Create The Perfect Optical 3D Illusion With Anamorphic LED Display

Innovations in display technology have led to some truly mind-blowing concepts being developed. And, with brands continuing to find different ways to attract people and stand out with their digital out-of-home advertising, there is always room for improvement across the board. 

Recently, one interesting trend that appears to have caught on is with the anamorphic LED display. The concept is proving to be a revolution in the way brands incorporate optical illusions into their marketing, and it could very well be the secret sauce you need to take your brand to where it needs to be. 

In this piece, we’ll look into how this new display innovation works, as well as what you need to know to implement it.

Anamorphic LED Display: A New Way To Dazzle Your Audience

What Is Anamorphosis? 

The entire operation of an anamorphic LED display rests on the principle of anamorphosis. This is a concept in visual arts where an object is distorted so much that it is seen and represented differently from specific viewpoints. Essentially, it is an optical illusion that requires a viewer to look at an object in a different viewpoint to see it in its real, natural state. 

In more recent times, applications of anamorphic illusions have mostly focused on concealing objects or images from casual observers. However, the specific hidden images can be recognized by a select few people – once they view the pieces from specific angles.

Anamorphic LED Displays

In its simplest sense, an anamorphic LED display is a form of display technology that makes use of anamorphic lens to create a stunning visual effect. 

The lenses themselves are mostly applied in cinematography and filmmaking to convert images in a wide aspect ratio into a narrower aspect ratio, thus creating a simple and effective way to project content to traditional movie screens. 

However, in the context of LED displays, an anamorphic projection can be created using the lenses on individual LED modules or panels. This provides an opportunity for essentially changing the characteristics of the image – although, in most cases, the image is made longer.

Anamorphic LED displays operate on the principle of anamorphosis – a form of optical illusion where an image appears distorted when it is viewed from different angles. However, when it is viewed from a certain vantage point, its intended form is revealed; undistorted and unedited. 

As we explained, the entire point of an anamorphic LED display is to create more immersive viewing content by distorting an image. Thanks to the application of anamorphic lenses, it is possible to present images with a LED display across a broader field of view. This means that the images are made to appear taller or wider than what you can get with a traditional display. 

Anamorphic LED displays offer flexibility in terms of aspect ratios, making it possible for content creators and brands to experiment with multiple image dimensions that create visually impressive content. They will require specialized lens technology and precise calibration to achieve the visual effect you want, but we’ll look into those requirements later

Use of anamorphic LED displays has also risen significantly in the past few years. Nike’s anamorphic LED display in Tokyo is probably the most popular implementation of the technology at this point, but there are several other brands that have been able to capitalize on the trend to improve their visibility. And, with anamorphic LED displays being applied in several industries, everyone has the opportunity to hop on this bandwagon. 

Critical Components Of Anamorphic Displays 

In order to operate optimally, anamorphic LED displays incorporate several major components that work together and create the proper effect. Some of those key elements include:

  • LED Panels or Modules: Arguably the most fundamental component in an anamorphic LED display is the LED module or panel. Here, you have several individual LED pixels, all of which are arranged in a precise grid pattern. 

At NSE LED Cloud, we provide these panels in different sizes and resolutions. So, you get your pick of the litter as far as options are concerned. Their job is to emit light straight from the image to the desired surface, so their work is key.  

  • Anamorphic Lenses: As explained earlier, these are specialized optical tools that are applied to the LED panels or modules. They provide the stretching and distorting effect, allowing you to make changes to the  sizes and resolutions of the images in a more controlled manner. 

With anamorphic lenses, you have tools that play a prominent role in creating that unique visual effect that comes with an anamorphic LED display. 

  • Controller: This is  the central processing output that manages the outcome of the display. It gets input signals (whether it is an image or video) and translates them into precise instructions for the LED panels to follow.

With the controller, you’re able to achieve optimal scaling, content synchronization, and optimal calibration to match your specific characteristics. 

  • Power Supply: As expected, every anamorphic LED display will need to be hooked up to a power supply source in order to keep the LED modules operational. It is one of the major considerations, of course – as we’ll get to talk about later.
  • Control Software: You need an anamorphic illusion 3D software that will help you to configure and control the entirety of your display system. It provides easy access to features like playback, image or video settings, and other parameters of the content – contrast, brightness, content alignment, etc. In most cases, this software makes remote controlling possible, thus improving your comfort. 
  • Mounting Structure: Most times, anamorphic LED displays are mounted on supporting frames to provide stability and alignment. The chosen mounting structure will vary based on the particular installation requirements, although you usually have the choice of freestanding structures, wall mounting, and integration into existing designs.
  • Content Source: Finally, you need a source from which to get your content. This is where the image or video content is fed into the display – it could be a media server, a source for video playback, etc. Once connected to the display system, it delivers the content to the controller, which then renders it on the LED modules.

These components work together to create the anamorphic visual effect and deliver dynamic and immersive content on the anamorphic LED display. The specific configuration and capabilities may vary depending on the manufacturer, product, and customization options available for anamorphic LED display systems.

Anamorphic Aspect Ratio: A Much Needed Break From The Norm  

One of the most important parts of the overall anamorphic LED display is the aspect ratio. This metric generally refers to a non-standard aspect ratio that doesn’t conform to the regular 16:9 or 4:3 ratios we see in traditional display and video formats. 

With the anamorphic aspect ratio, you have a much broader field of view, thus creating the illusion of an elongated image. And, in the context of LED displays, these ratios are obtained with the use of the anamorphic lenses. 

The lenses essentially stretch or compress the image to either side, resulting in a taller or wider format. This distortion, as you can imagine, is critical to the overall unique visual effect and experience that you get with an anamorphic LED screen. 

Some of the applications of the anamorphic aspect ratios in LED displays include: 

  • Anamorphic LED Panels: These days, it is possible to manufacture LED panels in non-standard aspect ratios. The panels are designed with the non-standard ratios integrated into their hardware, meaning that their individual pixels are configured to conform to the desired aspect ratio. 

With this, there won’t be any need for additional optical elements like lenses to display and view the content. 

  • Anamorphic Lens Attachment: As expected, the alternative is to have anamorphic lenses attached to the standard LED modules. The lenses are primarily created to distort the image or video being displayed by the LEDs, thus creating the desired visual effect.

In most cases, the lenses are placed either in front of the LED modules or integrated into them – meaning that the image is eventually distorted as it passes through them. 

How The Anamorphic Revolution Compares With Traditional Displays

For the sake of understanding, it might be prudent to understand how anamorphic LED displays compare with the standard display versions. Below are a few parameters where we can draw lines of diversion: 

Aspect Ratios

As we all know, traditional displays like OLED and LCD screens typically adhere to the standard aspect ratios – primarily, either the 4:3 or the 16:9 ratio. These aspect ratios represent rectangular content shapes, and they’re what you see in computers, TVs, and the likes. 

For anamorphic LED displays, the goal is to deviate from the standard aspect ratio offering. Primarily, you have a custom anamorphic aspect ratio, with your content appearing to be taller or wider than the standard look. 

Content Compatibility 

Traditional displays are built to display content in their standard aspect ratios. Of course, this has the advantage of content being displayable without any need for stretching or distortion. And, considering that the standard aspect ratios are popular, you can easily transfer content from one screen to the other. 

On the anamorphic front, things are quite different. Here, content needs to be tailored to your specific requirements and aspect ratio specifications. And, unless a separate screen supports your aspect ratio, it might not be able to display your content the way you want it. 

Visual Impact

The entire point of an anamorphic LED display is to create a unique and completely different visual experience from what we’re used to with traditional displays. These displays are more immersive and captivating because they provide a shift from the norm. And, in a world where being able to grab attention is everything, the displays do provide an advantage.

This isn’t to say that the familiar viewing experience of traditional screens is bad, of course. Since they conform to the aspect ratios we’re all used to, traditional screens still provide an impressive opportunity to captivate and engage audiences. Just as well, their propensity for providing content that appears natural shouldn’t be underrated.

Content Adaptation

For anamorphic displays, any content displayed on a specific screen will need to be adapted to fit non-standard aspect ratios before it can have the desired impact. Whether it is via software adjustments or the use of anamorphic lenses, this ensures that the content being displayed matches the display’s shape.

Creative Applications: 

Both traditional and anamorphic displays are being applied in different industries and fields. However, with anamorphic displays being the new trend on the block, we expect to see them being applied more. 

Fortunately, you can easily get an anamorphic LED display set up courtesy of us at NSE LED Cloud. Let us know what you want, and we’ll be able to deliver it to you. 


One point we should also note is that unlike traditional displays, anamorphic displays offer greater flexibility when it comes to aspect ratio customization. Whether through lenses or customized aspect ratios built into the hardware, this customization can be achieved, creating a perfectly immersive visual experience.   

Parameter  Anamorphic Displays  Traditional Displays 
Aspect Ratio Unconventional, customizable aspect ratio  Standard (i.e, 4:3 or 16:9)
Content Adaptation  Can be challenging due to he unconventional aspect ratio  Can easily be used since it is designed for standard aspect ratios 
Resolution  Lower vertical resolution as pixels are being stretched  Higher pixel density across the board 
Viewing Angle  Limited viewing angles  Wider viewing angles with a consistent perspective
Installation  Will require specialized installation tools and mounting solutions  Standard mounting tools and installation methods 
Cost  Can be more expensive, given its uniqueness Generally cost-effective and more widely available 

With all of these differences, it’s obvious that both displays cater to different customer groups and applications. 

Technical Aspects and Working Principles 

It is also important to point out the technical aspects and working principles that govern the operation of anamorphic LED displays. 

LED Display Technology 

The fundamental base of an anamorphic LED display, of course, is the LED technology that covers it. Here, you have the following technical components: 

  • LED Modules: We already covered the LED modules – individual panels containing different light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that are arranged together.
  • Pixel Pitch: The pixel pitch determines the distance between adjacent LED pixels on the overall display. With smaller pitch values, you get a higher pixel density – and, by extension, a sharper, more defined image. When choosing the pixel pitch, you want to consider the desired visual quality and possible viewing distance. 
  • LED Control and Drivers: Every LED display needs control systems and drivers that power the individual LEDs and control them. Both systems manage important features such as color, brightness, and display performance. 
  • Content Management: The entire LED display is driven by a content management system that gets and processes the content you want to display. In some cases, the content management system might also be involved in compressing and stretching the content.

Incorporation of Anamorphic Lenses:

The anamorphic lenses are optical devices that you add to the LED panels to perform the necessary modifications for the image to be in the desired format. Whether by stretching or compressing the image, they do a lot of the heavy lifting. And, in many cases, one could act as the anamorphic illusion generator.

With these, it is important to consider the following:

  • Lens Types: You have different types of anamorphic lenses – from toroidal lenses to cylindrical lenses. Depending on the aspect ratio and effect you’re going for, you can make a choice. The lenses are carefully designed to achieve the specific characteristics required for the display.
  • Lens Integration: Next, you should consider the required integration module. Generally, the lenses can be integrated into the LED panels during the manufacturing process itself. They are simply placed in front of the LEDs and secured so as to maintain the optical alignment and needed anamorphic effect.
  • Content Adaptation: The content needed for the anamorphic display will need to be adapted to match the unconventional aspect ratio that the anamorphic lenses create. You can make this adaptation through content management software or systems, which will conduct the edit. 

Working Principles: 

The working principle of anamorphic LED displays involves the collaboration of the LED technology and the anamorphic lenses. The LED modules or panels display the content, while the anamorphic lenses modify the shape of the image by stretching or compressing it. The content management systems or software ensure that the content is adapted to fit the anamorphic aspect ratio of the display.

When the display is powered on, the LED modules emit light to create the individual pixels that form the image. As the light passes through the anamorphic lenses, it undergoes optical distortion, causing the image to stretch or compress horizontally or vertically. This distortion aligns with the specific characteristics of the anamorphic lenses, resulting in the desired anamorphic effect.

By combining LED display technology with anamorphic lenses, anamorphic LED displays can achieve unique and visually captivating effects, creating immersive and engaging visual experiences for viewers.

What Anamorphic Display Configuration Works For You?

dark display

When it comes to types, you have several options to choose from as you look through anamorphic LED displays. A few of the most prominent of these include: 

Anamorphic LED Video Walls: 


An anamorphic LED video wall consists of several LED modules arranged in the format of a grid to form a massive video wall. Here, you use anamorphic projection to cast your image on the wall, with lenses being applied to each individual LED panel to create the elongated or stretched image across the video wall. 

This is one of the types of LED display screen that you can find in immersive environments, large-scale installations, and more. 

Curved Anamorphic LED Displays: 


Curved displays are pretty popular these days. And, in the case of anamorphic displays, they feature curved LED modules that have been fitted with anamorphic lenses. 

Thanks to the curvature, you can create an interesting effect with your LED screen ratio, thus creating a unique visual experience. These displays are found most commonly at entertainment venues and retail displays, and you can also fit them in architectural designs where you need curved surfaces. 

Flexible Anamorphic LED Displays: 

With the use of flexible LED panels, these displays can easily be shaped or bent to create and fit irregular surfaces. 

You could integrate anamorphic lenses to flexible modiles to achieve the desired effect. And, for applications that have to deal with irregularly shaped spaces, these displays are perfect.  

Projection Mapping with Anamorphic Effects: 

Finally, there are also projection mapping techniques that you can combine with anamorphic lenses to create the desired effect. Also applied mostly to irregular surfaces like anamorphic billboards, this classification of display uses projectors. 

Once the projector is able to cast the content onto the surface, anamorphic lenses are applied to the projection lenses to compress or stretch the content – thus resulting in the illusion you’re trying to create.

Per usual, your choice will depend on what you’re trying to achieve in the long run. Fortunately, we at NSE LED Cloud provide the perfect options available to you. 

The Key Benefits of Anamorphic LED Displays 

Anamorphic LED displays offer a myriad of benefits that make them especially attractive. A few key advantages of these displays include: 

  • A Unique Visual Impact: The first thing you should note about anamorphic LED displays is that they provide a visually striking and immersive visual experience. With their elongated images and videos, you get to evoke a unique sense of depth, as well as a wider field of view and a more intriguing display format that you just can’t get with traditional displays. 

With this uniqueness, you can easily enhance the visual impact of the content and easily grab the viewer’s attention.

  • Creative Freedom: Anamorphic LED displays also allow you to work with just about anything. Take advantage of the opportunity to use a non-conventional image and video resolution and tell unique stories with your content that can draw customers in.
  • Immersive Experiences: With the taller and wider aspect ratios, you can transform your content in a way that basically wraps around viewers and surrounds them with stunning visuals. For your brand or entertainment value, this benefit is highly underrated, as you can imagine.
  • Operational Versatility: Anamorphic LED displays also provide flexibility when it comes to customizing aspect ratios. You can choose your specific anamorphic aspect ratio and work with it, essentially tailoring the display to suit your specific application and design requirements. Plus, remember that you can easily integrate the display into various environments.
  • Eye-Catching Installations: With the many types of anamorphic displays available, you have your pick of the litter when it comes to creating appealing installations that can easily optimize the aesthetic appeal of a place. It could be a LED video wall, a curved visual display, etc. These displays easily add visual interest to natural spaces, making them more attractive instantly.
  • Brand Differentiation: With every brand looking to set themselves apart these days, anamorphic LED displays provide the perfect opportunity for you to differentiate yourself from the gate. Create memorable and impactful experiences that can easily leave a lasting impression on your audience. 
  • Energy Efficiency: For all of these benefits, anamorphic LED displays also cater to the environment. LED displays are known for their low emissions and power intake, and they provide an opportunity for you to cut energy costs while also reducing your carbon footprint. It’s the perfect one-two punch. 

All of these benefits and more are available with the anamorphic LED displays we provide at NSE LED Cloud. And, you can contact us today to take advantage of them.

Where You Can Find Anamorphic LED Displays 

flelxible screen

With so many impressive benefits, it should come as no surprise that anamorphic LED displays have been applied in different industries. However, while the displays are universally functional, here are some of their biggest uses:

  • Entertainment Venues: You can find anamorphic displays in concert halls, theaters, and other entertainment venues in order to create visually stunning experiences. They can even be integrated into backdrops, stage designs, and more to improve the impact of performances and productions.
  • Retail Environments: As for retail spaces, anamorphic LED displays also provide an attention-grabbing form of signage and advertising. The Nike anamorphic LED display is a perfect example of this. Who won’t love to see this? 

With their unique display format, they can attract customers, showcase products, and create visually engaging brand experiences. Plus, if you need a modern, visually appealing look, this is a great way to go.

  • Art Installations: Anamorphic LED displays can also be used in museums, galleries, and other exhibition spaces where they help to create visually captivating installations. Artists can also use the unconventional aspect ratios to show their creativity and experiment with new visual techniques. 
  • Architectural Integration: The 3D anamorphic screen can easily be integrated into traditional architectural designs, essentially transforming structures into dynamic visual landmarks. Wrap them around curved surfaces, use them to display massive artwork, and create other interactive looks. 
  • Event Productions: Anamorphic LED displays play a significant role in event productions – product launches, trade shows, conferences, etc. You can use them to develop an intriguing backdrop for presentations, and create other impressive brand experiences. With their unique aspect ratios, the displays will easily create a memorable look. 
  • Hospitality and Entertainment Venues: Casios, hotels, resorts, and more can use anamorphic LED displays to create visually appealing environments where they can entertain guests. Whether for information boards or digital signage, you can easily elevate the environment of your location and create a more modern sense that will attract people.
  • Digital Art and Installations: Installation designers and digital artists have also been able to use anamorphic displays to push the traditional boundaries of digital art. They make it possible for you to create interactive installations, kinetic sculptures, and other concepts that easily blend technology and art.

The versatility and visual impact of anamorphic displays makes them perfect for different industries. They allow for creative expression, while also helping you to set your brand apart.

Should You Really Have An Anamorphic LED Display?

So we understand how important anamorphic LED displays are. However, before you have one installed, it is important for you to know about a few factors if you’re to get the best out of it. 

Display Requirements: 

One of the first things you need to consider will be the requirements of your display. Consider factors such as aspect ratio, size, resolution, and possible curvature. Just as well, you want to check out the viewing distance and environment to ensure that the display is perfect for the intended use. 

Content Compatibility: 

Of course, you will need content to optimize your anamorphic LED display. First off, determine the unconventional aspect ratio you’d like to use, as well as the content creation workflow and software support. Since you’d need to adapt content for the anamorphic display, this is a key requirement across the board.  

Installation Space: 

The space for installing the display will also be important. Assess it, as well as the architectural constraints that you might experience. 

Things like the physical dimensions and mounting options for the display should also go into consideration. You need to determine whether you’d be using a freestanding display, a wall-mounted one, or if you’d just integrate it into a specific structure. 

Finally, consider electrical requirements and ventilation. You need a reliable power source, and you need enough ventilation to ensure that the display doesn’t generate too much heat.

Viewing Angles and Pixel Pitch: 

Evaluate the viewing angles and pixel pitch of the anamorphic LED display. Wide viewing angles ensure a good viewing experience from various perspectives, while an appropriate pixel pitch ensures sufficient image clarity and sharpness. 

This consideration becomes more critical when selecting larger displays or displays meant for close viewing.

Customization Options: 

Next, think about the possible customization options available to your display. Some manufacturers might want to offer configure aspect ratios, integrate your content with projection mapping, or curved and flexible LED modules. 

As long as the manufacturer can meet your customization needs and provide the desired flexibility levels, you shouldn’t have a problem. Fortunately, we at NSE LED Cloud are perfect for you. Let us know what you want, and we’ll be able to help you out. 

Quality and Reliability: 

Of course, you want an anamorphic LED display that’s of the highest quality. We always recommend working with reputable manufacturers with a track record of high quality products. With our LED displays, you get optimal brightness levels, color accuracy, and long-term functionality.  

Budget and Total Cost of Ownership: 

To be fair, anamorphic LED displays are quite the investment. Besides the initial purchase cost, you also need to factor in things like maintenance, power consumption, and possible accessories and installation requirements. 

However, at the end of the day, the costs are definitely worth it. Your job is to evaluate your financial position and examine the value that the display will bring to your business.

Support and Service:

Finally, go with a manufacturer that offers support and customer service. At NSE LED Cloud, we provide all of the support you need and more – from warranty coverage to technical support and a reliable support system if you need it.

Challenges Of Using Anamorphic LED Displays 

While anamorphic displays are quite effective, it is important to note that you might also run into a few challenges incorporating them. Some of these challenges include: 

  • Content Creation and Adaptation: Due to the fact that anamorphic displays don’t  fit the conventional standard, it is important to find ways to adapt content to these displays. Specialized software will be needed to display the content and optimize it for the anamorphic orientation and standard. 
  • Resolution and Pixel Density: In most cases, you might find that anamorphic displays might not have the highest levels of pixel density – especially when compared to rectangular displays that have the same resolution. 
  • Viewing Angle and Perspective: By definition, an anamorphic display doesn’t have the same wealth of viewing angles and perspectives. It is stretched, and this means that you can get distortion when viewing from extreme angles. 
  • Content Compatibility: It is important to note that not every form of content will work for anamorphic displays. This is especially true for legacy content, which might not be compatible with the aspect ratio of anamorphic displays. 
  • Integration and Installation: Compared to traditional displays, installing anamorphic LED displays might prove to be a challenge. Once again, this is a direct consequence of their unconventional shapes. When you pair this with the need to integrate signal scaling devices and video processors, you’ll find that the displays might not necessarily be the easiest to throw in. 
  • Cost: Of course, you should keep in mind that these displays can be comparatively more expensive. The benefits outweigh the cost, but you need to be aware of the financial investment.


Anamorphic LED displays could easily be what your business or brand needs to grow significantly. And, with NSE LED Cloud, you can have your display set up and ready to go as quickly as possible. 

Simply reach out to us and let us know what you need, and we’ll be good to go. 

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