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Michelangelo's St. Matthew

The models of Michelangelo's unfinished apostle St. Matthew we used for ScanView were created as part of The Digital Michelangelo Project. The St. Matthew was first scanned using a laser rangefinding scanner set to quarter-millimeter resolution. The range data created by the scanner was then aligned using software written for the project. The St. Matthew is probably the most successful of our sculpture reconstructions in that we currently have a full-resolution (quarter-millimeter) reconstruction of the scanned sculpture. Unfortunately, the 372 million polygon model takes up over 4 gigabytes of disk space (and the same amount of memory). Because our current rendering server scheme loads the rendered models into memory, we are not using the highest resolution reconstruction.

We are instead currently using an 8.3 million polygon two-millimeter model for relatively far views and a 23.6 million polygon one-millimeter model for close-up views. It is therefore the case that zooming in further will reveal additional detail in the model. We hope to eventually provide views of the full sculpture at quarter-millimeter resolution.

For more information about the scanning of St. Matthew, look here.