Home > Image Theory > Resolution of the Shroud Image

Resolution of the Shroud Image

June 20, 2015

Ray Schneider has put together some useful charts on the subject in
The Shroud of Turin an Enduring Mystery – Part 4: Skeptics & Image Formation 
(Charts 14, 16-18 deal with resolution).


imageIn snippets from comments, Hugh Farey has raised some good questions about image resolution. 

To Louis, he wrote:

Can I ask for some opinion about ‘high resolution’ we keep hearing about. The resolution is not at all high. The resolution is poor. The fat that one smudge can be seen as the edge of the lower lip does not justify the complete absence of any nipples, fingernails, navel and so on, all of which would be expected from an image of any good resolution.

And in response to a comment by Max, Hugh wrote:

I wish I knew what people mean by a resolution of 5mm. Grab a pencil and draw the outline of the arms. How precise is it? 30mm, I reckon. The fingers and face are a bit better, but a contact image precise to an accuracy of 5mm is not good resolution, it’s poor. One of the arguments against the Shroud being some kind of bas relief rubbing is just that – its resolution is so poor.

Max had said:

The optical high resolution of the details of the TS body images –at least as good as 0.5 cm (see L. A. Schwalbe, R. N. Rogers, “Physics and chemistry of the Shroud of Turin, a summary of the 1978 investigation,” Analytica Chimica Acta 135, 3-49, 1982 and J. P. Jackson, E. J. Jumper, W. R. Ercoline, “Correlation of image intensity on the Turin Shroud with the 3-D structure of a human body shape,” Appl. Opt. 23, 2244-2270, 1984) or even approaching 0.1 to 0.2 cm (see V. D. Miller and S. F. Pellicori, “Ultraviolet fluorescence photography of the Shroud of Turin”, Journal of Biological Photography, 49, 71-85,1981)– suggests a contact-and-gradual-loss-of- contact mechanism of transfer to account for the integrity of blood clots of which optical high resolution of their details is as good as 0.04-0.05 cm that is ten times higher than the body image details).

Optically speaking, what do you consider is the minimum for “high-res”?

Hugh wrote back to Max:

Yes that’s what they all say, and perhaps I misunderstand them. Can we detect collarbones or the Shroud image? Ribs? Kneecaps? You don’t need a very high resolution to see these clearly on images of people, and the Shroud shows none of them. I don’t know how the resolution of an image of a body should be quantified, but I do know that the Shroud isn’t very very high, regardless of what Schwalbe and friends think, unless, as I say, I misunderstand what they mean by a resolution of 5mm.

and later added:

You are still explaining why the resolution is poor rather than substantiating the opinion that it is good. Prof. Fanti did indeed say that the edge of the lower lip of the image was well defined, and I agree with him. The rest of the face is less so, and the rest of the body a mere blur. optically speaking a well defined Shroud image would be one around which it would be possible for different people independently to draw outlines of various features (e.g. arms, legs, eyes, fingers) and when superimposed they should not differ by more than a millimetre or so. I said that before. That’s my answer.

Ray Schneider has put together some useful charts on the subject in The Shroud of Turin an Enduring Mystery – Part 4: Skeptics & Image Formation (Charts 14, 16-18 deal with resolution).

Categories: Image Theory
  1. June 20, 2015 at 4:04 am

    The problem is that the Shroud of Turin is not a classical image, just like a photograph, where you can clearly define tiny detail.

    It’s actual a kind of heat plot of a 3D model, where intensity is correlated with distance from the cloth. Looking at the Shroud as mere photograph can be very misleading. What we see are not strictly speaking, say visible details of the face, but mere variations in intensity, usually associated with different facial features. If there is no variation of the distance to the cloth, there is no variation in intensity, and the image is blurred, generally speaking.

    Maximum resolution? There is no one single answer on that. Dependent on region it can be higher or lower. There are areas where details about 1 mm in size can be resolved, and there some where there is uncertainty of 5 mm and more.

    That is shortly speaking. in fact the matter is a little bit more complex, but it would need to wirte a paper on that.

  2. daveb of wellington nz
    June 20, 2015 at 4:27 am

    HF: “Optically speaking a well defined Shroud image would be one around which it would be possible for different people independently to draw outlines of various features (e.g. arms, legs, eyes, fingers) and when superimposed they should not differ by more than a millimetre or so.”

    I think that’s a good succinct summary and a practical repeatable method of what most could call good image definition. Clearly it is not satisfied by the Shroud image, which is of variable definition across the cloth, as mentioned by OK, with a range of perhaps 1 mm to 5 mm.

    What might this be telling us in terms of image formation process? Is the variation in resolution systematic, correlated with any particular variable? I suspect it is not, and this suggests to me some type of random naturalistic process, possibly akin to diffusion. If it were say a radiation model, I think I would expect variation in resolution to be correlated, perhaps with body-cloth distance. And then again, radiation might result in some kind of distorting resolution interference pattern. Just thinking out aloud. Does anyone detect any kind of pattern in the variation of resolution, or do observers see it as random? Any thoughts on implications?

    • June 20, 2015 at 5:43 am

      Does anyone detect any kind of pattern in the variation of resolution, or do observers see it as random?

      The “desing” of image is definetly not random -especially in the face area. It is true that the image is actually a kind of density plot, corresponding to the body-cloth distance -but that’s not entire truth. As I have observerd, bandings play a key role in defining the image, and make it a photograph look-like (especially in the face area). This is extremely unlikely for a “blind” natural process. More about that I will write in a paper -but definetly not before July, as I have some more urgent work to do now.

  3. ALONSO
    June 20, 2015 at 5:08 am

    The Shroud image is essentially a Print, everywhere the cloth contacts the Body (front, nose, hair etc…). There, the theoretical resolution is the fiber size itself (0,015 mm), increased by area liquid diffusion (small for flax- 2 or 3 fibers- would be much larger for cotton fibers). Between contacts (between skin and cloth) gazeous diffusion occurs (giving the specific tridimensional encoding). There, the resolution is a function of various parameters, the most important being chemicals (too complex to be explained here) and distance (between skin emitting vapors and cloth fibers). It varies from 1 mm to more than 1 cm, particularly when the cloth falls away from the Body.

    • anoxie
      June 20, 2015 at 6:29 am

      Do you have any idea concerning the reactants at stake?

      • ALONSO
        June 21, 2015 at 1:05 pm

        The reactants are Fluids (corporal ) and Solids (Shroud fibers). The scientific approach of their interactions is “Fluids mechanics in porous média”. This discipline must be completed by the classic “oxydo-reduction in organic chemistry”.
        Corporal fluids include liquids and vapors. Both are adsorbed on flax fibers surface. Liquids directly after contact (sweaty or bruising reliefs, watered clots, post-mortem flows, hairy spots). Vapors after some delays, depending on space, molecular weights, temperature decay, etc..).
        Solid surfaces, which adsorb emitted fluids, are essentially flax fibers whose properties are complex.
        Known laws of Physics can explain (and calculate) the observed features: 3D, low distortion for diffusional transferts….
        Known chemical reactions can explain the progressive development of latent images with time.
        The resulting image, very complex, exhibits a complex spatial resolution which starts from tiny clots smaller than a fiber diameter, threads clearly visible in Halta pictures, anatomical organs clearly identifiabe (like fingers, lips etc..).
        Paolo is right saying the “resolution” concept cannot be evaluated simply (we have to restrict it to a given purpose).

  4. June 20, 2015 at 5:59 am

    One more general comment.

    Theoretically speaking, the maximum achievable resolution is the size of the thread , or about 1/3 mm. It is unlikely you can go lower, unless the imaging mechanism was able to code the resolution on single fibers -but this would require some extensive and difficult processing of the images to check.

    Human eye resolution can go an order of magnitude lower. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naked_eye#Small_objects_and_maps

    Of course, in practice the resolution depends on relative intensity of neighbouring regions. If they do not vary greatly, the resolution is low -if they vary, the resolution is high.

    • piero
      June 21, 2015 at 8:52 am

      I think we have to deal with the experiments using a linen sheet over a manikin…
      B.T.W: Do you know how to use thermal manikins?
      Probably a thermal manikin is a useful tool which can be used to realistically investigate the issue.
      — —
      So, I think it’s possible to
      >measure thermal radiation using infrared mapping camera…

      Link:
      http://www.human.cornell.edu/fsad/ciffi/upload/2015-CIFFI-Symposium-Huiju-Park.pdf
      — — —
      See also under the address:
      http://www.centexbel.be/infrared-thermography

      >With an infrared thermal camera and its accompanying software, Centexbel disposes of a state-of-the-art and highly performing tool to enlarge its testing and R&D activities in the field of material characterisation and comfort assessment of garments.

      We have to consider the water vapor transmission (and also cadaveric emssions…) though the cloth.
      Then, here, another webpage:
      http://www.centexbel.be/skin-model-comfort-analysis

      >The thermal resistance, expressed in m².K/W, determines the dry heat flux across a given area in response to a steadily applied temperature gradient.
      >The water vapour resistance, expressed in m².Pa/W, determines the “latent” evaporative heat flux across a given area in response to a steadily applied water vapour pressure gradient.
      — —
      What is your opinion ?

      • piero
        June 22, 2015 at 11:35 am

        I wrote:
        >We have to consider the water vapor transmission (and also cadaveric emssions…) though the cloth.

        I want to chage the previous phrase into the following:
        >We have to consider the water vapor transmission (and also cadaveric emssions and perfumes [= myrrh and aloes]…) though the cloth.
        — — —
        The question that seems to me to be important (during experiments) is the achievable resolution (see also the highly controversial question of the presence [or not] for coins).

        Links:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermography

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermographic_camera

        • piero
          June 22, 2015 at 11:47 am

          Sorry.
          Another errata corrige:
          >I want to change …

          Instead of:
          >I want to chage …
          — — —
          I am curious to see a series of comparisons (= a map) starting from an image about the skin temperature in an area versus a thermal image of a linen sheet over the same area…

          Here a vague link:

          http://www.pass-thermal.co.uk/thermal-camera-applications-medical

  5. Thibault HEIMBURGER
    June 20, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    Dan, can you give us the link to the post from which you have extracted the comments you quoted?

    The question of the resolution might be very important.

    Thanks to OK and Dave for their very interesting comments.

  6. gabriel
    June 20, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    I think that the issue of the resolution will leave unsolved forever this matter of the coins.
    Another different question is the findings by Marion on the inscriptions. He published his results in a highly reputated JCR journal and explained step by step in a reproducible manner how he reached his conclusions. Due to the nature of the journal I am sure that he followed a methodology widely used and accepted by the scientific community . People who are not famliar whith standard methods of image processing criticized him very hard but no one was able to challenge his scientific methodology.
    Recently I was surprised to watch a documentary by Mark Guscin visiting a colleague of Marion at the Paris Institute of Optics who explained more or less. Since years ago Guscin had been one of the worst critics of Marion’s work (on linguistic grounds only) now in this recent documentary it seems that he does not completely rule out the possibility.

    • June 20, 2015 at 3:55 pm

      Recently I was surprised to watch a documentary by Mark Guscin visiting a colleague of Marion at the Paris Institute of Optics who explained more or less. Since years ago Guscin had been one of the worst critics of Marion’s work (on linguistic grounds only) now in this recent documentary it seems that he does not completely rule out the possibility.

      Don’t be naive, gabriel…

      http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/n74part4.pdf

      This summer I was working on a new Shroud documentary, filming in France
      aqnd Italy. The main topic of the film is the supposed inscriptions on the cloth – anyone
      who has read my articles in the BSTS and http://www.shroud.com concerning this aspect of Shroud studies will know my opinion thereof very well. In my opinion, they are just a figment of the imagination, from looking at the 1931 Enrie photographs of the Shroud, which were lit by raking light and therefore show up all the creases and imperfections in the cloth, giving rise to all kinds of objects that can be “seen” on the linen. […]
      The example at hand concerns the “inscriptions”. A garbled mess of pseudo-Latin, pseudo-Greek and pseudo-Aramaic using theological ideas and titles that were
      coined later than the death of Christ, but claimed by some to be proof of the Shroud’s
      authenticity. Professor Garlaschelli did an excellent job with a practical demonstration
      of how unlikely (if not impossible) it is for the random letters some can see to have been
      imprinted onto the Shroud in the way they are “seen”

      In other words -p&**s them off. I got engaged in the “inscriptions” issue, only because producers paid me money for that…

      Aside from the (very complex) issue whether there are any actual inscriptions or not. I hardly believes guys like Guscin or Wilson (with due respect ) are qualified or have a knowledge to voice their proffesional opinion on that.

      The cynicism of some guys in the Shroud world (no matter pro or anti) never stops to amaze me…

  7. gabriel
    June 20, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Typo error:who explained more or less the same

  8. June 21, 2015 at 9:24 am

    Almost a year ago, I bought the canvas picture from the shroud from Ray Downing
    After that I wrote that my fish tank was brand new and cleaned up in one night.
    And that was, on the evening I’ll put the canvas picture of Jesus there.
    One year later, the tank is still clean without touching it by me or my
    husband. Nobody ask me about that, if the Shroud was not real this
    would never been happening. But the shroud is real and Jesus is more
    alive then anybody can think of. I better say this, the shroud is so much
    alive, that even by passing it true on canvas, Jesus clean and show
    that He is alive. I’ll bet nobody can explain my real story, scientist
    always doubt Jesus, because they lost the child in them, they have
    to wait until Jesus come’s back. But it seems to me that even that
    Ray Downing and his team show us Jesus, allot of people still
    doubt that Jesus is alive. I am not a scientist, but a believer.
    A Jewish Christian,, from the bloodline mothers side.

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