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Photorealistic digital painting

Artist Kyle Lambert recently wowed the internet with this video of him painting an amazingly photorealistic portrait of Morgan Freeman, with nothing more than his fingers (and an iPad). Here’s the finished ‘painting’:

Morgan Freeman photorealistic

And here it is alongside the original photograph he copied from – can you tell which is which?

Kyle Lambert - Morgan Freeman

(See a large versions of Lambert’s work here here, and the original photograph by Scott Gries here.)

The picture took 200 hours and 285,000 brushstrokes to create using the $6.00 Procreate app, which allows artists to work at 4K resolution, the industry standard for ultra-high definition images.

So lifelike is the image that it is almost natural to question whether there is not some jiggerypokery afoot, but Lambert reminds cynics that the app records every brushstroke made. Here is a shot of the work in progress:

Morgan Freeman - work in progress

Lambert hasn’t just sprung up out of nowhere; he is a well respected artist with an already impressive portfolio, including this portrait of Beyonce which only took him eight hours to do last year using the Brushes app:

Kyle Lambert - Beyonce

Procreate is not the only software that can create photorealistic portraits. Earlier this year Wired ran a feature on Keyshot, high-end photo rendering software that enables advertisers to paint a sheen of reality onto digital mockups to create perfect images of everything from cars…

Keyshot car

…to watches…

Keyshot watch

…to faces (half of this image is a photo, half rendered with Keyshot):

Photorealistic - Keyshot

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