Photoshop brushes created from 3D scans of Edvard Munch’s actual ones

Many of Adobe Photoshop’s digital tools were inspired from physical dark rooms and studios, but on June 15, the company took that even further with the first set of brushes created from 360 scans of actual paintbrushes used by a well-known artist. Thursday, June 15, Adobe announced the digital recreation of seven 100-year-old paintbrushes used by Edvard Munch, the modernist artist most known for his 1893 painting, The Scream.

To digitally re-create Munch’s brushes, which are now over 100 years old, Adobe photographed the brushes from 360 degrees using high resolution cameras, building a 3D model of each brush. That digital model was paired with analysis from specialists on the brush’s other properties, like the bristle type and flexibility.

Photoshop brush artist Kyle T. Webster then took that data and generated a digital brush for each of the seven physical brushes. Adobe says that Webster’s work, thanks also in part to the data on the actual brushes, is able to digitally mimic Munch’s strokes with the exact shape and performance of the original paintbrushes.

The project, dubbed The Hidden Treasures of Creativity, resulted in seven digital brush re-creations now available for Photoshop and Sketch users as a free download.

“There are certain pieces of art we all know and love,” said Simon Morris, Adobe’s senior director of campaign marketing. “These works transcend time, living on to influence modern creatives, and society as a whole. But we rarely think about the tools that were used to create those masterpieces.”

“The Hidden Treasures of Creativity is all about bringing these tools back to life and placing them in the hands of a new generation of artists,” Morris continued. “Institutions such as The Met in New York and The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam are already making their collections available online to help keep classic works of art in the public eye. This innovative project is an extension of this movement, making it possible for today’s artists to rediscover and treasure the brush of a master and use it to create their very own masterpiece.”

In conjunction with the launch of the new brushes, Adobe will be hosting webinars on digital painting, along with a digital painting contest. The live-streams, to be held from June 20 to 22, will be hosted by Webster himself, along with Therese Larsson, Suzanne Helming, and Sebastien Hue. Users can register for the digital painting class online.

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A contest will encourage digital artists to re-create their own version of Munch’s famous painting. Munch created four different versions of The Scream, so Adobe is encouraging artists to create “The 5th Scream.” Entries are submitted via a Behance upload with the hashtag #MunchContest, with the top winner taking home a 6,000 euro ($6,770) prize as well as a display at the Munch Museum in Oslo and an all-expense paid trip to the Adobe Max conference in Las Vegas, Nevada this October.

The brushes are available for both Photoshop and Sketch users free from Adobe Assets.

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