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Proceedings Paper

MARC project: colorimetric acquisition and printing of paintings with 20,000X20,000 pixels with an electronic camera
Author(s): Reimar Lenz; Udo Lenz
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Paper Abstract

The MARC project (methodology of art reproduction in color), funded by the EC and involving eight European partners, had the aim to improve the quality of reproduction in art catalogues and books. Those who are familiar with the nature of the problem will be pleased to hear this, because the color of reproductions often bears little resemblance to that of the original paintings. For the general public, as well as for the scholar, this has been an annoying, but nevertheless unavoidable characteristic of conventional photographic and printing techniques. With the advent of digital technology, came about the promise of revolutionary innovations which we regarded as a great challenge. Besides the numerous improvements and simplifications offered by digital techniques, we hope to be able to make use of the MARC digital image acquisition technology in order to replace the repeated photographing of paintings, thereby significantly reducing the burden placed upon them. Besides this, the digital image will be useful for many other purposes. As no camera was available with the resolution equivalent to a 24 cm by 18 cm Ektachrome film, the format usually used for high quality reproduction of paintings, one of the tasks of the project was to develop an electronic camera with 20,000 by 20,000 pixels and a color depth of 3 by 12 bits. In lack of charge coupled device (CCD) sensors which come even close to such a high resolution, a novel imaging technology combining micro- and macro-scanning with a CCD area sensor was developed. To avoid revolving color filters, this sensor is equipped with a color mosaic mask with filter characteristics closely matched to a linear combination of the XYZ spectral response curves defined by CIE 1931. The features of this camera are covered in great detail. The second step was to characterize the colorimetric response of the printing press. As the final result, a book 'Flamish Baroque Painting, Masterpieces of the Alte Pinakothek Munchen', with over 50 paintings and digitally magnified details, was printed and will be shown at the conference.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 December 1996
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 2950, Advanced Focal Plane Arrays and Electronic Cameras, (19 December 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.262537
Show Author Affiliations
Reimar Lenz, CCD Videometrie (Germany)
Udo Lenz, CCD Videometrie (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2950:
Advanced Focal Plane Arrays and Electronic Cameras
Thierry M. Bernard, Editor(s)

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