Hello! I'm Nikita Nikolaev, the Chief Operating Officer at Celsus. We enjoy tackling difficult problems, both in the development and marketing of our AI solutions. And this devotion once drove us to rebuild Aulus Cornelius Celsus' statue. Let's speak about how and why this happened.
What is (and who is) Celsus?
Our company specializes in the creation of solutions based on artificial intelligence for radiologists. Our product helps doctors analyze X-ray examinations faster and more accurately by highlighting the contours and areas of potential pathologies. If a doctor comes across a case requiring a “second opinion”, he can consult with artificial intelligence clues. This allows the radiologist to confirm his verdict or to order an additional examination for the patient.
In 2017, we considered a variety of names for the company before settling on "Celsus". This word, which was coined in honor of the Swedish scientist Anders Celsius, did not first exist until the middle of the 18th century, so it has nothing to do with the thermometer scale.
Our project is named after Aulus Cornelius Celsus, a significant ancient Roman encyclopaedist and popularizer of medicine. He was one of the pioneers in organizing unstructured medical concepts and knowledge. He made a significant contribution to the growth of pathological anatomy, traumatology, and surgery with his work. Many of the procedures that Celsus outlined remain in use today.
"You can't heal what you can't identify," said Aulus Cornelius Celsus. In many respects, this quotation was the one who gave us the idea to honor this outstanding ancient Roman scientist by naming the company and the technology after him.
So. Why do we need a statue, then?
We concentrated on functionality, ML metrics, and accelerating hypothesis testing during the early stages of development. The construction of a logo and corporate patterns was all that was done at the time; this is actually standard practice for technological projects at the initial development stage. The appearance was therefore considered secondary.
However, we were recently prompted to reconsider the matter of corporate ID. There were numerous assignments that called for a professional appearance because the business has grown greatly in recent years. Economically, using an agency for comprehensive branding was still less important (besides, this would require spending time immersing them in a complex product).
We made the decision to upgrade ourselves. We began by creating universal artifacts that could be used in a variety of formats, including products, websites, and augmented reality (AR) applications. And of course, we had to use the image of Aulus Cornelius Celsus, who inspired us.
We did encounter one issue, though. In reality, the only information we have on the appearance of the scientist comes from two accurately-rendered facial profiles of him that are available online and a photograph of a bust statue with a damaged nose. Images taken from different perspectives merely reveal information about the head's shape and are of equal quality.
Without a doubt, even this information has already proven to be incredibly beneficial to us. For instance, we adorned the chocolate gift set for clients and business partners with a wrapper featuring a picture of Celsus.
However, every famous person has a statue of themselves, especially in ancient Rome! But Aulus Cornelius Celsus does not have it. Not fair :(
We decided to handle this and replicate our hero's entire picture.
The first phase involved recreating Celsus' face, which entailed creating a 3D model of the head using the Face Builder add-on for Blender. This add-on aids in creating a three-dimensional face from various angles of images.
FaceBuilder in Blender is a fantastic tool for laying the groundwork for future development.
A person's face is made up of numerous little features that give them their uniqueness and help you tell one person from another. Small elements and aspects of the structure and contour of a person's face are recreated during the reconstruction process:
the contours of the curves of the face;
hair and hairstyle;
wrinkles and their distribution on the face.
In our situation, specifics accounted for around 80% of the time. It was all worth it, though. Check out the outcome:
As a result, Aulus Cornelius Celsus' three-dimensional face came remarkably close to reality. However, the face does not constitute the entire statue.
Celsus' height and physical description are unknown with certainty, thus we took the initiative and chose a noname model with a Free license to save time on building a body from scratch. Notably, we had to dig further into search engines to locate anything that even vaguely resembled a philosopher (Aristotle, Seneca, and others); yet, what we came across was primarily generals and warriors.
How was it put to use?
Although the entire procedure did not take very long, we ended up with an artifact that we now utilize pretty frequently. For instance, on T-shirts and hoodies that are part of our company's merchandise.
However, this is not all. At the Russian Diagnostic Summit, our solutions were presented via an augmented reality application that included a 3D statue of Celsus.
Even so, there were some subtleties in this. In order for the HoloLens to work, the model had to be transformed from 3 million polygons to 50,000, the textures had to be "baked," and a normal map had to be made. 😅
The model was positioned behind the user's back - so that after displaying the UI, he could turn around and see the issue. A description of the statue's type and the project's namesake were provided along the course. This typically created a good impression and elicited positive feelings from stand visitors.
Additionally, we 3D-printed tiny "Celsuses" that were 12 cm high and primed to resemble stone. We give them out as presents. By the way, it looks fantastic on the desktop next to the keyboard and monitor. In addition to other gifts and bonuses, we are considering employing an enlarged version of 20-25 cm inside the company as a reward for the guy’s hard work. In keeping with how Blizzard offered their staff the Arthas Helm after 25 years of service.
That's how we got into reenactment and restoration! It was enjoyable, and we are glad to have contributed, albeit indirectly, to the restoration of the complete image of a significant historical individual in the field of medicine.
A significant time saver was made possible by the fact that we were able to complete numerous essential tasks at once with a single object. And in today's world of quick technological advancement and fierce rivalry, it is priceless.