In the MARC project an integrated system for the digital acquisition, storage and handling of colorimetric high-definition images of paintings for printing purposes will be built and used to produce high-quality catalogues.
The project is driven by the need for maintaining public awareness of art images as well as by business opportunities appertaining to the printing of art images.
High-quality catalogues showing paintings from different European museums, of which half will serve to promote the MARC method, will be produced from paintings acquired and handled through a digital approach.
The project will be strongly user-driven and will deal with the construction of a system that takes advantage of the experience gained in other European projects, especially the ESPRIT project VASARI (2649), in which some MARC's partners have taken an active part. In fact, MARC is an extension of VASARI to the publishing world.
The system to be developed in MARC will include the production of a camera with micropositioning for very high resolution and multichannel acquisition of the images from the paintings themselves, the integration of the system on a workstation, the software application packages, and the hardware required for the acquisition, storage, colour control, colour separation and image handling required to enable high-quality printing.
The main innovations of MARC are the high-definition direct electronic and portable acquisition system, the global system approach, and the handling of colour-calibrated images (thanks to a standardised colour representation system).
The approach of MARC is twofold: in the short-term, the production of the catalogue will promote the methodology established during the project; in the longer-term, the methodology will provide a sound basis for exploitation by the industrial partners, based on engineering product development and commercialisation of the system.
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