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The art of illusion

Anamorphic art, or in more common terms – three-dimensional (3D) art, is a mind-boggling phenomenon and probably the coolest form of art thus far.

Mastered by the best and mind-blowing when completed, from a certain angle or perspective, oblique anamorphic art creates the illusion where the picture is either protruding from the flat surface – paper, floor and even walls – or hollowed inside the base drawn on.

Catoptric, on the other hand, is a mirrored method which requires special devices that turn the distorted image into a true-to-life representation.

It’s an intense form of perspective but despite the distorted images, it abides by the laws of perspective. If you’ve heard the saying “your eye can play tricks on you,” then this is the epitome of it.

Here are some examples of oblique anamorphic art on floors:

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Image credit: www.boredpanda.com

Crafted by artist Julian Beever, the 3D art above is one example of perspective trickery, where the picture is hollowed into the floor – pose correctly and at the right angle, it’s seemingly real – while the one below done by Argentinian artist, Eduardo R. Relero is made to seem as if the characters are coming out of the floor, and reaching out towards you.

It’s pretty fascinating how creative people can be sometimes, isn’t it?

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Image credit: www.boredpanda.com

The ones drawn on a larger scale are even more epic. Check out the street one below by Edgar Mueller – he drew a whole street filled with lava cliffs; even the car in the distance seems as if it’s  dangerously propped on the edge. Mind-blowing.

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Image credit: www.boredpanda.com

Oblique anamorphic art isn’t limited to just pavements and floors, it can also be done on walls and in our eyes, the effect is even more impressive but of course, with the right talent. Sergio Odeith – a graffiti artist – specialises in this, showcasing impressive skills in perspective shading in an obscure style, which he terms “sombre 3D” by using compositions, landscapes or portraits, messages or homages that became prominent because of their realism.

Truly gifted at his craft, you’ll be awestruck with his work:

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Image credit: www.odeith.com
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Image credit: www.odeith.com
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Image credit: www.odeith.com

Now let’s move on to some catoptric styles where you can clearly see the distortion of the image and the art of it. These are also drawn on a flat surface except that the image is drastically altered and the full image can only be reflected with a mirrored cylinder as such:

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Image credit: www.boredpanda.com
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Image credit: www.boredpanda.com
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Image credit: www.boredpanda.com

Today, more artists are exploring anamorphosis in either oblique or catoptric directions, but to be able to execute it properly, requires a good grasp of skills such as shading techniques and even, calculations.

A fascinating concept, no doubt, we were amazed by the technique itself so much so, that we actually completed an anamorphic 3D sticker for one of our clients, Nissan. Transforming a flat image into a three-dimensional picture, it was designed to highlight with a cliff where the All-New NP300 Navara was placed right at the edge to incapsulate its standing as the ultimate pickup..

We wanted to give people a realistic perspective and instil the thrill of standing right on top of a cliff with the All-New NP300 Navara.

Probably one of our best accomplishments yet, it took us less than 28 days to create, conceptualise, shoot, render and execute what may be the first 3D anamorphic art done for an automotive brand at such a large scale in Malaysia!

Needless to say, it was a success and we even went over to pose with the pickup ourselves.

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The entire layout of the event

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The team realistically jumping off a cliff
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Our suits posing on top of the anamorphic cliff