Interactive 3D Simulation of Escher-like Impossible Worlds

E.M. Orbons and Zs. Ruttkay
Bridges Leeuwarden: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2008)
Pages 201–208


Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972) is a famous Dutch artist known – amongst others – for his prints of impossible figures and impossible worlds. Many of his works illustrate mathematical and geometrical concepts such as perspective and limits. Works by Escher have motivated scientists over the years to discover the mathematical foundations of his work, ultimately leading to applications that are able to model and render scenes similar to the ones created by Escher. Presented is an application that is capable of displaying a special class of impossible worlds that have been created by the artist. The software displays worlds that appear physically correct, but are connected in an impossible manner, similar to Escher’s Another World II or Relativity. Portal rendering is employed to create real-time interactive visualizations of such scenes, which can be freely explored by the user.