This is how Roman Emperors looked in real life

Augustus (Haround Binous)

Roman Emperors appear on different photographs and their busts are exhibited in museums. But the truth is that their faces look totally inexpressive. That is why Haround Binous, digital artist and student at the Université de Lausanne, Switzerland, decided to use facial reconstruction, AI, and Photoshop to explore how some of the most famous Roman Emperors looked in real life. Metro spoke with Haround to learn more about his creations.  

Caligula (Haround Binous)

Haround Binous, Digital artist

Why did you start to create facial reconstructions?

The idea of making reconstructions started with a fascination with the human representation of the face of august that I saw in Rome. The realism of certain portraits was striking, so I wanted to revive these poor sculptures and let them see a new day from a different angle.

Why did you choose Roman Emperors?

First of all, since my youth, I have always been attracted by history, more specifically Roman history as well as the emperors. 

Claudius (Haround Binous)

What tools did you use?

The tools that I use are diverse, I first start by collecting different busts in high quality to have a clear view of the different facial features, then I put a handmade sketch on Photoshop. I briefly and basically re-texture certain points such as the face, eyes and hair, then I use very specific re-texture and 3D modeling software that brings my character to life. 

Tell more about the process of creation.

The method is simple I superimpose several photos of different busts and from that comes a result a little the mixture of all these busts from different angles. The face is then automatically humanized at first, then I modify it according to my artistic vision to be the possible faithful to a chosen bust as well as to the features of the emperor’s father or his mother.


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