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By on October 11, 2009, with 65 Comments

In May 2009, Greg “The Grease” Lehman showed us a relatively new approach to 3D Anamorphic Artwork. His tactics involved similar moves some of them chalk artists use, but with use of a printer we managed to avoid the artistic factor, where normally we would have to get our hands “dirty” to actually paint the image. This time I found a creation done by one of his fans, where you can see the result is quite amazing. Apparently the Spalding we see is just a painting on the street, but when seen from certain angle looks impossibly real. In fact, it’s so realistic that I have my doubts on this one. Perhaps the user that submitted this, sent me the photo of a real ball (by mistake?) that the author used to guide him in his painting process. You be the judge!

Apparently this Spalding basketball ball is just painted on the street, though...

Apparently this Spalding basketball ball is just painted on the street, though...

To see how the painting came to be, see the gallery:

  • Suicidal ‘Ling

    PAINTING! look at the ball’s shadow and the tree’s shadow

    • happydoodle

      i kno the artist really must’ve taken some time on dis. looks so realistic . . .

    • Optimum

      REAL! look at the ball’s shadow and the car’s shadow

  • Lucas Delfin

    This one is very cool. Hope children don’t jump in front of cars to rescue the ball, though.

  • anonymous

    i have some doubts too, but if that was fake then im just wondering wat would happen if cars come by…lol

  • koala

    You can tell it isn’t a real ball, look at the other shadows cast by the trees, if the ball was real the shadow would be on the opposite side of the ball from where it is now.

    • gggfefqgr

      Yeah weirdo thats what Suicidal ‘Ling said you fool!!

  • Yes, that is the picture of the real ball..
    See step number 2.

    I seen the illusion on instuctables.com, which happens to have my instuctable on making 3D street art.


  • Emma

    Those photos don’t really add up IMO. The last ‘stretched’ photo has all the letters SPALDING but the one where he’s lying down only has half…

  • Luis

    It’s so clear that pictures 2 and 3 from the gallery don’t depict the so called “illusion” of the post.

  • woah, it looks so real… xD

  • bulldog1963

    I think it is painted because the shadow is not consistan with the car behind it.

  • Care Bear

    I learned in defensive driving that when you see a ball in the street, expect to see kid running out to get it from between the parked cars. Wonder how the artist would manage that.

  • Danielle


  • Tim

    I don’t buy it; the details don’t seem to match up. Nice try, but try again.

  • Waggers

    cool my mum says “it never is” lol

  • Jimmy

    1st comment!its AMAZING!!!!

  • your mom

    shadow’s on the wrong side
    but it’s still amazing

  • The shadow is off only a little, or it could be my eyes. Compare with the car.

  • David

    WOW, I would of said no way is that a painting, but it is!!!

  • Raicuparta

    The shadow sor of ruins it :P

  • Purrsia

    Fake – even the picture of the basketball taken near the drain to “prove” it’s warped appearance from a “different” angle has simply been stretched to make it look like its a different perspective. The “illusion” is a real ball.

  • I remember seeing this on instructables when i was looking into doing one of my own. thats the picture of the real ball used for reference, as the author himself said above. For all the people saying look at the shadow, look at the shadow of the car….haha….

  • whoops greg grease isnt the author, but he said that….my bad….

  • sean

    the ball has the same shadow angle (or close) as the cars, plus the tree’s shadow looks like it is actually behind the ball, and the balls in the other pictures dont even look the same color!! Im going to say its a real ball

    speaking of color check this one out…very good…

  • Fake

    The shadow is acctually ok, look at the shadow from the car.

    Besides, there is alot of difference between the ball in the first and third picture – different color, text and structure.

    Then again – the artist’s obviously already admitted the first picture to be the real ball and not the painting, so no further proof needed.

  • Jonathan

    Look at the Suns angle on the shadows the ball is going the wrong way….. so i is either painted… or Photoshop ed a real ball that was taken at another time of day

  • harry

    it doesn’t seem to match up but that’s the genius of it, right? it was painted all warped so that it would appear correct from a certain angle.

  • Bob Awsome

    The shadows don’t tell you anything, the shadows on the cars support the basketball’s shadow. Also the shadow of the tree seems to disappear behind the basketball.

  • Peet

    I think the main image is either a real ball or a different drawing. The main image and the one with the man’s foot on the ball appear to be taken from virtually the same position (look at pole in pbackground), but the perspective differs.
    The drain in the main image is missing from the image with the foot on top. Also, there is a crack in the road beside the ball with the foot on top, and there is no crack in the main image (although I will admit it is possible a small crack could be “hidden” due to the slightly out of focus shot).

  • I think the whole thing is fake, look at the ball’s shadow and the car’s shadow, they appear to be going in the same direction. Now look at the tree’s shadow, it goes in a completely different direction.
    The point is, this photo was somehow altered using an app. so, I wouldn’t consider it an illusion.

  • Magilicious

    Hmm, i already voted on this “illusion” with a high amount of stars only to find out thats its actually a real ball and we’ve all been duped. I shall not be continuing to visit this website anymore i think its stupid that things like should happen here. Goodbye forever!

  • nando

    real ball… for those “shadow” spotters… the shadow of the grey vehicle is also facing the same direction. plus look at the post form the guy with the interactables website.

    a very fun illusion but unfortunately the pic is of a real ball.

  • Tara

    This is super stupid! ok that looks like a real basketball! no one can draw that good! look at the photos! Different huh? this concludes that the illusion is no illusion at all!

  • nobody

    thats so a painting the balls shadow is darker than the trees

  • Soraya

    its a painting. look at the shadows of the trees, then, of the ball. it makes it seem that there are 2 different light sources

  • cheese

    if you look at the shadow real hardd, you can seethings of the ground. but if you look at the top half of the pic, its got shadows goin 1 way and the camera was on maybe liek a tripod and then another pic was taken at a diff time of day and the prolly photoshopped em togehter

  • Kaytlynn

    that looks so real!!

  • PaperMoon

    Wow that looks sooooooo real!

  • Paul

    OKAY, ur theories about the “shadows’ and crap are all retarded. They used a real ball for reference when they painted it. They took an actual pic of a ball and elongated the pic with a computer and then they painted it on a frickin road. OH, and for those who can’t read, “spalding” is written on the frikin’ ball in the pic whereas it’s half-assedly written on the painting giving it away completely… you guys with ur stinkin “shadows” ………. HAHAHAHAHAHA DUMBASSES!!!

  • Corey Schmetzer

    its so drawn on!

  • tuned cars

    damn so real i like it

  • carl wiit

    that cant be a painting?!?!

  • Sister Satan 666

    Good mind f*ck, but I agree with you, I think it’s a real basketball.

  • Janet

    Definitely a real basket ball. If you look at the shadow of the car. Also I noticed some people saying about the shadow of the trees. I noticed those but those could also be ABOVE the basketball. Also if you look at the pictures of the paintings close up compared to this picture its a little off. The words aren’t in the exact spot of both pictures and the shading isn’t right on the REAL painting of the basketball.

  • Ken

    Real.The shadows of the trees are hanging over the road suggesting the trees are behind and over head of the shot.Look at the shadow under the car in the back ground,it`s exactly in the same dirrection as the shadow under the ball.Even the kerb is in shadow.If the sun was to the left the kerb would be lit.

  • CK

    I just have to say that it’s not clever to say ‘it’s so drawn on’ when that’s kind of the whole POINT.

  • buha

    I can’t belive that you’re discussing about this! It’s obvious that this is the REAL b-ball, as well as the streched pic.
    Shadows? You’re stupid; don’t even know where the tree is, how can you tell then?

  • Someone


  • dude

    this is fake why is it even up here?

  • Danny

    The first pic is a real ball – you can’t go by the tree’s shadows, because trees hang over a road. There’s no way to tell where their shadow is coming from. you guys are assuming the tree is on the side of the road, casting a shadow in the direction of the road. Well if the tree is large, hanging over the road, it is likely casting the shadow in the same direction the ball is. This images was taken for the artist as a guide. It’s a real ball.

  • Danny

    btw.. look at the car, not the tree, and you’ll see the shadow matched up with the ball just fine.

  • Sami

    It has to be a real ball BECAUSE!… See the bigger tree’s shadow? Look, because the drawing at the veryyyyyyyyy end of the tree, the ‘drawing’ goes over the shadow.

  • Danni

    it is real how can people say it isnt real because it is omg u guys r so dumb. P.S Danny is my dead bros name:( now im sad :( i was named afte im because when i was born he died several hours later

  • Allie

    This is stupid…. the ball in the original pic IS A BALL…. and the other ones just look like drawings…. not even 3d….. this is terrible

  • Zeb

    I am suprissed that some one submitted this to you.You were generous to have even posted it. It seems that ther is a photo of a basketball in the street then a distortation of the photo and 2 crudly drawn basketballs. no Illusion just a jack ass laying in the street.

  • JoeM

    What’s pitiful is the fact that many people will believe the first ball is fake considering all the deception that’s been going around for awhile. Why have people become so obsessed with fooling one another? Life must really suck for most people.

  • Rosie

    If its a drawing… Then why has it got a shadow?

    • Sadie Elmsworth

      the shadow is painted too?

  • Ann~

    I think its a drawing, cause the shadow of the ball is going the other way if u look at the shadow of the trees on the road

  • its real. no daubt

  • Lai-Lai

    Even after reading the comments, I still don’t see anything wrong.

  • Avi

    What if the ball is real and everything else is painted? Hmm…

  • JadeRox

    holy crap that car look real

  • Sadie Elmsworth

    the ball in the first pic doesnt look much like the ball shown painted on the street in the rest of the pics