• 04.26.16

Vintage Photos of New York Come To Life In This 3-D Animation

See the streets of New York in motion, way before all those annoying hipsters.

Take a moment and watch this amazing movie of old world America. It was created by 3-D artist Alexey Zakharov using real vintage photographs and modern-day computer-generated animation to bring history to life. Just ignore the cheesy steampunk-style time machine that eats up the best part of the first minute of the clip.


The project takes photographs sourced from Shorpy, an archive of historical pictures and maps them onto 3-D spaces. Zakharov then added human characters, railways, and cars to the scenes from cities like New York. Seeing the streets in motion like this shrinks the distance you usually feel when viewing old still images, and the whole movie comes off like a scene from the video game series Grand Theft Auto.

Zakharov added the fake scratches to the “film,” which seem to make everything less genuine. It would be great to see this process undertaken with these old color photos of New York, because, even in their non-moving form, they are far more immediate and evocative than black and white.

About the author

Previously found writing at, Cult of Mac and Straight No filter.