Infinity pools remain a popular choice for homeowners who want to bring the grandeur they see on the horizon into their reality. Made to fool the eye into believing that the pool and the natural setting it overlooks are one, this type of pool often appears in amazing spots: cantilevered off hillsides, perched on mountainsides, and surveying the bright lights of nearby cityscapes. Venues near water, however, are the most popular-and for good reason. But no matter where the pool is situated, it captures the imagination with its incredible ability to astonish even the most jaded of viewers. How the Effect Is Created Called by a variety of names-vanishing edge, negative edge, knife edge, disappearing edge, and flooded edge-infinity-edge pools are not the invention of modern pool builders: one of the first pools featuring water flowing over an edge appeared in Europe during the late 1800s. It was not until more recently, however, that the concept caught the attention of homeowners everywhere-thanks to Hollywood. Demand grew as infinity-edge pools began to appear in movies and magazines; as that demand grew, so did the skill required by pool builders to create the desired effect.. The basics of an infinity pool begin and end with a knowledge of structural engineering. Although the pool water appears to mysteriously flow into infinity, it is in fact emptying into a catch basin and then recirculated back into the pool. A walk to the other side of the pool dispels the magic. The first thing you will notice is the weir wall. This is where the water flows down as it descends into the catch basin. Because it can be seen from a number of vantage points, it is a vital part of the design. Technically, it has to be flawlessly built; visually, it has to complement the entire design. The catch basin also plays a key role in an infinity-edge pool. The designer has to make sure it is large and wide enough to keep the water flowing evenly and smoothly, but it doesn't have to be work-a-day in appearance. Some designers allow the basin to play a starring role; others prefer to blend it into the landscaping, barely allowing it to make an appearance. Tricks of the Trade Since their goal is to blend two different scenes into one, pool designers use their knowledge of color and materials to create a visual meshing of two otherwise unrelated settings. By coloring plaster or blending glass tiles in the shades and tones of the neighboring landscape, designers fuse the natural with the manmade. To make the infinity pool appear as if it is emptying into the vast blueness of the ocean, a designer will choose a pool finish that will create the same blue color in the pool. This makes the pool look as if it's flowing into the ocean and vice versa. Another effect is when the infinity edge seems to cascade into the setting on the other side of the property line-most often a patch of untouched woodland. By finishing the pool in a dark, natural tone and framing it with rockwork, the designer creates the illusion that the pool is actually trickling into the greenery. In this case, the vanishing edge doubles as a source of tranquility as the water tumbles "endlessly" over the rim of the pool. So, if you have a superb view and want to draw all eyes to it, an infinity pool can transform your backyard into a truly stunning scene.