Thu, August 09, 2012
Lifestyle > Culture

3D street art: amazing optical illusions

2012-08-09 07:08:00 GMT2012-08-09 15:08:00(Beijing Time)

Commuters step around a 3D art exhibit entitled "Escape the Rat Race" painted on the concourse of Victoria railway station in London to promote a pest control company, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

Known for his impressive 3D pavement art, Edgar Mueller created this gigantic chasm for the West India Quay Festival in London. Mueller derives some of his inspiration from the "Ice Age" films. (Image via Flickr)

At first glance, street artist Julian Beever's sidewalk creations look like unfinished chalk drawings of oddly morphed animals or landscapes. But if you happen upon the one perfect angle, the image magically snaps into shape, showing you a giant charging snail or an aerial view of Times Square. Image courtesy Julian Beever

French street art duo TSF Crew create logic-defying works of art in the run-down areas of industrial France. Combining the cheeky thrills of a well-executed optical illusion with tst makes the perfect combination. Image courtesy of TSF Crew.

A man takes a picture of a huge three-dimensional painting made on the floor of a shopping mall by German artist Edgar Muller in Shanghai on August 6, 2009. (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

When it comes to admiring 3D street art, it's often a matter of perspective -- look at a street artist's design from one angle and it appears flat and distorted, but from another the illustration comes alive.

The process is called anamorphosis, and requires the viewer to stand at a certain vantage point in order to view the three-dimensional image. The optical illusions have been popping up around the world from London and Spain to New York and Denver.

While some street works of art are more advanced than others, one thing stays the same -- the perception of depth in a (technically) two-dimensional illustration.

See some of our favorite picks of 3D street art from around the world in the gallery below, and let us know your thoughts in the comments section.



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