The Belgian Underground
June 9th, 2021
Tacos, Chips and Zombie Tigers: How an age-old optical illusion is adding a new dimension to Digital OOH
Sites referenced
Newcastle Central

Although you may have never heard of ‘Anamorphosis’, there’s a good chance you’ve seen this centuries-old optical illusion without even realising it. Andrea Pozzo’s 17th century painted ceiling in the Church of St. Ignazio created the illusion of a dome which doesn’t exist; incredible drawings of street artists Kurt WennerEdgar Mueller and Julian Beever decorate pavements around the world; and the recent “Wave” art installation in Seoul’s Coex Square created a giant photorealistic wave crashing inside a glass tank.

The technique (sometimes referred to as anamorphic illusions, forced perspective or trompe-l’œil) uses heavily distorted imagery which, when viewed from a specific vantage point, creates the illusion of three-dimensional space on flat surfaces. It can be used to create windows into other worlds, extend existing architecture, or make impossible objects appear to float.

It’s hard to describe, but incredibly easy to view – realistic “3D” images, with the correct perspective, lighting and shadows, that require no fancy eyewear, mirrors or technology.

With the advent of Digital OOH, artists are able to take anamorphosis to a whole new level, adding not only scale to the mix but full-motion video, too. We’re calling it ‘DeepScreen’, and we see it as a powerful new tool for creatives using our platform.

Scale is the key to maximising the impact of DeepScreen. The bigger the screen, the better the effect—and there’s no bigger (or more famous) screen in the UK than Landsec’s Piccadilly Lights.

With its impressive size, full-motion capabilities and audience of millions, the Piccadilly screen is perfect for showcasing these next-generation “3D” illusions. In fact, it’s the screen’s unique curved surface that helps to sell the effect even more: the view isn’t simply looking into a window but to a whole 3D scene from two sides, not just one.

This is why we’ve seen brands eager to use DeepScreen on the Piccadilly Lights, with the first three campaigns coming from major players Netflix (for the zombie movie Army of the Dead), Pokerstars (featuring a giant Neymar Jr towering over Piccadilly Circus) and Deliveroo (displaying a 3D Taco complete with floating ingredients).

Ocean Studio (Ocean’s in-house production division) worked closely with each brand’s creative team to develop their artwork, using our proprietary templates designed to speed up the process of producing the distorted artwork displayed.

It’s one thing seeing this effect on a video, but in real life, it creates a truly unique experience for the audience—with no clumsy tech to get in the way.

Whether it’s a floating taco or a 17m-high Zombie Tiger, the creative opportunities for 3D are endless. Ocean will be rolling out more DeepScreen enabled locations across the UK and European cities very soon; but if you can’t wait, book a consultation with the Ocean Studio team and discover what DeepScreen on Piccadilly Lights can do for your brand.

Contact Ocean Studio at [email protected]

3D Pavement Art by Kurt Wenner. Photos © Kurt Wenner
The Dome Illusion at Sant'Ignazio in Rome, 1688-94. Photo © Jean-Christophe Benoist
Army of the Dead, Netflix
An example anamorphic Illusion on The Piccadilly Lights (artist's impression)

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