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By on September 14, 2010, with 62 Comments

Here’s a quick update, just to refresh that annoying animation that appears in your widgets. You’re probably right, in the future if we ever post similar stuff, I’ll use a static image for all your Optical Illusion of The Day widgets. The photo you see below belongs to Edgar Muller’s pavement art. I know we had that particular Lava Cave installation already, but is it only me, or does this one appear even more realistic? Has Edgar “updated” his drawing? Was the photographer more professional this time? Any clue whatsoever?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Gorham/1046321338 Peter Gorham

    The two images are quite different – more turmoil in the water in this one and less fire in the rocks. The rock walls are different – and the remaining pavement is a very different shape. For example, the car parked on the left is on a spot of pavement that did not “exist” in the prior version.

    I’d guess this is a new painting – possibly as an update to the prior one, but more than just enhancing what was there before. Also, similar (or probably same) lens used, but the camera position is slightly closer in the prior version.

  • http://www.jandrich.dial.pipex.com Richard Saunders

    Almost certainly enhanced in Photoshop!

    • lama cat


    • happydoodle

      haha not photoshopped, a real artist did this. and wow this must hav taken a long time

    • Jade

      100% NOT PHOTOSHOPPED!!!!

    • Yeah

      Part of that Mini Cooper in the back is gone. IT IS PHOTOSHOP!!!!!! And pretty obvious one too.

    • Photoshop Expert

      ITS PHOTOSHOP! You can compare original work and this thing. You will see that you can clearly identify manholes in the ground on the original picture. On this one you can’t! Because it is photoshopped! Also look at Mini Cooper. And why is there no people. If you look at any other REAL chalk work pictures, there are always someone in the middle of it!!!!

  • David

    it’s pretty obvious to me that this version is simply a photoshop “enhancement” (or just “variation” if like me you find this rather lame) of the real picture, not an actual drawing on the pavement.

    you can even see the bugs in the photoshop montage on the new mini for instance (the wheels on the left are “painted”, which is unlikely in reality) or the tree right in front of the mini (the transition on the pavement is rather blurry, also unlikely) or more obviously on the car in the front left : it appears that the lava has also been painted on this car’s side (right over the wheel), a pretty damn good illusion, isn’t it ?

    if the result really looks good (the photomontage isn’t that bad), just the fact that it’s aimed at faking a real illusion bugs me…

    • Anonymous Coward

      The only lame thing on this thread is YOU, buddy. Crawl in a refrigerator and wait until death becomes you, and let the rest of us who appreciate good art go on about our day….

      It was taken with a fisheye lens…

      The mini WAS painted…it belongs to the artist’s friend who let him ” paint” it with chalk dust….

      Wow…pretty soon you’ll believe everything is faked….
      Was photoshop used? Maybe but not to fake the shot.

    • Coward Hater

      And you, my friend, defenately not the sharpest tool in the shed. As a matter of fact you do not know what tool you are. You probably read somwhere on questionable website about this chalk painting and believed it, like a naive little girl. “Because they cannot post lies on the internet!” HA HA HA!!!!

  • Meerkat

    That looks photoshopped to me. It’s the same street as the original one but it isn’t the same picture on the ground. Look at the Mini on the right too, it is missing two of its wheels. The pic is a fake.

    • Jade

      This is not photoshop.. i believe that this was done by a real artist.. see how where the car is parked, where theres no art? its for one that the artist cannot move the car if it does not belong to them.. so they choose to make it a part of the scenery.. see? many people say it’s photoshop, just because it looks so realistic.. but there are really very good talented artists.. this art, is well, one of the best i’ve ever seen. :) Very good job.

  • Lacerface

    The pothole that was in the water, is now the pothole in the pavement at the bottom of the screen.. and the walls are higher..almost too real, like they were digittaly inhanced..

  • Menno

    The left side is pretty nice, however on the right side you can clearly see that its half painted and half photoshopped…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Skinner/740772508 Jonathan Skinner

    I love these pavement illusions so much; I don’t care how many times you post them!

  • emily

    what is happening to the roof of the house on the left??

    • lama cat

      i kno rite

  • Mike

    Two different drawings of the same street. Different vehicles, flag on building on “newer” drawing not on first. Too many differences to be the same but enhanced.

  • http://www.rienheuver.nl TheRien

    The house on the left is bending over quite a bit, and the builder of the right house didn’t do his job any good either. Something is fishy here

  • ali

    emily – the photo was taken with a wide angle lens (I think) resulting in the rounded distortion of the roofs

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Hallinan/882505453 Steve Hallinan

    Either it’s photoshopped or he’s done a great job of painting the wheels and the side of that mini!

  • Jugoy

    It is very very nice!!!

  • Tysss

    This picture is shopped, I can tell from some of the pixels and from having seen quite a few shops in my life.

  • Greg

    That is just amazing. I’ve always been interested in these. Just wondering, how long do they usually last? Can cars drive over them without issue?

  • Janet

    Okay…so this is a cool “photoshopped” illustration. What does it matter, it’s still an illusion.

  • aytee

    You guys got it all wrong… this really happenned! Just kidding. Love these chalk drawings, and love your site Vurdlak! Keep it up and thank you!

  • Denise

    To those of you so sure it’s photoshopped because wheels are “missing” on the car, you might want to note that this was obviously taken with a camera with a “fisheye” lens (see the walls and roof of the buildings, esp the one on the right) and that has a tendency to “squash” things together. That and distance (remember how far back that car must be) can make black tires blend in with the blacktop to make them appear to disappear. This is certainly not the same photo. Perhaps this one was updated or repainted, but I see no reason to believe it would be PS’d.

  • Aeros

    Of course it’s photo-shopped. I mean they might have done a little painting but certainly not that whole street.
    Other than thats it’s pretty nice but im getting burned out on the painted street/sidewalk thing. Maybe just me…

  • Brad

    This looks really nice :)

  • Tara Upchurch

    I agree this one has been photo shopped. Ripples in the water repeat like the cloning brush was used. Aside from that though it’s a really good enhancement on it’s on. The PS artist is pretty good too.

  • Kelbertou

    The mini cooper on the right: The wheels look like they’re painted over. It looks like it may be shopped.

  • ZL123

    Wow, cool!
    Yes, I don’t care how many times you post these pavement illusions!

  • verity


  • http://collettivo.tk Palmino


  • Sarah Reed

    I actually liked the moving illusion the other day… but i have a fast connection at work, so it didn’t cause any problems for me, either!

  • cletus

    Two of the past three posts have been fake and the one in the middle did nothing but annoy your faithful readers. I love your stuff but GIMPed photos like the “Are they kissing?” post and this one just seem silly to me. Thanks for all your hard work!

  • morgan

    the photo underneath (for that is what it is) is actually a shot of a glacier, all they have done is used it as the bottom layer.

  • http://www.okjordans.com cony

    Wow, coooooooooool!

  • horse

    i don’t know wat im talking about… but could it be one of those 2D paintings/stickers put on the road to make it LOOK 3D?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Niraj-Thakor/100000066560975 Niraj Thakor


  • km0

    Oh no! the gravity is messed up! platforms are floating above the hole- and so can everything else!

  • Jonny

    This looks shopped. I can tell from some of the pixels and from having seen quite a few shops in my time.

  • Star

    Really nicely done, it’s a shame how pretty much everyone assumes that all photos that are even slightly impressive must be done in photoshop.

  • http://kaidensevenphoto.com kaidensevenphoto.com

    amazing work!
    i wish this was on my street.
    i would love to live infront of that.

  • E

    it is not the same photographh since it does not have the same 3d areas of land and the sky i s a different color. (also, the telltale manhole cover is gone)

  • E

    oh i see now. the manhole cover is in the lower left corner…and another thing…it’s amzing that he photoshopped the sky too, huh? and the ground looks wet unlike the last picture that had clear skies…

  • E

    for those of you that still dont believe this is real at all, copy the two images and put them on word or something. do they look so alike now?

    • Sheneneh

      I wonder if its fun to drive/walk over that

  • Alyssa L.
  • jenny b

    It IS photoshopped.

    How I can tell ?

    The streets are wet …. and no chalc or any other paint can be used on wet sphgalt or concrete ,producing the color richness that we see here …..

    The amount of “fakes” on this site is increasing …. be careful with what you decalre a real world application ….

  • jenny b

    By the way ….

    Can you see the repeating pattern in the lower third of the water ?

    Typical Photoshop Clone-Stamp mistake :D

  • gjsmo

    Have you EVER considered that this guy is just REALLY REALLY GOOD? No? Please do.
    It’s not a photoshop. It’s a street painting. They really do look that good.

  • andrea

    i wish i could do something that great its amazing love you work

  • kiki

    A person used chalk and other stuff to paint the street. I never got the person’s name but he/she is really good.

    • Nathan

      @Kiki – Edgar Muller doesn’t use chalk, he uses paint. Julian Beever is the most well-known of the chalk artists.

      @All – this is the digital draft that the artist used to conceptualize the real picture. It isn’t a fake, it’s the original image…. before lava burst was even painted.

  • Becky

    DAMN thats great :)

  • MattW

    This version IS digitally enhanced.

    How do I know?

    Firstly, my eyes – it’s not even a very good photoshop. And secondly, because if you browse Edgar Müller’s website and look at his portfolio of past projects, you’ll see a selection of behind-the-scenes images and finally the finished version of ‘Lava Burst’, which is the original image.

    Surely you’d expect him to want to show this “improved” version off, but there is no mention of this “enhanced” version anywhere on his website. Furthermore, all his many other projects share his same distinctive style – namely, they are amazing, but they still look like they are drawn with chalk. Unlike this one.


    @Anonymous Coward:
    Wishing someone DEAD just because they have have more common sense than you? You should be ashamed of yourself.

    • Carolyn

      There are obvious signs of Photoshop in this, namely the poorly hidden usage of the “clone tool” in the waves. And I echo your thoughts on the idiot wishing death on someone. Shame.

  • http://???????? Trevor

    If this is real, then it must’ve taken

  • Hannah

    If it is real, bravo! Very impressive, if not interesting!
    If it was photoshopped or if it was not real, still quite amazing!

  • Brady

    look at the houses. They are curved. DEFINITELY edited

  • Hibi

    Like a boss of lava.