Detail of the texture-based inked drawing based on the Late-Roman painted remains at Luxor Temple

Jun 3, 2020

In order to document the Late-Roman Murals in the Imperial Cult Chamber at Luxor Temple, a new digital inking method had to be invented that would reflect the appearance and style of the frescoes. ⠀ ⠀

Between 2005 and 2008, the fresco remains were thoroughly photographed in concert with the restoration efforts carried out by an Italian conservation team. Most of their results have recently been published, along with a detailed historical, art historical, material, and methodological analysis containing many recent color photos and other archival material. ⠀ ⠀

The epigraphic work supplemented this with drawings in grayscale that emphasize the recognizable details and features rather than the preserved color information. The pigment texture layer that was captured in situ on photo paper became the medium tone layer in the final presentation and was redrawn stroke by stroke by using a tilt-sensitive Photoshop brush that was specifically created for this application.⠀ ⠀

To be able to show the stylistic differences between the Roman paintings and pharaonic art, two additional paint-specific layers were introduced in order to emphasize perspective and depth in the fresco. One strengthened the details, such as facial and costume features, well definable objects, and so forth, and represented dark areas, especially black panels. The other, much lighter layer showed the painted background wherever it was preserved. Both additional layers operated with the same texture style as the medium tone layer, but the opacity of the layers varied according to their importance. ⠀ ⠀

The end result became a graphic impression of the original mural with a close resemblance to the Late Roman painter’s style, indicating even the least prominent individual brush strokes on the eroded surface, while eliminating much of the background noise that is an inseparable feature of the photographs.⠀

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