Newton’s Cradle Illustration


This 3D anamorphic pencil illustration of Newton’s Cradle was sent to us by reader Joshua Stacy. The shading effect on the artwork is so realistic, I almost expect to see the balls clacking together. In fact, if you’re reading this Joshua, I think it would be amazing if you created a few similar drawings that could be put together into an animation of a moving Newton’s Cradle. The result would be eerily unreal. And rest assured, if you did decide to do that, I would eagerly put it up on the site as well.

  • I’m not understand, but keep posting.. Great

  • Hering

    I think the illusion is something different. *cough*positions*cough*

    • larry


  • fossda

    cooool + 1st post!

  • valerie

    I didn’t quite got it. for me it’s a normal drawing, not any illusion. Am I wrong?

    • Okay, this is my attempt to explain this Illusion as I see it. Like most of you, it took a little while for me to understand this Optical Illusion.

      To start, the paper is a normal, flat piece of paper with a drawing of Newton’s Cradle on it. Even though the paper is flat, the drawing, which is also flat, does not appear to be. The drawing has a 3D effect that makes it look like it is standing up off of the paper. The only thing that I can see wrong with this drawing is the shadow of Newton’s Cradle. The shadow was done at a much lower standard than the rest of the drawing and it almost ruins the entire Illusion. To be blunt, the shadowing is so bad, it looks like my 10 year old daughter drew it while she was half asleep!!!

      So, to sum up my explanation, the paper is flat and the drawing appears to be in 3D standing up, off of the paper!

      Even though I know that my explanation was not the best, I hope it at least answered some of the questions that were posted.

  • MK

    Nice drawing but whats the illusion? The balls appear to be hanging sideways. The shading isn’t very good either, ths shadow of the pole on the left side is going almost straight left. the shadow of the block at the right side is going anther direction. So not inpressed by this one.

  • diane

    That is soo Cool Love the Drawing :-)

  • Mathias

    What is the illusion here?

  • ZL123

    Wow, really real, except for the shadows that give it away.

    I saw this on my gadget, it said…

    ‘Newton’s Cradle Ill…’
    I thought it was ‘illusion’ and I was like >:O


  • JoeP

    Good drawing. I don’t see any illusion though.

  • Mike

    Wow, if you think this is realistic looking, you need to get your eyes examined. I’ve seen some bad examples of optical illusions before, but this is by far the worst.

  • Huh?

    So where’s the illusion? I can’t see one.

  • Eizabeth

    th is a very real looking drawing, at first i thought it was real! =)

  • Meegan GaLANtE

    I thought it was just a painting at first!

  • Craig Schaff

    This is by far the worst you have put on on here. There is NO illusion in this. The drawing is not that good. Grade school caliber.
    I understand can’t be perfect all the time. But not even close.

  • me123987645

    that is cool!

  • Hannah

    that is sooooo awesome!!!

  • lisa

    Wow. That looks really high 3D or its real because of the shadow!! But otherwise I really cant tell!!!!

    • john

      I definetly agree. If someone drew that they are amazing!

  • donaldtrump


  • Care Bear

    If thi is just a pencil drawing, Joshua has a mind I would not want to mess with.

    • Sean Loh

      This IS pencil drawing…

  • Bryan

    I think this could have been presented better, because just about everyone is missing what this is.

    What you are looking at guys is a photograph of a pencil drawing, and what makes it particularly good and maybe what causes everyone to miss the details is that the perspective is actually very well done.

    ‘illusions’ of this type are a combination of the graphic, viewing position and location in its environment, change any individual component and it will look wrong.

    Its not until you really appreciate how the elements combine that you can understand the achievent

  • Joshua Stacy

    Thankyou so much Jill for posting this!!! To all the critiques thanx for your input! There are some things I would like to make better about this drawing and the shadow an the balls are two of them. I will be redrawing this soon and I will also try and do the animation! But no promises lol :)

    • @ Joshua Stacy,

      Even though I thought the shadow in this Optical Illusion looked a bit rushed, and probably could have been up to par with the rest of the drawing, the drawing as a whole is VERY GOOD! I would LOVE to have the talent to draw Optical Illusions in this category. I would really like to see more of your Illusions. Do you have them posted somewhere? If so, where can I go to look at them? If not, you should really consider posting them online so people can check them out! Keep drawing Illusions! Thanks for taking the time to read my post!!!!!!!

    • Joshua Stacy

      I have some more stuff posted on my username is magic-of-josh. Thank you for taking an interest! :)

  • The sketch is distorted to match the angle in which it is photographed, so it looks as a a normal (rather dull) drawing again. If it was painted realistically the effect would have been more obvious.

    • I Agree!

    • Shtnly

      I also agree. It would be good if there was a second picture of the drawing from a different angle so we could see how it was purposefully skewed to match the perspective of the first picture.

  • Stanley

    could have done better, but not bad for first try

    • Chris

      Lookingg forward to seeing your illusion Stanley.

  • kid

    what? good drawing, but I really don’t see an illusion WTF?

  • ZackF

    “The shading effect on the artwork is so realistic, I almost expect to see the balls clacking together.”

    lol really? It looks like a 5th grader drew it. Did you get paid to post this picture and hype it?

  • Elizabeth

    I think that if more of the ‘background’ had been included or a second picture so that folks could see that it was just a piece of paper then they might have seen the illusion…

  • Lizzy

    THe drawing itself is amazing only he ruined it by drawing the swadow!

  • Joshua Stacy

    I think most of you do not understand my intention with this drawing. The purpose was not to make it look ultra realistic with drawing techniques such as shading. It was to practice and exhibit anamorphic drawing such as the 3D chalk drawing section of this blog. I understand that it may not look realistic, but it DOES look as if it is sitting on the paper in three dimensional space, which was the intention all along.

    • ZackF

      I think the poster did a discredit by talking about how real the shading looks. I agree, the perspective aspect of it is great.

      Keep it up!

  • Chris

    Not as realistic as some of the sidewalk drawings and other 3d’s you have shown but a good example. One can easily see it is a drawing but it does exhibit a subtle 3d effect.

  • horsebeast

    WOW I thought it was a real craddly until I read the thing

  • OvExX

    Illusion is perfect.. got it on the first time when i saw it on the igoogle gadget… it’s really not difficult to see the 3d effect.. the angle says everything..

  • duncan

    Not an illusion, this is called a perspective drawing. I see only one thing in this image, a flat 2D drawing of a 3D object.

  • ls

    i think that if you showed the drawing from a different perspective, (rotate the paper around) them people would get it.
    it is pretty clever.

  • chris r.

    its the shadow of the strings. its quite different to the projection of the shadow of the base block.

  • Georgia

    It’s not the best I’ve seen but clearly someone has put in a lot of effort into this picture so i shall not bag on it!!

  • Amy!

    This Illusion Confuses me!

  • Rob

    Amazing! The illusion is so good, you don’t even notice it. Incredibly well done 2D sketch that appears to be 3D.

  • Isaac

    I wonder why some people DO NOT notice the illusion. its REALLY REALLY obvious. and i hate those who hate this illusion. i think i saw someone said this is the WORST ILLUSION. this took hard work. Why do you dislike it? Argh, be contented.

  • crikey mikey

    It would be an illusion if the shadow continued onto the table. As it is it is just a 3D looking drawing on a bit of paper similar to the advertising you get on sports fields. OK but not exactly WOW!

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