How to make an impossible two-legged chair

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Dude should check out Eero Sarinen’s one legged chairs that dont require any trickery.

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I’ll save you all the clickbait and 20 minutes of bro.

He bolts the chair to the floor and it’s made of steel.

The classic way this is done is to make a baseplate the shape of what the chair’s shadow would be, which is elegant and clever.


Watch the first video only if you want to see someone use tens of thousands of dollars of shop tools, which is actually slightly enjoyable for me, but the video itself is clickbait. The “illusion” is saved til the end, after twenty long minutes, and it’s a pretty obvious trick.

The second video I’m more interested in. (Spoilers ahead.) I think a number of the shots rely on the old trick of the magician pretending to tell you what the trick is, while actually using a different trick.

The chair painted on the floor obviously has to be digital manipulation, and, once we’ve crossed that bridge, I think the “floating” comfy chair is as well, despite the mirror “reveal.” Given that, I think the final two-legged chair is nothing more that digital manipulation as well, but @AndreaJames suggests a “different” stabilizing method. If that was revealed somewhere I’m not seeing it.


My first reaction is that this trick is going to be very expensive the day someone sit down carelessly in that chair and rip out the floor boards.

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Hint: It’s bolted to the floor. It immediately made me think of Michael Jackson’s patented gravity shoes:


> “well, you could always bolt it to the floor, but then you’d have to ruin the floor and you could never move the chair…”
>[fast forward]
really wish the tap-to-skip-ten-seconds feature worked on embeds.


Per @VeronicaConnor, the chair in Zack’s illusion is mounted on a base shaped like the chair’s shadow. A lot of people enjoy watching John make stuff and Iike that he encourages others to do the same with all of this “impossible” builds.

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Me seeing the screencap: Is this guy a Yinzer? I bet he’s a Yinzer.

Literally the first second of the video (0:00-0:01) “So yinz guys are…”

Me: Finally, adequate representation in the media for my unique cultural niche n’at.

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You can also do it with ONE leg (errr. . . “foot”), and also one hand.



How is that possible, when the shadow isn’t there before he puts down the chair?

Clearly that’s not the answer, unless, just like I said further up, it’s one fakery that is then further manipulated with digital trickery.

Actually, if you look at the ends of the legs in the first screenshot, they look pretty clearly cut off unnaturally. So possibly it’s always mounted to a rigid shadow, which was then removed digitally.*

So, yes, an “illusion,” but one that wouldn’t work nearly as well without the digital manipulation. The shot of him carrying it in is what makes the illusion. Without it, it may as well be bolted to the ground.

The mirror holding up the arm chair is another example – it seems like it would work ok, but if you actually tried it you’d be annoyed at how it didn’t work nearly as well as in Zack’s video, where I believe the mirror was digitally removed until the last moment.

Edit: Actually, watching the video large at 0.25x speed makes it pretty obvious. Watch the space in front of the chair where you imagine the rigid panel would be. Lots of artifacts from the deleted object, and the clipping of the chair leg ends keeps shifting slightly.

Edit Edit: Looking through his videos, I think his audience expends the combination of true illusions and digital trickery. I hadn’t realized that was his thing. But it does make explaining his “technique” for the chair a little pointless.

Right! He isn’t sitting properly in it at the end at all! He is centering his weight over the two legs. You can see it wobble, though. If he tried to sit in it like a proper chair it would rip those floorboards right up, or bend the bolts, or something. Object not as advertised. Would not buy again.


The build video actually explains that yes, in the video Zack made of the chair the plate is simply masked / 'shooped. This is buried like 20 minutes into the video after all the tedious stuff that @VeronicaConnor alludes to, so no points off for missing it.

My instant guess was “you cantilever it” or you pull the Michael Jackson anti-gravity lean trick. I was hoping for something less obvious. Why not do one leg if you’re going to do this method?

Just posted the same thing before I got down here. Hard not to guess if you know that trick.

yeah bs tricks. But what I want to know is HOW the F does this dood get a shop like that?

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