Wednesday, June 03, 2009

New Face for Guru Rinpoche: Updated

We have, during the past decades, created the finest image analysis and manipulation software the world has ever seen. From a mere drawing, we can create "digital actors" so lifelike, they seem human. From a single dimension we can extrapolate multiple dimensions, and create sculpture from photographs.

My question is simple: why don't we use this technology to re-create the lost Guru Ngadrama statue?

It seems likely that the original negative of the Queen Mother's famous photograph has survived. We can use that as a basis for sampling. The close-ups above, and below, show what happens when we split and then reassemble the facial image in an attempt to see the original structure.

Arriving at a close approximation of the original structure seems likely because of the fortunate angle at which the Queen Mother snapped her picture.

I know that Digital Altar has some high-horsepower readership, so how about it? Anybody out there up to the challenge?

UPDATED: Over the past few hours I've received more feedback on this post than other post in the three year history of this 'blog, and yes, quite a few people are "up to the challenge." Seems like it is not only possible, but people are actually doing things like this all the time for (1) motion pictures, (2) face reconstruction, and (3) face recognition. Will keep you informed as this develops. Right now we are scouring the earth for (1) other photos, and (2) very high resolution images of the "Queen's Photo." I am also thinking in terms of compiling every iconographic image in existence and running recognition software against that database to come up with a "majority" type image. Where are the high-class art historians and curators when you need them?

UPDATED X2: Have been looking through the Tibet Album to see if previously undiscovered photos of the Ngadrama statue exist. Came across this image from inside the Potala:

I have also been informed about a technology called Photosynth, about which there is a very informative presentation here. If we could apply this to all the known images of Guru Rinpoche, it would be remarkable, although I don't know how far down the road that takes us to recovering Ngadrama.

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3 reader comments:

Anonymous said...

You are a genius! This is an incredible idea! Please never stop your activities to help all sentient beings!

Unknown said...

This is a wonderful project, the original negative still exists. send me an e-mail for some more information

Editor said...

Would love to, but since I don't have your email address, I cannot.