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By on June 16, 2010, with 70 Comments

Before I started writing this, I’ve browsed our #Lego collection for fun. It has dozens of interesting posts, some of them even I completely forgot about. What I’ve noticed is that most of the themes repeat themselves, specially impossible triangles (I think there is no need to post any more triangles for some time now). Anyhow, I’ve collected rest of the unpublished Lego illusions, and decided to close the trend. First one is obviously most complex, but I have some doubts whether photoshop has been used. Rest of the collection should be free of digital manipulation, but fortunately I have you to judge. Can you guess how each of them was built?

Impossible Lego Creations
Impossible Lego Creations
Impossible Lego Creations
Impossible Lego Creations


70 Responses
  1. Nate says:

    I don’t think Photoshop was used in any. For the first one it appears that the man on the left is sitting in a low area and his back leans up against a risen piece that extends the rest if the way. Pretty neat

    • Jimmy says:

      No photoshop, just lighting and angles. As a colorblind person im not fooled by the continuation of color, as one pointed out, one side is a raised brick and the other a trough and the “hiding” was done by color alone. Move the camera a fraction of an inch in any direction and the illusion collapses.

    • Rick B says:

      I disagree. If you look in the middle of the object, between the two men, you can see where the lines that seperate the pieces are blurred out or smoothed together. Nice illusion anyway, but still photoshopped.

  2. Tysss says:

    Damn that’s cool! Now we just need pictures from different angles to see how they were built! (I’m quite skeptic when it comes to illusions, guessing is not for me ;) )

  3. A Snail says:

    I think I have my avatar sorted – a good time to test it I guess

    Anyway, a great set of lego ones where I suspect sum cheating has been done and not really in the spirit of lego.

    Starting with the last one, I suspect the bar going from top left down to bottom right has been cut at the yellow and also the red bar below it. The reason is that the yellow brick is slightly bigger than the yellow brick next to it which is supposidly closer to the viewer.

    The second one down with the robot is easy and no cheating involved, just camera angles

    The first one also I suspect easy, with the wall built up behind the left character but the wall end hidden by the left arm.

    The third one I think is the hardest to explain and I suspect some glue has been used to hold the bricks on the top together. Note the bar at the top is only 8 lumps long unlike the stuff below it which is 10 lumps long, so another bit of carful camera work.

    So, I think they are possible with out photoshop, although I would not want to reproduce some of these with my lego.

  4. Dave leigh says:

    I’ll only speak about the first (most complex) one, because the others are done in the same way that we’ve always seen them done.

    Besides, the first one’s pretty clever. The red strip isn’t continuous, but the seated figure on the left covers the join. He’s seated in a trough, but the center section behind him (on which the other figure is seated) is raised.

    Really good work!

  5. Sj x says:

    These are really cool!!! ive seen the first one before but i still have no idea how they were done!!!

    Love the site btw !!!!

  6. Care Bear says:

    Oooooh. In color. What a nice touch. Looks like what I used to step on at night when the kids were little.

  7. tooom says:

    so…confusing D:!

  8. awesome guy says:

    The first one isn’t impossible: The part in the middle where the guy is sitting is a block, and it stops so the other guy can sit between the 2 other ones.

  9. Sojkicz says:

    The last one is amazing :)

  10. Elliot says:

    garrrrrr so confusinggg

    really cool!!!

    am i first?????

  11. John says:

    First and the last one seemed to be photoshopped. You can see a slight shadow of errors in photoshop work on both. The other two according to me are just the angle in which the photos were shot. Even the second one, they have placed the lighting in such a way that the shadows will come in favour with the photo. Background of the third one plays a huge role in fooling our eyes…

  12. tina says:

    wow very bizzare think will get sons lego out and try these

  13. Qbee37 says:

    Too cool. The one with the guys sitting on it (impossible object 2) is obvious; just look behind the guy on the right. Similarly, impossible object 4 can be resolved by looking closely. The other two, however, will take a lot more effort to discern. I especially like object 3; can’t make it stay still long enough to figure out where the offsets are.

  14. charlee says:

    the first one hurts my brain :|

  15. Number 1 seems to be easy not much of an illusion here, I think number 2 was done with a camera angle. As for 3&4 I honestly don’t know. I’m anxious to see other comments. Yes indeed.

  16. josephine says:

    Number 1 could just be designed, not photoshop

  17. Hering says:

    Number one is obviously a Photoshop.
    Looking behind the left guy, you will see that the red wall is continuing by one brick (you can see the small gap between two bricks going from top to bottom, indicating the red one being a wall). Following it, you will realize that there are no gaps between the following 3 bricks and then suddenly a front-back gap appears (indicating the red one being a floor tile). Same with the yellow, just in reverse.

    The other three were nicely done, though I think the fourth cut two bricks short as “A Snail” already mentioned.

  18. Chris says:

    the solution might be the angle that the creation is taken at

  19. tinkerer says:

    yeah, I’ve seen these done before………it’s all in the angle that the photo was taken

  20. Jupiter says:

    The first one was tricky but I think it is a few blocks left out so The guy on the left can sit in that place and his head and hand are placed so you can’t see that the blocks stop at his body and are not under him. The rest are well done with angles of the camera and all the blocks are not connected where they seem to be. No sharp eyed enough to see exactly where they are unconnected though.

  21. Mucker says:

    Not very good! The first one is pathetic….

  22. 66darkfire says:

    I think that the bottom one mau be photoshoped. The lighting is just too weird. Also i think i see a reflection of more bricks that arent pictured on the bottom right side of the triangle.

  23. Mucker says:

    The first is simply a matter of correctly producing a PHYSICAL 3D model and being conscientious about the angles…

  24. mrboma says:

    Discover Magazine has an online gallery called “Wrong by Design: Why Our Brains Are Fooled by Illusions”: http://tinyurl.com/2detqww

  25. Jason Peek says:

    I want to know why some of the blocks in the last image are reflective and the others have a matte finish.And the reflections on those blocks don’t make sense.

  26. Mike D says:

    actually I think Photoshop was used to blur the joints of the red LEGOS between the two men.

  27. Futz says:

    I think I understand how the first two are built but I suspect the last one to be photoshoped. Anyone who sees the solution for the last one?

  28. Futz says:

    Sorry, since there are four I understand the first three. The last one seems really impossible to built with simple Lego, no matter what the perspective.

  29. Dolphin says:

    I like lego and illusions,so I love this.

    I like many other things to,but I’m not going to list them.You probably know why.

  30. Kimon says:

    The first one is edited. The construction has been blurred in the middle where it switches from being a grove to being a ridge.
    Being a long-time lego owner and builder, I still have no idea what the deal with the next 3 is.

  31. Jennarator says:

    I think they are all pretty cool the only on that looks simple to me is the second one. With all the time I’ve spent with legos I could never come up with something like these wow.

  32. Davey Boy says:

    those are the Gayest lego men I have ever seen!

  33. Mizer says:

    The first one is photoshopped. If you zoom in on the red you can see in the middle were it has been blended.

  34. Andrew MacDonald says:

    I have recreated all of there and it is all done by the perspective of how you look ate it. The first one the lego guys are actualy hiding the secrets. The Wall-E one the far back pillar is not actually conected to the first one.

  35. Andrew MacDonald says:

    Is also done with camera the illusion points are not conected same with #4

  36. Dude says:

    @ Nate, they’re all photoshopped. The whole point of an “impossible square” is that it is actually impossible to make.

    @ A Snail: It’s not cheating to make an illusion with photoshop. By definition an illusion is something that LOOKS like something else but ISN’T. lol

    This is simply a (well done) new take on an old illusion that’s usually only sketched but now has been duplicated using pictures and photoshop.

  37. Barbarella says:

    Let’s just say there’s a reason why the little blue lego guy’s left left is black. Wink wink nudge nudge.

  38. Awesome Anonymous says:

    the first one, if you look closely you will see that the lines that make up the pieces of the thing the guy is sitting kinda fade away but you can see it still kinda so, photo shop maybe was involved

  39. CreePz says:

    WALL-E in second one :D

  40. whoami says:

    I like playing with legos and I think all of them can be built….the trick here lies in the angle of the camera shot. :-). Don’t think photoshop was used (at least in majorly contributing to the creation of the illusion) in any.

  41. Bec says:

    The last two have been digitally manipulated (the backgrounds have been cut out). It’s more obvious on the last one because of reflections on the sides of blocks and the light edges.
    However, the only structure that seems to be edited to me is the last. But that’s probably because I just can’t make sense of it.

    Great post. Keeps us guessing.

  42. cozza says:

    for all who think the first one stops at the left guy…your wrong. look at the lines tween the different blocks. near the left guy they are angled more down then near the right guy.

  43. Mark P says:

    When did Lego men get correctly proportioned bodies?

  44. Someone says:

    none was photoshopped, i think. they’re all about angles.

  45. Aaron says:

    Ok, in my opinion, the first one can be pulled off, but in this particular version, it has been edited, du to the lack of lines for the tile edges around the area where it transitions from low to high…

  46. SorbetKiss says:

    2,3 camera trick
    1,4 digital editted

  47. anonymous says:

    all are real guys, it’s just about camera angles as “someone” says somewhere before me

  48. Alex says:

    The first one has been edited but just to mess with the lines between blocks (some lines even disappeared on the red and yellow blocks behind the guy on the left), otherwise the thing is real. Look at the guy on the right: at this point the construction looks to be 3 2×2 blocks wide, but when you look at the guy on the left, the construction’s base is clearly 4 2×2 blocks wide. The blue and green flat tiles are at the same level(look at the upper right corner), there’s just another row of blue flat tiles behind the guy on the right and you only see the tip of them; it looks likes it’s higher that the red flat tiles but it’s not. And of course the guy on the left is hiding the joint.

  49. SHYzone says:

    Wait how is the third one impossble??? or am i just stupid:)

  50. Milla says:

    With the first one I believe its a real object, but I think the join is hidden by the right dude.
    The structure is a continuous U shape so the guy on the left can sit in it. The trick is, the right guy is balanced on the green and blue tiles with nothing under his legs (his left hand appears to drop down a little) and behind his knees there are extra yellow blocks with red tiles on top placed on the yellow row so that they were raised above the blue and green tiles. His knees are perfectly covering the join.

    • John I.G. says:

      @ Milla and Budislav:
      Those would be good ways to do it, but that was not what happened in this picture, you can tell by the seems in the lego pieces. For instance in the red blocks the seems are vertical on both sides of the left man, and they are diagonal on both sides of the right man.

  51. Reavenk says:

    All of them are probably real. You just make them disjointed with no trickery, and then shoot from the perfect camera angle which merges the visual seam when the 3D object is projected onto the film and makes it look like it’s connected in the impossible way.

    I like the lego Wally in the second image!

  52. Ember Mclain says:

    The first one is easy. The lego Wall-E is cute, the other one, I dunno.

  53. gray eagle says:

    Look closely at the first one. You see that one side has been built upwards and the other downwards.

  54. Shaemus says:

    Good catch, Milla.

    The Wall-E one is another simple illusion; there are eight pegs on the beam on top, but only seven pegs between the ends of the stacks below. The right-side stack isn’t really connected to the beam as it appears, but behind it.

    The third picture is a little harder to pin down because of the lighting. It seems to be a similar trick of angle, but is actually longer on the bottom than on top…hard to say.

    The fourth one is trippy, I don’t know how they did that.

  55. Jacob says:

    The third one is the same as the wall – e one. Its longer on the bottom by 2 pegs, as well as having the right side built up about twice as high (hard o count cause of lighting)

  56. erik says:

    The first one is two images in photo shop, just look at the plain lines on the red legos. the last one is impossible so it is also photoshop simple layering tricks

  57. Joel says:

    third one…. never seen that before(!)

  58. um.. says:

    any1 else notice how in the middle of the 1rst pic where there is yellow anr red the lines stop..but there are lines next to the two male figures? I think it was photoshopped there and blended 0..o

  59. Budislav says:

    Starting from left to right – first two rows are in U shape,and the rest of structure is in T shape, but the colors doing the trick. Top of the T, where right guy sits is red as the inner side of U shape. T shape is ending behind left guy so we can`t see it. Everything else is angle of photography where top of T becomes inner side of U.

    Hope you will understand my point because I cant tink on Engish (:

  60. Sofia Antonia Milone says:

    1 and 4 are fake in my opinion. 1 is clearly two images with photoshop smudge in the middle. 4 is impossible even considering angles because each edge overlaps at one end in a way it cannot if it is attached as it clearly is at the other.

    2 and 4 are perfectly possible: the top elements of each lego arch where it ‘seems’ to meet with it’s impossible target are in fact not attached, the hover, and the rear columns rise behind. The correct angle is found and voila.

    p.s number 4 is clearly fake if for no other reason that some of the lego parts appear to be reflecting none existent adjacent pieces of lego?!

    If an image has been cut out, it’s usually also been tampered with!

  61. John says:

    I’m gonna try n’ get my kid to build a couple of those things, n’ maybe he’ll stay quiet for once!

  62. Todd says:

    the first image is obviously digitally manipulated. copy the image to your computer, load it up in Paint.NET, and zoom in 300%. You will see that the vertical seams before, and behind the man sitting on the left, are the same. In fact, you will also notice that the seam in front of the man was the source for the copy that was pasted behind the man, and that the seams do not line up properly behind the man on the left.

    Also note evidence of a blur tool being used on the middle Red and Yellow sections, along with repeating dithering patterns therein.

    A for effort, but this is not a real model.

  63. herky stubby says:

    To todd: I don’t know if that is true, but I am amazed on how you look closely and deeply to the details in the picture.

  64. Anon says:

    Last one is obviously fake you can see reflections on all the different pieces and reflection is only visible from one angle not all angles as it is in that pic

  65. JACKJJ says:

    There really easy to figure out except the last one i have made the rest and its just camera angles :)

  66. maty71 says:

    not legos

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