If Napoleon was captured on camera, artist uses AI to create stunningly realistic photo portraits of famous figures, including the Statue of Liberty and Michelangelo’s David
- Amsterdam Bas Uterwijk makes realistic portraits with technology
- The artist uses ‘deep-learning’ AI to take realistic photos of famous figures
- Bas made almost perfect photos of Lady Liberty and Napoleon Bonaparte
A Dutch artist uses modern technology to create realistic photo-like portraits of famous figures depicted only in paint and sculpture.
Bas Uterwijk from Amsterdam said he wanted to see if he could make realistic digital representations of important faces from history, including Vincent van Gogh and Napoleon.
He also applied his talents to sculptures such as Michelangelo’s David and the Statue of Liberty.
Bas uses Artbreeder, a ‘deep-learning’ software that can create lifelike images from the beginning or based on a composition of different portraits.
Amsterdam’s Bas Uterwijk can create parables of well-known historical figures with ‘deep-learning’ technology. Pictured: the famous statue of David, by artist Michelangelo, in the Galleria dell ‘Accademia in Florence, Italy, right: an AI-generated portrait of David showing what he probably would have looked like
The deep learning software that Bas uses can create a realistic portrait of the impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh, based on his own self-portraits in oil
Bas, who also created a realistic portrait of Lady Liberty, explained that the challenge was to remain true to the person’s likeness and achieve the highest level of realism
The software uses data points – of general facial features and photographic qualities – to create an image, Bas explained to Femail.
“I try to lead the software to a credible result. I see my work more as artistic interpretations than scientifically or historically accurate, ‘said Bas.
The artist, who has completed 50 to 60 of the images generated by AI so far, said: ‘I work on a lot of images at once, sometimes leaving them for weeks to pick them up later when I have new inspiration or am tripping come to additional source material.
The artist returned to his portrait of the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte several times to achieve better results
He started working on this original photo of the American outlaw Billy the Kid, on the left, to eventually get the portrait on the right
The software was able to take the correct picture of US President George Washington by generating data learning from thousands of pictures of human faces
Bas said the challenge of his venture was to achieve near-perfect photo-realism while remaining true to the person’s likeness, giving his models interesting expressions.
“The software tends to drift to averages by its very nature, so for the latter I sometimes need some extra tricks and methods to get what I want,” he explained.
Bas is currently working on a model by Anne Frank: ‘There are several known pictures of her, so I could make her older, at an age she never reached, ”he said.
Bas made some portraits of statues of statues or busts, such as that of the Roman emperor Caracalla on the left. After the software created a base image, the artist said that he used additional tricks to add to the image’s likeness
The AI model can reproduce a likeness of the portrait by adding details. The software generates these details by collecting data from photos of human faces. Picture: the original portrait of the girl with the pearl by Johannes Vermeer on the left and the AI model on the right
On the left a portrait of a Fayum mummy from Roman Egypt. On the right, the AI version
Bas said he “guided” the deep learning software to get the most credible result. Left: one of the last self-portraits of Rembrandt, right a photo-realistic version
While the likeness of a portrait is due to the skill of the painter, this AI portrait of Niccolo Machiavelli is due to data collection and Bas’s artistic flair