Astronaut Floats Towards Viewers On This Chinese Shopping Mall’s Semi-Transparent Video Wall

January 14, 2022 by Dave Haynes

This is an effective use of a forced perspective illusion done on a transparent LED display that wraps the exterior of a bank of elevators in the atrium of a mall in a city west of Shanghai.

It helps that whoever shot this video plays along with the illusion of an astronaut leaving a vessel and floating in space towards the viewer.

To create the illusion, the motion graphics designer had to make the main visual smaller than the overall screen, so there is a semi-transparent, grid-filled void around it. That kind of illusion can work really well with solid LED cabinets, with the content taking on the color and texture of the immediate surroundings. It’s less effective in this case, because you can see the cage-like structure of the display. The displays are a series of (usually) horizontal rows of LEDs on thin bars, with gaps between each to enable the transparency but also minimize overall weight.

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