A blog post! Finally! Good day, hello to you and thanks for stopping by.
Yesterday I had a crack at drawing my own piece of anamorphic art. I've seen a lot of it in the past and always wondered how it was done. You may well have seen the incredible street art of Julian Beever, well that's a type of large-scale anamorphic art. The same theory applies when working smaller scale, which is what I was intending to do. The image is drawn with an exaggerated perspective and if it's viewed from just the right spot, it looks 3D and creates a fantastic optical illusion.
There are plenty of YouTube videos demonstrating how others have successfully created the effect but I have to be honest, like a few others it seems, I was just a teensy bit skeptical about whether all the images I was seeing were real or there was a bit of Photoshop jiggery pokery going on.
I found the trickiest part to be the very first stage which involves creating a double grid system to skew your reference photo accurately. I used Photoshop & Illustrator for this stage since I'm most familiar with them. Once the grids are in position, the reference photo is added and its proportions skewed. In my case, I took a photo of my Funko Pop Vinyl scout trooper that sits on my desk, so that I could be sure the angle was just right.
These photos show the general process.
Once I'd transferred the outlines to the paper, I had a copy of the skewed ref photo on my iPad to draw from. It'll look a bit odd while you're drawing it but that's ok. A few times, I tried to look at it from the 'magic angle' but it just didn't look right. The illusion wasn't working. Had I done something wrong? And that was my eureka moment - the illusion only works when viewed through a camera lens, so I started to take a few photos to see how the shading was coming along.
The finishing touch involved adding a shadow to really push the 3D effect, and also cutting a portion of the paper away so that the trooper's head appeared to project above the paper. Et voila! I'll be doing more of these, so be sure to follow my exploits on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook and please feel free to ask questions or add a comment below.