Monday, December 22, 2014

Update The Real St. Nicholas 2014 Reconstruction

 2014 Reconstruction
This image belongs to Face Lab Liverpool, John Moore's University
I found on St. Nicholas Center here

I had a post back in 2011 called The Real Face of St. Nicholas here.  Today I am posting an update found on St. Nicholas Center here Read the rest of the story to see how Caroline Wilkinson got this result which she says is the closest we are ever going to get to him...I've also shared four videos about St. Nicholas...

Facial anthropologist Caroline Wilkinson has updated the Real Face of St. Nicholas--using the newest forensic tools. credit  Much more inviting that the one ten years ago...read more about it



Top row: Russian icon, ca 1900; forensic reconstruction 2014, Face Lab at Liverpool John Moores University, used by permission; Russian icon, 2001
Bottom row: 19th century Russian icon; Russian painting, ca 1990; USA icon, 2000 (Jack Pachuta)
Icons from the St Nicholas Center Collection


Modern forensic anthropology has developed tools to help discover what people looked like. These techniques are primarily used to assist in identifying unknown crime victims. However, they can be used also for historic personages when there is access to the right information. Normally, this would be skeletal remains, including the skull.
St. Nicholas' remains are buried in the crypt of the Basilica di San Nicola in Bari, Italy. These bones were temporarily removed when the crypt was repaired during the 1950s. At the Vatican's request, anatomy professor Luigi Martino from the University of Bari, took thousands of minutely-detailed measurements and x-ray photographs (roentgenography) of the skull and other bones.
Professor of forensic pathology at the University of Bari, Francesco Introna, knew advancements in diagnostic technique could yield much more from the data gathered in the 1950s. So in 2004 he engaged expert facial anthropologist, Caroline Wilkinson, then at the University of Manchester in England, to construct a model of the saint's head from the earlier measurements.
Using this data, the medical artist used state-of-the-art computer software to develop the model of St. Nicholas. The virtual clay was sculpted on screen using a special tool that allows one to "feel" the clay as it is molded. Dr. Wilkinson says, "In theory you could do the same thing with real clay, but it's much easier, far less time-consuming and more reliable to do it on a computer."




Caroline Wilkinson updated her original 2004 work ten years later, in 2014. This new image incorporates the latest 3D interactive technology and facial reconstruction system as she had further developed it at the University of Dundee and Liverpool John Moores University. Working in the new Face Lab at the School of Art and Design, she and Mark Roughley have produced a more advanced image using the most up-to-date anatomical standards, tissue depth data from the region, and computer graphic imagery techniques. The result is a middle-aged man with a long beard, round head, and square jaw. St. Nicholas also had a severely broken nose that healed asymmetrically.

"This is the most realistic appearance of St Nicholas based on all the skeletal and historical material. It is thrilling for us to be able to see the face of this famous 4th century Bishop," said Professor Wilkinson. The new image was unveiled at St. Nicholas Catholic Primary School. The school is adjacent to the LJMU's School of Art and Design. Wilkinson continued, "It was important to us to involve the local children in the reveal of the latest depiction of the face of St Nicholas and I hope that they will think of his face every year on St Nicholas's feast day."
The story received local, national and international coverage, including the BBC, Liverpool Echo, Daily MIrror, Washington Post, and more.


Here is more detail on the development of the earlier 2004 image. After inferring the size and shape of facial muscles—there are around twenty-six—from the skull data, the muscles are pinned onto the virtual skull, stretched into position, and covered with a layer of "skin." "The muscles connect in the same place on everyone, but because skulls vary in shape, a different face develops," Wilkinson comments. The tangents from different parts of the nasal cavity determine the length of a nose. This was difficult because St. Nicholas' nose had been badly broken. "It must have been a very hefty blow because it's the nasal bones between the eyes that are broken," she continued.
"We used clay on the screen that you can feel but not physically touch. It was very exciting. We did not have the physical skull, so we had to recreate it from two-dimensional data. We are bound to have lost some of the level of detail you would get by working from photographs, but we believe this is the closest we are ever going to get to him," Wilkinson concluded.


The Real Face of Santa St Nicholas part 1 of 4



The Real Face of Santa St Nicholas part 2 of 4
Caroline talks about her findings



The Real Face of Santa St Nicholas part 3 of 4



The Real Face of Santa St Nicholas part 4 of 4

To see her first reconstruction
The Real Face of St. Nicholas click here

St. Nicholas Center Facebook
St. Nicholas Center Website
Dr. Caroline Wilkinson BBC 
Opening the tomb of St. Nicholas here
How he may have looked here

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