When paintings come to life

Recently I came across Europeana’s GifItUp Competition thanks to a university course where my group will focus right on this website. I had some spare time while busy getting their data from their API and in roughly 6 hours made this set of gifs. (5 into the making of the skeleton and one for the animation and editing of the gif into the competition standards)

The subject is Sir John Williams by Christopher Williams, and it  comes from the National Library of Wales In the UK. You can download the original source I used from europeana’s website as it is of public domain (: I think that website is a great source of inspiration and culture as a huge number of European museums is digitalizing and sharing their collections through this portal.

About the gif, I made great use (we could say sole use) of Spine’s mesh system and also tried a new feature which is the transform constrain on the nose, so that I just have to move his neck bone to have a face fairly realistically moving.  Also, I chose to not modify the original image by cutting out parts but just keep it as it was and see how much I could push Spine’s limits.

This was my setup:

Sir Wilson Europeana Spine setup

And here the resulting gifs I submitted:

smiling-pose-540    smiling-pose-face-540


Once I had the setup I also had some fun and did some variations which I personally think could be fun gifs to use on social networks. But what’s your opinion?



or “Nonononono”?



Let me know here or on the other websites I’m on (:

Rosalba Carriera’s Elderly Lady

Update – April 2018

It took me a while to organize everything and find the right time frame to do it, but upon Mirella’s request – who commented below some months ago – I decided to do a new painting to add to the (now) serie. The source file comes from Wikipedia. I release these gifs asking just for attribution and no commercial use.

I also started doing live sessions of rigging on Esoteric Software’s Twitch account, every Tuesday and Thursday, and you can find the complete Youtube archive here.

Here’s the setup:

Elderly woman painting - Spine rig setup

It basically revolves around a main bone that controls all the other bones that control the smaller features of the head, like this:

Moving the head control bone on the lady painting

And here the resulting gifs:

Rosalba nonono

Elderly Lady by Rosalba Carriera, animation by Erikari


My favorite things are as always the weirdest poses I ended up with during the rig.

the derpiest faces nightmarefuel rosalba



  1. Ciao, ho scoperto il suo nonono gif su una pagina di Wikipedia in francese.
    Non so se sia legale. Il punto che volevo fare è che mi è immediatamente piaciuto. Comunque, sarebbe possible che ne faccia un altro ma con una donna e che lo inserissi sulla pagina? Le lo chiesto perché mi interesso al progetto “Women in Red” su Wikipedia che lavora sulla visibilità delle donne.
    Qualunque sia la sua risposta, mille grazie per la scoperta e bravo per il suo lavoro. Mirella
    Ce l’ha una pagina in italiano?
    PS: non

  2. In realtà mi fa molto piacere vedere dove la gif viene usata (: per cui se qualcuno dovesse usarla e mandarmi il link ben venga!

  3. Ciao, Le avevo inviato 3 collegamenti ma forse non li ha ricevuti (non appaiono su questa pagina). Provo un’altra volta. Tutte le foto su wikicommons. Non so se la qualità della definizione basterà.




    • Buonasera Mirella! ci è voluto un pochino per organizzare la registrazione del video, ma finalmente ho aggiornato l’articolo e fatto un rig e delle gif col primo link fornito, quello di Rosalba Carrera!
      Grazie per il suggerimento, e spero che vadano bene (:

  4. He visto su GIFT en Europeana, simplemente me encantó, y me gustaría darle mi más cálida enhorabuena, ¡puede hacer sus imaginarios realmente¡👋🏼👋🏼👋🏼👋🏼👋🏼❤️

    • Querido Náidade,
      ¡Me alegra que te haya gustado! ¡Gracias por ir hasta mi pequeño blog para dejar un comentario tan agradable! >.< Original English: Dear Náidade, I'm so glad you liked it! thank you for going all the way to my little blog to leave such a nice comment! >.<

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