Drones give us the opportunity to accomplish things that weren’t possible before, and here’s another proof of that. Pix4D, together with Aeryon Labs Inc. and PUC University of Rio de Janeiro, reconstructed the first accurate 3D model of Brazil’s most important monument: the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro. 

The Christ the Redeemer statue is Brazil’s most important monument. Located atop the 700 meter Corcovado Mountain the Christ statue towers over Rio de Janeiro, at 38 meters of height and with a 28 meter arm span. Accurate 3D reconstruction has not been possible until today. Thanks to Aeryon quad rotor drone, the team behind this project managed to acquire high-resolutions images needed for the model.

This project took years of waiting by the NEXT lab team and many months of planning and collaboration across several time zones to pull the technologies together in Rio,” commented Dave Kroetsch, Aeryon’s President and CEO. “We are pleased to have participated and that the Aeryon UAV platform was instrumental in creating the first accurate 3D model of the Christ the Redeemer monument.

Data was collected for six consecutive mornings, on-site in late October. The main challenges for the data acquisition were the changing weather and wind conditions, restricted hours for data acquisition (flights could only take place before and after visiting hours) and inconsistent lighting conditions (shadows in early morning and late afternoon). A total of 3’584 images were acquired during 19 ten-minute flights.

2’090 images were used in Pix4Dmapper Pro desktop software to convert them into the 3D model. The reconstruction was divided into three main projects (statue, base and surrounding area) and nine-sub-projects to help manage the variations in image capture.

Christ the Redeemer drone mapping
More than 2’000 images were taken by the drone over the course of a few days

 

Creating the first ever accurate 3D model of such a renowned statue with our software is a great way to showcase how image processing technology can achieve results that traditional technologies haven’t been able to produce,” said Christoph Strecha, CEO and Founder of Pix4D. “With its intricate detail, the statue was also a perfect structure to test out our new 3D textured mesh.

drone mapping Christ the redeemer
Full model including statue and surrounding area

 

Watch the project video below: 

3D mapping the Christ the Redeemer statue with a drone

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