Two-Minute Mind-Bending Demonstration of Perspective Anamorphosis

Anamorphosis is a technique you’ve probably seen used many times, even if you never knew what it was called. It’s the projection technique that sidewalk artists use to make it seem like their drawings are three-dimensional when viewed from a specific angle.

And if you want a perfect example of this technique in action, look no further than the video above: a commercial for Ray-Ban sunglasses… although you’d never have been able to tell if we hadn’t told you.

Like forced perspective, perspective anamorphosis can be a handy tool photographers should keep up their sleeves for situations where a limited budget might call for an alternative approach to shooting something.


Filmmaker Vashi Nedomansky showed us how forced perspective and a toy humvee helped him stay under budget while shooting a film that hasn’t come out yet, and we could definitely see a situation where using perspective anamorphosis could prove useful in a similar way.

Alternatively, you could just watch the video, ooh and ahh a bit, and get your Saturday off to a mind-bending start. Still, keep this technique in mind. It might just come in handy in a pinch down the road.

(via Fstoppers)

  • Rob Elliott

    The final one is really very neat.

  • harumph

    This is always cool, but I think this is a repeat of a video that was already posted here. Or maybe I just saw it somewhere else.

    The Brothers Quay also have a fascinating short documentary from 1991 on the use of anamorphosis in art.

  • Aleksandar

    I knew at the end that whole desk would be just an image but i didn’t thought that glasses are real. Very well done.

  • Matias Gonua

    This is not mind bending. It’s even used in every football stadium in the world, on the advertising mats on the sides of the goal, and also on rugby games on the painted ads on the grass. THe video was cool, deffinitely, but I don’t think this can surprise many people as to call it mind bending.

  • Mike

    The shallow DOF breaks the effect somewhat, especially on “spheres”.

  • Rabi Abonour

    What’s “mind-bending” is not necessarily that the effect works, but the bait-and-switch so thinking you’re seeing a 3D object and then seeing it spun around.

  • harumph

    There’s a double bait and switch going on too. There is a real globe and a real baseball used in a few shots. In the opening shot, everything is real.

  • Dover
  • Pepito

    meh, you could tell by the DOF.

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    I don’t think this can surprise many people as to call it mind bending.

  • KJ

    Uhm, Brusspup did this a year ago. It’s even the same music. Look it up on youtube.

  • 773

    Brusspup did this ad too. I thought Ray-ban had ripped them off, but it turns out it was Brusspup that did it.

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  • Matias Gonua

    THis a quite old technique, medieval I dare say.