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Proceedings Paper

High-resolution colorimetric imaging of paintings
Author(s): Kirk Martinez; John Cupitt; David R. Saunders
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Paper Abstract

With the aim of providing a digital electronic replacement for conventional photography of paintings, a scanner has been constructed based on a 3000 X 2300 pel resolution camera which is moved precisely over a 1 meter square area. Successive patches are assembled to form a mosaic which covers the whole area at c. 20 pels/mm resolution, which is sufficient to resolve the surface textures, particularly craquelure. To provide high color accuracy, a set of seven broad-band interference filters are used to cover the visible spectrum. A calibration procedure based upon a least-mean-squares fit to the color of patches from a Macbeth Colorchecker chart yields an average color accuracy of better than 3 units in the CMC uniform color space. This work was mainly carried out as part of the VASARI project funded by the European Commission's ESPRIT program, involving companies and galleries from around Europe. The system is being used to record images for conservation research, for archival purposes and to assist in computer-aided learning in the field of art history. The paper will describe the overall system design, including the selection of the various hardware components and the design of controlling software. The theoretical basis for the color calibration methodology is described as well as the software for its practical implementation. The mosaic assembly procedure and some of the associated image processing routines developed are described. Preliminary results from the research will be presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 May 1993
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 1901, Cameras, Scanners, and Image Acquisition Systems, (20 May 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.144795
Show Author Affiliations
Kirk Martinez, Birkbeck College (United Kingdom)
John Cupitt, The National Gallery (United Kingdom)
David R. Saunders, The National Gallery (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1901:
Cameras, Scanners, and Image Acquisition Systems
Helen Marz; Robert L. Nielsen, Editor(s)

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