There’s a saying that art imitates life but Damien Hypolite has elevated the concept to an even higher meta-level by taking screenshots of 1789 Paris in Assassin’s Creed Unity and matching it up with the modern day capital.
“I was playing the game, walking in the 1789’s Paris trying to find places where I used to live in the capital,” Damien says. “I was very impressed by the quality of the work and how some places have changed since that era.”
Damien says the idea all clicked together when he saw some of Christopher Moloney’s FILMography seriess, in which he brings movie stills to their real life counterparts. “I asked myself, what if I try to do the same with screenshots from the game, using them as high quality pictures of a period when photography did not exist,” Damien expounds.
“The first day I played the game I had a map of Paris near me and try to find my directions through the streets and famous buildings,” Damien, a graphic and motion designer and journalist for Sciences et Avenir, explains. “The next day I printed the screenshots and and went biking to all the same spots.”
Equipped with only a Sony Xperia smartphone, Damien tried his hardest to match up the same angle captured in the screenshots. “Some snapshots were very easy to match, Notre-Dame for example, and other were more difficult,” he says. “The Louvre for instance was a little bit dangerous to match the screenshot angle since I had to stand in the middle now busy Paris’ street with traffic around me.”
“Some snapshot didn’t match, and even some were not accurate,” Damien quips. “For example, the Bastille was in fact in the opposite direction in the game.” Overall, Damien was pleased after his full day of shooting and went back to his home to make a few color corrections in Photoshop and posted them online.
“Later, I realized some people thought it was all made in Photoshop,” Damien protested. “But they’re all real, the rain drops on pictures proves it!”