The new portrait is the product of 18 months of analysis of 346 paintings and 150 gigabytes of digitally rendered graphics.
Everything about the painting — from the subject matter (a Caucasian man between the age of 30 and 40) to his clothes (black, wide-brimmed hat, black shirt and white collar), facial hair (small mustache and goatee) and even the way his face is positioned (facing right) — was distilled from Rembrandt’s body of work.
We created a height map using two different algorithms that found texture patterns of canvas surfaces and layers of paint. That information was transformed into height data, allowing us to mimic the brushstrokes used by Rembrandt.
We then used an elevated printing technique on a 3D printer that output multiple layers of paint-based UV ink. The final height map determined how much ink was released onto the canvas during each layer of the printing process. In the end, we printed thirteen layers of ink, one on top of the other, to create a painting texture true to Rembrandt’s style.