The great Buddha project: Digitally archiving, restoring, and analyzing cultural heritage objects

Katsushi Ikeuchi, Takeshi Oishi, Jun Takamatsu, Ryusuke Sagawa, Atsushi Nakazawa, Ryo Kurazume, Ko Nishino, Mawo Kamakura, Yasuhide Okamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents an overview of our research project on digital preservation of cultural heritage objects and digital restoration of the original appearance of these objects. As an example of these objects, this project focuses on the preservation and restoration of the Great Buddhas. These are relatively large objects existing outdoors and providing various technical challenges. Geometric models of the great Buddhas are digitally achieved through a pipeline, consisting of acquiring data, aligning multiple range images, and merging these images. We have developed two alignment algorithms: a rapid simultaneous algorithm, based on graphics hardware, for quick data checking on site, and a parallel alignment algorithm, based on a PC cluster, for precise adjustment at the university. We have also designed a parallel voxel-based merging algorithm for connecting all aligned range images. On the geometric models created, we aligned texture images acquired from color cameras. We also developed two texture mapping methods. In an attempt to restore the original appearance of historical objects, we have synthesized several buildings and statues using scanned data and a literature survey with advice from experts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-208
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Vision
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Artificial Intelligence


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