Exciting news – the Guardian have just run the first extract from Paranormality here.  There is now quite a debate brewing there, so feel free to go over and join in!

OK, back to the blog……everyone and their dog have been kind enough to send me this lovely video….

Any thoughts on how it was achieved?


  1. Black magic most certainly!
    Or mirrors, it’s always mirrors.
    Hopefully someone can help me understand before my brain eschers itself to where I can no longer find it.

  2. It would have to be some kind of forced perspective rig. The fluid can’t possibly be doing what it appears to – I’m thinking there’s either two individual parts to the rig, or there’s a pump somewhere…

  3. Simple – it is a mashup of videos. You can clearly see the shadows, liquid flowing, and liquid in the bucket, and the wet floor change when the two videos are mashed together.

  4. Fake!!! I think this is a computer animation. Look at the center column, the color is soooo unnatural. Well … that’s what i think.

    1. If that’s correct it explains why it looks so clearly like a perspective illusion – because it is one, just not the one we expect.

  5. What do you mean fakery and video mashups? The man has quite clearly invented a real perpetual motion machine in his garage, and solved the world’s energy problems. Simples.

  6. It’s a perspective model. Something looked a little funny about the 2nd to 3rd sluice, and when the man’s shadow fell on it as he walked by, it looked “unnatural”.

  7. Why on these sorts of things do people jump to video trickery first? Its actually very hard to do. And not neccessary. Anyway this is perspective-shifting hardware and a pump IMO. Very well done though.

  8. If you ignore the uprights you can clearly see (well I can anyway) that the sluice runs downhill to the lower part of the garage, which is on a slope. Carefully placed bit of wire hanging in the background adds to the illusion that the floor is flat. I can’t figure out how the wheel turns but I know it isn’t being turned by the water coming out of the end of the sluice. Very clever perspective angle and amazingly built model but if you moved the camera 3 inches to the side it would become clear. No computer faking necessary/ Does this guy have a job to go to? He ought to be working in cinema

  9. I think there’s a pump disguised in the base of the part where the water is poured in – the water is pumped up the leg nearest the camera and out above the wheel.

  10. OK there’s a pause at 43 seconds – watch the water sloshing in the bucket – and I think that’s the point where the camera stops and he switches on the pump…I should be working…

  11. I’d love to see it from a slightly different angle…

    At least i know how i would build it… Including some pumps and a lot ao hidden return pipes…

    1. However as Mr Joseph-Ignace Guillotin said: execution is everything…
      Really impressive and really nice execution, is what i forgot to say…

      Would be nice to see another angle and to know how long it took to execute…

  12. My first thought was to say there must be some perspective trickery and carefully chosen camera angles, but the way the right-hand uprights are reflected in the water on the floor makes me think again about this.

    Then I noticed that there is a pause in the flow of the liquid on the fourth platform at 0:45, almost as if the liquid is being pumped up each level, and there is a delay at that point because for a brief moment there isn’t enough liquid to be moved by the pump.

    So pumps it is. Very quiet pumps, unless the water sound is dubbed on afterwards.

  13. Magic! I hope we get the real answer because I’d love to see how it was done. I agree that the shadows look odd, and Gerry’s link is quite convincing.

    1. I think his is identical to this. If you look at the lighting on his, it matches up with the design in this model. Obviously no cgi, that would be far more difficult than building a model like this.

  14. Does any one have the feeling that this structure have been designed with a specific angle that only work with this type of solution, and not water lol, nope, that was just a humor, this can be turned to an electrical generator whenever been done in a larger scale, where the wheel can be function into almost a dynamo.

    1. Ops, sorry, that should be “any one has” and not “have” sorry for the confusion, although we do say “how are you” lol as in plural, such as ” and “i” said to my self” lol but any how if you like.

  15. This a quantum mechanical effect I’ve often come across in my quantum electrodynamics class called a… perspective rig!

    Imagine the video containing only the path the water runs along.

    Now imagine the struts and possibly the bases simply standing in mid air…


  16. I’m completely certain that it’s a perspective illusion, the water is flowing downhill the whole way. Look at the side walls of the ramps and how they get lower and lower. So the floor is flat, the side walls actually hide the elevation of the ramps, then the water simply flows downhill. The tricky part is making the water appear to fall and turn the wheel. Haven’t got that part figured quite yet. There’s not enough resolution in the video to say anything about it for me. I can’t even see the water falling. I think there may be a motor turning the wheel though. I hear something that sounds more like a motor than running water just before the wheel starts to turn.

  17. Can I explain why the first 30 seconds are just him setting up his rig, and were not edited out? No.

    Can I explain how it was done? Again – no, but I would go for a physical perspective trick first over anything to do with CGI or video tricks. It would be much simpler to do this through the lense, rather than in post. Also, no need for hidden pumps and such. The single, unmoving camera angle is the biggest clue.

  18. there is no CGI, nor are there two videos spliced together.

    the best clue to the answer is his shadow at 1.14, where you can see which parts of the contraption are in front. the second clue is the change in water flow around the 45 second mark, where the water from the jug hits the bottom of the ramp, and the water from the pump turns on. the pump is hidden behind the post/spire that is the second from the right.

  19. Lots of hallmarks of selling a CGI illusion. Match’s Rule #84 is the first clue. Second is why is the floor wet? Why does he stir and then bang the stick so theatrically when the floor is wet anyway? Why does he nod like a bad actor as he watches the water turn the water wheel?

    I’m thinking he’s selling his ability at computer animating liquids. The floor is wet so it cuts down the workload so he doesn’t have to animate spatter from the water wheel. The rest is bad theatrics to make it look like he’s doing something with substances that aren’t there in the real world.

    That having been said, these things are also the hallmarks of misdirection.

  20. It’s a computer animation….Wel the computer model has been composited onto the scene he is filmed in. The model looks so unreal, there are issues with the lighting and the shadows. It just looks so fake. Good bit of liquid animation.

  21. Ok so heres how this works. The water obviously runs down the setup, even though the support beams try to make it look like it runs uphill. look at the support beam on the far left, notice how it runs from the spout at the “top” directly to the water wheel. look at the shadows from the spout to the water wheel. now look at the shadows above it and see that the shadows are reversed. by this i mean, on the lower beam the light seems to shine from the right, and on the upper it is from the left. This support beam is actually used to take the water from the spot to the wheel. The wheel is actually on its side. if you dont belive me when I say its on its side, look to the right of the wheel. notice that there is a nice little beam the seems to cover where it should be.

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