Hand Drawn City Comes To Life In This Interactive Artwork

A painted city is turned into a living world using projection mapping, animation, and sound design.

In Extrapolis a steampunk wonderland, inspired by the world’s urban areas, is brought to life using traditional drawing and technology to create an industrial utopia that never sleeps. The painterly flow and naturalistic feel of hand drawing and painting are enhanced by 3D animation, gesture-based technology, projection mapping, and sound design to invite the viewer to spend some time inside a living work of art.

The project is a collaboration between French artistic entities Théoriz Crew and BKYC. The latter is composed of a three-person team who re-define drawing, blending traditional art with contemporary practices such as graphic design, animation, and web design. And Théoriz Crew has been working with multimedia art since 2009, building installations that immerse the viewer in interactive environments. Inspired by old 30s cartoons, comics, and similar works like AntiVj’s Cityscape 2095, they bring their impressive drawing and painting to life using technology to complement and augment these traditional techniques.

The project is composed of a large-scale painting with added animation and 3D motion design, giving the work movement and vibrancy through projection mapping—with the color of the painting surreally changing as the day passes. A Kinect lets viewers walk inside the city, with sound design enhancing the experience further and making it appear more naturalistic.

Extrapolis was created to break the boundaries between the real and fictitious. As it explores the architecture and lifestyles of cities and its inhabitants, it also looks at the interactions between humans and animations where people can immerse themselves in the child-like wonder of a fictional world. It re-imagines ways of bringing a flat canvas to life as the soft, loose lines and expressive gestures of traditional drawing exist as more than permanent images. In Extrapolis they interact with the viewers and create a special, imaginative world you can step inside of. 

Images courtesy of Théoriz Crew and Olivier Bonhomme.