Unbelievable Photoshop CS3 Illusion

You aren’t gonna believe this one, it has to be one of the best illusions this year. It took me some time to understand what Pablo Salto-Weis Azevedo (the person who sent this to me) tried to explain. Well actually, immediately I saw that the church in the second picture looks different, but then I realized what Pablo was trying to say. Believe it or not, both pictures in the frame below are identical! I have a proof inside the article (where I overlapped them). But first, lets hear the background story from Pablo:

“I am a photographer, and tonight I was editing some pictures from the Azores Islands (Portugal), when something strange happened. When you invoke the “save for web” command in Photoshop, you are presented with two versions of the same picture, on the left the original version, and on the right the optimized for the web one. Well this is what I got. I suppose you too can clearly see that the right picture looks different than the other one, church seems to be tilted to the right.

If you cut that right picture, and paste it over the left one, and play a little with the opacity so that you can see the one underneath, you’ll realize both pics are actually identical! I didn’t align the pics so that you could see both pics at the same time and clearly see that vertical lines are completely parallel!” – I say its amazing. Kinda reminds me of Pisa Tower.

38 Replies to “Unbelievable Photoshop CS3 Illusion”

  1. cool illusion. it looks that way because of the perspective when the photo was taken, so it just looks different than the other one because of the line in the middle

  2. p.s. proofread, you spelled unbelievable wrong (in the title of the website!) and your first sentence doesn’t make sense…

    You won’t gonna believe this one,…

    You AREN’T gonna (not really a word, but ok) believe this one,…

  3. cool..
    At first i didnt see what the big deal was.. but then i realised what you where saying..
    The pictures are in fact identical; but for some reason the one on the right appears to be slanted more. strange.

  4. A cool thing about this illusion is that it is also a stereogram! Produces a nice 3d image when you look at both pictures! See the stereogram illusions section for more examples!

  5. i dont really get it. sorry…what identical ?…i know the pic look strange on the right side..abit different on the middle of the pic..i think its great because such a thing happen only on a same picture.

  6. @ashleigh
    not all people have english as their mother tongue (neither me). so just stop nagging around and say thank you, because the whole world tries to talks to you in your mother tongue! well, i don’t know about you, but for me it would also be ok, when this blog was written in french or german…

  7. you should put this in the steriogram category…

    the top photo is the same as the “3d chair illusion”

  8. U can see that they r identical by simoly blurring ur eyes.they will look exactly the same(and they are).try it .its 100% garanty.

  9. You don’t need to go to Photoshop to check it out. If you are able to do the ‘Cross-eye’ like you do when looking at stereo-images you can clearly see that they are identical

  10. hi! i think i spot how the ilusion happens (please read carefully to dintinguish when im talking about the left/right tower of the church or the left/right picture):

    the tower on the right of the church in the first picture is also inclined but in the oposite direction so when we put the same picture in the right, the tower in the left of the church gets side-by-side the tower in the right side of the church.

    the effect is then amplified because we take the right tower as the leading vertical (or some middle invisible line between the two towers), wich is not the real vertical.

    i used gimp (wich is linux similar to photoshop) to switch both pictures and the effect is absolutely the same. and if we are not sure the pictures are exactly the same, one can duplicate one of them side by side to get the same ilusion.

  11. at first and addressed to @ashleigh – the majority of the worlds population does not speak english as the first language, we have our own dialect – majority english! Show some respect, or learn our dialect, thank you.

    secondly, i guess the house is standing in a slope so that the base of the right side (which we do not see) of the house is actually than the base of the left side. The ’tilting’ effect is then reinforced when we relate the right picture to the left picture. In other words, we assume that the left house is standing on even ground, but it is in fact standing on a slope, and when we compare a copy of the house with itself, then the effect is strengened. Does it make sense?

  12. Ok i did an experiment.

    I put the pictures on Word and cut them up and rearranged them so I had 2 ORIGINALS side by side. Then I put 2 of the OPTIMISED FOR WEB ones side by side.

    And whaddya know? they looked just as different from each other as the examples above. Even though they were the same version.

    So that means that THE ONLY REASON THEY LOOK DIFFERENT IS BECAUSE THEY ARE NEXT TO EACH OTHER, not because they are actually different in any way.

    must be a perspective thing.

  13. Eh no. I think it has to do with the optical line that the cuts off the left side of the left picture makes our brain believe that its pretty straight. Now when you duplicate it and then put them next to one another it adds more angles kind of “opticly” (cant spell, nor do i really know what im talking about, just taking an educated guess) pushing the second building over. I’m sending a similar one that I made by googling towers. Not as good as this but it does KIND OF look different. Another 10 miniutes of work wasted.

  14. They aren’t perfectly identical. I just checked it out – one’s flattened a bit, or have the sides cut. Check the lower right corner, the thing in front of the building – it’s obviously larger on the left.

  15. Believe me, both pictures are not identical, they are THE SAME picture. 100%
    As I explained in the text, what photoshop does when you invoke the “save for web” dialog is present you 2 versions of the same image, on the left the original one, on the right an optimized version for the web, that means lower resolution, but BOTH images are the same image.
    So those who complaint that they are not, that means you are getting the optical ilusion!
    Teco (Pablo Salto-Weis)

  16. Ashleigh has every right to correct the grammar of this piece, just as the author has every right to ignore the advice, but he obviously did not, since the mistakes have been fixed. Ashleigh was simply suggesting ways to make the post better. If it is going to be in English, it should be in correct English. If I was translating a post into another language I would try to take the time to make sure that my grammar and phrasing were correct and would welcome a native speaker’s input.

  17. Hi! I am here to share some of my thoughts on this illusion. i think i understands how this illusion might work, (both photos are the same if u look at their perspectives) there is this “thin white line” that is used to segregate the photos,is used as a negative space. when you look at both photos together, your brain compares the angle the building is slanting to the negative space, as perceived by your brain as straight. eg. the brains register the lines as “/ l” on the left image and “l /” on the right. The brain then recognize image on the right being Slanted. i hope that helps! pardon me for my Grammar =D

  18. Actually they are not the same. If you choose save for web in any version of photoshop you’re going to get the 2up or 4up depending on your settings there versions. Meaning you get 2 versions 1-original and 1-optimized for web. In the 4up you get the original, optimized, gif and jpg versions. Each version has a different resolution hence the reason for the so called illusion. It really isn’t an illusion though its a real difference because the resolutions are different which causes them to look different. Also if you put any identical pictures side by side they will look slightly different due to the angles. However that IS a true optical illusion because of the angles.

  19. The photograph was taken using a wide-angle lens, which are known to distort perspectives.

    In the image the left side of the building appears to lean forward while the right side appears to lean backwards.

    Put two examples of the same such photograph side by side and your eye and brain notice the difference and will convince you that the images are different when the actually are not.

    If you photoshopped the image to correct the lens distortion and put two examples of the result side by side then the illusion diminishes or disappears.

  20. Oh man, people always underestimate their own capabilities, even without photoshop you can see that the two pictures are identical by just crossing your eyes, like the way you do when looking at 3d magazines and pictures.

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