Honda CR-V Optical Illusion Commercial

Anamorphosis, Forced Perspective, Impossible, Video 21 November 2013 0 Comments

This one minute commercial for the Honda CR-V features a number of different optical illusions. The tag line for the commercial is “An Impossible Made Possible”, and the result is a mind-bending and pretty entertaining advertisement. I typically do not like many commercials, but I must admit that this one was well done. Do you agree?

It starts off with an anamorphic street painting of several people balancing on and jumping between columns.  The illusion is revealed when the car drives across the painting showing that the whole scene was painted on a flat surface.  The car continues down the road and proceeds to drive right through three concrete posts rising up from the ground.  These, too, turn out to be anamorphic renderings of posts drawn on a flat surface to appear 3D when viewed from a certain angle..  Two posts directly to the right of these three, however, are indeed real.  The car is then seen parked on top of a table.  It looks to be very small and a woman sitting at the table gently blows on the car appearing to make it move.  When the car drives toward her to pick her up, the forced perspective camera technique used to create this effect is revealed.  Next, a man appears to walk right through a statue to get into his car.  As the camera pans down and out, the statue (and the four people standing next to the statue) are revealed to be also be anamorphic drawings on the pavement.

Next, the car drives straight through two arches that appear to be perpendicular to one another.  You would think that the driver would have to make a turn to get through the second one, but he is able to just drive in a straight line through both of them.  This is reminiscent of the Crazy Nuts Illusion by Jerry Andrus.  In the next scene, two gentlemen are seen getting bigger and smaller as they walk to opposite ends of the frame.  To do this, the set would have had to have been constructed like an Ames Room.  Finally, the car and a man seen next to it appear to be hovering above the pavement.  When the car drives off and the man picks up what looked to be his shadow off the ground, the illusion is revealed.

Honda also released the following video that shows some behind the scenes footage for each of the illusions.  It is about three and half minutes long but shows some of the techniques used in creating the anamorphic and forced perspective deceptions.

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