Bonnie Prince Charlie is the Design of the Week.

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Ever wondered what Bonnie Prince Charlie looked like? Well, wonder no more! Researchers at the University of Dundee’s Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification have managed to recreate the face and head of the legendary figure.

Bonnie Prince Charlie, whose real name was Charles Edward Stuart, was a claimant to the thrones of Scotland, Ireland, and England in 1766. He valiantly fought in a series of battles in an attempt to restore his Stuart lineage to the throne, but unfortunately, his efforts were in vain and he was ultimately exiled. He spent the majority of his life in Italy, where he eventually passed away at the age of 67 in 1788.

Now, let’s get into how the researchers managed to bring Charlie back to life, at least in a realistic 3D model form. They commenced their work by examining “death masks”, which were plaster casts made from the faces of the deceased. Back in the day, before the advent of photography, creating death masks was a common practice, especially for well-known figures like Charlie. Two death masks of Charlie were discovered and studied by the researchers.

To recreate Charlie’s facial features accurately, the researchers utilized a technique known as photogrammetry. This involved capturing the geometry of the death masks using over 500 images. The resulting data was then manipulated using CAD (computer-aided design) software to depict Charlie’s likeness at the age of 24. Although the press release from the University of Dundee does not provide intricate details on the CAD magic employed, one can only imagine it must have been an intriguing process.

Once the digital 3D model was finalized, it was time to bring it to life through the wonders of 3D printing. The model was printed and then meticulously painted and adorned with facial features to create a strikingly lifelike bust.

This methodology of facial restoration is absolutely fascinating, and I had no clue it was even possible. From something as unique as a death mask, one can derive the facial structure of individuals from bygone eras. Considering the abundance of death masks available from various notable figures in history, it seems plausible that this technique could be applied to recreate the appearance of many more significant figures.

So, if you’re curious about what your favorite historical figure might have looked like, keep your eye out for future advancements in this field. Who knows, we might soon witness the resurrection of numerous iconic faces from the past!

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