Italian Street Painting Marin

3D ‘Toy Space Station’

San Rafael, California


  1. Simply print out the image of the Space Station on a standard sized sheet of paper at home. (8.5″ x 11″ or A4 size)
  2. Download the free Blippar app
  3. View the art in landscape mode with the app open and activate. Frame the photo so it fills your entire device screen. After you see words pop up on your screen, you should see the image come to life in a few seconds. Enjoy!

How It Came Together

What a ‘blast’ (no pun intended) creating this mind-bending optical illusion at Italian Street Painting Marin 2018. To offer something special for this year’s ‘Space / Time’ theme, festival director Kevin Marlatt asked me to come up with a unique 3d installation using technology. Taking up the challenge we decided that I’d not only create a unique 3d street painting, I’d include an Augmented Reality (AR) component to add that extra layer of interactivity that the public loves.

I imagined a free standing multiple surface illusion of a 3D ‘Toy Space Station’, replete with vintage space ships, traffic signs and even one of my faves, AstroBoy – a vintage 60’s Japanese cartoon hero from outer space. 

Joining forces with Blippar, we utilized their seamless Blippar app to activate the hand drawn animated artwork. Once activated in the free Blippar app, my painting was transformed into a fully functioning space station, replete with all sorts of space craft activity. 

As if that weren’t enough, I collaborated with fellow Team 3D artist, Julio Jimenez, to create not one work of anamorphic artwork but two back to back optical illusions. Our pieces could be viewed in a 360 degree set up – each related but unique versions of our own space station designs. 

Needless to say this was a resounding success at ISPM this year, with just about everybody enjoying both the paintings and the AR component. Queues formed to get a glimpse of the AR and snap a pic of guests with the artwork. 3D Street Paintings are always popular with crowds, but throw in Augmented Reality and you’ve got something extra special! 

Thanks to ISPM, Kevin Marlatt, Michael Moore CGI, Julio Jimenez and Blippar for a terrific collaboration and getting this project off the ground in record time!

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