Sometimes it seems that as technology advances in leaps and bounds, classical art and tradition begin to fall by the wayside. However, a team of data scientists, developers, engineers, and art historians completed a project that aims to do the exact opposite. Using the latest in cutting edge technology, the team have recreated an art piece in the style of Rembrandt; The Next Rembrandt.
It’s one thing for one artist to impersonate another, but these guys are taking it to a whole new level. An entire team of experts have relentlessly researched what it would take to recreate such a classical piece of art. Rembrandt is celebrated for being one of the first artists to successfully capture human emotion in painting. Is it possible to bring him back to life with the technology at hand today?
The first step towards this challenge was data. Data has been collected for the improvement of business, but not so much in the artistic realm. The team collected an extensive database of Rembrandt’s paintings from various sources. These sources included 3D scanning and upscaling images. In total, they worked with 150 gigabytes of digital renderings.
Since many of Rembrandt’s pieces were portraits, the team analysed factors such as age, direction of the heads, as well as the gender of the subjects. This formed a demographic for the faces, which then outlined the main basic features of the Rembrandt-to-be. After analysing 346 different paintings, they determined that their piece would be a portrait featuring a Caucasian man between 30 and 40 years old with facial hair, black clothing, and a hat.
In this way, through mass data collection, the team collected and applied every feature that was distinctly Rembrandt. Through analysing every mouth, eye, and nose, as well as the distance between them, they realized the typical Rembrandt portrait.
At this point they could easily just click save and print. However, there is much more to a classical painting than the contents alone, and the team wanted to use as much technological innovation as possible. Printed on flat paper, it would miss a crucial characteristic. Thus, the team sought to add texture. They did this by creating a height map, which was then transferred by a 3D printer that uses a paint based UV ink. Printing layer upon layer, it creates a texture, much like that of the stroke of a brush.
The result of The Next Rembrandt is phenomenal. Whilst it is computer generated, it is most definitely an art piece in and of itself. Such a combination of technological manoeuvres makes us question what else possible with today’s innovations.
Are you the next master?
Want to come and see it for yourself? It will be on exclusive display at the Bolidt headquarters from 13 to 17 of March. Not only are you welcome to come and check it out, but throughout the week we've also organised multiple Bolidream sessions in which we challenge you to bring out your inner artist. In addition, there will be a number of talks on the topic of innovation.You can sign up for the event by sending us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to see you there!
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