Lego Challenge #12: Build and photograph an impossible Escher model out of Lego

Today’s challenge: Build and photograph a Lego model of an impossible Escher drawing.
Two famous "Impossible" illustrations by M.C. Escher

Two famous “Impossible” illustrations by M.C. Escher

I chose to make a simplified Lego model based on his 1961 illustration Waterfall. I was pretty confident that this would work, as I had seen other examples of this project in the past. It seems like different folks use different approaches to try and collapse the space.

My Impossible Escher "Waterfall" model.

My Impossible Escher “Waterfall” model.

My approach was to line up the studs from the vertical pillars, using 1×1 corner panels at the top of the pillars (part # 6231). I relyed on the fact that perspective misalignment is essentially eliminated if you are viewing from a far enough away distance. I used a 200mm zoom lens from across the room to minimize alignment issues, although it isn’t quite perfect since objects in back of the Lego scene are still a little smaller than the front. The other approach would have been to use forced perspective and photograph the scene much closer, but this would have made it harder to keep everything in focus.

Alternate perspective shows how I achieved the illusion.

Alternate perspective shows how I achieved the illusion.

After completing the project, I looked up other ways folks have achieve the illusion online, including this video and illustration on There are also numerous Lego examples shown in this article at (Including a higher-fidelity model of “waterfall”, although they used photoshop for their final image.)


I am definitely happy with the result and the photos turned out pretty well. This is a fun project, and feels like a nice diversion from building “real” models. This was a refreshing challenge and I’m glad I tried it. If I want to make a more photo realistic rendition in the future, I would need a lot more Lego’s.

build time: 1.5 hours to build. 1.5 hours to photograph. (While watching more Battlestar…)

Today’s post is part of my Lego Architecture Studio 30-day Challenge

You may also like...

3 Responses

  1. Andrew says:

    Cool stuff! I look forward to the rest of the challenge.

  2. sharon says:

    I love Escher but cannot spend that much time on this. I made a simple illusion.
    I have been posting and giving you credit on Flickr.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please solve this math problem * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.