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With 1.6 Trillion Pixels, The Panorama of the Battle of Murten Will be Among The Most Detailed Digital Images Ever created

  • 2nd Aug 2022
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With 1.6 Trillion Pixels, The Panorama of the Battle of Murten Will be Among The Most Detailed Digital Images Ever created

A truly enormous digital artwork is now in the works.

The "Largest Single Seamless Image" Ever Created Is Expected to Be the Result of a Super-Detailed Scan of an Epic Battle Painting. Louis Braun's artwork from 1893 will have a "digital twin" with a whopping 1.6 trillion pixels.

Switzerland's École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) will digitise Louis Braun's The Panorama of the Battle of Murten (1893).

The image, which depicts a massive 30 feet by 300 feet scene, was last seen in 2002, during the Swiss national exhibition, owing to its immense size. The EPFL has opted to develop a digital replica of the work so that it may be seen to a larger audience without the hassle of transporting and installing the physical version.

An ultrahigh-resolution camera will slowly travel over the painting's surface for the next four months to capture stunning close-ups. The painting will be digitally recreated using 400 thousand of these photographs. Upon completion in 2026, it will be the biggest digital picture ever made, with 1,600 gigapixels.

The Laboratory for Experimental Museology at EPFL is led by Sarah Kenderdine, who is responsible for bringing Braun's masterwork to a wider audience.

Using an unique apparatus that Kenderdine and her colleagues developed, an ultra-high-resolution camera will roam over the painting's surface for four months, taking around 400,000 photos. The ultimate objective is to have a pixel-perfect digital replica of the painting ready for public exploration by 2026, coinciding with the 550th anniversary of the Battle of Murten.

Kenderdine stated in a statement, "As far as any published study has shown, at 1,600 gigapixels, this is likely to be the biggest single continuous picture ever made." That's the equivalent of 1.6 trillion image pixels.

To finish the Battle of Murten, which took him 10 months in 1893, Braun, a leading panorama painter of his day, used his considerable skill.

Its hyperboloid form, which comes from its initial design for hanging in a rotunda, prevents it from lying flat like a regular painting. Kenderdine's team will take this into consideration by unrolling the artwork onto a particular substrate before taking photographs.

EPFL will be using a camera with a resolution of 150 megapixels, which was developed by the company for use in digitising cultural heritage sites. Additionally, the camera will be able to record photos outside of the traditional red, green, and blue colour spectrum, providing a more in-depth look into the composition of the canvas itself.

Foundation for the Panorama of the Battle of Murten member Daniel Jaquet states, "The Murten Panorama is a national treasure, and our initiative opens us up to a fresh perspective to Swiss history and culture."

The foundation collaborated with EPFL to digitise the panorama. It depicts a combat in great detail, but it also has extremely rich sociological components that are seen through the perspective of the late 19th century.


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