Artist Recreates What Roman Emperors Looked Like Using AI, Facial Reconstruction, And Photoshop (30 Pics) Interview With Artist
It is nice to let your imagination loose on your visits to museums packed with ancient sculptures depicting noble people and historic figures. In fact, you can go crazy letting your imagination loose fantasizing about what they actually looked like. History buffs can rejoice now as, thanks to modern technology and the skillful artist Haroun Bin, you can marvel at recreated Roman emperors from Augustus to Flavius Arcadius.
You can check out how incredibly realistic the emperors look, to the point of resembling well-known people, read what the artist had to share with Bored Panda about his project, and of course vote for your favourites and leave comments below.
It all started a year ago with Haroun Binous, a Tunisian-born first year pharmacy student, searching for facial reconstructions of Roman emperors and not being able to find any, so he decided to learn how to use the software and simply create it himself. The young man recalled that he didn’t have much experience and understanding of the process for facial recreation, but after a few trials and errors, he started to get the grip of things. With help and inspiration from his friend Daniel Voshart, who also undertakes similar challenges, Haroun started to get better at it and exceed his own expectations. You can check out his previous work on Bored Panda here.
It took Haroun over 8 months to complete the project that contains more than 60 images of Roman emperors in chronological order. Each entry features the statues that he used in the process of composing the hyperrealistic looks of the emperors and juxtaposed images of the stone busts with AI-generated images. He highlighted that it took about 3 days “to bring each statue to life.
The project of recreating all the Roman emperors from Augustus to Flavius is a continuation and correction of his previous work. Haroun had to research in depth and document his work, as finding particular physical characteristics can be time and energy-consuming. He mainly bounced off H. V. Canter’s “Personal Appearance in the Biography of the Roman Emperors” and had an in-depth study of works by Suetonius and Pliny for the first 12 emperors that have physical descriptions of them.
Haroun pointed out that information about 3rd and 4th-century emperors is more scarce; therefore, he counted on DNA of the parents available on Artbreeder a lot and also general features of people from their respective regions. This way, he found the most appropriate skin tone, eye color, and any general appearances to add to his work.
Currently living and studying in Lausanne, Switzerland, Haroun was fascinated with pretty much anything to do with the Roman Empire since a young age. Over the years, it turned into a hobby he decided to get into, and so the long hours of reading books and researching the emperors turned out to be highly enjoyable. Haroun searched for as many busts as possible of a particular emperor and superimposed them in Photoshop, trying to trace the reoccurring facial features. Then he colored the hair, skin, and eyes in Photoshop and transferred the image to an AI platform for it to work its magic.
Julian The Apostate
The artist admitted that Septimius Severus was the most challenging figure to recreate: “When an emperor has a lot of hair and a nice beard, it means a big problem for me as AI does the job well processing the face, but not the curly hair.” The artist also admitted that his favorite is Emperor Augustus, who was the first Roman emperor and puzzles him as a historic figure: “I think he is my idol for what he did and how he was as a person.”