Author Archives: Florent Robineau

A new dimension for cultural artifacts

At Google Arts & Culture we are always looking for ways to help people understand and learn about culture in new and engaging ways. Starting today, we are launching a new feature through which our 2,000 plus cultural partner institutions can create guided 3D tours about buildings, sculptures, furniture, and more from their collections. With the help of 3D Tours you can easily whiz around historic sites, monuments and places of interest while learning about their hidden details and historical backgrounds - all courtesy of 3D data from Google Earth.

So how about a personal guided tour through Tokyo’s tallest towers, Florence’s beautiful basilicas or South Africa’s historical halls? These and 16 other 3D Tours make use of ModelViewer —  a tool through which interactive 3D models can easily be displayed on the web and in augmented reality. Not only will you be able to navigate smoothly to each stop of the tour but objects along the way can also be viewed in AR. So while you explore the heights of Tokyo Tower, you can discover its historic inspiration in your own home.

Take a tour of Florence’s Basilica of Santa Croces

Take a tour of Florence’s Basilica of Santa Croces

Climb into a famous artwork

Another way we are bringing art and culture to life is through Art Filter, a feature in the Google Arts & Culture camera tab that applies machine learning and augmented reality to turn you into a masterpiece. Today we have added five new artworks and artifacts to Art Filter for you to immerse yourself in. For example, become the Roman god of seasons as Arcimboldo’s Vertumnus, or cast a stony glare through the head of Medusa. 

How does it work?

Art Filter’s machine learning-based image processing positions the artifacts organically and smoothly on your head, or reacts to your facial expressions to make the filters as realistic as possible. What’s more, you can learn about each artwork from the fun facts that appear before the effect is applied. 

We hope these 3D tours and new filter options will help you explore the hidden details of these historic artifacts and feel connected to cultural heritage around the world.  

Find the tours on the Google Arts & Culture site or app. Art Filter is available in the Camera Tab of the free Google Arts & Culture app for Android and iOS.

Play with Art Filter to learn about culture

What if you could learn about the story of the Girl with a Pearl Earring while wearing her earrings yourself? Or how about putting on a Japanese helmet to take you back to the time of Samurai traditions? Starting today, you can use “Art Filter” in the Google Arts & Culture app to become an artwork or try on iconic artifacts otherwise safely stored in museums. 

Thanks to our partners who make their amazing collections available online, we were able to create five educational and fun 3D-modelled augmented reality filters based on iconic paintings, objects and accessories from all over the world. Snap a video or image of yourself to become Van Gogh or Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits, or the famous Girl with a Pearl Earring. You can also step deep into history with a traditional Samurai helmet or a remarkable Ancient Egyptian necklace.

In this novel experience, each filter has been crafted carefully so that you can explore the artifacts in high-quality detail from every angle. Before you try on the filter, you’ll also see more about its history and context. 

Our team was guided by Google’s AI Principles to determine how we built this feature for everyone, with social benefit, security, privacy and scientific rigor top of mind. Art Filter applies Machine Learning based image processing because making this kind of AR feature possible needs a sophisticated anchoring of the virtual content to the real world. Through this approach, the artifacts are able to position themselves organically and smoothly on your head or react to your facial expression. Art Filter—similar to the popular Art Selfie feature—runs completely on your device; your videos and photos are not stored unless you choose to save them or share them with friends.  

To get started, open the free Google Arts & Culture app for Android or iOS and tap the rainbow camera icon at the bottom of the homepage. We are looking forward to seeing what creations you make with Art Filter and what you will learn about these artifacts. Share your favorite photos and videos using the hashtag #ArtFilter.