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Making Van Gogh move

1 minute read

Van Gogh/Agnani/ RedSharkVan Gogh animations

This was always going to happen. Animated fine art classics. Starting with Vincent Van Gogh

Well, this is a bit weird!

Luca Agnani has taken a bunch of Van Gogh paintings, and turned them into moving pictures. It's one of the oddest things we've ever seen!

On the face of it, this is a really difficult thing to do. How on earth do you move elements of the pictures without corrupting those unique Van Gogh brushstrokes, and their cumulative effect across the paintings.

What Agnani appears to have done is take small parts of the picture and animated them: waves, candles, passing trains, and occasionally passing people. He's been careful not to take over too much of the picture with the movement, letting the static foreground establish the scene while keeping the motion as a detail.

It's disquieting and disturbing to watch. And of course it makes you wonder what Van Gogh would have done with a video camera.

Moe difficult than it seems

This is genuinely more difficult than it might seem. You might be asking why someone can't just write a "Van Gogh" effect and apply it to the video.

There are two main reasons for this. First, an algorithmic effect, unless it were to include some type of artistic inspiration, would not be able to get close to the tormented genius of Van Gogh's paintings.

Second: have you ever tried a applying a textured effect to a moving video?   Notwithstanding the point above, you can get some great effects with watercolour and oil-type effects in a painting program, but the minute you apply them to video, it all goes crazy, with every pixel on every frame looking different. You would need something incredibly (and perhaps impossibly) sophisticated to automatically create a moving Van Gogh picture.

So, congratulations to Luca, and we wonder who's next: Monet? Picasso? Jan van Eyck?



Tags: Production