"Christ the Redeemer" is one of the most recognizable pieces of art in the world, and yet a perfect replica of the 38-meter high statue does not exist. The technology wasn't around when the statue was being designed in the 1920s, and the location of the statue — on top of the 700-meter Corcovado Mountain in Brazil's second largest city, Rio de Janeiro — has made it too challenging for modern methods such as LIDAR.
Now, however, we have drones, and getting into inaccessible areas with the minimum amount of fuss is what they do best. The video above details the mapping of "Christ the Redeemer" by drone as part of a collaborative project between the PUC University of Rio de Janeiro, 3D-scanning company Pix4D, and Canadian drone makers Aeryon.
The wireframe model of Christ is made up of 2.5 million triangles
Data was collected over a series of 19 ten-minute flights by one of Aeryon's quadcopters, with 2,090 separate images stitched together to create the final 3D model. This now exists as both a wireframe mesh made up of 2.5 million triangles and a point cloud composed of 134.4 million individual points — more than enough for an accurate record of the statue.
The model itself has already been uploaded to Sketchfab for the curious to explore, but it's unfortunately not available for download. Christ's love may be available to all, but apparently his 3D scanned body is not.