Take a walk through van Gogh's masterpieces

Join Morley Safer for a virtual journey through the paintings of Vincent van Gogh

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On "60 Minutes Overtime" this week, we time-travel back to a small town outside Paris in 1890, where a new resident named Vincent van Gogh was painting the town red . . . and green, blue, orange.

The paintings that van Gogh created when he lived in Auvers-sur-Oise are among his most memorable and beautiful, and through the magic of 3D computer graphics and our state-of-the-art high definition studio, this week on Overtime, Morley Safer gives a stunning insider's tour of the town and other places where the restless painter lived.

As you'll see in this Overtime piece, Morley appears to enter and explore some of van Gogh's paintings -- walking across fields and around the towns that van Gogh so vibrantly captured.

As Morley strolls, virtually, through the paintings, he describes the art in van Gogh's own words. It turns out that the prodigious painter was also a prolific letter writer, and he wrote to his brother Theo and other family members about all that he was seeing, hearing, and painting.

"I have a . . . painting of a village church - an effect in which the building appears purplish against a sky of deep and simple blue," van Gogh wrote in one letter, describing one of his most-loved works, "The Church at Auvers."

So how did we get Morley Safer to appear inside a 19th century work of art? The snapshots below will give you some sense for it.

In the first image, below, Morley is standing in front of a blue screen -- there is no backdrop, no projection on the wall. Just Morley, reading a van Gogh letter and walking around a bright blue studio -- and by the way, this is the same room in which we do all of our introductions to our "60 Minutes" pieces.


The next step happens in our control room, below, where Morley's image is isolated from the background (see the silhouette) . . .


. . . . and digitally placed inside the painting.


And now the tada moment, below. Morley is no longer in an all-blue world - he is walking around the multi-colored, vibrant, swirling world of Vincent van Gogh.


That's the condensed version of a project that took a great deal of work and many talented people, including producer David Rubin, associate producer Rebecca Chertok Gonsalves, art director Bruce Jensen, and "60 Minutes" director Alicia Tanz Flaum.

Thanks to David Brooks, vggallery.com and Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)