YouTube channel Awe Me is best known for their Man at Arms series, where master swordsmith Tony Swatton makes functional replicas of famous weapons from video games, movies and other pop culture sources on a weekly basis, but it is also home to the astonishing chalk art of Chris Carlson. Carlson uses a process called anamorphic painting to bring video game characters to life, makes 2D images on a flat surface appear to be solid, 3-dimensional objects when viewed from a certain angle. While this process is difficult to begin with, Carlson goes the extra mile here, animating the optical illusion to present an entire stop-motion scene inspired by The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.
The video shows the artist beginning his work, carefully filling in every inch of his sketch outline with beautifully blended chalk colors that produce an illusion of depth that is astonishing for chalk. Once colored, Link begins to move, pacing back and forth before merging with the wall as a painting, just like in A Link Between Worlds. Exiting through a crack in the wall, Link then travels outside to smash a few clay pots before finding another crack that leads to a secret room containing the Master Sword.
If the artist had just left the artwork as a static piece, it would be impressive enough, but the amount of work and skill required to make the piece move is simply staggering. Carlson has previously done similar animated videos for Mario Kart and a GTA/Lego mash-up, which are equally well done, and some of the artist’s earlier, non-animated pieces make even better use of the anamorphic painting technique, so make sure to check them out on Awe Me’s page.