It’s next to impossible to go anywhere these days without coming across an LED Display. Once reserved for places like Times Square, Casinos and Sports Stadiums, you can now find video walls in Hospitals, Banks, Hotels, Restaurants - the list goes on and on. Simultaneously, content creators are using different techniques to produce jaw-dropping visual experiences for targeted audiences.
The technique that was used to create the illusion in the video above is called Forced Perspective. Forced Perspective uses optical illusions to make objects appear farther away, closer, larger, or smaller than they actually are. It's accomplished by manipulating your visual perception through the use of scaled objects viewed from specific vantage points and is used in photography, statues, movies and architecture. In the audio visual world, the technique is used to create 3D environments and depth on flat 2D screens.
Forced perspective is not a new concept. During the Renaissance, “special effects” were created using accelerated perspective in stage design to make objects larger or smaller than they appear. In 1946, the scientist Adelbert Ames Jr created the Ames Room. When viewed through a peephole, the room appears to be normal. However, all other viewpoints reveal the room is actually constructed of irregular trapezoids. This effect can make people look larger or smaller than they actually are.
Theme parks and tourist destinations, like Disneyland and Las Vegas, use Forced Perspective to make buildings and structures seem larger than they are in reality. It’s used where larger structures would not be feasible or desirable or to provide optical illusions for entertainment value. At Cinderella Castle in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, the scale gets smaller the higher one goes, making it seem significantly taller than its actual height of 189 feet.
Modern cinema has applied the “Ames Room” for practical special effects. Two popular examples are the homes and characters in the Shire from the “Lord of the Rings” films or Hagrad from “Harry Potter”. Both of these films use Forced Perspective to create the illusion of characters being larger than life without the use of digital effects, as seen below.
Forced Perspective has now made its way onto LED screens that we encounter in our daily lives. With advancements in LED technology, we will continue to see more screens in more places giving content creators new canvases to display their work on and WOW viewers. The Forced Perspective technique creates a CG 3D environment where they can animate and add VFX, unlike what we've ever seen before in motion graphics. I for one can’t wait to “see” more of it!
To see more examples of Forced Perspective illusions that create the WOW-factor on digital displays, check out this video showcase.
If you're interested in using Forced Perspective on your video wall or LED display, reach out to us today!