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The Thing Optical Illusion

The pic of Marvel Comics superhero The Thing of Fantastic Four is definitely one of the best examples of trompe l'oeil I've seen. It was drawn by Justen Ladda in 1981 at PS 37 in the Bronx, New York. Link

(click on the "Side View" to see how it was done)

Update 3/18/08 - Here's the side view of Justen's art. I hope it makes sense now :)

That is truly awesome -- I imagine a projector was used and the spots filled in, which isn't exactly easy, but easier than manually figuring out what paint goes where. Some guys, like the sidewalk chalk guy, seem to do it from scratch, which is definitely talented.
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I don't really get it either..........what talent (other than the obvious that he can draw great) or specific drawing skill does it showcase?
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Morons. It's not a picture of the Thing superimposed on a crappy auditorium. It's really there. When you walk in the auditorium, that's what you see. Click on the link and learn before you embarrass yourself with your ignorance.

Ep out.
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To those of you who keep saying it can be done in photoshop, you don't quite grasp what you are looking at. The feet and shadow are actually painted ON THE CHAIRS, the rest of it is painted on the wall.
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I didn't get it all until I did what Zak said and clicked on the link and looked at the side view.

Very, very clever. Whether a projector was used to help with drawing it or not, it must still require a lot of talent to get this right.
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Yeah you definitely have to click on that link and than click "side view".

Thats pretty freakin crazy, kind of hard to believe he did that.
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Its not photoshop and its not easy. Its an artistic style called Trompe L'Oleil, its painted in a way that it looks like its 3-D on a 2-D surface
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I don't think a projector was used for this. If you think about it if he projected the image of the thing on to that wall he would be distorted because the projector isn't parallel to the wall. It would have been all stretched and skewed.
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It is a real photograph of a REAL AUDITORIUM with a painting of "The Thing" on a REAL WALL.....which is not obvious even after looking at "side view". But for sure both photos are still photoshopped.
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First, this is a great piece of work. Not only is it retro comic book pop art, but its an optical illusion that feels like early 80's New York graffiti. Great Post.


I have never laughed so hard reading the comment thread! The back and forth of explaining it over and over... too funny. So many idiots. Sooooooo many IDIOTS on the web. How are any of you even remembering to breath? I love you guys, I really do. This thread is priceless.
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it's a shoop i can tell by the pixels and having seen a few shoops in my day

just kidding this is great work and the comments are truly hilarious. it's very easy to deride a great work but coming up with an idea like this and then implementing it is very challenging. Have any of the dissenters even used a projector to do this type of work? It's a little more difficult than you might think.

I think there are lots of trolls around here too...just trying to get a reaction.
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That was pretty nice made ^^ And yeah the "chalk-guy" is pretty nice to, the people saying this is "shopped" should take a look for him.

Here is an instruction on how to find him:

Go to a nice website called "" then you type the words "Sidewalk chalk guy" in the white square where there probably is a vertical line blinking.

Then you press enter it is probably the biggest key on your keyboard (The thing in front of you you use to type with)

Then a lof of pages will show on your screen and you will be able to click one of the pages with your mouse. (Aint going to explain that to)

Sincerely "Adam"

1st. No I do NOT work in tech-support. :P

2nd. 10 year old should have access to the internet.

3rd. Stop saying everything is "shopped" you are making a fool out of yourself and therefore you will be treated like one.

4th. Yeah you can probably find some spelling errors go ahead. :)

5th. Atleast I spell better than many Americans.
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