ART WITH MACHINE LEARNING
As AI continues to evolve, its role in artistic applications have only just begun to be explored. For this experimental project, our team merged machine learning and virtual reality to generate a style-matched, immersive art experience. The VR art walkthrough piece was created for the Royal Academy’s high-profile From Life exhibition, a curation of works exploring how the human form has been represented by artists over the years.
As the basis of our experience, we replicated the 2D environment of a Neoclassical painting (Venus Presenting Helen To Paris, 1785) in a 3D space, allowing viewers to walk around and explore. The original painter, Gavin Hamilton, had come up in Yinka’s personal research having once excavated a statue of the goddess Venus - the subject of Yinka’s recent work.
A VR version of Yinka’s ‘Townley Venus’ sculpture, a vibrantly modernised take on the classical statue, can be discovered by the viewer by walking through Hamilton’s scene to the courtyard beyond.
One pivotal goal of the experience was to match the original artwork's overall aesthetic and replicate the artist's unique style. To do this, we applied pioneering ‘Style Transfer’ techniques based on Deep Learning Neural Networks to replicate Hamilton’s painting style and complete the unknown textures of the backs of the characters and elements of the environment. The result is a fusion of old and new art that utilises tech both in the creation and viewing of the experience.
“Happy Finish were excellent to work with. I liked their attention to detail, and they were able to interpret my vision in an imaginative way” – Yinka Shonibare, MBE
Winner - Gold Lovie - Best VR
Winner - People’s Lovie - Best VR
Winner - FWA of the Day
Winner - Le Book Connections NYC - Best Experiential
Consumer: Royal Academy
Artist: Yinka Shonibare MBE
Executive Producer: Daniel Cheetham
Producer: Amy Tinker
Technical Lead: Marco Marchesi
Technical Artist: Alesandra Miro-Quesada
Developer: Sebastian Kedra
VFX Supervisor: Davide Preite
Matte Painting & Retouch: Christopher Peabody