Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Butterflies Illusion

Below I present the butterfly illusion, if you stare at this long enough the obvious will jump out at you. Can you see what I'm referring to?

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Obviously sometimes a rose is just a rose. There are no hidden images in this picture, but this does represent a lesson on illusion that every parent and child can relate to. The illusion of individuality.

Child illusion: Every kid goes through their teen years "trying to find themselves". Sometimes they try crazy things in an attempt to stand out. The image above illustrates that most of the time these teen's attempt to stand out just serve to make them blend in with their surroundings.

Parent Illusion: We see our teens doing crazy stuff, dyeing their hair with purple streaks, getting their navel pierced, trying various shades of makeup or wearing clothes that offend our sensibilities. Many of us think that our kids are turning into freaks. For these parents the image above illustrates that your kid isn't a freak, most likely their attempt to be an individual only serves to assist them to blend into their environment.

As a teen just as with the butterflies above the illusion of individuality is mostly just that an illusion (or delusion). Remember, often the more things change the more they stay the same.
READ MORE - Butterflies Illusion

Monday, May 30, 2005

Simultaneous Contrast Illusion

Viewing two colors at the same time influences both of their appearances. The following is an example of simultaneous contrast.

It is easy for me to state that the gray bar is exactly the same shade of gray throughout it's range. Most of us however will swear that the bar varies in color as it progresses across the page. If you have access to a color identifier program you will find that the bar is color 7e7e7e at every point within it's border. Otherwise put the RGB value is R126 G126 B126.

Simultaneous Contrast Illusion.
The gray bar is the same shade throughout.
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Friday, May 27, 2005

Escher Parodied

Worth1000.com had a photoshop contest the rules were as follows:
Escher. All Escher, all the time, He's not cliche anymore. Everyone's got at least one, so... Anything goes-- tweak it, colour it, tattoo it, whatever, start with an Escher, and have fun.

The rules of this game are thus: You are to photoshop any MC Escher image in some way. As always, quality is a must. We will remove poor entries no matter how much we like you. You'll have 48 hours for this contest, so make your submissions count.
Alright if you are not familiar with Escher you can read a bio on him here. In the mean time here are four entries into the contest. Go there and check out the rest of the entries they are worth the visit.

reptiles_blowout2 by wisbin

Sand Castle (themepost) by Flippant

READ MORE - Escher Parodied

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Even babies can have optical illusions

Five-month-old Samuel doesn't seem at all worried about the large plaster covering his right eye. He gurgles contentedly and tugs inquisitively at the white curtain in front of his nose, until it is lifted up by an invisible force. Now Samuel is looking at a chessboard which is drawn in such a way that it seems to be receding into the distance away from him.

From this background two bright orange hippos are staring at him; Samuel looks back at them with interest. He tries to grab hold of the hippo which is located a little lower down than the left-hand hippo; it squeaks and the curtain falls. When it goes up a few seconds later, two pelicans have taken over from the hippos. This time the left-hand pelican is lower down. Samuel reaches out for the bright red beak, there is a squeak and the curtain falls. After two dozen repetitions a voice in the background says, 'Thank you, that'll be all,' thereby ending Samuel's guest appearance at the University of Bonn's Institute of Psychology.

Baby Samuel taking part in the perception test. (Photo courtesy of University Of Bonn) You can see the checkerboard like pattern with the orange hippos on it.

'What we are investigating here is at what point babies can begin to decipher visual data about perspective,' says Laura Hemker, who is doing her PhD at the Institute. The problem is that even the brightest baby cannot yet say, at the age of five months, what it can see. For this reason the researchers on Dr. Michael Kavšek's team had to think up a trick enabling them to detect the perceptive faculties of their little guinea pigs. 'If you offer a baby two toys, it usually goes for the nearest one,' Laura Hemker explains. 'We make use of this fact for our experiment.' The PhD student put 20 seven-month-old babies and 20 five-month-old babies in front of the chessboard background. Due to the perspective figures which are fixed higher up and near the horizon appear further away than rubber toys which are a little lower down – although this is only the case if the observer covers over one eye. Otherwise the stereoscopic data provided by a pair of eyes cancel out the effect of perspective faked by the chessboard. 'This is precisely what we observe with our babies,' adds Julia Niehl, one of the students assisting in the project. 'If they can use both eyes they choose one of the two toys at random. However, when we cover over one eye, they more often go for the toy located lower down which appears closer because of the data on perspective contained in the background image.'

At any rate, 19 of the 20 seven-month-old babies went for the lower one rather than the higher one significantly more frequently when they could only use one eye. In eight out of ten cases they first tried to touch the toy that seemed nearer. However, if they were allowed to use both eyes, the location of the toys had no effect on the toys selected.

Even in the case of the five-month-old babies it was 16 out of 20 who reacted to data on perspective – which came as a surprise to the psychologists, as previously most experts had assumed that babies did not acquire this ability until about the age of seven months – 'and that this took place, so to speak, from one day to the next, almost as if someone had flicked a switch,' says Dr. Kavšek, who heads this study on perception. 'Our findings, however, seem to point to a continuous process of development: babies become aware of depth-of-field data at a very early age; the older they are, the less obvious the signals need to be and the better it works.'

Probably the perception of perspective kicks in even earlier. However, to test this hypothesis the psychologists would have to change the way their experiment is set up: most babies cannot reach out for something specific until they are four or five months old.

This story has been adapted from a news release issued by University Of Bonn.
READ MORE - Even babies can have optical illusions

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Here is the Subway Ladder Optical Illusion

Many of you know by now that I love coming across optical Illusions used in real life encounters. Below are two pictures, just study the top one before looking at the bottom one.

These photos were taken in Toronto, opening day of the New Sheppard Subway Line, November, 2002. They were photographed by Andrew Gurudata at the Bayview station.

Ponder the top picture. How did they get this effect with just paint? I sort of understood what must have been done to get this effect but it wasn't until I saw the bottom photo that I fully appreciated just how well this optical illusion was done.

subway graffiti optical illusions image

Below we have the same illusion but from a slightly different angle. This is really quite good. I don't know who the artist was, but since it was there on opening day I have to assume this was paid art and not graffiti.

If anyone knows the name of the artist or if any of you have other examples of optical illusion art on display in a public venue please let me know (and include images if possible).

subway graffiti optical illusions image

READ MORE - Here is the Subway Ladder Optical Illusion

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Eye in the Sky

Here is another image taken with a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). I found this on Artsy Science. Tracy runs this blog and creates the images. I love this photo he says the following on this creation.
I'm sure many are thinking "dammit Tracy, enough with the freakin' Velcro® already!"

So, for my next little number, I present to you a fly eye imaged with the Scanning Electron Microscope (pseudocolored for artsyness).
"Fly Eye"
Credit: Tracy E. Anderson

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Sunday, May 15, 2005

Color-constancy illusion

I have seen this illusion many times and for some reason never focused on it. I must have past by this optical illusion a dozen times before finally focusing on an article and reading what it is about. It is very similar to the checkershadow illusion but involves color rather than just shades of gray.

Image Copyright Dale Purves, R. Beau Lotto and Surajit Nundy.

The "blue" tiles on top of the left cube and the "yellow" tiles on top of the right cube are actually the same shade of gray. If you use an eye dropper tool to fine the red, green, blue values of each square you will find the value is not precise across any square but they are all definitely grey with a RGB value around R142 G149 B157.

Another interesting tidbit is that the red tiles on top of the left cube are orange and the red tiles on the top of the right cube are purple.

To read more about this illusion read either of these articles: American Scientist: Why We See What We Do and Discover Magazine: Sensory Reflexes.
READ MORE - Color-constancy illusion

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Tarot Bridge to Infinity

J.M. Berger creator of Chaosdancer created a Chaos tarot deck based on fractal images. He also provides (for a price) an online tarot reading for those interested. Tarot readings can provide individuals insight or as some might say the illusion of insight. Below is the image he uses for the Priestess card.

I included this image here because it provides us with the Optical Illusion of a Bridge to Infinity. Does anyone here dare walkout on this bridge and see where it leads? If you are interested in some amazing fractal prints or the Tarot then drop in on his site and check out his creations.
READ MORE - Tarot Bridge to Infinity

Triquetra Fractal

The below is from a New Zealand blog called "Not Quite Perfect." Dzeni is the site's proprietor, she focuses this blog on Fractals many of which she created using Chaoscope. The image below I believe is a recent creation of hers.
At the request of a reader she created a fractal based on a triquetra and this is the result she posted. This falls into the category of an illusion of science. Without the modern personal computer creating these images would be next to impossible.

Update: Dzeni says, "The image above was created using Apophysis." Thanks Dzeni!
READ MORE - Triquetra Fractal

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Astral Projection? No, Natural Projection.

Rob from What Is It? provided me a follow up to the Magnifying Glass Optical Illusion post. Rob included the below picture and this explanation.
If you put a magnifying glass a few inches from a wall that is opposite a window, you will see the outside view projected upside down on the wall. But if you put a lens on the window and cover the rest of the window with opaque material, the lens will project the outside view over the entire opposite wall, of course you must have the proper size lens for the room.

This is a picture that Rob took after conducting his lens experiment. You can see the view outside his room is projected on the wall. If you would like to do this for yourself follow the instructions on this site.

READ MORE - Astral Projection? No, Natural Projection.

Under The Sea

This is not an optical illusion but it is too cool to pass up. This restaurant doesn't give you the illusion of the sea with a large aquarium, they actually place you five meters below the surface, smack dab in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
The Maldives | 15 April marks the day that the first ever all-glass undersea restaurant in the world opens its doors for business at the Hilton Maldives Resort & Spa. Ithaa will sit five meters below the waves of the Indian Ocean, surrounded by a vibrant coral reef and encased in clear acrylic offering diners 270-degrees of panoramic underwater views.
“Our guests always comment on being blown away by the colour, clarity, and beauty of the underwater world in the Maldives, so it seemed the perfect idea to build a restaurant where diners can experience fine cuisine and take time to enjoy the views – without ever getting their feet wet.”
READ MORE - Under The Sea

Sunday, May 1, 2005

Magnifying Glass Optical Illusion

Aaron from the photoblog Knurdle.com took this photo and presented it on his blog. He says the following about this picture and effect:
Neat trick you can do with a magnifying glass.
I was amazed when I was shown this and had to get a picture of it.

Seems to me that this must be similar to a film projector focusing an image on a screen. Everything imaged on the table seem to have their own light source. This effect can lead one to believe at first glance that there are two light sources in different locations, or a light box built into the table. It could take a few seconds for your brain to sort things out and give you an accurate interpretation of what your seeing.

Thanks again to Aaron of Knurdle.com for allowing me the use of this image.
READ MORE - Magnifying Glass Optical Illusion
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