Sunday, December 2, 2007

Art So Close You Can Pick Its Nose

This is just incredible. It's a 16-billion pixel photograph of Leonardo Da Vinci's "The Last Supper." According to a story in today's New York Times Magazine, you can study the painting in more accurate detail now on your computer than you ever could in person, where your time and access are greatly limited. It's really pretty amazing. You can isolate an area of the painting and zoom in to a ridiculously fine level of detail:
Under the direction of the curator Alberto Artioli, an Italian tech firm called Hal9000 took nine hours earlier this year to shoot the mural, using a robot-controlled Nikon D2X digital camera that popped a wincing but harmless flash on 1,677 distinct pieces of the mural. Shot at 12 million pixels each, these pieces were digitally stitched together like a computerized quilt, radically increasing the resolution. The result blows the mind: an image that can be scrutinized as closely as if you had your nose to the mural, in perfect daylight, with 20/10 vision, wearing contact lenses made of microscopes.

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