Anamorphic Billboards: Breaking Down A 500 Year Old Technique


Anamorphic Billboards: Breaking Down A 500 Year Old Technique

What are “anamorphic billboards”?

Anamorphosis is a visual technique dating back as early as the 15th century, in which the viewer is tricked into perceiving an image’s perspective differently than how it’s actually designed. When applied to today’s digital billboard creatives, the resulting effect is a crowd-stopping 3D illusion that doesn’t require the use of special glasses.

With most digital out of home (DOOH) placements seeing upward to 1.5 million impressions per day, it’s clear to see how this 3D illusion cuts through the noise and makes the most of those impressions (not to mention becoming a generator of earned social media).

How do I create an anamorphic billboard? 

Simply put, you just need the ideal viewing angle of your spectators, the physical specifications of the billboard, and a 3D software to tie it all together. Let us show you what we mean:

3D Anamorphic Billboard: Optimal POV

First we replicate the viewer’s POV with a 3D camera so we can accurately capture the necessary perspective. 

3D Anamorphic Billboard: Billboard Stage

Then we create a 3D model of the billboard based on its real-world, physical specifications. The model is then used as a stage for our creative.

3D Anamorphic Billboard: Anamorphic Image

Finally we “unwrap” the 3D scene to generate the final anamorphic footage.

But doesn’t that mean the footage on the billboard will be distorted?

That is correct, but from your viewer’s perspective it will appear as though the images are jumping off the screen in a spectacular 3D effect!

Stephen McGinnis


Los Angeles