How was a 10-billion-pixel poetry scroll produced?

I wonder if you had the same experience as me when you were a student: when you were learning ancient poetry in Chinese class, your heart would tighten as soon as you saw the words "recite the full text." At that time, I had not left the provincial border, so I could not feel the desolation of "the endless falling trees rustling below", nor could I appreciate the majesty of "the water of the Yellow River coming up from the sky".

In order to regain those poetic feelings that she could not personally comprehend when she was young, Ai Faner embarked on a journey to pursue the charm of ancient customs. This time we took the vivo X100 Ultra and traveled to the four provinces of Guizhou, Zhejiang, Gansu, and Sichuan, and finally drew five 10-gigapixel pictures, covering the four most common themes in ancient Chinese poetry – landscapes, pastoral, and boudoir. Complaints, frontier battles, chanting history and remembering the past.

How to use 5 scrolls to connect 6 lines of ancient poetry, covering 4 major themes?

This picture comes from Faxi Temple, a thousand-year-old ancient temple. On the day of shooting, the morning light was dim and everything was still. What came to mind was Chang Jian’s song——

Entering the ancient temple in the early morning, the first sunlight shines on the high forest, the bamboo path leads to a secluded place, and the Zen room is surrounded by flowers and trees.

But when the picture was enlarged nearly a hundred times, a poem about Wang Changling’s resentment jumped out:

The young woman in the boudoir knows no worries, and goes up to the green building with makeup on the spring day. Suddenly I saw the color of willows on the street, and I regretted teaching my husband to look for a title.

Ancient poems often use a combination of virtuality and reality. The young woman, spring, and willows are all real images. But how should the last sentence, "The husband regrets his teachings and seeks the title of a prince," be conveyed through pictures?

We use the montage method to use the twin swallows on the round fan as the key to time and space transformation, leading the viewer to the northwest frontier, where they can see the peace charm tied around the general's waist and the bright moon at the pass in the desert.

This leads to the third ancient poem:

The bright moon of the Qin Dynasty passed the Han Dynasty, and the people who marched thousands of miles have not yet returned.

The soldiers raised their heads and looked at the moon, which is not only an implicit expression of the tragedy of "the people have not yet returned", but also completed the spatial transformation of "the world is far away and we are now together" through the image of the bright moon, leading the viewer to Lin'an City.

In front of you may be the grand scene of "The Green Mountain Tower Outside the Mountain", but deep in the picture, there is the next sentence – "When will the singing and dancing in the West Lake stop?"

Continuing to travel, the fourth scroll shows the image of a sage in flowing white clothes, just like the famous line in Li Bai's "Nearly Wine"——

In ancient times, all the sages were lonely, and only the drinkers left their names.

Inspired by the legend of Hu Gong escaping into a gourd in "The Legend of Immortals", we hide the last scroll in the tiny universe of a drop of crystal wine. This is the otherworldly Taoyuan dream described by Tao Yuanming——

Picking chrysanthemums under the eastern fence, you can leisurely see the Nanshan Mountain.

Why is photographing ancient poetry both intuitive and complicated?

Poetry relies on rich images to express emotions, and a large number of combinations of images create a strong sense of picture, which provides a good foundation for our imaging. For example, the entire poem "Tian Jing Sha·Autumn Thoughts" by Ma Zhiyuan is enough to become an excellent poem just by the arrangement of a series of images.

Xu Jinru, a poet and associate professor at the School of Humanities of Shenzhen University, skillfully compared the imagery in poetry to the language of movies in his book "Introduction to Poetry":

Dusky crow on dead vine and old tree (close view)

Houses with small bridges and flowing water (middle shot)

West Wind Slender Horse on the Ancient Road (far view)

However, pure scene reproduction cannot fully capture the soul of ancient poetry. After all, "image" is not the same as "scene". Image has the poet's consciousness and is a "mental image" imbued with emotion. How to convey this meaning in visual art?

Our approach is to introduce new images and connect the five poems through time and space transitions and lens montage to reflect the deeper meaning.

Through the image of "swallows flying", we connect the grievances of Wang Changling's "husband-in-law who regrets his teachings and seeks a title" and the soldiers who "have not yet returned those who marched thousands of miles long". Then, through the "bright moon" across the world at this time, the scene spans time and space, and the suffering of the soldiers in the war is used to contrast the glitz of "When will the singing and dancing in the West Lake stop".

In fact, film and television techniques such as time and space transformation and lens arrangement and combination have long been used skillfully in ancient poetry.

Professor Xu Jinru used the last two sentences of Li Yu's "Lang Tao Sha" to analyze how ancient poems use montage techniques to enhance poetic expression:

"Flowing water and falling flowers, spring is gone" metaphors the infinity of time, and "heaven and earth" refers to the infinity of space. From the past to the present to eternity, his sadness will never disappear. No matter in heaven or on earth, there is no place to put Li. The owner has a heart of pain and despair. He used his boundless life to make a thrilling comparison with the boundless time and space, so he can become an eternal masterpiece.

Use the heaven, earth, mountains and rivers as the scroll, and vivo X100 Ultra as the pen

After talking about narrative, let’s talk about the technical aspect: how to hide the world in the painting? How can we achieve a hundred-fold magnification and clearly see the elegant charm of the fan, the bright moon in the sky, and even the hanging droplets?

The answer lies in the fact that we use the vast world of heaven, earth, mountains and rivers as scrolls, small regular script as brushstrokes, and embed the microscopic world into the macroscopic scenery through approaching tens of billions of pixels and frame. This pen is the vivo X100 Ultra, and the 85mm telephoto lens with up to 200 million pixels is the sharp tip of this pen to capture details.

First, we need to set up the mobile phone on a gimbal, collect more than 100 individual RAW photos of 200 million pixels, and then use special software to combine them into a super large picture of 10 billion pixels. It sounds simple, but the shooting process takes 3-4 hours, and the composite rendering process takes two days.

After excluding the overlapping parts of the photos, the total number of pixels in the final synthesized photo is 10.5 billion, and one photo is as high as 13.7GB.

In order to ensure the resolution of the painting within the painting, we also need to capture more of the same elements in different positions and combine them into the original film under the premise of the same perspective. For example, use 600mm to take photos of the courtyard, use Super Moon mode to freeze the moon, and use telephoto macro to record water droplets.

Vivo X100 Ultra is like an "eye of mountains and rivers" that can reach far and wide. Poetic images as large as the sunset over the long river and the waning moon in the morning wind, as small as colorful falling stamens and dewdrops on lotus leaves can be easily condensed into one screen.

We have also put these five works in the link of "Read the original text". You can follow our perspective to move between pitch and change scenery, and feel the "people swimming in the painting" brought by the large pixels.

Images are tangible poetry

There is a famous painter named Mr. Lu Yanshao. During the Anti-Japanese War, he read Du Fu's poems and resonated strongly with Du Fu. So he painted Du Fu's poetic images. Although we have no way to directly perceive the scene that Du Fu saw, we can perceive the poet's poetic heart from Lu Yanshao's paintings. His approach is similar to what we are doing now with Ai Faner.

Professor Xu Jinru believes that the life scenes of ancient people are very different from ours today. "So if we say we can't go back to the situation of the ancients, many explanations are wrong."

For example, there is moonlight in front of the bed. In the Tang Dynasty, the bed was not only a tool for sleeping, but also a social tool for receiving guests. It is equivalent to the kang in the north. The moonlight in front of the bed is the moon coming in through the window. . Many times, ancient people liked to leave the windows open when sleeping. This is an ancient tradition.

There is a saying from Mencius, which is called "willing against will". You have to believe that people's hearts are connected, so you have to use your heart to get into the author's situation, and then you can truly understand it.

I have always believed that images are tangible poetry, which, like poems and songs, can travel through time and touch the deepest softness of people's hearts.

Compared with the time when I was ignorant of worldly affairs, now that I am thirty years old, I have measured more land with my footsteps. After experiencing the joys and sorrows of life and death, I have gradually come to appreciate the elegance described by the ancients: the sadness and helplessness of falling flowers and flowing water, the humility and humility of a drop in the ocean. Awe never changes with time.

Queniao Village in Guizhou is the first stop of our trip. This is a Miao village hidden in Leigong Mountain. There are only a few old people left in the village who plow at sunrise and rest at sunset.

When we arrived at the village, night had fallen. There were no bright lights here, and the moonlight became the gentlest guide. The noise of short videos seems to never belong to this world. At dawn, what wakes me up is not the urgent alarm clock on my mobile phone, but the tapping of raindrops on the eaves and the crowing of birds and chickens.

Although the fast-paced dream of the city still persists in my mind, looking at the changing morning mist in the mountains and forests, and the spring swallows perching leisurely by the window, I was suddenly a little moved. I seemed to understand what it means: "The clouds have no intention to come out of the xiu, and the birds are tired." Fly and know how to return."

Why should we study poetry? Not only can we understand its meaning within the image, we can also understand its meaning beyond the image. When we read their poems, we are actually touching their souls and sensing the deepest and most vague parts of their hearts. When we read the poems of the ancients, we can feel that the ancients are right in front of us.

Professor Xu Jinru said:

I think that one day in the future, if we use such a technical method to display all the ancient poems in primary and secondary schools, it will be a good thing that will benefit the future.

Therefore, we hope that our small attempt will save today's students from having to look at the mediocre textbook illustrations to understand and imagine the grand ambitions and joys and sorrows of their ancestors like we once did. Maybe they still have difficulty fully understanding the poetry, style and rhyme, but This seed has been planted. When they read all the prosperity of the world, they will understand that in the long river of history, they have never walked alone.

From being a bystander and recorder of technology, to becoming a practitioner of how technology affects lifestyles.

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