In 2014, at the Shroud of Turin conference in St. Louis, Dr. Joseph Accetta, one of the original STURP team members and subsequently, the “Principal Scientist and Instructor” at Georgia Tech’s Research Institute, presented a paper, Origins of a 14th Century Turin Shroud Image. This summary was included in his paper:
In summary, we have presented a reasonable plausibility argument that the Shroud image must result from a contact process. Woodblock or intaglio techniques known to be in use in the 14th century in Europe and in France account for all of the visible attributes of the Shroud image including the 3-d effect, reversed contrast, the resolution, uniformity between the frontal and dorsal images and the extensive detail observed.
“3D? Yeah, right!” (or something to that effect), said someone near me in the darkened room. And, thinking back, I probably snickered in agreement. But Joe Accetta was right.
This is a woodblock print that works very well. It seems to show about the same amount of 3D as the Shroud face. It’s a full-frontal face view of the painter Claude Monet. The woodcutting and the print is by an artist named monthian from Phuket, Thailand.
I used Microsoft 3D Builder. I set it to plot a height map with moderate smoothing, which pretty much emulates the VP-8 Image Analyzer but without the green screen.
Why did it take from 1976 until well into the next century to realize that a photograph or a painting (pictorial art, really) was NOT ruled out by the 3D data in the Shroud’s image?
Dan: “Why did it take from 1976 until well into the next century to realize that a photograph or a painting (pictorial art, really) was NOT ruled out by the 3D data in the Shroud’s image?”
My response: Please re-read CAREFULLY the fundamental paper by Jackson, J.P., E.J. Jumper, and W.R. Ercoline, “Correlation of Image Intensity on the Turin Shroud with the 3-D Structure of a Human Body Shape,” Applied Optics, Vol. 23, No. 14, 1984, pp. 2244-2270. https://www.shroud.com/pdfs/Correlation%20of%20Image%20Intensity%20Jackson%20Jumper%20Ercoline%201984%20OCRsm.pdf instead of making such blatant and unscientific claims.
The people who understand what the so called 3D effect on the Shroud is, know what they are talking about. And they are not concerned about the apparent 3D images you can make with a dedicated software from ANY image you take. They know the difference.
My Response to OK: Fair enough. And at your request, I did reread the paper. I found nothing new and still see it as a long-form begging the question. (e,g, “If the Shroud did in fact cover a body shape at the time of image formation, which is possible, the interpretation is physically valid” . . . etc. and etc. )
I have never meant to imply that Jackson, et al. did not know what they are talking about. Indeed their work is impressive. But it is far from conclusive, as I see it. The problem is that carefully worded hypotheses tend, when summarized, to become bold “facts” when the Shroud becomes a tool of proof-of-Resurrection-evangelization. Or, as in my case, it is perhaps used to try to reassure with a dose of what I hope is science, and simultaneously doubt is science.
Yeah, it is probably not a woodcut either. I’m just stirring the pot. But I don’t think, yet (emphasis YET) that we are able to see our way clear to say that the data rules out pictorial methods or that the data is necessarily spatial or for that matter that the cloth covered a body at the time of image formation.
And now, it is time to make a pot of coffee.
This is not the Shroud. This is a photographic copy of the Shroud in Spain. Yet it has the same 3D characteristics as the original Shroud. Does it imply that this particular copy enveloped any dead human body? Of course not! There is not magic, the 3D properties were simply transferred, via photographic reproduction, from the original Shroud onto the printed copy.
In 2019 they reproduced the Shroud face using infrared laser. The reproduction has of course the same 3D characteristics as the original Shroud, but not the other properites -the fibers for example, are completely burnt and instead of conationing a ~200 nm thick discoloration on the surface like the original. See; C. Donnet, J. Granier, G. Vergé, Y. Bleu, S. Reynaud, and F. Vocanson, “2D reproduction of the face on the Turin Shroud by infrared femtosecond pulse laser processing,” Applied Optics 58, 2158-2165 (2019)
The paper of Jackson et al. is a scientific one. The popular presentations are just popular presentations for common people. The standards of presentation are different.
Every image point on the Shroud can be described by three coordinates, two positional and intensity: (X,Y,I). Hence 3D.
The point of 3D properties is, that there exists a correlation between the image intensity and a postulated distance between the Shroud and the body it supposedly once enveloped. Does it alone prove, that the Shroud indeed once covered a body (not to say about resurrection of Jesus)? Of course not! Yet this is a very significant fact, that should be taken into consideration, regarding any theory how the image came to be.
Now there are three possibilities:
A) The Shroud is a fake, a product of an artist. Then the artist, whatever method he did use, must have (intentionally or not) reproduced the correlation. Which is VERY tricky (not just producing a correlation alone, which is fairly easy -see Craig and Breese work as an example, but must take into account all other properties of the image).
B) The Shroud is a pure miracle, beyond any scientific reasoning. Then the whole discussion is over.
C) The Shroud is the original burial cloth of Jesus and the image is a result of some peculiar process, whether purely natural or supernatural, but having physical effect (e.g. corona discharge or any other radiation). Then the 3D correlation between image intensity and body-cloth distance is somehow connected to that process, and may constitute a clue to the properties of that process.
But anyway, the boasts of Shroud skeptics that they can easily reproduce the 3D properties of the Shroud are meaningless The skeptics often boast that they can reproduce any peculiar properties of the Shroud. One at the time, perhaps yes. But all at once -they always fail. Does it constitute the formal and irrefutable PROOF, that the Shroud is the original burial cloth of resurrected Christ? No! But it is a very significant, scientifically based evidence towards that view. Science does not give absolute answers.
See also my old presentation on the 3D properties of the Shroud https://shroudstory.com/2015/10/02/the-definitive-word-on-3d-from-ok/
The Chemistry precludes the Physics and vice versa. This method isn’t even 1% of the Shroud image. The Blood rules out every image formation model except resurrection. It’s inescapable so why continue rehashing already dead-in-the-water models. Waste of time and effort. The purpose of the Shroud is for evangelism. Has anyone else noticed that’s what God is doing?
Good to have you back! I too have re-read the Jackson, Jumper and Ercoline paper, and cannot find anything in it which contradicts Dan’s point above. But I may have missed something, so please give me a reference – a paragraph or quote, say – which will confirm your assessment of Dan’s claim as “blatant and unscientific.”
The answer to your question (Why did it take so long?) is probably that very few VP-8 analysers were made, and readily accessible software able to perform a similar transformation was not available until relatively recently. As soon as it was available, it became rapidly apparent that it is easy to make a shaded image that converts to good 3D, and that the Shroud isn’t anything like as good as was first supposed.
Hi Death, Famine, Plague and War!
Your first and third sentences are wrong. Your second and fourth sentences are meaningless. I disagree with your fifth sentence, but agree with your sixth and seventh!
Best wishes to all!
Read in particular the section III Image Formation Hypotheses (pg 7 onwards) VERY CAREFULLY. Then it is clear why Dan’s statement: “Why did it take from 1976 until well into the next century to realize that a photograph or a painting (pictorial art, really) was NOT ruled out by the 3D data in the Shroud’s image?” is really unjust misrepresentation. Jackson, Jumper and Ercoline knew what they were doing, and why experiments with pictorial art seem this way is insufficient to reproduce macroscopic characteristics of the Shroud image. And they did not state in absolute mannner, that pictorial art was formally RULED out. Simply, the experimental results showed these methods were highly unlikely.
If the sun did in fact rise at the time the sky turned blue, which is possible, then the sun did rise.
I have to say that narrowing your focus to a mere 20 pages of a 27 page paper is not much of a detailed specification, so I’ll restrict my comment here to Sections E.2, E.3 and E.4, headed “Bas-relief Hybrid,” “Nickell Powder Technique Hybrid,” and “Engraving Hybrid”, which seem to discuss mechanisms closest to Joe Acetta’s “Woodblock or intaglio techniques.”
Ingeniously, Jackson et al. created two more or less lifesize bronze bas-reliefs of a face, with thicknesses of of about 2.2cm and 1cm, which could have been used for numerous experiments. Given that they had already determined an extinction distance of about 4cm, perhaps a 4cm thick model would have been a good idea too.
The first experiment was a simple scorching, using the 1cm thick model, which produced a remarkably good image (Figure 25.A). The second, however, Joe Nickell’s “dusting” technique, used the 2.2cm thick model, and produced an image which, “since the powder tends to be coarsely applied to the raised portions of the bas-relief with little ability to discriminate between features of nearly the same degree of relief, it is difficult to apply powder in proportion to relief to form a convincing 3-D image.” However, the authors concede that “if, however, the application of powder could be fine-tuned (in a historically credible way) to allow the necessary discrimination of relief amplitudes, a reasonable 3-D image might be achievable.” Indeed it might.
Even so, there were four objections. Firstly there wasn’t enough lateral distortion. The amount of lateral distortion, and the effect of the creases that are caused when a cloth is draped over a body, are difficult to quantify, but I do not believe this to be a significant problem. The thicker the bas-relief, the greater the distortion, and maybe one that was 4cm thick, as appears to have been the case with the Shroud, would have resolved this to the authors’ satisfaction.
Secondly, “it is unclear how globally consistent shading deformations reproducing cloth drape effects could be encoded into the shading structure, because the act of moulding the linen into the bas-relief destroys such information.” I’m not sure what this means, but I think an example might be that, say, the tip of the nose, the cheeks and the forehead, all being in contact with the cloth, would all get a similar density of powder, and so all appear to be at the same elevation. This seems eminently sensible, but is belied by the actual result of the experiment (Figure 26.A), which shows that the cheeks and forehead were darker than the nose and eyebrows. It may be that sloping surfaces receive less pressure from the dabbing mechanism. It may also be that the precision of wet-moulding the cloth to the bas-relief is not necessary.
Thirdly and fourthly, there is no pigment on the cloth. I won’t go into this here. There is obviously pigment on the cloth, which very few people, not even Heller and Adler, deny. Its chromophore, source, distribution and whether there is enough to form an image are bones of contention which until a new examination of the cloth is permitted are unlikely to be resolved to everybody’s satisfaction.
Finally (Section E.4) Jackson et al. move onto considering an engraving, in which image density is varied by adding engraved lines to reduce contact between the plate and the paper/cloth. This is most similar to Acetta’s woodblock hypothesis, and to Dan’s engraving of Monet above. Rather incredibly, however, the authors only used this model for more thermal experiments, rather than experimenting with ink or dyes. Had they tried making a print from their plate, then their paper might have been a worthwhile comment on Acetta’s hypothesis. As they didn’t, it isn’t.
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