illusion

Tadaa 3D: An Instagram-Style Photo App that Creates Neat 3D Illusions

The Tadaa app for iOS is a neat camera and effects app that has managed to win itself some 3 million users since it first hit digital shelves. It's done this by offering interesting effects and features that competitors like Instagram don't -- such as a Twitter-like re-share feature and the recently added ability to blur the background.

The newest feature out of the Tadaa camp, however, comes as its own stand-alone app rather than an in-app ability. Dubbed Tadaa 3D, it'll allow you to "create breathtaking 3D illusions" using standard photos.

Mind-Bending Recursive Illusion Created Using Printed Photographs

Whoa. If you enjoy watching mind-bending concepts that confuse you and make your brain hurt, check out this experimental short by Willie Witte, titled "Screengrab."

Nothing in the video is computer generated trickery: it simply uses clever camera tricks and a whole lotta printed photographs to create the seamless transitions. "All the trickery took place literally in front of the camera," Witte says. See if you can understand what's going on through the entire 1 minute and 30 seconds.

Photographs of Wooden Beams Matching the Lines of Buildings

Swiss photographers Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs (yes, the ones who created a large format camera out of books) have a clever series of photos that uses wooden beams to play around with a few things photographers often think about: lines, angles, and perspective.

For each of the photos, the duo constructed a structure of wooden beams that blends in with buildings in the background from the perspective of the camera. The resulting scene looks as though the wood magically connects the lines of the buildings with the foreground.

2D Wedding Photographs Converted into Gorgeous 3D Slow-Mo Zooms

Remember that slow-motion wildlife footage that consisted entirely of still photos animated with parallax? French photographer Sebastien Laban does the same thing, except with his wedding photographs.

In the video above, all the apparently 3D scenes you see are actually the result of using some After Effects magic on ordinary 2D photographs.

Clever Photos of Men with Hairy Beards

To make the point that Garnier Fructis' hair products are great for both women and men, advertising agency Publicis teamed up with photographers Billy & Hells for a series of creative advertising photographs.

Upon first glance, each of the photographs appear to show a tough guy with a massively long beard. However, look a little closer and you'll realize that things are not what they appeared to be.

Anamorphic Illusions Created Using High-Res Prints of Photos

YouTube illusion and science channel Brusspup recently did an anamorphic illusion project in which he photographed a few random objects resting on a piece of paper (e.g. a Rubik's cube, a roll of tape, and a shoe), skewed them, printed them out as high-resolution prints, and then photographed them at an angle to make the prints look just like the original objects.

Creepy Portraits Show Subjects with One Head, Two Faces, and Three Eyes

You know those Photoshopped optical illusions that involve combining two photos of a person's face -- one straight on and one looking to the side -- into a single bizarre shot? Quebec, Canada-based photographer Ulric Collette put a spin on that concept with his new portrait series titled "Facade." Instead of using negative space and two completely different angles, Collette had his subjects turn their heads slightly to the side for the second shot, and then merged the two photos together by aligning one eye from each shot.

Camera Synchronized to Chopper Blades Creates Amazing Illusion

Here's an old-ish video that's been making the rounds again lately (viral videos are like viruses -- they don't go away very easily). Titled "Camera shutter speed synchronized with helicopter blade frequency," it shows what can happen when your camera is synchronized with the RPM of a helicopter's rotor blades. The resulting footage makes the helicopter look as though it's just floating in the air!

Photograph of a Face Created by Carefully Arranging Food on a Table

The folks at Mexican agency Golpeavisa were recently tasked with creating a portrait of world-renowned Danish chef René Redzepi for a cover of ClasePremier magazine. Instead of doing a digital illustration like they've done before, they decided to flex their creative muscles and try their hand at making a portrait out of food using perspective photography. After a good deal of planning and setting up, the cover above is what resulted.

Minimalist Gravity-Defying Photos Using String and Perspective

Photographer Carl Kleiner, the man behind IKEA's beautiful baking recipe and kitchen item photographs, has a delightful new series of images that features things neatly arranged in mid-air instead of on a table. More specifically, each of the shots uses simply trickery to make household objects look like they're floating in a blue room.

Forced Perspective Shots with a Moving Camera in Lord of the Rings

Have you ever wondered how Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson made Frodo Baggins the hobbit so much smaller than Gandalf the wizard? Aside from using CGI and child body doubles, the filmmaking team also employed brilliant forced perspective techniques that tricked viewers with optical illusions.

Trippy Portraits Shot at a Photo Illusion Museum

World travel bloggers Michael Powell and Jürgen Horn recently visited the The Trick Eye Museum in South Korea, where visitors can snap humorous and mind-bending pictures of themselves interacting with various painted rooms.

Outer Space in a Studio: Nebulae Photos Using Fiber Glass Lamps

At first glance, the images in Fabian Oefner's Nebulae might look like images of distant galaxies captured with a space telescope. They were actually shot in a studio using a number of fiber glass lamps. Oefner used exposures of different lengths to capture the ends of the lit fiber glass as points and streaks of light. He then combined multiple images into single photos to achieve the "star density" seen in the final images.

Creepy Portraits of Women Showing the Thatcher Effect

Dutch photographers Anuschka Blommers and Niels Schumm shot a series of photographs for a Dove ad campaign that uses the Thatcher effect for some stealthy creepiness. The effect is created by flipping a portrait upside down while keeping the eyes and/or mouth right side up. The human brain has a difficult time detecting these subtle "local" changes, and the portraits may look normal until you see them flipped. Try turning your monitor or head to look at these images upside down.

Flashed Face Distortion Effect Makes Ordinary Portraits Look Hideous

If you ever create a slideshow of portraits, you might want to avoid showing them aligned side-by-side with a gap in between. The video above shows a crazy optical illusion that researchers have dubbed the "Flashed Face Distortion Effect". By flashing ordinary portraits aligned at the eyes, the human brain begins to compare and exaggerate the differences, causing the faces to seem hideous and ogre-like. Researcher Matthew Thompson writes,

Like many interesting scientific discoveries, this one was an accident. Sean Murphy, an undergraduate student, was working alone in the lab on a set of faces for one of his experiments. He aligned a set of faces at the eyes and started to skim through them. After a few seconds, he noticed that some of the faces began to appear highly deformed and grotesque. He looked at the especially ugly faces individually, but each of them appeared normal or even attractive.

Amazing Photographs of Wrapped Trees

Photographer Zander Olsen creates amazing optical illusions by wrapping trees with white linen, lining up the ends of the material with the horizon line in the background.

Trippy Multidirectional Face Illusions

Venezuelan artist Jesús González Rodríguez has a project called 1/2 that features strange Photoshopped portrait illusions. They each show half a face, but is that face looking to the left or towards the camera?

Large Objects Shot as Miniatures Using a Giant Coin and Tilt-Shift Effects

Norwegian design studio Skrekkøgle -- the one that printed a photo with a cremated dog -- has a creative project called "Big Money" in which they made a giant 20:1 replica of a 50 cent Euro coin. They then placed the coin next to large objects and photographed them together, making the objects look like tiny toy replicas.

Amazing Optical Illusion Shows That Our Eyes Are Horrible Light Meters

Here's a mind-bending video in which someone created the famous checker shadow illusion in real life. The optical illusion takes advantage of the way our brains process lighting and shadows.

As with many so-called illusions, this effect really demonstrates the success rather than the failure of the visual system. The visual system is not very good at being a physical light meter, but that is not its purpose. The important task is to break the image information down into meaningful components, and thereby perceive the nature of the objects in view. [#]

Interesting huh? Our eyes aren't very good as a light meters, since they're easily deceived by context.