and I will make you go ‘oh….very clever’….

Did I succeed?


  1. I didn’t say “very clever”, I actually said “Aaargghh!” as I was trying to figure out the trick before it was revealed & of course didn’t manage it!

  2. It was ruined by me thinking ‘thumbtack’? Isn’t Richard English? Shouldn’t that be ‘drawing pin’? By which time it was finished and I hadn’t been paying attention. Sorry.

  3. Drawing pin? No, they’re not drawing pins. But, AFAIK, they’re not thumb tacks either. They’re “push pins”, originally made by the Moore Push-pin company starting in 1900.

    And I’d better say:

    oh….very clever

  4. oh, VERY clever! 🙂 It’s really quite a good illusion. I judge illusions by how well they stand up to a second and third viewing after you know the ‘trick’. This one does.

    1. Mm, I disagree here. On the first viewing, I was thinking the red pin looked odd. On the second, I realized it’s because the red is missing the highlights caused by the light falling on the blue’s back. And now I can’t NOT see the red as flat and lifeless.

  5. Clever indeed. That first couple of seconds of the thing turning is so trippy before it ‘clicks’ as to what you are looking at. I also thing that the shadow moving as the object is turned adds to the trippy look, as opposed to if only the camera moved. Something for me as a designer to keep in mind 🙂

  6. Well, as a long time subscriber to this blog, I guessed right off the pencil wasn’t really where it initially seems — but that proved misdirection for the secret of the thumbtack(s).

  7. Ok. I wondered what’s needed to get the lighting right for those types of shots. Straightforward would be to shoot the item in situ, do the projection math, and print it out.

  8. In my head I was thinking, “OK this is something that is going to be hard to do but then there is a trick to it”. I guess I was preoccupied because it didn’t look like it’d be that hard to balance that stick-thing on the two tacks.

    That being said, it was a really good drawing. I was sure there was a tack on the right. I guess that was the point, more than the balancing being difficult normally.

  9. I immediately went ‘oh….very clever’.

    Oh wait, this isn’t the friday puzzle 😛

    Funny illusion.

    A test I enjoy is testing how easy it is to see through the illusion when I know how it works.
    While I find it very hard to see through the balls rolling uphill (few weeks ago), I find this one easier to see through.
    Different shadows, picture dpi (atleast I think that’s what it is) and the needle barely touching the twig are things that counter the illusion.

    Nice illusion 🙂

  10. I saw through it before the trick was revealed. The main issue is the shadows, the printed one is crisp while the real one had multiple sources. May want to try it with a more defined light source next time.

    Still a nice example of forced perspective though, my brain did try to rebel when you turned the paper.

  11. Wasnt that impressed, could see before playing the video, the light wasnt quite right , but the samsung advert using the same illusion was more impressive and ‘oh….very clever’….

  12. I saw it before it was revealed I have to say… The shadow for the red was was unusually large compared to the blue and where the pencil was broken on the blue thumbtack, there was no sign of that kind of damage on the red…

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