Rijksmuseum: The Beauty of Art in 3D

Big butterfly and flower with moon and shed

3D render by Davide Pellino.

by Kimberly Potvin

posted on 11-28-2018

The Rijksmuseum, founded in The Hague in 1808, is a museum like no other. With an extensive history in the arts, a stunning collection of over 1 million objects, and an array of paintings from the Dutch Golden Age (including artists like Rembrandt and Vermeer), the Rijksmuseum has led the way in embracing its role as a public institution.

This became especially evident in 2013, when the museum made over 125K high-resolution images from their collection available online (with a goal of adding 40K more images per year). What is truly unique about the Rijksstudio initiative is that, not only were the works placed online for free, but anyone could download these images under a CC 1.0 Universal license. The museum, with this action, changed the playing field for how individuals in our society could interact with and consume fine-art content.

As a next step in embracing their role as a public institution, the Rijksmuseum has partnered with Adobe Stock to do something landmark. For those of you who have been yearning to try something new, are purveyors of fine art, and are interested in 3D, we have a treat for you.

We have custom curated a selection of 28 physical objects from the Rijksmuseum collection and transformed these objects into 3D models. Inspired by the original works, these models contain all the tiny details that we could capture — whether the ornate detail of a jeweled card holder or the rich blue surface of a porcelain vase, it is all there.

Left: Photo of a porcelain blue vase from the Rijksmuseum collection; Right: 3D model inspired by this vase from Adobe Stock.

In addition to offering this collection of models for free in this Adobe Stock gallery, we have also worked with three talented artists in the design community to create breathtaking renders using these assets in Dimension CC. So download some free assets, absorb some inspiration, and build a unique fine art scene of your own.

Simplistic nature

Capturing the great outdoors has always been a challenge for artists. Whether it is a photographer searching for that perfect time of day, a painter trying to layer the texture of a flower on canvas, or a digital artist attempting to recreate a plant from scratch in Illustrator, the details can sometimes be out of reach. For Adobe Stock and the Rijksmuseum, the mission was clear. Take paintings that exist in a 2D space, extract the visual elements, and create realistic 3D models inspired by those works.

Left: Photo of a painting of a tulip by Louis Moritz from the RIjksmuseum Collection; Right: 3D model inspired by the same tulip on Adobe Stock.

For the nature-themed portion of this project, this resulted in six animal and plant models that an artist could combine with other elements to create a luscious scene. The artist in this case was Davide Pellino, a 2D/3D creative whose fantasy worlds are like no other. For Davide’s work, he used a selection of these Rijksmuseum models, sprinkled in additional assets from the Dimension asset panel, and fashioned a dreamlike vision of the natural world.

Big butterfly and flower with moon and shed

3D render created in Dimension by Davide Pellino.

In Davide’s render, composition and color play a critical role in its success (along with leveraging a hint of surrealism). While the butterfly and flower have been placed front and center, the inclusion of a small flag and a wooden shed bring a sense of individual creativity to the work. Davide leveraged many of the features found in Dimension and Photoshop to create this visually rich render, capturing the concept of nature in a truly distinct way. This scene, imbued with calm and tranquility, reminds us of the simpler things in life, allowing us to dream of full moons and larger-than-life butterflies.

Ornate interiors

The largest selection of models inspired by the Rijksmuseum fell into the interior design category. We wanted to be certain that designers had what was needed to complete a room with all the details intact — ornate paintings, beds with plush drapes, richly colored vases and other adornments — all with exquisite detail. For paintings like Johannes Vermeer’s “The Milkmaid,” we even created a model based on the original frame to enhance the final realism of the piece. This resulted in 18 amazing interior design assets, just waiting for an artist to create a room of one’s own.

Left: Photo of the Johannes Vermeer painting, The Milkmaid from the Rijksmuseum Collection; Rights: 3D model inspired by the same painting with a recreation of the original frame on Adobe Stock.

For this interior scene, we worked with Anna Natter (also known as Cinniature), a devoted Dimension user since the beginning. As a foundation for this creative work, Anna selected a photo of a baroque-style room by Andras Csontos as the perfect backdrop for her composition. She then worked carefully to arrange a selection of Rijksmuseum-inspired models, focusing on realistic placement and orientation of the objects. To enhance the feeling of a real-world environment, Anna added a few design elements from Adobe Stock, like this wine decanter and a fabric pillow.

3D render made in Adobe Dimension

3D render created in Dimension by Anna Natter/Cinniature.

In Anna’s scene, the lighting and layout of the models are integral to its success. The cropping of the photo contributes to a cozy, rich feel, reminiscent of time past. By adding in lush burgundy curtains from the asset panel in Dimension and other small accents, Anna was able to capture the visual sensibility of the time period. Exquisite fabrics, polished crystal, warm light — these stunning elements help to create an inviting bedroom scene, an interior of beauty, comfort, and splendor.

Detailed miniatures

Some of the most interesting pieces in the Rijksmuseum collection are the miniatures that imitate real-world objects. While curating, we found houses, boats, lighthouses, and other objects that could serve a dual purpose. These objects (four total), when turned into 3D models, could be used to create a miniature tabletop scene or transformed into real-world-size structures, making the models extra versatile for designers working in a variety of genres.

Photo of miniature lighthouse and 3D render of it.

Left: Photo of a miniature lighthouse from Rijksmuseum collection; Rights: 3D model inspired by the same lighthouse from Adobe Stock.

For the miniature portion of this project, we worked with Mohamed Chahin, an amazing 3D artist whose adorable, low-poly scenes always entertain and inspire. For the render, Mohamed focused on the versatility of these models. By combining together the house, boat, cannon, and lighthouse in a contained tabletop environment, Mohamed was able to capture the unusual quaintness of these works.

3D render of small house and lighthouse scene

3D render created in Dimension by Mohamed Chahin.

To enhance that otherworldly feel, Mohamed then utilized an unusual application of shapes, materials, and color. By creating a glass box from primitives in the Dimension asset panel and adding in different materials to simulate silver and white porcelain, Mohamed was able to transform real-world models (like the lighthouse) into something new and unexpected. This adorable contained world, with its tall, dry grass and large boulders, is reminiscent of a dream — a place where the mind can go to wander and the heart can go to be free.

Now that you have seen some of the possibilities available with the Rijksmuseum 3D collection on Adobe Stock and Dimension CC, download some free assets, build some renders, and share your amazing work.

Topics: Creativity, Creative Inspiration & Trends

Products: Stock, Photoshop, Creative Cloud