The Definitive Word on 3D from OK?

In essence, Jackson & Jumper took the crude photo of the Shroud, determined location of 13 characteristic points on the face, determined their vertical coordinates on the model, determined the relative intensity of those points with VP-8 (much more primitive than ImageJ we use today), plotted linear regression, obtaining as a parameter max range of 3.7 cm, calculated correlation coefficient, determining that almost certainly there is at least some correlation, and then compared it with the profile for the whole front image of the Shroud. Simple technique, but remarkable achievement.

imageThat paragraph above is from the 29th slide in a self-paced, fully explained, fully comprehendible four-part presentation, 3D properties of the Shroud revised by regular participant O.K.

        Take the time to read this presentation carefully.
          Is this the definitive final word on the 3D properties of the shroud? No. For one thing it is unfinished, as O.K. tells us. O.K. promises to respond to our comments and questions and add to the presentation. So look for more.
          In my mind, this a very important presentation on the 3D properties of the shroud, perhaps the most important one so far.

        Am I convinced? Yes and no. I am convinced that the 3D means data is there. Smooth the image data, but not too little or too much, and you have, in essence, a height-field (my terminology, not O.K.’s).  Sure, it easy to imagine that this means that the data somehow represents body to cloth distance.  A carefully calculated correlation doesn’t make it so, however. It could be that there are other possible reasons even though I don’t have any strong ideas about what they might be.

        imageBy-the-way: I love the slide pictured to the right and the wording in the very next slide. It demonstrates that O.K. clearly understands the smoothing issue. Not many people do:

All right, I cheated. Here is the same image, but this time using ‘Thermal LUT’ instead of ‘Original colors’

[See  Part 1, slides 19 & 20 ]

As you can see, the image is blurred too much -too high smoothing applied, and a lot information is gone. We have a handy image in original colors, but actually disastrous 2D resolution.

More 3D Discussion

The questions Hugh Farey raised yesterday about Ray Downing’s 3D work in a comment to The VP8 Cinderella Question reminded me of a previous posting of mine about Petrus  Soon’s 3D work. I decided to reprint it below. But first read The VP8 Cinderella Question and the comment Hugh made September 26, 2015 at 1:00 pm.

You might also find It is really, really time to rethink what we think about 3D useful before reading the following reposting from 2012.

— Published November 18, 2012 —

I certainly have real reservations about Petrus Soons’ 3D work. Any comments now?

imageimageYesterday afternoon, someone calling himself GonzoII posted a message at the Free Republic message board. It was the Abstract from Petrus Soons’ website that reads:

This website summarizes work connected with digitizing Shroud photographs taken by Giuseppe Enrie in 1931, enhancing the digitized images to improve details, translating the enhanced images “gray scale data into depth data”, generating a sequence of up to 625 images of each of these, and combining these images with a Holoprinter to produce holograms (3D images) of the Shroud. It also summarizes my study of these holograms and discovery of heretofore unseen details, which confirm many previous findings and reveal some suprises.

(Excerpt)

Several comments followed; “Gave me chills! I believe!”, gives you the idea.

There is nothing new here. But it is a subject well worth revisiting. Here is what I posted just over two years ago. Not one person commented at the time. Maybe I was just too wordy. Maybe I just said what nobody wanted to hear. Maybe . . . maybe. Any comments now?

(October 10, 2010 posting follows):

The pastor of a large parish in New Orleans wrote to me by email:

I think this new 3D image is the most convincing scientific evidence yet for arguing that the shroud is authentic.”

imageI strongly disagree. The pastor is referring to the red-cyan anaglyph image of the Shroud that you can see only with red and cyan 3D glasses. Personally, I feel that this is a work of art, an artist’s impression of what Jesus may have looked like, expressed in 3D. It doesn’t prove anything any more than the animated 3D movie, “Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus”  proves that horses can fly. (Have I changed my mind since myfirst posting about the site? Yes.)

Here is what the pastor wrote:

The red/cyan anaglyph of the face from the Shroud of Turin at the website is startling. Regrettably, the size of the image is reduced on the website. Fortunately it is done with HTML so you can grab the bigger sized jpeg and save it on your computer. Do so right away before they reduce the size on the server.Here is the link:

Note: I have replaced the pastor’s long link with a TinyURL. You can see a bigger image (800 by 921 rather than the web page size set to 484 by 545)  just by using the following link. Do save a copy of the image on your computer and buy some inexpensive 3D glasses. Read on:

It is, of course, pointless to save this image unless you have red/cyan 3D glasses. The shroud3d website does have stereoscopic images for those who have the proper viewing equipment. It also has a short video showing slow and slight rotation of the image. But these are poor substitutions for looking at an anaglyph with 3D glasses. The anaglyph is fantastic. It will knock your socks off.

imageI took the bigger image and inserted it into a PowerPoint presentation. It looks great on an eight foot screen. Now all I have to do is buy 3D glasses for an upcoming talk at my church. I found some paper ones for $25.00 per hundred. I also had a poster of the anaglyph jpeg printed at Staples. It works great, too.

I think this new 3D image is the most convincing scientific evidence yet for arguing that the shroud is authentic.

No! The anaglyph may not be very scientific, at all. And that is a major concern because the impression one gets from the website and probably most places this image is displayed is that it is scientific. It may be, but if so, how so.

imageI am not at all convinced that the data found in the Shroud’s image supports the anaglyph on the website. I’m not convinced that adjustments that were made to the images (there seem to be many) are scientifically warranted. If this is so, if I am right, then the final product, the anaglyph at must be thought of only as a work of art. Nothing more!

Red and cyan 3D glasses that I ordered from ($4.70) arrived earlier in the week. I have since examined the anaglyph for hours. I was glad to learn from the pastor — one of this blog’s readers — that the full size image was available and I have studied it imageon a high definition 55 inch monitor. My first reaction was not unlike our friend above. Really, do order some 3D glasses at Amazon and prepare to be amazed.

My second reaction was that there was something wrong.

Bernardo Galmarini, “the 3D expert that produced the conversion from 2D to 3D,” writes on the shroud3d site:

I thought at first, that in this more scientific conversion, the hidden information in the Shroud (3D information in the gray-scale), would be a nuisance or obstacle to produce a human representation of the face, and that I would have to struggle continuously against this. Strangely enough, this hidden scientific information in the Shroud became the key and the basis for this work, reducing my artistic work to only softening the “holes” and deformities (caused surely by the passing of time) and the adapting to what this scientific version commands you to do: filling in and normalizing the “holes” or “dead areas” in the hidden information of the linen. For example: the areas without information in the forehead have been corrected following the surrounding gray-scale with coherent information and with a normal human forehead in mind. This process was helped by the fact, that the central zone of the forehead and the bony structure of the orbits contain very coherent information and that of course was taken as a guideline.

That statement lacks needed clarity. There are certainly holes and deformities. Why is not clear in most cases. It seems completely unjustified to speculate that these are caused by the passing of time. Without knowing how the image was formed, without knowing much about how the shroud was stored or displayed over many centuries, we shouldn’t make such guesses.

bandinginfaceExactly what are the holes and deformities? They have not been detailed on the website. The bloodstains certainly are a problem and to make adjustments for these is perhaps warranted. But what about other deformities? How is the problem of banding addressed? Banding, a variegated background pattern to the cloth, perhaps the result of how the thread of the cloth was bleached and having nothing to do with the passing of time, is certainly the single biggest deformity that exists. It gets peculiar treatment in this new 3D work. The left side of the face (our right) has been partially retouched to minimize the effect. The other side of the face is shaped as though there was no banding but the banding remains. Pictured here is an estimate of the banding in the area of the face.

At the bottom of the beard and the lower areas of the hair, darker areas that are not the result of banding are strikingly evident. These relatively dark areas don’t recede towards the background as expected for grayscale plotting. (You can’t see this without 3D glasses. Don’t even try.) What is the rationale for this obviously apparent artistic adjustment? Moreover, hair above the forehead pompadours frontward without grayscale tones to support it. This hair and facial hair treatment seems artistic.

The entire head and shoulders seem to be completely detached from the background. You can, with 3D glasses on, move your own head ever so slightly and see detached movement. (Again, you can’t see this without 3D glasses.) Galmarini speaks of “hidden scientific information,” presumably but not explicitly the grayscale. I can’t find any data in support of this phenomenon. It seems as though an artificial outline has been introduced around the human form. There does not seem to be any such outline on the Shroud. In fact, researchers, over the years, have noted this lack of outline because it is something that an artist, had an artist created the Shroud, would have certainly included. Interestingly, the areas of the lower neck and upper shoulders, though darker than the background, don’t recede into the background and don’t show detached movement. Most amazingly, the lower part of a prominent water stain above the face is now worn in the hair like a miniature yarmulke while the upper part of the stain adorns the background. This, to my way of thinking, strongly suggests the use of false outlines. What other reason can there be other than to enhance the 3D effect?

The most surprising thing is that the grayscale tones that to the untrained eye look like highlights and shadows, but that in fact become the basis for plotting three-dimensionality, remain in place in the plotted image. If you plot a three-dimensional object from the grayscale density you should have something that looks like a stone statue. Whatever highlights and shadows seem to exist in any resulting computerized virtual-reality image should only be from artificially introduced light placed at a calculated angle and distance in the virtual world. This is what the VP8 Analyzer does and what other software packages such as POV-Ray do. But in the anaglyph in question, it looks as though the original image was stretched like a thin film over the calculated shape. Original highlights, shadows and even herringbone twill patterns are there.

I’m willing to be convinced that I am wrong, that the anaglyph in question is scientific. I would actually like this. If this were so we would have something that is truly amazing. Clarity is needed, however. Specifics are required. I would like to see how much of this conversion to 3D is reproducible in a scientific sense and how much is "only softening the ‘holes’ and deformities."

In order to claim that the 3D images on this site are scientific the steps and procedures must be reproducible by others, at least in theory. Documentation is needed.

  1. We should know the software or algorithm used to plot the image including any variables or settings used.
  2. The terminology “hidden scientific information” should be clarified. It is essential to understand how plotting software uses this data.
  3. Expose higher resolution images for examination if the work was done in higher resolution. While this image may be 800 pixels wide, the resolution is no better than 72 ppi. Ordinary books carry pictures at four times the number of pixels per inch.
  4. We should be able to see, in anaglyph form for comparison, the unadjusted, scientifically plotted part of the project so that we can judge for ourselves just how much of the final product is by way of adjustment.
  5. All adjustments made should be explained and justified.

It bothers me to think that these images will be used, as the pastor suggests, in presentations to show the 3D characteristics of the Shroud. These images are certainly being displayed in churches, in exhibits and on the internet without the qualification that this is art and not science. If that is so, it is most unfortunate.

On the other hand, if these images are truly scientific, then the unexplained screams out to be explained.

Don’t get me wrong. There is 3D data in the Shroud’s images. It is the most important quality for knowing that these are not images formed by reflected light as a painter would envision or a camera would capture a human form. The 3D data is a quality that must be accounted for in any hypothesis attempting to explain how the images were formed, be it miraculously, naturally, by fakery or even as honest art. Indeed, this quality, treated scientifically without various forms of electronic manipulation, sooner or later, may suggest how the images were formed.

The VP8 Cinderella Question

In my opinion, it is time to move on.  The VP8 moment was a truly historic moment, like when Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen placed his hand between a cathode ray tube and a screen covered with barium-platinum cyanide and saw the bones of his fingers. We don’t do X-rays that way any more. There is a lot of 3D investigation work that can be done with modern tools, such as ImageJ, and many excellent images of the shroud.

imageA reader asks:

The question has never been answered. Did the glass slipper fit Cinderella’s foot because it was the right size or because Cinderella’s fairy godmother had magical powers?

I have some questions about the VP-8 Image Analyzer. What are all those dials on the front of the unit?  Is there an operating manual?

What settings were used in creating the 3-D image of the shroud?

How was the image data manipulated within the VP-8 or its camera including electronic low or high pass filters, Gaussian filters, softening lens filters, an out-of-focus lens, etc.? Are there any control images such as calibrated gray-scales, cross-hair fine lines, dot patterns, intended to show lighting, camera angle and lens focus?  It is essential that control images be made with exactly the same VP-8 settings, lighting, camera angle and distance, focus and lens aperture.

Was the surface of the Shroud picture gloss or matte?  Was the lighting adjusted to avoid hotspots, etc.? Here again control images are important.

Has the VP-8 been used with other Shroud photographs since 1976? If so, can we see these along with documentation?

The problem with the Cinderella story is not that the slipper question was not answered. It was never asked.

For additional information, here is an excellent presentation, VP8 Image Analyzer & Shroud of Turin, in PDF format at the SEAM site.

I also refer you to an unnamed page at written by Barrie Schwortz. It has some information. It refers to a gain control but doesn’t mention any other controls.

On May 1, 1997, I was fortunate to spend some time in North Carolina with my friend Kevin Moran, retired Senior Technology Specialist from Eastman Kodak’s Estek Products Division and a Shroud researcher since 1978. Kevin owns one of the two functioning original VP-8 units and was kind enough to welcome me into his home and spend the next 14 straight hours working with me to videotape "new" VP-8 images. Actually, the real thanks should go to his dear wife Anne, who put up with the two of us working until 4:00am!

I’d love to see the video tape.

This is also a Questions and Answers paper by Deacon Pete Schumacher, a VP- Engineer. Perhaps he can answer the reader’s questions. However, in my opinion, it is time to move on.  The VP8 moment was a truly historic moment, like when Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen placed his hand between a cathode ray tube and a screen covered with barium-platinum cyanide and saw the bones of his fingers. We don’t do X-rays that way any more. There is a lot of 3D investigation work that can be done with modern tools, such as ImageJ, and many excellent images of the shroud.

What Do We Really Know About Volckringer Patterns?

I suspect what appears to be 3D-ish elevation is a representation of relative chemical reaction completely unassociated with spatial relationships. 

imageHugh Farey in a comment to another posting writes:

Do we in fact know anything about the Volkringer patterns, except that they exist? Research into them seems vanishingly scarce, and there are only three purported examples on the internet, of which only one actually shows the plant and its effect. It’s a fern, which makes me think the pattern could be a spore print. One of the others is too badly reproduced to be sure whether it’s actually a print or the plant itself, and the other is the sort of image that might come from a VP-8, but without any context or explanation. John de Salvo’s paper on (“The Image Formation Process of the Shroud of Turin and Its Similarities to Volckringer Patterns”) references a paper by Volckringer himself from 1942, but omits part of the title. He calls it: “Le probleme des empreintes devant la science,” but in fact it is called: “Le Saint-Suaire de Turin: Le problème des empreintes devant la science”, and is clearly more to do with the Shroud than it is to do with these patterns. Can anybody help?

imageThere is an informative comment by Marty Benton on this site from January 2012:

I wonder if what we think are 3D reliefs prepared from Volckringer patterns are not something altogether different. I suspect what appears to be 3D-ish elevation is a representation of relative chemical reaction completely unassociated with spatial relationships. 

The veins appear higher than the blade and higher still nearer to the center rib. That would seem to be where the most lactic acid would be transferred to the paper by contact and lakes of vapor. The leaf seems really fat with an unnaturally beveled edge. That apparent bevel may result from less lactic acid reaching the paper at the edge of the leaf.

To fully assess this we need to see the facing pages from the book that held the leaf. Ideally, we need to see the leaf.  We need to know which side of the leaf is being plotted for 3D content. I imagine the facing page’s imprint might have a similar appearance of elevated veins and a fat bevel. That would not make sense.

The point is that because something appears to have 3D characteristics, it may not be a real spatial representation. I’m not saying the Shroud’s image isn’t spatial data, what you call a height-field. I’m saying, however, that we must consider other possibilities.

More Information:

The DeSalvo paper Hugh mentions can be found HERE ( and HERE (Penn State).

There is also a presentation by John DeSalvo, Shroud of Turin Picture with a brief description on page 3:

I decided to explore this similarity in more detail.  I was hoping that by understanding how Volckringer Patterns are produced, it would give me some idea of how the Shroud body image was produced.  Using a spectrophotometer I did a color comparison between the Volckringer patterns and the Shroud body image.  Within experimental error, I showed that the Volckringer patterns were identical in color to the Shroud body image.  I than compared the Shroud and Volckringer patterns using UV Fluorescent studies.  It was shown that both the Volckringer patterns and the Shroud body image do not fluoresce under UV light.  Thus the Volckringer patterns and Shroud body image also have identical UV fluorescent characteristics.

The most startling similarity was that the Volckringer patterns could be reconstructed in 3D relief using a VP-8 analyzer, just like the Shroud body image.

There is a brief write up in Mark Antonacci’s The Resurrection of the Shroud (pages 68 and 69 readable online at Google Books)

In I 942, Dr. Jean Volkringer, a pharmacist at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Paris, discovered that when certain plants arc pressed between the pages of a hook, a highly detailed negative image appears on adjacent pages. He proposed this discovery as a possible explanation of what is seen on the Turin Shroud. However, such a mechanism cannot explain the Shroud image. in the first place, plants that produced such images were usually pressed in books for several decades, some for as long as a century. …

Colin Berry’s Latest and Greatest. Is it Enough?

Is a high energy laser beam really needed to model the Turin Shroud? Maybe those Italians should have tried pizza ingredients first, and a hot oven…

clip_image001Sometimes, you need to wait for Colin Berry to finish adding bits and pieces to his postings. When things settle down,  it is easier to report on them. Colin seems to have done so now. It is time to look at his latest and greatest technique for creating an image that may or may not be like the image on the shroud:

“It’s a distillation of some 40 months and more of virtually non-stop effort since Dec 2011 to ‘model’ the ‘enigmatic’ TS body image,” he tells us.

He goes on:

It would have been nice to use a real human subject instead of the plastic toy The technique lends itself to scaling up, and leaves the volunteer (?)  unharmed, except for a coating of vegetable  oil and plain white flour (most of that being imprinted onto linen, leaving less to be showered off).

Alas. I do not have a 4m x 1m length of linen, and even if I  did, one suspects the sourpuss contingent of sindonology would waste no time in telling me it had to be herringbone weave, centuries or millennia old, traditionally-bleached, lacking modern-day optical brighteners etc etc etc ad infinitum, ad nauseam. Nope. This science bod is content to model the TS characteristics, showing that no fancy gee whizz 20th/21st century technology is needed, certainly not pulses of intense uv rays  from excimer lasers or neutrons from rock-crushing tectonic activity etc.(the sort of things that could theoretically have affected a particular linen shrouds in a 1st century rock tomb we are solemnly assured).

No real argument there. I don’t know, however, if it is scalable. It seems that it would be. And I don’t know enough about chemistry or the science of images to weigh in on the issue of bleaching “etc etc etc ad infinitum, ad nauseam.”

clip_image001Let’s stick with the small scale model, and show how, step-by-step, the above image was created that, from where I’m standing, ticks an ever-growing number of boxes that says: YES – it is looking increasingly like a valid model, despite it using homely medieval technology that today’s blog-readers can confirm for themselves in less than an hour in their own homes if so inclined.  It requires nothing more than: (a) linen (I get mine from the clothes rack in charity shops, ladies’ white summer trousers especially) (b) plain white flour (c) vegetable oil (d) a hot oven (e) a bar of soap. Yes – indcredibly, insultingly some might say, that’s my DIY list for what’s needed.

Nothing insulting about any of that. It is actually intriguing in a “Bill Nye the Science Guy” sort of way.

Okay. Now you need to read: Is a high energy laser beam really needed to model the Turin Shroud? Maybe those Italians should have tried pizza ingredients first, and a hot oven…

The rest of this posting will be in two instalments: first, the procedure for obtaining the above result, namely a faint, fuzzy, negative TS-like image and then, later, possibly tomorrow, the evidence from studies reported already on my other site that the image you see above meets many , possibly most, of the criteria of the TS image at both macroscopic and microscopic level.

Lots of good pictures help us understand.


3D properties? Do the faint and fuzzy imprints you see above respond to 3D rendering in software programs like ImageJ? is that too much to hope, given typicaly awestruck observations such as this one from the shroudstory site:



Fact: there is nothing in the least bit "profoundly mysterious" about the 3D properties of the Shroud image, especially if it’s a contact imprint. This investigator has shown over and over again in the course of  3 years of entering a large variety of images into Image J that the 3D response of the TS, far from being ‘profounsly mysterious’ is in fact entirely predictable. What would be unusual would be for it NOT to respond to 3D rendering, given the way the software operates. Here’s an image that hopefully illustrates my point:


3D-rendered image of plastic toy(left) verus Shroud Scope image of TS (right). Note the embedded 2D reference (concentric circles with stepped intensity gradient) and the DEFAULT non-zero setting of z scale elevation setting (0.1)

Yes. One can enter 2D diagrams with no 3D history, like those concentric circles above, and they show a comparable 3D response (top left) to that of the model image OR the TS. Why is that? Look at the z scale next to the red arrow. It is on its default MINIMUM setting of 0.1. The software sets that non-zero default setting, meaning that ANY image one enters that has any kind of intensity gradient, simple stepped ones included, produce a 3D response.The latter is entirely artefactual unless one has evidence to the contrary. This investigator knows of no evidence to suggest that the so-called "3D properties" of the TS image are any different from those of contact imprints generally.

Late insertion: I’m saying there is no 3D mystique until proven otherwise. Right on cue we hear the rejoinder: "There is 3D mystique until YOU prove otherwise", adding technical details like RGB balance that were addressed previously in discussion with "OK" in Poland,.

Nope. i’m not buying into that pro-authencity attempt to shift the burden of proof. I repeat: there is NO 3D mystique until proven otherwise. The so-called "unique 3D encoding" of the TS image is pure agenda-driven moonshine.

See also this later comment from the inestimable Hugh Farey, with new 3D rendered images of this blogger’s hand both in original colour AND grayscale. Both show 3D enhancement (needless to say).  Thank you Hugh.

I said “profoundly mysterious” because I don’t know how, and nobody knows how, the 3D information was derived in the shroud image. Maybe it was Colin’s way? I don’t know. I would not have introduced the word “mystique”  as he did. Language is too tricky for that.   That is also why I don’t say the 3D data is “encoded.” 

In the shroud image we are looking at a brightness-map that seems, when smoothed, to represents elevation. It  happens to also look like a picture. Put the other way around, that is still true; it is a picture that, when smoothed, functions as a brightness-map (height-map, bump-map, etc.).

I’ve said, clearly, that I don’t think we can say with any certainty that the brightness information, the 3D information, means body-to-cloth distance. I’ve said that there are other methods of deriving that sort of information and that the information might be real or imaginary.  Regular photographs and paintings, by-the-way, can contain that information. It is wrong to say they can’t. Most don’t, though.

Colin has created an image that is also a brightness-map.  You can plot 3D images with it using ImageJ. The real question is this: Does the brightness-map correctly represent the shape of the body (the plastic soldier)? I’m not convinced it does. Or it is too crude.  We need some better pictures to work with. We need to do more in ImageJ. We need to be sure that ImageJ is being used correctly.

By-the-way, I have been impressed with the 3D imaging of Colin’s hand. So maybe Colin is onto something.  In his blog, however, he is trying to make an issue out of nothing by playing with the word mystique.

(Click on the image of the hand to see this image enlarged).


Colin Berry’s and My 3D Plotting Problems

Having said all this, I do doubt Colin can get good, shroud-like 3D from his flour-power model.
I am willing to be proven wrong.

A reader from Baltimore writes:

If you look at the illustration “3D-rendered image of plastic toy” on Colin Berry’s other blog you can see that he is incorrectly using ImageJ and as a consequence drawing false conclusions. He is using the image he is plotting as the texture.  In effect he is plotting on a plot.  That is a big, big NO NO.   That he is doing so is obvious when you  look at dark areas on the arms and legs that rise to the level of adjacent bright areas.  It is also obvious because of the color we see. The best texture to use is #808080 for all pixels. Some perspective would also be helpful.

Is it a no-no?  I wonder.

The image, shown below, can be found at  Is a high energy laser beam really needed to model the Turin Shroud? Maybe those Italians should have tried pizza ingredients first, and a hot oven…:



Yes, I must say I agree that there is a problem here. I see it and I’ve been thinking about it for nearly a day now.  I still need to do some experimenting to understand this better. But I do see that plotting without loading a texture and allowing the software to use the image itself as the texture (which seems to be the default) will lead to erroneous interpretations. 

Colin follows the image in his blog with this paragraph.

Yes. one can enter 2D diagrams with no 3D history, like those concentric circls above, and they show a comparable 3D response (top left) to that of the model image OR the TS. Why is that? Look at the z scale next to the red arrow. It is on its default MINIMUM setting of 0.1. The software sets that non-zero default setting, meaning that ANY image one enters that has any kind of intensity gradient, simple stepped ones included, produce a 3D response.

What in the world is Colin saying that is not fully obvious? Back in November of 2013, I noted that:

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.

Colin continues that paragraph of his, writing:

The latter is entirely artefactual unless one has evidence to the contrary. This investigator knows of no evidence to suggest that the so-called "3D properties" of the TS image are any different from those of contact imprints generally.

Colin may be right, at least to some degree. If he will post the base images (or send them to me) I will plot them with a neutral texture. If  he has a paint program he can create  his own; just create a rectangle the size of the image with a middle gray background, say RGB 128/128/128. 

I’m looking at the following image I plotted with ImageJ and wonder if I did it right.  Did I use a proper neutral texture or did I use the image as the texture? Look at the color. I probably made the same mistake. See Teaser of the Day (#3): Why many state that the Shroud is a 3D image.

I just installed Windows 10 and ImageJ won’t work for me. So be patient as I figure out what is wrong.



Having said all this, however, I do doubt Colin can get good, shroud-like 3D from his flour-power model. I am willing to be proven wrong.

Blow Your Mind 3D Scanning Technology And What It Could Mean

We need to do a lot more with the 3D questions that the shroud poses
to better understand what we are really looking at.

imageAntero de Frias Moreira of the Centro Português de Sindonologia writes:

After a careful reading of Professor John Jackson’s paper «The vertical alignment of the frontal image» and also remembering the 2005 Professor Latendresse’s paper  «The Turin Shroud was not flattened before the images formed and no major image distortions necessarily occur from a real body»  I was aware that if the Shroud wrapped a real human body that impressed his image on the cloth some distortions were inevitable and 3D scanning by VP-8 device produced a kind of bas-relief of a human shape with enough anatomical accuracy.

Appendix B of Professor Jackson’s paper ( I mean experiences with volunteers wrapped in a cloth) sparked a weird idea in my mind :

As far as I know VP-8 scanning  of the Shroud Image was done using Shroud real size photos OF A FLATTENED SHROUD and considering just the front image Professor Jackson acknowledges that even admitting  a vertical path of information transfer from body to cloth the  image will  have some distortions.

So I imagined this hypothetical scenario (not with a flattened image but in the same conditions when it was produced on the cloth)

Get a real size replica of the Shroud with the image photograph on a linen cloth, then place the front image over a volunteer with anatomical characteristics similar to the Man of the Shroud (image upside, non image part of the cloth covering the volunteer).

Placing the cloth like this not too tight would allow overlap the front image following main anatomical body curves namely head, and limbs.

Considering these conditions if an image 3D scanning with VP-8 or with a more modern device is done- I don’t really know if it is technically feasible to scan  the image in this scenario) would there be the possibility for much lower distortion and obtaining not a human shape bas relief but A KIND OF HUMAN BODY VOLUMETRIC IMAGE(without side parts that did not produce image on the cloth) ????

Perhaps this is a silly hypothesis….

Not at all. We need to do a lot more with the 3D questions that the shroud poses to better understand what we are really looking at. And this idea of yours for minimizing distortion makes a lot of sense.

The VP-8, to the best of my knowledge, in this context only interprets brightness information that already represents spatial data. If I understand you correctly, you want to capture new and additional spatial information to combine with the spatial information in the shroud image.  Here are two videos that are worth watching.  This is blow- your-mind 3D technology. 

A couple of watching tips:  The first video begins advertising clothing at the four minute mark. I’m not actually suggesting that you hit the stop button there. But I do. The second video gets very interesting at around 5 minutes so hang in there.

Link =

Link =

Is there an art historian in the house?

imageColin Berry did an interesting 3D rendering from the painting "Descent from the Cross with the Holy Shroud" or as it is sometimes called, “The Entombment of Christ” by Giovanni Battista della Rovere (c. 1575-c. 1640).  The question must be asked; how much has this painting been enhanced from the original? To what extents did this alter the 3D rendering. To see why we need to question this, look at the copy on the website of the Shroud Museum in Turin (see clickable thumbnails below).

The bigger question may be: how accurate is this popular web version (center below) as a useful indicator of what the shroud looked like in the early 17th century.  Should we not be using the photograph that is on the Shroud Museum website.

ImageJ Rendering from the Giovanni Battista della Rovere painting shown here in the center. The "Descent from the Cross with the Holy Shroud" or “The Entombment of Christ” by Giovanni Battista della Rovere painted about 1625, as it appears in many websites on the web. As it appears on the website of the Church of the Holy Shroud and the Shroud Museum where the painting is located. As photographed Nov 6, 2008. The web size is 2585×3396 meaning you can have a good close look.

imageNote:  Paul Vignon attributed the above painting to Giulio Clovio (1498–1578) and a different painting, shown here on the right, to Giovanni Battista della Rover.

Is there an art historian in the house?

Only the Shadow knows

The apparent 3D in the picture to the right was created by the arc of the sun.
The green color was photoshopped in for illustration purposes only.

imageA reader points out:

[Colin Berry wrote], “Takeaway message: there is no encoded 3D information in a photograph of the TS. There is merely a 2D image that has patterns of light or dark that can be computer-processed to give APPARENT relief. But if the original image was not created by photography, but by some other imaging mechanism, there is always the possibility that one will be fooled into thinking that a darker-than-average feature on the image represents high relief. It ain’t necessarily so. Different imaging models create different interpretations.”

He is right. Colin has shown one way that apparent relief can be generated that has nothing to do with shape. Dan, do you remember Nathan Wilson and his Shadow Shroud?  He showed another way to create a 3D image that had nothing to do with it.

How could I not remember Nathan.  We debated briefly on an ABC Radio program.  He got the better of me that day and made me look foolish.  Nice guy, though. And yes, you are right, he did demonstrate another way to generate apparent relief. Apparent is the essential word, however.

imagePersonally, I don’t think what we see on the Turin Shroud is only apparent relief.  I think it is real relief. I think the grayscale values (my preferred term for brightness, darkness, intensity, luminosity, shade, density, etc.) represent that. Regrettably, the only evidence I see for this is that it seems so. “It seems so” is one step lower on the evidence quality ladder than “I think I see.”  Moreover, I have no reason to think that the grayscale values of the shroud images represent distance between the outer surface of the body and facial hair and a burial shroud above and below it. My gut says it is so. Occam’s razor is a great temptation. But in the end there is really no evidence for the scene we imagine.  Could it not just as easily be distance from a hypothetical plane that intersects the body from head to toe, so to speak?  Or relative distance to some point in space? Those notions are harder to imagine because we can’t imagine an action-at-a-distance scenario for them. We have imagined a scenario to go with body to shroud distance. Well, sort of, maybe.

Speaking of imagined scenarios:  “John Jackson’s ‘Fall-through’ hypothesis for image formation belong to the class of hypotheses that invokes the action of photon radiation” (newest Critical Summary 2.1 out of Colorado, page 73). Are we to measure brightness in terms of distance or measure it in terms of time that the cloth spends falling through a mechanically transparent body?  And then  there is Frank Tipler’s hypothesis of dematerialization by electroweak quantum tunneling, in which a “proton plus electron goes to neutrino plus antineutrino.”  Is this a measure of anything that we can comprehend? Tipler, in his book, The Physics of Christianity implies it is distance by telling us that at the time of dematerialization of the body, the cloth is perfectly flat.

And of course we can’t imagine inexplicable non-process miracles; the touch of a hand or finger, a few spoken words, or a seeming unrelated unusual activity all serve as examples. In the New Testament Jesus changes water into wine, a woman is healed when she touches Jesus’ garment, Jesus feeds a multitude with five loaves of bread and two fish. Where is the process in these? What imagined actions are taking place.?  More recently, there is the apparition of Mary appearing to Juan Diego; Mary had arranged flowers in Juan Diego’s cloak and when later he opened his cloak in the presence of a bishop the flowers fell out leaving behind an image now known as Our Lady of Guadalupe. Perhaps the image on the shroud is the result of an inexplicable non-process miracle like that.

Or let’s just suppose Colin is right and the image we see was formed by a hot template. Could the resulting variations in grayscale values  have been caused by varying temperatures in a large piece of metal?

In 2005, Nathan Wilson, experimented with a method he devised, a method for creating an image similar to the shroud.  This isn’t to suggest that this was how the image was formed. But it does show that so-called brightness (grayscale) maps can be generated by other methods that are not formed by action at a distance and that do not contain real distance information. Wilson writes:

The image on the Shroud is dark on a light background. Previous theories had all attempted to explain how linen could be darkened without the use of chemicals, stains, or paints. Wilson wondered if it would be possible to lighten the already dark linen, leaving only a dark image behind.The simplest means of lightening linen, available to all men throughout time, is to bleach it with sunlight. Wilson believed that if an image of a man were painted on glass with a light shade of paint, placed over darker linen, and left beneath the sun, a dark image would be left on a light background. More importantly, he believed a dark and light inversion would take place, creating a photonegative. Wherever light paint had been used, the linen would be shaded from the sun and left dark and unbleached. Wherever the darker shade of linen had been left exposed, the sun would bleach the cloth light. In addition, it was also believed that because the sun would be exposing the linen from approximately one hundred and eighty degrees, a crude three dimensional image would be created.

How 3D-ish are the images?  Colin’s, as well?  Those of the shroud?

Wilson’s Results

Oil paint on glass, produced by David Beauchamp in roughly forty-five minutes while watching stand-up comedy. This painting was the most successful and was used to produce three different images on linen.

The first linen image created by Beauchamp’s window, exposed for ten days generally parallel to the sun’s path. The linen bears a negative image, dark on light (left), which becomes positive, light on dark (right), in a true photonegative.

The second linen image created by Beauchamp’s window, exposed for fifteen days generally perpendicular to the sun’s path. The lines are much harder than those in the first image.

The third and final image created by Beauchamp’s window, exposed for approximately one hundred and forty hours beneath a sunlamp. The stationary light source created an image flat and scattered.

Beauchamp’s parallel shroud (right), and the Turin Shroud (left) both topographically rendered.

The Turin Shroud rendered three-dimensionally. Shabby chic.

The Beauchamp parallel shroud rendered three-dimensionally. Shabbier chic.

Should we be rethinking the VP8 and 3D images?

Todd, a reader of this blog, just yesterday posted the following quotation from Peter Schumacher. It’s from a 1999 paper by Pete entitled Photogrammetric Responses From The Shroud of Turin.

The Shroud of Turin induces a [3D] result through photographic imaging that is unique, compared to all other photographic results taken from other objects of the same acknowledged period as the Shroud, of prior periods, and to the present day. It is the “data” existing on the Shroud of Turin, which induces the unique photographic results. Therefore, the Shroud image, itself, is unlike any other object or image known to exist. (Bracketed “3D” added by me for clarity)

imageThis obvious absence of evidence as evidence fallacy – call it what you want: argumentum ad ignorantiam, the black swan problem – has stood, it seems, since sometime after 1976, when (quoting from A Critical Summary of Observations, Data and Hypotheses – Version 2.1 by Bob Siefker, et. al.):

[John] Jackson, with the help of Eric Jumper (both on active duty and teaching at the U.S. Air Force Academy) used a VP-8 analog computer furnished by Pete Schumacher, an engineer with Interpretation Systems, Inc., to make a brightness map of the Shroud image.

Then they tried to do the same thing with photographs of people and objects. Pete tried. Others tried over the years. Everything else was distorted; no real 3D.  There was, among those who understood that a normal painting or photograph of a person or object contained brightness information that was representative of reflected light while the image on the shroud contained brightness information that was not that but rather seemingly spatial data, a sense that the argument was safe. It has been repeated and restated over and over by others.

“OK Hugh [Farey],” wrote Todd, “Maybe you can respond to this quote. I ask again that you provide published evidence to refute this claim.

As long as we continue to think of just regular paintings or photographs of people or normal objects – and we ignore the cries from the fallacy police – we are on pretty safe ground.  It cannot yet be refuted.

But Colin Berry didn’t do what others had done. He made a scorch of an object on cloth. And he found that that scorch behaved like (or pretty much behaved like) the image on the Shroud of Turin. Colin found a black swan and we couldn’t say any longer that all swans are white.

That is published evidence; it is published on Colin’s blog and reshown here. It is not a painting or a photograph of an object; it is a scorch.

If we continue to speak only of normal paintings and photographs we are still on safe ground. But we have to drop the idea that the shroud image is unique.  It isn’t.

Click on the images to see larger versions

While we are at it, maybe we can drop the other fallacy, namely that the 3D data represents body to cloth distance.  That has not been shown to be true.

ImageJ Used to Compare the Shroud of Turin and the Manoppello Image

imageAs a guest posting, O.K. has put together an intriguing image-ladened paper, Shroud of Turin & Manoppello Image Comparison & 3D analysis: Or the magic of ImageJ.  

Jumping to near the end:

Suppose for a moment that both the Shroud and the Manoppello are authentic relics of Jesus. Being so different, they provide complementary information.  The monochromatic Shroud with it’s 3D properties provides a model Jesus outlook. It is essentially like an old sculpture. It provides information about shape of the object, but no other information like skin, eyes, hair colour.

But what [that] model needs is texture. And Manoppello, if genuine may provide it!

It is wonderfully fun to see how powerful ImageJ can be.


More on Colin Berry is up with an interesting posting about 3D enhancement

imageColin Berry has been adding to his posting, Not all images that are 3D-enhancible have ‘encoded 3D information’. Click in and, if you have already read his posting, scroll down about halfway to Update: Sunday 8 June. He had made some interesting observations about ImageJ. Personally, I’m finding the software confusing and some options limited. Colin is helping all of us to see how confusing using ImageJ can be.

Final gasp (on this over-long posting): there was a curious and unexpected feature of those 3D images where 4 different images were tested together. Switching between Invert On versus Off in Image J did not produce so marked a transformation as expected (one expects the image to be turned inside out, like punching a hat to make a new one with the lining on the outside).

Read on. It’s not that I don’t understand Colin. I do. It’s ImageJ that I am struggling with. Having said that, however, I still think this package is much more powerful than the VP-8 Image Analyzer. Once we figure it out more completely, we may be able learn a great deal more about the image on the shroud.

Link to previous posting in this blog:  Colin Berry is up with an interesting posting about 3D enhancement

The above picture is from Colin’s site.

Speaking of 3D

This is a 3D enhanced moving image and not, it seems, a true 3D plot. How did Petrus Soons and his team do this? Notice that the background behind the head is treated differently than the head. Is there anything else peculiar about this? I call your attention to a previous posting, I certainly have real reservations about Petrus Soons’ 3D work. Any comments now?, Do read the many thoughtful comments that resulted. Click here or on the image, below.



Colin Berry is up with an interesting posting about 3D enhancement

By St. Louis, will it confusing to talk about 3D in conjunction with the shroud?

imageColin writes in his blog:

The Turin Shroud image is famously 3D-enhancible, given the right software. Initially it was shown with the so-called VP8 image analyser that was allegedly space-age technology, and not surprisingly led to much over-hyped speculation that the TS image was different from any other.

This  blogger pricked that particular balloon some 2 years ago, pointing out that the 3D- enhanced images not only brought the man’s image up out of the page, but the 1532 scorch marks as well. (Wikipedia credits me with making that finding, but I’ll try not to let it go to my head).

There’s more talk right now about what the modern day equivalent to VP-8 (freely downloadable ImageJ software) does or does not do to the TS image that is meaningful. In other words, what are the ‘correct’ settings that gives a valid image?

imageWe need to distinguish between 3D plotting and 3D enhancement. Colin took a cartoonish picture meant to be a depiction of sorts of Jacques de Molay, the Grand Master of the Knights Templar. Why, well read that in his blog. He then executed a rather simple 3D Surface Plot using the original colors to plot with. In other words he merely gave the picture some shape based on the relative luminance or brightness of every x/y coordinate in the picture.  That is 3D enhancement. I made a reasonably good imitation of it. It is the second picture and it looks almost as if I stole it from his blog.

But that isn’t really isn’t a legitimate plot. You need to use a monochrome color, not the original colors and not the grayscale (of those colors). There are two imageways to do this. First you can use the two monochrome colors the tool provides, blue and orange. Or you can load a simple flat color background as texture. I used a solid green background image. As you can see, the plotting yields very unnatural elevations.

imageFinally, you can use on of the Color Look Up Tables such as the Thermal LUT. O.K. has made this point in comments elsewhere. These can be very telling as the example on the left shows.

“[W]hat are the ‘correct’ settings that gives a valid image?”, asks Colin. I don’t know. But unless we sort this out there is going to be a lot of confusion.

%d bloggers like this: