Artist Brings Van Gogh Paintings To Life With 3D Animation And Visual Mapping


Luca Agnani's "Van Gogh Shadow"

Luca Agnani has become somewhat of a phenomenon over the past few years. Since 2011, the Italian artist's visual mapping and design projections have transformed the faces of some of Europe's most celebrated religious structures, including the Sanctuary of San Michele (a piece commissioned by UNESCO) and the Catania Cathedral in Sicily. When French musician Yann Tiersen played Ancona, Italy, he asked Agnani to design a projection for his opening night concert at the Mole Vanvitelliana: an artificial port-island that houses a 19th century Leprosorium-turned-art gallery.

When he's not shooting vivid light and imagery onto the fronts of old buildings, he's still putting his good taste to use. Last week his 3D animations of thirteen Van Gogh paintings caught our eye (above), and we were fortunate enough to get some exclusive stills of the digital mapping process.

  

Although an initial glance incites a flashback to (cherished) Sony Playstation video games circa 2000, continued inspection suggests Agnani developed a sympathetic relationship with Van Gogh's characters, buildings, and ambience before bringing them to life. In other words, he stuck to the truth. The marrow of each piece is still there, just with 21st century spin. You can tell, especially when looking at his interpretation of Factories at Asnieres, Seen from the Quai de Clichy, that this was no pedestrian project.

  

"To calculate the exact shadows, I tried to understand the position of the sun relative to Arles at different times of the day and, according to my calculations, even the river [in The Langlois Bridge at Arles] should flow in that direction," Agnani told The Creators Project over email. "If the video was projected over his paintings, my interpretations would superimpose perfectly, like a mapping of a framework."

Agnani used softwares like Premiere and 3D Studio Max to generate the animations, which implement the same architectural mapping technique he uses on his large-scale building projections. Let's hope he continues experimenting with technique cocktails like this in the future.