M. C. Escher in LEGOs
Next up is Belvedere, which require the use of tricky half-brick spacing, diagonal beams and photography from just the right viewpoint. Andrew’s webpage has the construction details and more awesome photos.
Ascending and Descending is Andrew and Daniel’s third Escher art rendered in LEGO:
The secret is that the staircase spirals up and in: if you look at it from exactly the right position, the edge of the top step looks as though it’s just lined up with the edge of the bottom step. The picture shows what’s going on – I took it from a slightly different position and the edges no longer meet. Actually, because the lower edge is further from the camera than the top one, it looks smaller; we had to build it
wider to compensate.
Escher’s Relativity in LEGO by Andrew Lipson and Daniel Shiu, inspired by M.C. Escher’s Relativity (1953)
The pair’s fourth creation is M.C. Escher’s Relativity. There’s no optical trick involved here, but the multiple directionality of the piece requires a nifty LEGO trick:
Unlike many of Escher’s other “impossible” pictures (like “Ascending and Descending“), there is actually no optical illusion involved here. Gravity seems to be working in three different directions simultaneously, but the picture shows a perfectly self-consistent physical scene. So modelling it should certainly be feasible. But while Escher’s picture has three different “up”s, LEGO isn’t quite so flexible…
For LEGO afficionados, the most significant thing about our version is the widespread use of SNOT (“Studs not on top”) techniques – in plain English, having the LEGO studs pointing in lots of different directions. There are various tricks for making this work in general, and we probably used all of them here.