Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A computer painted this Rembrandt

What you see here is a new Rembrandt painting that was unveiled on Tuesday in Amsterdam. No, the portrait is not a lost work by the famous artist; it was created with 3D printers by a group of art historians, along with data analysts, software developers, scientists and engineers.

The project, called The Next Rembrandt, is made up of 148 million pixels based on more than 160,000 fragments from Rembrandt's 300+ paintings. The team used high resolution 3D scans to capture every little detail and create an algorithm that would eventually be able to accurately recreate the Dutch master's style. To bring the painting to life, a state-of-the-art 3D printer specially designed to make high-end reproductions of existing artwork was used.

"Our goal was to make a machine that works like Rembrandt," Emmanuel Flores, director of technology for the project, told the BBC. "We will understand better what makes a masterpiece a masterpiece." However, he added, "I don't think we can substitute Rembrandt - Rembrandt is unique."

Netherlands bank ING, ad agency J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam and Microsoft took part in the project, which took 18 months to create.

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