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This article was published on April 4, 2017


Science turns paintings into photos because Prisma is so 2016

Science turns paintings into photos because Prisma is so 2016
Rachel Kaser
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Rachel Kaser

Internet Culture Writer

Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback riding. Check her Twitter for curmudgeonly criticisms.

Ever thought the work of the masters didn’t look realistic enough to you? Researchers at UC Berkeley have created a way to make classic paintings look frighteningly close to photographs.

The researchers used a process called “image-to-image translation,” which reconstructs paintings as pictures, among other things. According to the article’s abstract:

We present an approach for learning to translate an image from a source domain X to a target domain Y in the absence of paired examples.

That’s way too many science-y words for me, but the proof is in the pretty pictures, and they don’t come prettier than this Monet-turned-rural landscape.

Credit: UC Berkeley

The scientists were able to turn photos into paintings by the same process, but we already have Prisma for that. Turning your Instagram pictures into Cezanne paintings is old news.

The researchers also used the process to alter photos to different seasons, or even different objects in the photos. You could, in theory, turn a selfie of you holding an orange in summer into a selfie of you holding an apple in winter … by Van Gogh.