Mesmerizing Cinemagraph Illusion

With a little help from Jemish Dave, I stumbled across a unique technique that left me mesmerized. Ever seen something like this below? Quit reading this text and check the illusion attached. How long does it take you before you notice what it hides? After you checked the illusion out, you may PROCEED reading – don’t cheat!….. Has it surprised you? It may take some time for these things to load, and it also depends on type of connection and speed of your interface for the effect to happen seamlessly, though! If you want to know, these things are called cinemagraphs (little different than stereoscopic images we already showed). Creating a cinemagraph photo is not as simple as it may appear. Some of them took their authors entire day to make, but as you see the results are breathtaking. Cinemagraph is a technique of blending the effects of images and videos. Some of them can end up quite exciting, funny or extremely creative. It might take few seconds for them to fully load, so be patient and watch carefully!

133 Replies to “Mesmerizing Cinemagraph Illusion”

  1. Other than the shadow under the front bit of his hair seems to move up & down his forehead when he lifts his head to smile… I don’t get what I’m suppose to be seeing lol

    1. I also see the fringe shadow comming a bit later

      OK I have a slow internet
      like only saw the other with the youtube link

  2. Thats kinda funny!


    As his head is going back down, he does one motion at a time, head, mouth, so on, unlike when his head goes up and all things happen simultaneously.

  3. Wow.. First of all.. That is what you can call a beautiful man, especially when the smile comes up.. Please correct if I’m wrong, but it is a picture, that is animated right? It looks real realistic to me.

  4. The key about a cinemagraph is that most of it is a still photo and only some parts of it move. It is more like a living photo than a full gif animation. The effect is somewhat like a time-frozen world with one aspect that is animate and can be either “Artsy” or “goulish”. It reminds me of animatronics.

  5. You all know, of course, that this is actor Anthony Perkins who played Norman Bates (of Bates Motel fame) in the film Psycho.

  6. it’s norman bates from the movie ‘psycho’ in which he assumed the identity of dead mother. not sure, but maybe there’s a slight image superimposed over his smile – like the teeth from the final shot of her corpse.

  7. I’m also not clear on what you’re asking us to see here. That he moves at all? That he is moving in discrete chunks? That weird things are happening to the lighting?

  8. This motion is not a real motion.

    Ther are 2 picture: 1 looking down and the other loking up,

    The illusionis that out of these 2 pictures the pictures in between the movemnt were handmade to get the illusion of a movement.

    Get it? It s NOT a movie put into an inimated GIF it is an Animated GIF made of 2 photos (start and end)

  9. The illusion is from the Alfred Hitchcock movie “Psycho”. It’s the last thing you see at the end of the movie. If you’ve not seen it, I won’t spoil it, but what you’re supposed to see is a skull superimposed over the man’s face.

  10. I do not understand how this is an illusion at all. At first it scared me a bit when I saw it move because I though that was somehow the illusion, but then I realized it is just an animated gif.

    Could someone please explain why/how this is classified an illusion? Am I missing something here???

  11. No, look at his upper lip just as he looks down – it looks like you can see through to his teeth. I don’t get the whole thing, but I’m thinking a skull might show through briefly… ?

  12. ok in 1962 the movie Psycho by the great Alfred Hitchcock made and this is the real shot from the movie that mt friends is Anthony Hopkins, as his had is bowed he says i won’t even kill this fly as head comes up they will see i can’t even hurt a fly movie fades to black

  13. I see, at the peak of his smile, him turning into an older man, OR him smiling at you showing his teeth. Don’t look directly at it expecting a big smile, it’s just very subtle. I tried concentrating on the tip of his nose, or his mole thing by his mouth to see this. You clearly see teeth and maybe a a few more wrinkles on his forehead. It’s possible it is an x-ray layer or a skull. So, to Kano, we are not all “newbies”. Don’t try to act like you know the solution when you clearly did not look close enough. What you said has nothing to do with it. And you’re calling people newbies while at the same time being completely wrong?

  14. Keep looking at his eyes.
    The third time he smiled at me, he got me scared! After reading the text I noticed it was the picture coming through.

    The picture of a skull is hidden inside, showing just for a short moment and really faint. While looking at his upper lip, you can see the teeth coming through.

  15. The statement “How long does it take you before you notice what it hides?” seems to beg that there is something going on besides the obvious; which is the man’s head and eyes tilt up as he smiles and then he looks down. As another viewer noticed, the up movement is fluid and the down movement is separated with head, smile and eyes moving separately.

    The transition between moving and not moving is un-noticeable which makes me wonder if toward the end of the down movement where he lowers his eyes is where the transition takes place to form the loop.

    I too noticed the shadow beneath the hair on the front/top of his head seems to have a life all it’s own.

    I kept starring to discover something “hiding” but saw nothing else.


  16. Ummm… guys, this is a clip from Psycho, right toward the end, where Hitchcock superimposes “mother’s” skull over Anthony Perkins’ face; it is clipped so you only see a few frames of the skull image before it loops backwards to the start pose. The person who posted this clip didn’t really do anything except show good taste in movies.

  17. Download the Image.
    It is a set of 49 images, of which only one is Complete. other are simply dots, that show a little change in the expression.

  18. Just seen it… there’s a skull merged in the back…. watch carefully the upper lip, in the final frames, you can see teeth… scary!!!

  19. It’s not as simple as a video turned into GIF. Light fluctuations are natural! The creator of this had to make everything except for his head a completely still frame so that nothing moves.

    When the head moves, that is GIF because you can see the pixel fluctuations but everything else is just a STILL frame.

    If it ALL were a GIF then you would see little flickers and fluctuations moving in the background and hence you would not be fooled.

  20. This is the stupid most retarded BS excuse for an “Illusion” that I have ever seen. Just so you know. P.S. The man in the picture/video is ugly too!

    1. Dang… Thanks for your opinion, at least myself and others are enjoying it. Maybe you have something that YOU feel is better to contribute. I’m sure no one would shoot down your post right?

    2. Your response how childish and rude you are – may I suggest you grow up. If you do not like the illusions, then do not visit the site.

      Perhaps you do not like this illusion because you are missing the illusion.

  21. All I see is when he smiles his top lip wrinkles (for the lack of a better description). It is interesting what you can do with blending…

  22. Sorry @kano his head moves both times. It can be verified by looking at the edge of the image where his hair moves out of the frame and back into it.

    There is no illusion here! If someone did create this by other than pure photographic means then it’s simply photo manipulation. NOT illusion.

  23. I think what you are supposed to see is his skull underneath when he lifts his head up and smiles. look at his top lip when he smiles, you can see his teeth as well as his cheek bones etc..

  24. when he lifts his head and smiles, I see a skull. Look at his upper lip when he smiles, you’ll see the teeth of the skull.
    Kind of freaky.

  25. it’s not a gif. i love this movie. the illusion is part of the movie and they did not have gif. then.look for a vauge skull on his face!!!

  26. I was thirteen when I saw Psycho. The skull is a little more noticible on the big screen, but it’s my favorite scene from the movie.

  27. I recognised the picture of Bates as soon as I saw it, but is this a skull comp’d onto a short section of film, or has the whole movement come about through manipulating a single source image in photoshop? Anyone know?

  28. This is a gif guys. Its just a silly prank image and not an illusion at all. All it does is have a still image for a while and then the rest of the animation plays.

    I wonder if all the comments that are saying this are being removed. I sure hope at least one person here isn’t a fool.

  29. I love this movie too. Just checked the DVD original, and this sequence is certainly there, so it’s not a .gif creation – just a clever bit of cinematography, considering how long ago Hitchcock made it.

    Maybe the above (pointless) comment on the guy being ‘ugly’ is because the poster has never seen the actual film ? I don’t think the character portrayed is meant to be a matinee idol !

  30. You missed the all point…the illusion here is the cinemegraph effect itself..just the is moving whle everything else have stoped in for cinemagraph on google images search you find that all the backfground or part of it is frozzen while only 1 part or 2 moves…it creates an interesting efect…our eyes are not used to it…we are seeing what it looks like a movie but we dont realise sundently that most of the image is frozzen…this is not a gif..which is succession of frames hat werent touched…the person who created it just have put the same background in all frames and decided what to move…check this site…some pretty good cinemagraphs:

    ..i woudnt call this an illusion but still cool though…not this one particulry…but theres some cinemgraphs that you go ‘Wow’ !!!

  31. As nobody has said it, I will. It’s from the end of Psycho. The original, genius version. Not the crappy remake. The effect is far clearer in the movie.


  32. It’s better in the movie, Alfred Hitchcock’s movie “Psycho.” Norman Bates and his dead mother superimposed over his face b/c he has a split personality.

  33. it’s a skull! read this and cut-and-paste it for the source:

    At the very end of the movie, as the shot on Norman Bates fades out and just before credits appear, you can see a brief super-imposing of a skull over Norman’s head. Then again, maybe you didn’t see this – the second run of the movies out there have this last special effect edited out, as Hitchcock couldn’t decide on whether to use it or not. Then, Hitchcock decided to re-introduce the special effect in two places for the third run of production! When Norman is standing by the swamp and looking very sinister, another skull is morphed onto his face. I had rented the original (production 1) copy, with only the ending-skull in place.

  34. This is the actual ending from Psycho. Hitchcock fully intended a merging of Norman and his dead mothers mumified face. Also as the scene progresses the car he put Janet Leigh’s body in is being dredged from a pond behind the hotel. The tow chain lines up with Norman’s heart as if it is being torn out of him

  35. It’s a bit creepy…The skull under the face when he looks up,plus your expecting it to not move…Though not scary enough to give you nightmares,it’s just a bit…Creepy.But cool.

  36. Yes a Skull. I also love that the part of the mouth transforms into the Rope (Or chain I cant recall) in the next scene. Hitchcock is an amazing person.

  37. This sample is nothing like the other samples you link to. All the others are “3D wiggle” animated .GIFs. So… I’m not sure you’ve really educated us at all about the main image in this post.

  38. This is crazy! It’s scared the hell out of me… I actually hid my screen after the illusion operated and I can’t seem to be able to look at it one more time …

  39. I don’t know what it is supposed to do, but it scared the jeepers out of me when it moved! I didn’t cheat by reading on so I didn’t know it moved!

  40. is he hiding his skull beneith his skin? because I do not see it. Is he a member of the hair club for men? is that what he is hiding

  41. You guys really need to look up the word illusion. This is an illusion. Picture by picture gifs are illusions in themselves.

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