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Beginner Optical Illusion Effect (Image Heavy)

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This tutorial is available as a PDF. Click here to view or download it

Hi, today I will be teaching you guys how to create a simple optical illusion comprised of cubes. The way the optical illusion works is that you will be able to see the cubes in two different ways. Your brain will switch how you see the cubes to going outward, or going inward, similar to this. You can often switch views by blinking a couple times.

So, to start, you will need the plugin Hexagonal Grid, which may be found here.


Step 1:

Open up paint.net, the canvas size does not matter. I will use the standard 800x600 canvas size.

Open up the Hexagonal Grid plugin (Effects>Render>Hexagonal Grid) and put the following settings:




(Anti aliasing is optional.)

Your outcome should look something like this:




Step 2:


Now it is time to make it an actual illusion. This is the hardest part, but it is a pattern, so you can get the hang of things quickly.

Select the Paint Bucket:





Next, choose a color. You will have to make 3 different shades of this color. I shall use blue. You will have to have a medium, dark, and light shade of the color. (The 'More' section on the color pallet

is very helpful for this.)




Now we shall start to fill in the cubes to make the illusion.*

*This may be hard because the views will switch on you while you are drawing.

This part is tricky. This is the pattern:

The 'dark' shade of your color shall go on the top of your cubes:




That represents the top of the cube on one view of the optical illusion, and the bottom on the other.

Next, the 'medium' shade of your color shall go on the left-hand side of your cubes:




That represents the left side of the cube in one view, and the right in the other view.

Finally, the 'light' shade of your color shall go on the right-hand side of your cubes:




That will represent the right side of your cubes in one view, and the left side in the other view.


And there you have it! A simple optical illusion comprised of cubes to fool your brain!


If you really want to, you can play around with different shades, colors, and effects to make a really cool illusion like this:




Thank you for viewing and/or commenting! Feel free to share your outcomes!

SIG2011.png <Click for Gallery

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  • 5 months later...

Hi everyone,

Sorry for answering an old post.

I just made a small tool that generates an optical illusion from a photo.

This tool has been made during a night I was bored (Yep, nothing better to do...).


Thanks all, tell me what you think of it !

Edited by Ego Eram Reputo
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I'll tell you what I think:

It has nothing to do with this tutorial or paint.net. We call that spam.

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  • 6 years later...
4 minutes ago, Flitchy said:

I couldnt see any pictures, do i need to download something?


@Flitchy this is an old post and the images have been hijacked by Photo Bucket.  The tutorial authors, who are still active on this forum, have updated theirs, whereas the author of this tutorial has not logged in since 2012, so it is probably not going to be fixed.  Sorry :(


How I made Jennifer & Halle in Paint.net

My Gallery | My Deviant Art

"Rescuing one animal may not change the world, but for that animal their world is changed forever!" anon.

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9 hours ago, Flitchy said:

I couldnt see any pictures, do i need to download something?


I've rehosted the images supplied by @Eli. Thanks Eli!


Thanks to @Woodsy for supplying the PDF, which I've attached.

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