Museums often preserve their in-house masterpiece paintings by scanning them with a borderline-obscene, high-resolution cameras, capable of capturing details at an absurd number of pixels. As a way of showing off the fruits of its labour, the Dutch Rijksmuseum recently posted such a scan of Rembrandt van Rijn’s The Night Watch on its website, to be viewed for free.
It is important to note that the level of detail of this scan is absolutely mind-blowing. As per the official press release, the museum said that it had used a 100MP Hasselblad H6D 400 MS camera, in order to capture a total of 8439 individual photographs of the painting. To put it in another context, the whole painting itself stands at approximately 12 x 14 feet, which would more or less cover an entire wall.
The end result is a staggering 717 Gigapixel image, with a final file size of 5.6TB, with each pixel showing just 5µm in size. Then, to further enhance the details in each captured image, the museum uses neural networks and an AI system to adjust colour, sharpness, and finally stitch each photo together. Forming a single, unified image of the painting.
Seriously, the image is so detailed, you can see the cracks in it, as well as make out the direction of the brush strokes Rembrandt had chosen to take when he decided to paint that part of the painting in 1642.
You can view the scan of The Night Watch on the Rijksmuseum’s official page for it, should it tickle your fancy.
(Source: Rijksmuseum via The Verge)
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