Mapping the human face in 900 megapixels

A custom robotic camera that snapped 600 images over the course of half an hour captures detailed portraits of the face that show eyelashes, stray hairs, and pores in all their macro glory.

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The robotic camera maps a subject. Video screenshot by Lexy Savvides/CNET

Daniel Boschung is a cartographer, but not as you know it.

He creates intricate photographs captured by his robotic camera that provide incredibly high-resolution overviews of paintings and insects.

For his latest project, Boschung set his camera on faces. He asked his subjects to remain perfectly still for 30 minutes as the robot took their portrait.

Each of the finished photos consists of 600 individual shots all stitched together. The level of detail captured is amazing, turning a regular portrait into a map of the human face. Eyelashes, stray hairs, and pores get captured in all their macro glory with incredible depth-of-field. Just like a gigapixel image, you can zoom in and out to explore every facet of the photo.

The photos are all taken by an ABB industrial robot that has been programmed specifically to take the images in the correct order and orientation. A Canon 5D Mark II is the workhorse responsible for churning out the images, equipped with a 180mm macro lens that has been customized to act as a telecentrical lens. This means that the optical image of the actual aperture stop is set at infinity.

Illuminating 600 images taken in quick succession would usually present a problem with overheating and variable color temperature when using normal studio flashes, so Boschung used the Scoro S 32000 RFS 2 from Broncolor.

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The finished product. You wouldn't look particularly happy either if you had to sit perfectly still with no expression for half an hour. Screenshot by Lexy Savvides/CNET

You can explore the finished portraits on the project Web site and take a closer look at how the robotic camera arrangement operates in the video below.

(Source: CNET Australia)

 

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