Pixel+ project: First results


The PIXEL+ project aims to formulate and engineer methods to bring together existing multi-light reflectance (MLR) imaging methods. That is to make it possible image data-sets (processed or not) from one system can benefit from the processing, viewing and analysis strategies applied by others. Secondly, the project develops a browser-based viewer in which a set of MLR types of data-sets can be consulted with a extended number viewing and analytical solutions.

“Pixel+: Universal web interface for Interactive Pixel Based file formats” is funded via Belspo BRAIN-BE Pioneer  and coordinated via the Federal Scientific Institution: Royal Museums of Art and History, together with the formal partners Royal Library of Belgium, ESAT (KU Leuven) and Illuminare (KU Leuven), informal KU Leuven Libraries.

First results

During 3 conferences (DH Benelux, DH2018 & EuroMed2018), spread over the last couple of months, the project goals and the first results have been launched.

Page1   Screenshot_webpage

Left: DH Benelux at Amsterdam conference abstract
Right: DH2018 at San Francisco conference manage session

Page1    Poster

Left: EuroMed2018 at Nicosia conference paper (Award: Best Short Paper)
Right: EuroMed2018 at Nicosia conference poster

The first major step which has been made comprises the integration of processed RTI data-sets into the PLDviewer environment.

Next steps

  • Fine-tuning of the first integration method (processed RTI into PLDviewer).
  • Assessing the challenges related to the re-processing of the original source files to allow in depth integration of both the RTI and PLD strategies on each other’s data-sets.
  • Launch of a new browser-based viewer in which RTI and PLD data-sets can be consulted and analysed.

Final Report EES-project

The EES-project collaborated in the joined effort to develop the multi-spectral component of the Portable Light Dome system. Below the final report of the entire project as published via its funding organisation BELSPO (see also their projects webpage):


Luc Delvaux, Hendrik Hameeuw, Athena Van der Perre, Vanessa Boschloos, France Ossieur, Bruno Vandermeulen, Marc Proesmans, Dennis Braekmans 2017: Conservation, IR, UV and 3D-Imaging: The Egyptian Execration Statuettes Project. Final Report, Belgian Science Policy – Brussels, pp 66. (DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.10989.28649)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder under the PLDs

In 2019, worldwide attention will be paid to Pieter Bruegel the Elder. It is then exactly 450 years ago that the famous artist
passed away. Therefore, Bruegel will be celebrated in exhibitions all over the world. But, new exhibitions require new research and research techniques. That’s why the Royal Library of Belgium and the KU Leuven joined efforts in the context of a BRAIN-BE project funded by Belspo. FINGERPRINT is an interdisciplinary project in which art historical and artistic research, digital imaging and image processing, conservation and restoration projects and data management are brought together. All these efforts include as well the use of both the White Light Portable Light Dome (WL PLD) and the Multispectral Portable Light Dome (MS PLD). Their datasets are being combined with the output of standard technical photography techniques. The ultimate goal of the FINGERPRINT project is to join all this static and interactive information and develop tools and methods to analyse objectively drawings, prints and engravings of this master and others; to create a platform to examine and understand a historical artifact automatically.

A first introduction article on this new project in which the PLD systems are being applied has been published in the journal Science Connection by the Belgian Science Policy Agency Belpso:

Joris Van Grieken, Lieve Watteeuw, Bruno Vandermeulen, Marc Proesmans & Maarten Bassens 2017:

  • Fingerprint onderzoekt Pieter Bruegel de oude: De start van een interdisciplinaire studie van zijn tekeningen en prenten (Dutch version),
  • Fingerprint, projet de recherche sur Pieter Bruegel l’Ancien: Le lancement d’une étude interdisciplinair de ses dessins et estampes (French version),

in: Science Connection 45, 32-36.



The Portable Light Dome, developed at the KU Leuven (Belgium), has been used to image Mesopotamian Cultural Heritage since the last decade in museums, university collections and archaeological excavations. Throughout this period several thousands of cuneiform tablets, seals & seal impressions, figurines, pottery and many other archaeological artifacts have been and are still being scanned, studied and published with the help of the Portable Light Dome (PLD). Successively, these efforts have been made via various projects funded by Research Fund KU Leuven, Herculesstichting, Programme Financing KU Leuven and Interuniversity Attraction Poles Belgium.

more info: http://www.arts.kuleuven.be/info/ONO/Meso/digitalisatie

RICH: Reflectance Imaging for Cultural Heritage

The RICH project (Reflectance Imaging for Cultural Heritage) aims to create a unique digital imaging tool for researching, studying, and exploring material characteristics of art and library materials in medieval and early modern times. An imaging device, IMROD (Imaging Module for Multi-spectral, Reflectance Or 3D), will be developed to produce a digital 2D+ record, through multidirectional and multispectral lighting sequences. Reflectance imaging, combined with the possibility to apply virtual illumination, enables the exploration of the material and structures in an interactive manner. A web portal will be implemented for valorisation and dissemination of the research. RICH aims to be an indispensable tool for research and understanding the material and tactile characteristics of art. RICH is a collaboration between four KU Leuven partners: Illuminare (Research Center for Medieval Art) is the promotor, ESAT-Visics, CS/Media and the University Library. Third party is the Museum Plantin-Moretus, Antwerp, Unesco World Heritage. The project started in July 2012 with a Hercules grant and will develop the next 3 years.