In 2021 Fredericia Museum wanted to create a completely new concept, where guests could interact with historical characters. For this challenge, the museum approached Innopixel to develop a solution with talking portraits, displays for the exhibition and a web based backend manager for control.
We teamed up with PieLab for this project, where we had to develop both a custom hardware and software solution, as well as creating the animated content. The latter was our biggest challenge in the project. The museum's desire to have the characters talk, and tell their story themselves, required a great deal of innovation.
In order for us to deliver on this challenge, a technology analysis scoped the possibilities. The first solution would be to 3D animate the characters from the bottom up, which would be very expensive and time consuming. The second solution would be a sort of “cut-out” animation (like in Monty Python), which would be inexpensive but also poor quality.
A third solution was identified, with the new emergence of deepfake technology, wherein we would use original images, and apply artificial intelligence (AI) software, to manipulate the pixels within the images and make them “talk”.
Using AI technology to create a new and interactive experience for the audience, through storytelling.
The use of AI deepfake technology was still an uncertain choice, so we had to experiment a great deal, in order to finalize the most optimal approach and effectively achieve the best result. Parallel with this experimentation, we were also developing a custom designed frontend and backend operating system, which would control and show the content.
We were in continual dialogue with the museum to guarantee that our concept design for the platform was in lockstep with their expectations and needs. Moreover we had to ensure that our hardware solution would be adequate for the task. Our first mockups were met with great satisfaction and we continued development.
For this project we got to pave the way for new innovation within the museum world. We learned how to creatively create high quality deep fakes of paintings, photographs and real life dolls, and make history truly come alive. We developed a great partnership with the Museum of Fredericia, who were very satisfied with their new concept.