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VR Jam Finalists Spotlight: Explore Van Gogh’s The Night Cafe in VR

Virtual reality (VR) is being used to create entirely new videogames, films and more, but what about art? The technology represents some unique new opportunities that no doubt many artists are currently working with. CG modeler Mackenzie Cauley is one such artist. However, instead of creating some of his own art to admire in VR, Cauley has in fact faithfully recreated a famous painting from celebrated Dutch artist, Vincent van Gogh. The piece is a finalist in Oculus VR’s official Mobile VR Jam. A video of the title in action can be seen below.

Cauely has brought The Night Cafe, an oil painting created in September 1888, to life. Users are able to step inside Café de la Gare and explore it for themselves, observing 3D renditions of the objects that van Gogh originally painted, each having had the artist’s style carefully reapplied. It’s even possible to move beyond the scene itself to other areas and even find van Gogh himself sitting in the cafe.

Cauley reasons that he created the experience as he felt it would be perfect for VR and would give users a chance to perhaps see the world in the same way that van Gogh did. Those interested in the experience can currently download the build submitted to the VR Jam for the Gear VR mobile head-mounted display (HMD).

As a finalist in the app or experience category of the Jam, The Night Cafe hopes to secure a grand prize of $100,000 USD. Runner-up prizes include $50,000, $30,000, and $10,000. A community-voted award of $10,000 is also up for grabs. Winners of the competition are expected to be announced later this week.

VRFocus will continue to follow any and all entries into the VR Jam, reporting back with the latest on them.