Flat Green Surface Becomes 3D!

We’ve seen hundreds of ultra-realistic chalk drawings by now. Over the years artists have truly mastered their craft, pushing the boundaries and making their results more realistic by each iteration. In my opinion, today’s featured illusion has pushed the boundaries even further -by replacing the “chalk” part in “3D chalk drawings” with actual flora (and fauna). Observe how strong the 3D effect appears. It’s almost impossible to visualize the scenery as being what it actually is – flat. I think the original artist has started the whole new trend, and hopefully, we’ll be seeing whole bunch of similar illusions in the near future! The only thing I regret is missing the author’s name. I’ve tried using reverse image search which TinyEye provides (as suggested by my audience), yet without any sucess. If you have any clue about the origins of this photo, also where this installment can be found, please don’t hesitate to share it via comments section!

Update 07/06/2011 – Thanks to our dedicated fans we’ve managed to identify the author behind this monumental achievement. His name is François Abelanet and may find more photos here.

69 Replies to “Flat Green Surface Becomes 3D!”

    1. It Is NOT FLAT!!!!!! Why cant you see the doors
      of the buiding behind it! It is on a hill you MOPES!

  1. oops- re-punctuating!

    It took a while, but here it is!

    Pasted from

    “Optical Illusion at Paris town hall
    Wednesday, June 29, 2011 Publié par Eric”

    “Fa-sci-na-ting! I passed by the Paris town hall today, where they currently have an open air exhibit about Paris trees (there are 485 000 of them!). On top of the various – very interesting – explanations, they also installed an anamorphosis work of art by François Abelanet. Anamorphosis? Let me borrow Wikipedia’s definition: ” it’s a distorted projection or perspective requiring the viewer to occupy a specific vantage point to reconstitute the image.” Well, since an image is worth a 100 words, click here, you’ll see that what you get in this photo is not really what you see! More, in French, on the Paris Website.

    Libellés : 04th, Event, Exhibition, Fun, Street Artist”

  2. O my god!!! that is so amazing!!! And like it said I can bairley even see it as it being flat i try to concentrate but this is just too good of an illusian and its just fantastic! probably one of my favorites now too :) I kind of want to do a much smaller scale version in my back yard ^-^

  3. Wow, that’s quite an incredible illusion. It’s really too bad you don’t know who the author is, as he definatly deserves credit. I’d love to be there in real life, so I could see it first hand.

  4. I think even cooler than the illusion itself, is that you really cannot tell how big any of those spaces are except at the top and near the trees. Those bottom patches of grass could be a couple inches long, or a couple feet. You just can’t tell the size of those grass patches! And I think the fact that it was done well enough to render the size of the overall shape (and the individual squares) indistinguishable is even more impressive than just a new type of 3D art of the streets. Awesome!!!

  5. ok i see the skatepark feature thing by the girl, why we cant see half the guy with the purple shirt… but can anyone explain why above that the grass blocks buildings…
    if its a perspective thing that shouldnt happen…
    i think i see stairs at the top right “corner”, but still. im baffled; is it a perfectly placed/shaped hill… did they run out of space and make a wall
    it doesnt make sense

  6. This is a nice illusion, but it cannot be flat.
    If you look at the top of the “sphere”, it obscures part of the building in the distance.

    My gut feeling is that it’s partially flat, and paritally “shopped”…
    Then again, it’s a very poor quality picture.

  7. The top of the ‘sphere’ partly obscures buildings behind it. Is it really flat? If it is it must be tilted up at the end far from the camera to cover the view behind.

  8. François Abelanet. On display at the Paris town hall. Also, in addition to Tineye, Google Images offers a reverse image search by clicking on the camera on the homepage.

  9. Also, according to a commentor on a site called the ParisDailyPhoto, “80 gardeners were employed 24/24 for several days, and the form was “drawn” in 3D with laser beams.”

  10. Actually it’s even better than that, it’s not flat but there are some hills.
    I think I have another photo showing the spot from another angle, really impressive.

    you can see it for real in Paris just in front of the Hotel de ville, it is part of a little expo about the trees in the city.

  11. I can’t make myself see this as plain!!
    Though it sure is long (the children seem so small).

  12. Not all of the space is flat. If you look at the building in the back, some of it is covered by illusion from this angle. I think it is a combination of flat and actual shape.

  13. Hey! This is in Paris! Right by Town Hall. The artist is François Abelanet. It’s part of an exhibit all across the city on trees.

  14. This is withot a doubt the best 3D image I have seen. I cannot believe it is flat. The talent of these guys is amazing!

  15. It rises above the horizon, so if it is flat it is DEFINITELY also slanted. That’s why it is impossible to perceive it as flat.

  16. If you like this sort of art then you need to look up Julian Beever. He is an english artist and he’s known for his chalk drawings on sidewalks all over Europe! He’s the best I’ve seen!

  17. This is kool! It looks like it’s round (I like the trees) and it’s so big. I think chalkman did it.

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