Friday, April 8, 2016

The Next Rembrandt

It's a computer:
NG, Microsoft, Delft University of Technology, the Mauritshuis in the Hague, and Museum Het Rembrandthuis assembled a team of art historians,  software developers, scientists, engineers, and data analysts. The team built a software system that was capable of understanding and generating new features based on Rembrandt’s unique style.
They began by taking 3D scans of the 346 paintings by the artist and analyzing them to determine common elements shared amongst the pieces. Based on what the team saw, they felt that in order to best capture Rembrandt’s style the software should create a painting similar to his works. The computer was told to paint a portrait of a caucasian male with facial hair, 30-40 years old, wearing dark clothing with a hat and collar, and that he be facing to the right.
Rembrandt printingWhen the software was told to finally use all of the data the team had collected, it created ‘The Next Rembrandt’. The painting consists of over 148 million pixels, based on more than 160,000 fragments of the artist’s’ works. Most importantly, this is not merely a computer image, but was actually 3D printed so that the texture of Rembrandt’s brush strokes could also be captured. The final result is a painting that looks exactly like an original Rembrandt.
No doubt this is in violation of some secret clause of the Trans Pacific Partnership treaty ...

Still, this is pretty cool.  Here's how they did it.

Bootnote: In 1997 I had to take the one year old #2 Son out of the Rembrandt hall in Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum because he started screaming his head off.  He did not like Rembrandt, at all it seems.  Still haven't been back to see them.

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