DIGITALLY REPRODUCING LEONARDO DA VINCI’S EARLY WORKS IN 3D INTERACTIVE MODELS WITH THE MULTI-SHOT
Reproducing some of Leonardo da Vinci’s early sketches as digital versions, the Department of Architecture at the University of Bologna used the H6D-400c Multi-Shot in combination with their own developed software*, ISLe* (InSight Leonardo), to create 3D models of these art pieces that are hundreds of years old. These digital renderings hold immense detail, including the true colours of Leonardo’s drawings, the different shades of ink, chalk and metal points, and even the feel of the paper’s fragile surface. Andrea Ballabeni, a research member who is responsible for software development in the Dept. of Architecture at the university, tells us all about how this extremely valuable tool aids art curators and history experts in analysing the work of Leonardo da Vinci even further.
CLICK ON IMAGE BELOW TO ZOOM IN
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE HARDEST ELEMENTS WHEN IT COMES TO REPRODUCING FINE ART USING PHOTOGRAPHY?
Reproducing fine art through photography is always a challenging task. It becomes extremely complex when dealing with Leonardo da Vinci’s works. Drawings, sketches and drafts were often drawn on fragile paper sheets smaller than an A4. Strokes are extremely thin and sharp, traced with pen and ink, red and black chalk and metal points. Despite their size, the amount of detail is massive.
USING THE MULTI-SHOT CAMERA, HOW DID THE DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF BOLOGNA CREATE A 3D RENDERING OF DA VINCI’S WORK?
Our research team developed a technique, called ISLe (InSight Leonardo), which is able to acquire an artwork in a non-invasive way and reproduce it digitally in a 3D model. The rendering, in addition to being three-dimensional, not only faithfully reproduces the colours of the drawing but also the surface irregularities, roughness and ink specularities. To represent Leonardo’s works, we wanted to reach a resolution of 50-microns and use state of the art techniques for colour reproduction accuracy.
This technique involves taking multiple high-resolution images in special lighting conditions. The multiplicity of the images is then used to build the surface map of the drawing and the three-dimensional shape of the sheet. Once the 3D model has been produced and the artwork reproduction projected on it, it can be easily controlled with touch screen computers by means of a simple user interface.
CLICK ON IMAGE BELOW TO ZOOM IN
WHAT CRITERIA MUST BE CONSIDERED FOR THE TECHNIQUE OF DIGITALLY RECREATING THESE ART PIECES TO BE EFFECTIVE?
This technique lies on two paradigms. The first one is ‘to be able to feel as if the drawing is in your hands’. It means that the digital model needs to be easy to explore, study and interact with on a touch panel with simple known gestures like pinch to zoom, or moving your hand on the screen to pan, rotate or even flip the sheet – the same gestures that we use daily on our phones.
The second one is ‘show what is not visible to the naked eye’. These drawings are kept in safe places, generally inaccessible by visitors. Reliable, interactable copies of them represent a great opportunity both for the experts, who want to study and better understand these works, and for merely curious people.
Most importantly, in order to be effective, this technique is highly influenced by the quality of the photographs both in terms of resolution and colour fidelity.
We found the Multi-Shot was just perfect for our needs. Leonardo’s originals have been shot at 23200 x 17400 pixels allowing us to reach (and overtake) the 50-microns resolution that we wanted to reach. Besides, the sensor ability to capture colours is amazing. To measure the colour accuracy of the reproduction we used an X-Rite ColourChecker Classic, and exploiting our in-house software called SHAFT for the colour correction, we reached an average ΔE00 error of about 0.89. It is a result that is largely the best we have reached in our 20 years of experience in the field.
PRESERVING ART HISTORY
FOR THE FUTURE
More Hasselblad storiesAll stories ⟶
THE EARTH AWAKENS
Photographer Ottavio Giannella flies with his X1D II 50C from Italy to Frankfurt and then on to Keflavík Airport in Iceland. He makes a 40-minute drive to the valley of the Reykjavík peninsula and a two-hour walk to his destination, the Fagradalsfjall eruption site.
Books, Boxes, and Museums - Exhibits Reconstructed
On the 15th of October, Dayanita Singh was presented with the 2022 Hasselblad Award by the Hasselblad Foundation. Often referred to as "the Nobel Prize" in photography, the Hasselblad Award celebrates one artist's pioneering achievements in the photographic arts and their impact on the next generation of photographers. The Hasselblad Foundation highlights Singh's unique archival work, that not only documents the lives of archives but brings about a new way to interact and experience the art of photography.
Pausing New York With the X2D
Every photographer knows about the Hasselblad brand, whether they're an amateur, enthusiast, or professional because the history of photography is on the shoulders of Hasselblad. For me, it's an investment in my career, to move to the next level. It's always important to have the right tools in the right moments to make great photographs.
Iceland in Mesmerising 100MP Detail
For me as a photographer, the X2D is what a Stradivarius violin might be for a violinist. It's the ultimate camera.
Magical Realism With The X2D
The X2D is like a camera for painters. The pictures have the taste and technical background of a painting. I almost couldn't differentiate the two because it's just so perfect. This camera produces all the data I could ever use to convey the tales I want to tell with my pictures.
Discovering his new home of Doha, Qatar through the lens of street photography, Heath Holden explored the older and more traditional neighborhoods of the historical city.