In 2019, the last Soviet war correspondent who shot World War II on film died. Great frontline cameramen are leaving, but their work has gone down in history forever. Through the lense of their photo and movie cameras, we can see the events today the way they saw them then.
During the war, many documentary photographs were taken — each of them stands as a unique imprint of history, a moment captured with the click of a shutter. But what did these scenes look like in real life? Together with a famous Russian CG artist, we "revived" a series of historical photographs and tried to imagine what these static images looked like in motion and how the photographers themselves saw them when they filmed them.
There are 30 mini-episodes in the series called "WW2 Still Shots Come to Life". Each one tells a short behind-the-scenes story, brought to life by CG artist Alexey Zakharov. Each static frame is animated by hand using computer animation and modern technologies
To animate the photographs, an image is cut into layers and projected onto a 3D grid in a computer graphics editor in order. Then people are added. In the end you get a scene, like in filming, where you can set the camera and animate the movement.
Composer Maxim Makarychev wrote the original score for the series as well as the finale. The project culminated with an emotional music video tribute to the poem by Konstantin Simonov "Wait for Me”.
Alexey Zakharov, CG artist: “Photographs of the Victory are a monument to a tragic era, the significance of which is difficult to overestimate. Working with these photographic documents was a unique experience for me. At the same time, it was a great responsibility: it was important not to lose the atmosphere of the original shots. Modern multimedia technologies are a powerful immersive tool that can be more than just entertainment. Animation of these frames (from Latin anima — soul, animation) is, first and foremost a way to involve the viewer in the events of those difficult years, a way to show life in all its many forms."
"WWII Stills In Motion" — is part of #VictoryPages project, a versatile social media documentary commemorating the 75th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany. It is a story of Victory told by the young for the young, using the tools and language of digital media over five social networks, employing visual art, interactive formats, 3D animation, Virtual & Augmented realities and dynamic real-time storytelling. It pays tribute to all WW2 veterans and heroes who protected our future from the threat of Nazism.
This educational project builds engaging narratives through social media to keep the legacy of our ancestors’ sacrifices alive. It also assesses the historical magnitude of May 9th, 1945 through personal impressions of contemporaries and from the fresh perspective of digital art and creativity.
The objective behind the project - is not only to commemorate veterans, but to remember the terrible price paid for the most deadly war in history. #VictoryPages unites young artists, designers, animators and content creators who use the WW2 anniversary to express pro-peace messages, creating a new kind of a commemorative tribute.
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