Artists inspire other artists, hence they get a lot of tributes, ranging from paintings, to musical pieces, to busts and sculptures dedicated to them. It's no different with Hadi Karimi, who dedicates his time to recreating some of the most legendary artists from the past few centuries in 3D modelling programs like zBrush, Maya, and others.
The thing that catches the eye the most is the level of detail in each and every one of his recreations. Hadi's 3D images are extremely lifelike and high-quality masterpieces that stand out as works of art of their own. And even though AI recreations are catching up, they're no match for the skilled hand of Hadi.
And it's not only about just making them really detailed. He puts extra work into his research and tries to find out what they really looked like, rather than just trusting the interpretation of other artists' renditions. Most of the time, the paintings are exaggerated and flattering, but far from the actual truth. Hadi uses life and death masks, and compares a lot of versions of paintings and photos before he decides what exactly he'll try to remodel. Which is why his 3D renders look so refreshing.
These are not all of his works that made the list, since it focuses more on truly great artists that have passed. But you can check out all of his portfolio on Instagram and the pages linked below if you want to see more. The artist said that he'll do more works on the theme of "women in history" next, so keep your eye out!
Ludwig Van Beethoven
"Beethoven is often portrayed as this heroic figure that resembles more of a greek god than a human who dedicated his life to music. To reconstruct his face I only used his life mask and also a bust that was made by the same person who made the mask. He also had a death mask, but due to his illness, he lost so much weight that the mask is almost useless for this purpose."
The author has given an exclusive interview to Bored Panda! First and foremost, he told about his background as an artist: "I started my journey almost ten years ago. Not as a 3D artist, but as a digital painter. Photoshop was the only software that I actually knew how to work with. Then I found interest in learning more and more software like 3Ds Max, C4D, Maya and finally realized that I’m kinda better at being a 3D artist than a painter and now I believe it was a good decision."
"Chopin was a very introverted and private type of person, he has only two confirmed photographs, which one of them is deteriorated and hard to read anything out of, the other one was taken during the time that he was seriously ill and his face is swollen and disfigured. Also in his lifetime Chopin had his portrait painted and drawn by a variety of artists, but the problem with most of them is that they’re more flattering than realistic. So all that I could rely on was his death mask. After death all the muscles lose their tension and all left is a disfigured face. I did my best to breathe life into it, don’t know how close this is to what the man actually looked like!"
As mentioned above, Hadi spends much of his time doing research, he gives an in-depth explanation of the process:
"My works are in two different categories, which are very similar but require different approaches.
The first category is likeness portraits of celebrities (like Will Smith, Marilyn Monroe, etc.) which is pretty straightforward, since everyone knows exactly what they look like and I use as many references as I can find to capture their likeness with details.
And then the second category is facial reconstructions of historical figures (Beethoven, Chopin, etc.) which we kinda know what they looked like but not exactly, and the only references that are still available are paintings, death masks, life masks, and biographies or descriptions of their appearances.
Without a doubt, the second type is far more complicated and calls for more dedication and research."
"Liszt was one of the few composers of the 19th century who lived a long life, and since he was very famous during that era (some call him the world’s first rockstar), there many photographs of him on the internet.
The photographs that I used as reference were taken in 1858 by Franz Hanfstaengl."
Just like each individual is very different, the same applies to the time it takes to do each one of them, "As I explained in the previous answer, it really depends on the case. If we’re talking about someone who we know what they look like and we have lots of high-quality references, it could take 3-4 weeks. But if the subject is someone from hundreds of years ago, then that’s a different beast and could take months."
"Took 6 hours for each frame to render. The problem with light-colored hairs is that it takes 2-3x the usual time to give a clean result.No turntables for this one."
The artist is very open-minded about what he's going to do in the future. "Believe it or not, I never plan for my next projects, whatever comes up!
But I’ve been receiving tons of requests for famous composers like Mozart and Bach, so I think I'll have to respond in the near future."
He also told about how he does in Lockdown, which, luckily, didn't affect him as much. "Honestly, this lockdown hasn’t forced me to change my lifestyle that much. I’ve been a freelancer for a couple of years now and I handle most of my commissions by email and don’t even remember the last time that I had a business meeting with someone."
"'The worst enemy to creativity is self doubt.'
Couldn’t come up with a caption, also can’t argue with that quote!"
And last but not least, he gave his piece of advice for all of the aspiring artists and beginners, which comes from his own hard-earned experience:
"I’ve been doing art for more than a decade and have made a lot of mistakes, like working for exposure or even for free in hopes to get noticed or to be seen. But I can tell you with confidence, if you want to be an artist, there are no shortcuts. In this journey, you will feel frustrated and sometimes you might even feel that this is not the right path for you and want to give up. Just know that no one is born an artist, stick with it, and you’ll be rewarded."
"This was one of the more puzzling facial reconstruction I’ve worked on so far; comparing the death mask, life mask and the paintings, it’s kinda hard to connect them to one person.
Mendelssohn had two life masks made in his late twenties that one of them is at “Scottish National Portrait Gallery” and couldn’t be easily found on the internet. Thanks to @oxanatheharpist and @kasperschonewille for sharing with me their photos of the life mask and other helpful information."
"Had so many requests for this one, hope it lives up to the expectations."
"The mid-19th century was the time that photography started to become popular throughout Europe and paintings, life masks, ... began to fade. Daguerreotypes were very expensive and only the wealthy could afford but so were the masks and paintings!
Luckily there are many photographs of Brahms on the internet, even from his teenage years! I tried to picture him in his thirties (around 1860)."
Schubert wasn’t famous during his lifetime and probably couldn’t afford a highly skilled artist to paint his portrait, most of the portraits of him were done decades after his death when his music finally started to make it to the mainstream. All I could find as a reference was just one photo of a cast impression of his life/death mask, unfortunately the original mask is lost or destroyed in the market. I wish at least the private owners of the cast were more generous to share some pictures of it, but I guess that’d be too much to ask!
"This would be the last of the Romantics series and transition to the next series “Women in history”.
"There are a couple of daguerreotypes of Schumann that were taken in 1850 but all deteriorated and in terrible quality so I tried to search for some paintings of him made during his lifetime. It was really interesting that most of the paintings that I could find looked almost nothing like the man in those photos (maybe just the hair). Even more reason why paintings of that time aren’t trustworthy references!"
"Each frame took 20+ hours to render, the shirt’s material was too expensive because of its transparency, and the mesh lights in the background made it worse!
Also finding high quality reference images for this one was surprisingly hard, other than a few close-up shots, all I could find was some blurry images."