narrow, tall and stately face, with long hair, falling on his shoulders, and sometimes with a middle line that divides them.

Click on the title to read the full abstract. Click here for the conference home page.

Update on ImageJ for 3D Image Analysis of the Shroud of Turin

imageImageJ, your own VP-8-like image analyzer, is now easier to install and use except that you are going to have to get used to calling it Fiji. Fiji nonsensically stands for Fiji is Just ImageJ. Fiji is a packaging improvement. It is easier to install – just download a zip file, unzip it, and start it. And useful plugins are built right in.

ImageJ, is written in Java, which means you can run it on just about anything. This very powerful but easy to use graphics program was developed at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland and is in the public domain. Downloadable distributions are available for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

I downloaded the latest version from, unzipped it, and had it up and running in less than ten minutes. 1) I launched the program using the provided program, 2) clicked on open a file, 3) selected an image of the face from the Shroud that I had saved to my computer, 4) clicked on Analyze > 3D Surface Plot and 5) tweaked some settings (see the image below – smoothing is essential).

It is highly interactive and re-plots 3D views almost instantaneously when you change a setting. You can drag the image right, left, up and down to change the viewing angle. It works with many image formats and, to my amazement, worked well with color and b&w images as large as 3072 by 2304 pixels and as small as 150 by 112.

Others including Colin Berry and Hugh Farey on this blog have used ImageJ effectively.  See: It’s a negative. It’s 3D. Yes? Maybe? Sort Of? and Should we be reassessing the VP-8 results (Continues Previous Post)




Quote for Today: Ultimate Icon?

imageIs It of God or of Men?

It is said that Luther’s protector, Frederick the Wise, possessed 19,013 relics which earned the beholder 1,902,202 years’ remission of purgatory! Physical-man’s desire for material objects for use in worship leads to such absurdity.

Can we believe that God Himself, knowing the inevitable misuse and the decline of true religion it would produce, would have given mankind for an icon, a relic, the very shroud in which Jesus was buried? The same God who hid the body of Moses and hid the exact location of his grave, lest the Israelites should worship the body of Moses, and lose sight of the worship of God?

U.S. Catholic thus concluded its discussion of the shroud: "… Forgers do forge, and people have a great ability to rationalize and theorize their way toward what they would like to believe.

"Ultimately, it’s about as difficult to prove scientifically the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin as it is to document or explain the Resurrection itself. But the latter is an essential question, and the former is not."

–  From an article by Lawson Briggs, “Ultimate Icon?”, appearing in Plain Truth magazine, December 1978 (Vol XLIII, No.10. ISSN 0032-0420), reprinted June 2, 2014,
on the web pages of the Herbert W. Armstrong Library

Anticipating the Conference: Joseph Accetta on 14th Century Origins

Joseph Accetta  | 10-Oct-2014  |  11:15-11:45 am


. . . Avoiding the controversy surrounding the date, the author presents a plausibility argument to reconcile its visual and forensic properties with extent 14th century printing technology, geographical circumstance and historical context. The observed 3-d properties of the image are discussed in relationship to physical image formation processes and a plausible explanation for this extraordinary effect is given based printing techniques known to exist at that time and in that locale. Further the argument is reinforced with analytical results showing that under any reasonable assumption about the surface bi-directional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) including the use of measured human skin data, the observed 3-d properties cannot be reconciled with any known radiative imaging process and thus must be a contact process.

Click on the title to read the full abstract. Click here for the conference home page.

The picture is a 3D rendering using the ImageJ image analyzer with a face cut of the Durant vertical image in Mario Latendresse’s ShroudScope and is not related to the presentation. It is for illustration purposes only.

It just occurred to me . . .

imageI don’t think Stephen Jones understands the the repair theory at all when he writes today in another installment:

Pro-authenticist explanations of the discrepancy (e.g. contamination with newer carbon, invisible repairs with 16th century cotton) don’t work.

Why don’t the explanations work? Stephen doesn’t explain why. So far he has relied mainly on statements by Hall and Gove that have no bearing on the subject of reweaving. And he has questioned the quad mosaic, which is questionable anyway. The fact of the matter is that if there is reweaving in the quantities that are being proposed, the “[p]ro-authenticist explanations” will work. They cannot fail to work. He doesn’t realize this. This is the danger of working alone, refusing to read anything that goes against one’s own presuppositions, and refusing to allow dialogue.

Beyond that, this hacking stuff: Read Stephen’s posting. So, what is the difference between evidence and conspiracy theory?