Athens-based motion graphics and visual designer Dimitris Ladopoulos uses a series of algorithms to subdivide his favorite works of art, breaking down the color compositions of centuries old paintings in the 3D animation software Houdini. With this process, Ladopoulos digitally observes the palette of Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn‘s Portrait of Johannes Wtenbogaert, in addition to examining the thousands of specific shades used to compose Rembrandt Peale‘s portrait of his daughter Rosalba.

A procedural algorithm designed in Houdini to subdivide some of my favourite portrait paintings. The inspiration came from the type of diagrams called ‘tree maps’. A procedure was implemented in Houdini, that takes a rectangle and splits it vertically and then horizontally. The outcome is fed to the loop, again and again. This produces a mosaic of different sized tiles, based on colour sample from the original painting.

“A large part of my work focuses on the relationship between technology, arts and ethics. To tell the story, I mix different techniques such as live action, stop-motion animation, CGI, motion design and photography. I always try to push my limits, explore new techniques and overcome new challenges, combining storytelling with a strong sense of art direction.”

The two digital compositions provide a contemporary view of historical paintings, showcasing how each might be analyzed as a designed object rather than a painted work. You can see more of Ladopoulos’s projects, like this earlier experiment with algorithm-based geometric patterns, on the designer’s website and Behance.