Robo Painter

Over the past three weeks I’ve been working on a robotic painter to research the area of mechanical artwork reproduction and automated picture to painting creation for

The initial prototype was built in about 3 weeks, and currently does mechnical reproductions. The AI painting mode which will paint a photograph will follow in the next post (putting some finishing touches on it). The goal is to have it accomplish both problem domains in full color, and to rival the quality of Chinese-produced hand-painted replicas. You can see how it’s currently done in China:

Chinese Painting Factory
An artist walks down an aisle of identical paintings applying the same strokes.

The current prototype operates on 3 dimensions: X, Y, and a Z axis for pen pressure from the Wacom tablet. The artist can control the motion from a Wacom tablet and, for the most part, it’s lag-free. Every stroke is recorded so that it can be played back. You can see both the intitial painting and the playback in the video below.

Guess which one is painted by the artist, and which one is painted by the robot:

Robotic painting and human painting comparison.
Robotic painting and human-artist-painted original side by side.

The video below shows an actual artist (Jean Liang) using the robot to live-paint a simple painting. In the second half the machine reproduces the painting autonomously and, in theory, can even be sped up. You can buy her artwork here.

Also special thanks to Joshua Schachter (view tweet) for inspiring this robot with his robot.

If you’re interested in getting a human painted oil painting, check out our pet portraits, portrait paintings, landscape paintings, and baby portraits.

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