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July 14, 2016

New Film-Making Technique Jointly Developed by HBKU Researcher

A scientist at the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), one of Hamad bin Khalifa University's three national research institutes, has jointly developed technology that can recreate films and portraits in the style of different artists’ paintings.
QCRI’s Dr Mohamed Elgharib, along with collaborators from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, has devised a technique that can reproduce moving images in an artist’s original style.

The technology goes several steps further than current advances in recreating the painting styles of artists such as Vincent Van Gogh. For example, the new technique will maintain the structure of underlying objects in portraits, which are usually difficult to reproduce because abnormalities in people’s faces are easily spotted.

“In images like portraits it’s very important to maintain the structure of facial features, and current approaches will corrupt them. We can now more accurately capture the strokes of an original painting than other techniques,” Dr Elgharib said.

An example of the new technique can be seen in the film Loving Vincent, due for release in September. The world’s first full-length painted animation, the film tells the story of painter Vincent Van Gogh, and will be made from 62,450 hand-painted frames completed by 85 painters in Van Gogh’s style.

“Current approaches for generating painted movies are manual and they are very expensive in both time and production cost. The total production budget of Loving Vincent is between 5 to 15 million euros. Our approach, however, is fully automated and much cheaper. We just need some servers and we’re ready to go,” said Dr Elgharib.

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