INSIGHT is a research project sponsored by STUDIO of Creative Inquiry, College of Fine Arts, Carnegie Mellon University. The goal of the project is to build the computer / robot that can learn to express things visually like artists. The research issues include the language of artists, perception of artists and representations of those heuristics on the computer, and so on. It's time to add aesthetic values, styles and affection into artifacts that we created.

The project consists of two tasks: MONETO and SALIENT. The details are described as below:

MONETO – a coloring system that can detect the color scheme of a painting, such as Monet’s oil paintings, and generate a mathematical expression of the feature. With the mathematical model, the computer can ‘paint’ a black and white image (intensive image) with the master artist’s color schema. For example, the Figure 1 shows the NASA satellite image of the Pyramid and Figure 2 shows one of the Monet’s oil paintings.  Figure 3 shows that the satellite image is ‘painted’ with Monet’s color scheme.

MONETO - a coloring system that can detect the color schas Monet's ‘painted by Monet’.

Figure 1 Satellite Image


Figure 2 Monet's Painting


Figure 3 Satellite Image Painted by Monet


SALIENT - a visual structure perception system that can help the computer to generate a better pictorial compositions based on knowledge base of masterpieces. The system detects the structural saliency based on color distributions, intensity energy and relations and creates a vector expression of the structure. Given the computer a 'raw' image, it will search the database and find the fittest masterpiece structures and trim the raw image to the compositions that are similar to the ones in the database.

The project is ongoing. MONETO is at the coding stage right now. SALIENT is at the design stage. Current focus is on building demos of the art visual learning process. In addition the potential applications such as, data visualization and art robotics will be explored.  Mei Wang, graduate student of CMU, assisted the programming.



Research Fellow
STUDIO for Creative Inquiry
College of Fine Arts
Carnegie Mellon University