Archive photography is the cornerstone of many documentary films and TV shows and these classic photos also prove very popular across social media. Rather than simply showing a still image or zooming in on the photo, I wanted to offer the client a way to bring the photos to life in a way the audience has not seen before. A common technique to create moving images from still photos is a 2.5D cut out method. My approach takes this much further, whereby I rebuild the image in 3D space, giving a much stronger sense of depth and realism akin to being able to explore a historical freeze frame in time. In addition to my artistic approach to colourisation, I record the process to produce a wonderful video of the colour being painted into frame.

This iconic historical motorsport photo below is an ideal example where I have rebuilt the scene in a way that the viewer can zoom down the street to catch up with the drivers, offering a whole new level of depth to the race.

The original photo…
…brought to life in a 2.5D animation

Colourisation by itself is also a great way to bring new life into an archival black and white photograph, and there are many ways to use this technique. Below, only part of the image was colourised to create a strong focal point, highlighting the main subjects of the image to pull them out from the crowd.

Drag the divider left and right to see how the original photo is partially colourised to create a strong focal point

When colourising a photo, it’s not just a simple matter of painting solid colours. I have to consider many factors, including lighting, weather, reflections from nearby objects and the surrounding environment.

I bring movement and a unique perspective into my colourised photographs by showing the process in form of a video, representing hours of artists time sped up to a matter of seconds.

The original black and white image
Video showing the sped-up process of colourising

Of course, it’s not just archival photography that can have any of these techniques applied, modern photography can work just as well, and multiple treatments can be applied to a single photograph.

Both techniques can be combined to create fantastic 3D animated colourised scenes, so keep scrolling for more examples of my 3D photo animations and colourisations.

3D Animation examples

Colourisation examples

Drag the divider left and right to see the image transform…
Drag the divider left and right to see the image transform…
Drag the divider left and right to see the image transform…