iOS, openFrameworks
comments 25

Van Gogh’s Starry Night Interactive by Petros Vrellis [openFrameworks, iPad]

starrynight02 copy

Petros Vrellis has created an interactive visualisation and synthesizer that animates Vincent Van Goghs “Starry Night”, using openframeworks to create a simple and elegant interaction. A fluid simulation gently creates a flowing fabric from Van Goghs impressionist portrait of the Milky Way and night sky over Saint-Rémy in France using the thick paint daubs as the particles within the fluid.

A touch interface allows a viewer to deform the image, altering both the flow of the particles and the synthesized sound, and then watch it slowly return to its original state. The sound itself is created using a MIDI interface to create a soft ambient tone out of the movement of the fluid that underscores the soft movement. Beauty through simplicity at its finest and most playful.

– About 80.000 particles move around with a fluid-like algorithm and are drawn as small opengl minimaps.
– The velocity field was not computed automatically, I had to set it manually myself. It was quite difficult to get it right…
– I get about 30fps at 1920×1080, with an intel i5-2500K, and a geforce GTX560.
– Multitouch tracking is made with ofxKinect and ofxOpenCV.
– The music is the result of much experimentation and luck.

UPDATE 30/03/2012: iPad 2 Version now available in the AppStore.

Platform: iPad
Version: 1.0
Cost: $1.99
Developer: Petros Vrellis

  • wow !! no words thanks for sharing :)

  • this is just… wow… i am sure Van Gogh would like it if he were alive.

  • Yjm

    Great work!!

  • this is beautiful.  Is there someplace that a person can go and see it?

  • naix

    This + iPad app + $1 = you could probably take the next few years off.

  • Edwon


  • Anonymous

    I’ve been wanting to do this for so long! This guy executed it beautifully. Although I hate it when someone cries “interactive piece!” and then makes you watch a video. I want to play with it, dammit!

  • I agree, the world needs this on iPad/other tablets. Badly.

  • Random

    where can i dl the iphone version?

  • Pe


  • Perfectly appropriate.

  • jon

    +1 on the iPad app comment. I was thinking the same thing. I would have bought it. Kind of dropped the ball on that.

  • Figur8ively

    Has Vrellis made this available for purchase, anyone? I see the video everywhere, but no buy link anywhere

  • Marcos A García Yeh

    wow! it’s so amazing! it’d be terrific to grab it and play with it! congrats!

  • Nicomo


  • Anonymous

    Dear Google, please hire this guy to turn this into a Android live wallpaper.

  • Alexander Byrd

    the ultimate live bg for andriod.   I’d pay for it and i’m sure plenty more would as well.  Let me konw if you need help doing so.

  • That is a really cool project. I love the granular synthesis approach to the sound generation. I’d definitely love to buy that as an app. Heck, I’d love to have this as a perm. installation in my house!
    Pretty nifty.

  • Teresa

    Probably, Van Gogh would approve this art.

  • Bardia Khosravi

    amazing stuff? are there details on how you implemented this anywhere?
    What made you use openFrameworks for implementing this?

  • Billcottman

    :> wonderful. thank you for your work.

  • nikOlay

    This is truly beautiful. the Starry Night is a painting that holds so much feeling and emotion and memories which Vincent imprinted with his mind, colours and paintbrush. Through history people have connected themselves with this painting and it hold so much meaning to everyone. Songs were made from it and so many more products and reprints. Artist have attempted to imitate this painting to understand how did this man think and how did he live. To watch it come to life is just a painters dream come true.  I myself have imagined exactly this happening to the painting as I have watched it so many times. Seeing it move and come to live has brought a tear in my eye. A big THANKS to Petros Vrellis for this gift and your amazing hard work.


  • Will you release the PC version for Purchase/download? Also looking forward to the Android version!!! Amazing work. Bravo ^_^

  • Diana Roth

    Beautiful!! Please offer this for android!