THE BEST Illusions

Zach King’s Day Off

Zach King’s Day Off

Visual trickster Zach King pays tribute to the 1986 classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, faking out his parents and sneaking out of the house on a “sick day” with his buddy through the magic of digital and practical effects, optical illusions, and clever editing.

Square Wave Spinner

Square Wave Spinner

Designed by Wales-based sculptor Ivan Black, this hypnotic, kinetic plaything is made from 21 interconnected metal rods, which can be spun and twisted to produce visually-stimulating patterns inspired by the Fibonacci sequence. It’s available in silver, gold, bronze, or a limited edition scarlet color. Be sure to watch the video.

Advertisement

Propeller Tip Vortexes

Propeller Tip Vortexes

When an airplane encounters just the right weather conditions, its wingtips and propellers can generate visible patterns in the air. Redditor cburnett shared this wild footage of the patterns made by the four props on a Hercules C-130. A google search for “propeller vortexes” turns up more incredible images of the phenomenon.

LEGO Magic Angle Sculptures

LEGO Magic Angle Sculptures

John Muntean shows off his amazing LEGO shadow sculptures, each of which looks like an amorphous blob, but casts shadows of three distinct images as it’s rotated through a beam of light. After DragonButterflyJet, be sure to check out KnightMermaidPirateShip and ABC.

Polaroid 3D Effect

Polaroid 3D Effect

Game developer Matt Stark posted this mindbender of a video which uses computer graphics trickery to make it look like virtual Polaroid photos are portals to other environments. It’s a wild effect, and could be a very cool gameplay mechanic if incorporated into a video game.

Optical Invisibility Shield

Optical Invisibility Shield

Recently seen in a much larger version, this intriguing piece of plastic distorts light in order to make objects placed behind it look like they’re invisible. NightHawkInLight goes beyond the wow factor to explain how the prisms in this fresnel lens work their magic. If you want to play with a Lubor’s lens, you can find a bunch on Amazon.

Bird Facing Right

Bird Facing Right

Among the entries in the 2019 Best Illusion of the Year contest is this little gem from optical illusion expert Kokichi Sugihara. This uniquely-designed object looks like a bird, and regardless of how many times you turn it, it always faces right.

Volumetric Sound Display

Volumetric Sound Display

Scientists from the University of Sussex are developing a method of displaying 3D tactile images using ultrasonic waves. The system works by levitating a small plastic bead and rapidly maneuvering it to create a persistence of vision effect. If they can move more dots or move them faster, they could create more complex images.

Infinite Portal Sculptures

Infinite Portal Sculptures

British/American artist Anthony James creates amazing sculptures which use a series of LED lights and mirrored glass panels to create an illusion of infinite depth inside of 3D polygonal structures. This GIF really captures the illusion well.

Infinite Delivery

Infinite Delivery

Over the years, Dave of sheepfilms has created some pretty wild short animations, among them this trippy loop that makes it look like a package that’s being delivered contains the front door into which it is being delivered. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Furniture Illusions

Furniture Illusions

Magician and video illusionist Zach King shows off a variety of fun optical tricks with furniture that isn’t ever quite what it seems. Unlike some of Zach’s other videos, the effects are all done in camera, using some truly unusual props.

Quantum Stealth Invisibility Cloak

Quantum Stealth Invisibility Cloak

Canadian camouflage experts Hyperstealth Biotechnology has recently applied for patents on their technology which can bend light around an object to make it vanish from sight when placed in its sweet spot. The paper-thin screen could be used to hide military targets from ground-level threats. More on Vimeo.

Bonobo: No Reason

Bonobo: No Reason

Reminiscent of the best in-camera visual trickery of the mighty Michel Gondry, director Oscar Hudson’s incredible music video for Bonobo and Nick Murphy’s chillwave track was created using forced perspectives with “a very small camera… and a very big set.”

Advertisement

Slow Dance Machine

Slow Dance Machine

Intrigued by slow motion visuals? Wonder Machines‘ unusual picture frame makes real world objects appear to move in slow motion. Designed by artist and inventor Jeff Lieberman (Time Warp), the device appears to use some sort of nearly imperceptible vibrations to pull off its trickery.

Video Illusions Compilation

Video Illusions Compilation

Kevin Lustgarten shares a reel of some of his many clever and brain-bending scenes he’s created over the years. Most of the trickery is done with digital visual effects, but the resulting imagery is still really entertaining.

IRIS

IRIS

Remi Devouassoud’s visually stunning CG animated short presents us with an image which plays with our minds. Are we looking at another universe, or an up-close image of a human eye? Or is it both?

Toy Car Illusion

Toy Car Illusion

This 3D-painted anamorphic illusion by artist Leon Keer will mess with your head. Watch as a toddler drives her mini car into the middle of what appear to be a stack of giant Hot Wheels cars. Be sure to check out more of his amazing imagery on Instagram.

Laminar Flow Disambiguation

Laminar Flow Disambiguation

Captain Disillusion investigates those videos that show what appears to be water frozen in time, and demonstrating something known in science as “laminar flow.” It doesn’t take the Cap’n long to replicate the effect himself, but is it real or fake?

The Spoke Blur Effect

The Spoke Blur Effect

Have you ever noticed how when a bicycle wheel rolls along the ground that its top spokes appear to be much more blurred than the bottom ones? Michael of DONG explains the physical and optical properties that bring this effect to life.

3D Makeup Illusions

3D Makeup Illusions

Professional makeup artist Luca Luce has an ongoing series of amazing illusions that play with the dimensions, texture and shape of his head. The illusions probably work only from a very narrow angle, but they’re still messing with our heads.

Advertisement

The Impossible Screw

The Impossible Screw

Latheman’s crazy machines made what he calls the “impossible screw.” If you hold it sideways, it will turn only clockwise. It doesn’t matter if you flip it. The only way to get it to turn both ways is to hold it upright. It’s a fun trinket that you can replicate with a hacksaw and a file.

Circle in Circle Illusion

Circle in Circle Illusion

Take a look at the video, and you’ll swear that these balls are spinning in a circular orbit. But look more closely, and you’ll see that each ball is moving along a perfectly straight path. The mechanical model is based on a design by 16th century Italian poymath Girolamo Cardano.

Color Illusion 3D-printed Skull

Color Illusion 3D-printed Skull

Using a professional full-color 3D printer and taking advantage of the stairstepped surfaces of voxels, Make Anything was able to create a sweet model of a human skull that appears to change colors when viewed from different angles. Download the model here.

Pyro Fire Shooting Pen

Pyro Fire Shooting Pen

Ellusionist took the technology from its wrist-mounted flash gun and incorporated it into a marker pen. The Pyro Fire Shooter Pen looks like a Sharpie and actually writes, but press its covert button for 3 seconds, and it will ignite and shoot flash paper over 10 ft.

Sketches

Sketches

A computer keyboard and mouse pointer take turns manipulating real-world objects, clothespins take flight, and nothing else is quite what it seems in animator Tomin’s playful, cgi-augmented short film.

ADVERTISEMENT

Use Arrow Keys ← → for Faster Navigation

Home | About | Suggest | Contact | Team | Links | Privacy | Disclosure
Advertise | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Sites We Like

Awesome Stuff: The Awesomer | Gadgets, Games & Geeks: Technabob | Cool Cars: 95Octane
Site Design & Content © 2008-2019 Awesomer Media / The Awesomer™
Visit our Friends at: Not Always Right