Anamorphic illusions are an example of Trompe-l’œil (trick of the eye) style of art. This kind of art is traditionally seen in murals, but can be seen in modern interior design, for example when a mirror extends along one wall to make a room seem bigger.
If you’ve watched televised Australian football anytime in the past number of years you’ll have seen anamorphic illusions. I’m talking about those advertisements spray painted onto the grass — the ones which look not painted at all, but like real-life billboards, standing up on the grass — from the perspective of the camera which gives a full view of the field.
This is actually a paddy field in Japan, but you get the idea:
These are relatively easy to make in these days of high-tech digital art and projection, but anamorphic illusions are a much older art form dating back to the 1500s.
You may have seen anamorphic chalk artists working on the footpath in tourist spots like Art Centers. Julian Beever is one such artist. Beever’s chalk masterpieces are so well done that I feel it’s almost a waste that they’re not painted. I wonder if it has ever started raining partway through his workflow, or worse, right at the very end? (You can find the answer to that on his FAQ page.) Another amazing anamorphic chalk artist is Kurt Wenner.
There are a number of books with optical illusions as their subject. Here is a list compiled at LibraryThing. Not too many of them incorporate optical illusions as part of a story — the vast majority are ‘Books Full Of Optical Illusions.’ In fact, at present there is only one fictional book about optical illusions in their database: Now You See It by Anne Capeci.
I would love to seem some great stories which happen to embed optical illusions of all kinds as part of the storyline.
40 Incredible Examples of Optical Illusions In Photographs from Bored Panda
Funny Optical Illusions from Visual News
Anamorphic Images Made From A Roomful Of Stuff from Visual News
Top 10 Illusions of 2012 from My Modern Met
Anamorphic Illusions from Fubiz