The eFacsimile project addresses the problem of high-quality artwork acquisition and reproduction on a variety of media, with a special focus on personal devices such as tablets. The final aim of the project is to greatly improve on the current methodology for digital reproduction of paintings, prints and other visual art forms.
To illustrate the challenges that we face, consider for instance some of the “virtual museum” interfaces available today. From the end-user perspective, these approaches concentrate mostly on maximizing the attainable resolution via the use of gigapixel cameras, image tiling, zooming interfaces and so on. Yet, there are other aspects of the viewing experience that are not addressed by magnification power alone. Oil paintings, for instance, are highly non-Lambertian, meaning that the viewing and illumination angles affect the perceived local luminance of the surface (in the extreme, they may suffer from glare artifacts). Similarly, their surface texture can be significantly non-flat and changing the viewpoint does change the perceived image in ways that a photo cannot convey. One of the aims of the project is to develop intuitive and ergnonomic user interfaces that can mimic these viewing patterns. Tilting a tablet PC, for instance, should allow the user to perceive a change in rendered texture.
Another aspect that needs to be addressed is the efficient representation and display of high-quality artwork acquisitions in the context of scholarly research. In this case, we will need to provide experts with the ability to peruse and exploit high-quality data in an efficient and ergonomic manner. This includes the ability to register and visualize multispectral images, the possibility of virtually choose and displace the illumination source, and so on. Again, smart data access and an intuitive user interfaces have to be devised for this task.
Finally, the eFacsimile paradigm strives to complement the availability of high-quality digitized artwork with the tools for the community to share opinions and comments. The idea is to create a sort of social network where artists, art lovers and scholars can exchange their views, replicating in a way the social aspect provided by the art gallery or the museum. Here too the needed tools have to be conceived developed.
Stay tuned for results and demos!
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