Most of you know that I spent several years in college helping out The Digital Michelangelo Project, a research project headed up by my undergrad advisor, Marc Levoy. For those of you who’ve never heard of DMich, it is a project to create 3D computer models of several of Michelangelo’s sculptures, the most famous of which is the David. The data was gathered by using a laser to capture 3D scans of the statues, which are all currently housed in the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence.
I wasn’t involve in the initial scanning, but I did join the project my sophomore year after essentially pestering Marc until he would let me help. I was responsible for aligning the 3D scan pieces (the statues were made up of several different scanned pieces) to create a single mesh for the entire statue. I helped out on the project on and off until I finished my graduate degree.
One of the applications of this project is that we now have the ability to create physical replicas of these statues with unrivaled accuracy. I helped create the David mesh which was used to make the first replicas. It was during my last quarter at school, and since I was only taking one class, I did the work for free. As payment, Marc said I could have one of the replicas.
This was about a year ago, and I had nearly forgotten about this promise, but 2 days ago, I received an e-mail from Marc saying that my “Davidino” (little David) was ready. I picked it up from him yesterday, and it is incredible. It is an amazing feeling to know that I was holding in my hands the most accurate replica of the David in the world. Anyway, long story short, here are two pictures: [Michelangelo's David] [David Head].
Don’t worry; the full-body photo has been sanitized for your protection.
Edit: By popular demand, the David image has been restored to its full glory.