Amazing animated optical illusions

Craft & Design

Youtube user Brusspup made these animated optical illusions by carefully combining slices of different drawings, then sliding an image of vertical lines over the top. That part is straightforward. The illusion comes in when your brain interprets the small white slits that it sees into larger shapes. He also has a nice tutorial on the technique:

I can understand doing this by hand to learn how this works, but it seems like the perfect kind of task to automate with a computer program. Anyone up to the challenge? [via laughing squid]


14 thoughts on “Amazing animated optical illusions

  1. Trumpetto says:

    I use nodebox for that stuff :-)

  2. kongorilla says:

    A few years ago, I set up a file in Blender to make these. All you had to do was put 5 frames of animation, named something in particular (I don’t remember, like, 1.png, 2.png, etc) in a particular folder and then hit “render” in Blender and it would make the image.

    I’m sure I could find it if people want it, but it really wasn’t that hard to set up.

    1. kongorilla says:

      I found my old files. They can be downloaded from here:

      I included a readme.txt in the zipfile that hopefully has enough info for the non-Blender user, but I dunno. I’ll check back in case there are questions.

      1. Conjuror says:

        kongorilla thanks so much for posting your files. This will save me loads of time.

        I’ll be trying this effect out on the commodore 64.


  3. Paolo Zago says:

    This is really a neat trick! Also, if you keep the front sheet a few cm away from the back one, you should see the shape animate while you change your point of view. This was a technique used by italian artists like Alberto Biasi… back in the sixties!


  4. Tim C says:

    If you can find this book, it has hundreds of examples.

    “Optical Designs in Motion with Morie Overlays” by Carol Belanger Grafton,
    ISBN 0-486-23284-0
    Lib of Congress Card # 75-40775
    Pub Dover Publisher, Inc, 1976

  5. zeroset says:

    Another piece of software to create these animations is open source project animbar ( It generates the animation from your input within a few mouse clicks.

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!


Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).