Hirox Europe releases 10-billion-pixel scan of Girl with a Pearl Earring

Today you can view a 10-billion-pixel scan of the Johannes Vermeer painting "Girl with a Pearl Earring." Over the course of one night, the folks at Hirox captured 91,000 photos of the painting. Hirox fed the photos into a computer where their custom software took care of all the stitching. The result was a single reconstruction of the painting at 93,205 x 108,565 pixels in all.

The original painting is housed in the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague, in The Netherlands. "Girl with a Pearl Earring" can be seen by the average person from a fair distance. Most people never get the opportunity to see this painting closer than what's considered a safe distance by those tasked with keeping the painting safe.

With the 10-billion-pixel scan provided by Hirox, now you can see more detail than your human eye ever could otherwise. Even if you got up REAL close, close enough to touch the painting. This is almost too close.

The object wasn't to make a scan of the painting for the average person to appreciate the detail. The object was in future preservation. As the painting degrades, those responsible for keeping the artwork as close to its original form as possible will be able to refer to the scan as needed.

You can take a peek at 3D scan segments of the painting at Hirox Europe (Pearl 3D). To see the full 2D scan (stitched), head over to Micro-Pano (Girl with a Pearl Earring (STITCH).

Above you'll see a presentation of the scanning process, courtesy of the folks at Hirox 3D Digital Microscopy. The images were captured with the Hirox 3D Digital Microscope RH-2000 with the support of Abbie Vandivere. Inspection: Emilien Leonhardt & Vincent Sabatier – Hirox Europe / JYFEL Corporation SARL.