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By on March 7, 2008, with 34 Comments

Before we start, I have a question for you: how many of you use Facebook? Probably many of you… Well, did you know that you can get newest optical illusion from this site each day shown in your Facebook profile? Many of you added it, but some still don’t know about this. It’s simple go here and press “Add the application” button!

Cylindric mirror optical illusions are way fun, and something I regret not posting so often. Today I assembled collection of 5 cylindric mirror illusions you probably haven’t seen before. The optical illusions works when a cylinder mirror is placed at the correct center position of seemingly non-understandable and blurred image. If the cylinder has been placed correctly, you can see what the artist wanted you to see – Walt Disney maybe? This would be interesting to use among cyphers to code and encode hidden messages, don’t you agree? Today it is probably easy to create these kind of images with modern computers and image editing software, but back then it used great amount of talent to create something like this. The effect presented here is called Anamorphosis, or anamorphic cylinders illusion. Probably the author placed the cylinder first, and then started creating the flick just by looking at the cylinder. I believe this was the correct procedure. Am not sure though… Many more examples can be seen in Anamorphism category. I have underlined (linked) many related cylinder illusions in this text, so go ahead and check them out. Which one did you like the most?

  • Anonymous

    I have always thought these are cool. Anyone know how to make them?

  • Anonymous

    These are simply amazing

  • adriantschubarov

    I don’t know but I remember the Photoshop filter called Polar coordinates, try to apply it to a picture and then use 3d max to reflect it in a cilinder. Does this make sense? I will try it myself. Adrian Tschubarov

  • Anonymous


  • mcapu

    I think it could be done with “Polar Coordinates” feature of Photoshop

  • Allen Gill

    You can use Photoshop, select the image then goto edit, transform then warp. You’ll have to play with it a bit but it works great.

  • Anonymous

    That is awesome! Great illusions!

  • Anonymous

    Photoshop could do it for sure.

  • Anonymous

    you just expand a picture around one center point

  • Living Digital Photography

    WOW! These Rock! Could look at em all day long! Love your site!

  • Screaming Doubles

    i always thought these were amazing.
    i think the only way to do it in reality is to draw a pic around the unmoving glass or vas or whatever.
    i bet there is a program out there that can do it all for you… but still
    they would be rediculous to draw by hand

  • Daniel

    awesome….very cool, very cool. i like the last one (last two pics) the best. the normal drawing actually looks like a hand turning a page, then the cylinder shows a face…cool. wish i could do that. maybe i can, but im sure it takes a long time to learn to do it well, and make one well.

  • courtney

    those last two are simply amazing…

  • Anonymous

    I always love these images.
    I find it fascinating that the first instincts of most people who post here is to claim it’s done through photoshop. While I am sure youc an do this type of thing in a program like that, these sorts of images were created long before even the first computers back when everything was done by hand.

  • Anonymous

    I saw one in ripleys, florida

    it was cool

  • Me

    I love these! :D

  • Anonymous

    This whole site is fun, but do any of you have trouble with ALL of these ads loading on the side.
    It slows my computer down a lot, and it’s a fast one.

  • Rob

    I would be willing to bet that years ago they used a grid system to make these. If they always used the same size cylinder they would only have to make a perfect grid once, and then they could trace or otherwise transfer it when needed. A normal grid would then be drawn over the target image, and then the stretched out drawing could be created using the grid as a guide.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think anyone said they were done using Photoshop, just that it does have the tools to do it if you wish to make your own, without having to draw the distorted picture by hand.

    I love the Escher one. He was genial at drawing distortion, and this picture is a distorted drawing of a distorted drawing!

  • Anonymous

    ooohh i love these things! i was planning on doing one for my ib art project but… it looks awfully difficult to draw…

  • uvalntine

    Those are amazing. I love this kind of illusions. In my opinion, the Da Vinci self-portrait is the best.

  • Bruce Carlley


    I am looking for a source for the cylindrical mirror tube. Any info?
    ( Will pipes from a plumbing supply store work?)


  • mari the awesome

    oh! they have these at the exploratorium (San Francisco, CA)!!!

  • Rachel

    I love the Einstein ones, the pictures are works of art in themselves, and when they’re reflected it’s even cooler!

  • Rob

    >I am looking for a source for the cylindrical mirror tube. Any info?

    Some optical illusion books come with a sheet of mirror-like mylar that you roll into a tube and secure with tape. These work fairly well, you might be able to find a similar sheet in a craft store.

  • Anonymous

    hi guys

  • ~Lizzi~

    i know how 2 make them i took art classes that tought you that, im still not very good at it thou,also i love this site ceep up the good work!!!!

  • CareBear

    How pliable one’s talent has to be to pull off something like this. I am in awe.

  • Rachel

    I think then they draw the picture on the paper they stretch it out long ways so when the glass is by it, it makes it look perfect in the reflection.

  • shark3901

    its a good iloshon

  • red jack

    The Einstein optical illusion deserves an illusionary Nobel Prize!
    Simply the Best!!!
    Any info on the artist who made it please?

  • Mrangel

    this is an old technique…
    go to spain and visit in figueres the Salvador Dali museum a lot of picture there like this….

  • http://google.com PuRpLe sKiTtLe

    thts kewl i want 2 do sumthin lik tht im gonna go try

  • weecoo

    I have No words….. =o