A rough morning.  My car broke down just before the freeway exit at work and I had to get it towed to the dealership.  They informed me later that my head gasket might have been damaged and the cost will be a substantial dent.  Top that with the fact that my license is expired and my renewed card hasn’t arrived yet.  I had been planning on working a bit late this evening but  because of the situation I decided to save a days worth of rental car and simply spend the night.


The thing that spawned this evenings creative experiment was this Anamorphic Kit that they carry at Grand Illusions.  Tim Rowett, the delightful toy tester, demonstrated it for me when I visited them on Day 017. The Grand Illusions catalog has always been a great place for me to look for interesting ideas.


The word anamorphic has, for most of my life, only meant one thing to me.  In movie terminology, it means 16X9 or widescreen.  An anamorphic lens will distort an image so that when brought into your editing platform and conformed back into it’s undistorted form it will become the rectangular shape we all know and love as widescreen.  But I have come to learn that the definition of the word is much broader than that. Basically it means “To change form or distort”


This particular kind of distortion that I did this evening and which the Grand Illusions product also displays is now generally called Anamorphosis.  Meaning, to distort something so that the true form can only be seen at a special vantage point or in a special manner.


It was actually easier to create than I expected, which is always a nice surprise.  The way I did it was I set my camera up in its position, decided where my virtual cube was going to be and started placing little points of tape where I thought they belonged.  I was able to fine tune it a bit by viewing it through the camera and adjusting those points until they looked lined up.  Then I just connected the points together to form part of the shape.  I repeated this process until the final cube was complete.


I love this concept.  This version is a pretty simple example.  I’m interested in taking it further if I can find the time some day.   The ultimate example of Anamorphic art, in my opinion, is the chalk-drawings done by a UK artist named Julien Beever.  Check out his stuff.  It is absolutely awesome!

5 Replies to “Day 242 / Beginning Anamorphosis

  1. J. Ott

    Someone should do this with architecture. They should design building with forms that, when you stand in the right place, spell out messages or make an image.

  2. Dantes

    Thats awesome stuff! I think there is one out in Brea that has this effect. a bunch of red statues, but if you look at it in a certain angle it becomes the company’s logo. Your design is pretty sweet because it looks like its floating in mid air

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