Designing and Animating a Mind-Bending Illusion

with Deke McClelland
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Designing and Animating a Mind-Bending Illusion
Video duration: 0s 1h 26m Intermediate


Learn what it takes to design your own mind-bending illusion, in this installment of Designs dekeConstructed—the series that breaks down popular graphic designs and show you how to re-create them on your own. Deke starts out by drawing an "impossible" Penrose triangle and a golden ball in Adobe Illustrator. Next, he plots a path for the ball to follow around the triangle. Last, he moves to Photoshop, where he shows you how to animate the ball with a combination of layer masks and the timeline.

Topics include:
  • Creating an "impossible" triangle with hexagons and gradients
  • Drawing and filling the golden ball
  • Drawing the path of the ball
  • Creating frames as layers
  • Animating your artwork in Photoshop
Illustrator Photoshop


- Hey, gang. This is Deke McClelland. Welcome to my bimonthly series Designs Deconstructed, in which we take a look at some exciting graphic designs and we figure out how to make 'em. In this course, I'll show you how to animate this mind-bending optical illusion, in which a simple ball makes an endless journey across the surface of one of the world's most famous impossible objects. We'll start in Adobe Illustrator by creating what's known as a Penrose triangle, starting with nine base hexagons, and ending with this strangely-lead shape.

Then we'll add a golden ball and we'll plot the ball's path as it weaves in and out of the triangle. In the end, we'll switch to Photoshop, where we'll animate the ball using a combination of layer masks and the timeline panel. Note that this is a 3-D triangle, not a cube, which is why I think it's safe to say that in this course, we'll be quite literally thinking outside the box.

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