Two weeks ago we covered YouTuber mcwolles‘ remarkable full-motion illusion appearing to show M.C. Escher’s impossible Waterfall in real-time operation. Those of you hungry for an explanation may be interested in this diagram from Boing Boing reader David Goldman, who thinks the video was shot using forced perspective, with a model as illustrated, in two cuts spliced together at the 0:45 mark.

Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


  • http://twitter.com/CBNathanael Nathanael Phillips

    Thank you!! I was wondering how this was accomplished :)

    It’s still an awesome illusion, regardless.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1310180218 Kirt Stanke

    No doubt some form of force perspective is at work here. However, it is clear in the video that the right rear support on the 3 level tower goes behind the path of the water (not in front of, as seen in the diagram). Basically, breaking the structure of the model depicted. The shadow cast at 0:05 gives a greater idea of the structure of the front tower. And also suggests that the craftsmanship to create the illusion is even more elaborate. I’d love to see an actual demonstration of the model and how it works. Please get right on that Make. :)

  • Anonymous

    yup… looking at the you tube still against the diagram on the same page as depicted here – i’ve not seen them side by side before, well done, one can clearly see that the diagram is wrong.

  • http://twitter.com/Arfang Pascal Borschneck

    I have a problem with the “0:42-mliquid never touches B”
    At 1:04 in 1080p full screen I see the “blue water” in the B …

    I thnik the explanation is somewhere else …

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5U4NA6FXVRS5KTWJPA5STERTD4 Malcolm

    My guess is the base conceals tubing and one or more pumps. Since there is no dialogue the sounds heard were probably dubbed afterward. Why go to the elaborate moves of stirring the liquid, transferring to another container and such? Plus, the close-up of the actor not saying a word at the very beginning and end is suspicious.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5U4NA6FXVRS5KTWJPA5STERTD4 Malcolm

    My guess is the base conceals tubing and one or more pumps. Since there is no dialogue the sounds heard were probably dubbed afterward. Why go to the elaborate moves of stirring the liquid, transferring to another container and such? Plus, the close-up of the actor not saying a word at the very beginning and end is suspicious.

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