Microsoft is showing off its artificial intelligence abilities, with a new program that can produce an ‘original’ Rembrandt painting based on the master’s old works.
The project is a collaboration between ING, Microsoft, Delft University of Technology, The Mauritshuis and Museum Het Rembrandthuis.
‘The Next Rembrandt’ project uses AI, capable of deep learning, was imprinted with 346 of Rembrandt’s known works in the hopes that it can create a unique 3D printed image in his style.
The computer analysed Dutch master Rembrandt’s work, thoroughly tagged by humans.
“We examined the entire collection of Rembrandt’s work, studying the contents of his paintings pixel by pixel,” the project team explained. “To get this data, we analysed a broad range of materials like high resolution 3D scans and digital files, which were upscaled by deep learning algorithms to maximise resolution and quality.”
After studying age, demography, and other features of the portraits’ subjects, the researchers made a decision on what they wanted the computer to paint: “a portrait of a Caucasian male with facial hair, between the ages of 30 and 40, wearing black clothes with a white collar and a hat, facing to the right.”
To make the resulting picture appear truer to the painter’s style, the researchers scanned the surface texture of his existing masterpieces to recreate the layers of paint.
“We created a height map using two different algorithms that found texture patterns of canvas surfaces and layers of paint,” the team explained on the project’s website. “That information was transformed into height data, allowing us to mimic the brushstrokes used by Rembrandt.”
The resulting 3D-printed painting will be exhibited publicly with more details to follow soon, The Next Rembrandt team said.