My illusion is called a hidden picture illusion. If you look at it up close, all you will see are black and white lines. If you look at it from far away, shake your head while looking at it, or drag the image across the computer screen, you will see an image of everyone’s favorite psychology/neuroscience professor (Dr. Schroeder in case anyone was wondering!). I made this illusion through Photoshop, layering a semi-transparent portrait onto a pattern of black, grey, and white lines. It most likely relates to perceptual organization.
Dr. Seussy Blue Bridge
This illusion uses depth cues and continuous lines to make it seem as if the thicker lines are in front of the thinner ones. The lines are actually just flat lines of varying thickness. The thin lines, at first glance, appear to appear in the distance because we assume that they are the same size as the thicker ones. Since we have the idea that they are physically the same size if they were same distance away from us, we assume the bigger ones are in the foreground and the thinner ones are in the background. This creates the illusion of depth or a bridge-like object.
I drew this image, inspired by a tattoo I saw online. I expanded/added to it to make it look more vortex-like.
This illusion demonstrates color constancy. With color constancy, we see a color relative to the colors that surround it. In my illusion, the “X” is the same color on each square, however; it appears a different color on the blue and yellow backgrounds because it is being influenced by the different surroundings.
This illusion is an example of a portrait profile illusion and a figure ground illusion. Each face can be seen straight on or to the side. Additionally, it is possible to see either two faces or a candlestick/vase in the middle.
This illusion is a portrait profile illusion. I decided to recreate an image like this because no matter how many times I viewed a picture it always played the illusion on me. This image pertains to sensation and perception because has a figure ground aspect. Depending on which part of the image is seen as the figure and which part is seen as the ground changes how the image is viewed. It was created by overlaying a portrait image and a profile image. The edited image makes it hard for the individual viewing it to see the face as what it really is. At first glance the image appears as a profile, however after a longer time viewing the picture it becomes clear that the original image was a portrait.
Animated Illusions, commonly known as “scanimations”, enable observers to perceive an animation (series of images) while only looking at pieces of one singular image. Pieces of the image are viewed through a specialized viewing frame/sheet. In order to create the illusion, individual frames of an animation must be available; In this illusion, an animation of six frames was used. Then the same pattern as the viewing frame is used to crop each frame. [In the viewing frame, each black stripe is 5 times the width of 1 white stripe; a total of six units] However, while editing each frame, the image that is created is the inverse [each white stripe is 5 times the width of the black stripe (which is just left as the original image]. In addition, for each proceeding individual frame, the editing pattern is moved 6 spaces (horizontally) to the right. Finally all of the individual frames are superimposed onto one sheet.
The key to understanding the illusion lies within the correlation between the image and the viewing frame: Quite simply, each stationary frame can be viewed without moving the image because the black lines on the viewing window are the same width as the spaces cropped out in the original animation frame. When the image is moved, the black stripes on the viewing window will block out the white spaces present in another frame ( this is because the editing pattern is moved over 6 spaces for each of the animation frames), causing the observer to see a separate piece of the animation.
Title: Camel Spiral Illusion
Although this image may appear to be one continuous spiral, it is simply a series of many concentric circles layered on top of one another. The illusion is created by three main components: the shapes within each circle get proportionately smaller and smaller in each inner layer; the circles’ striped borders lead the eye inward; and the triangles of each color align one another, pointing toward the center and therefore focusing the viewer’s attention towards the middle.
To create this illusion, I used the application InDesign to first draw one circle lined with camels and triangles on the inside with a striped border on the outside. Then I copied and pasted the circle multiple times, scaling and centering the circle after each pasting. I was inspired by images of similar spiral illusions in the provided examples of visual illusions for the project and was led to incorporate camels and Conn colors into the illusion.
Car on a Skateboard
This image distorts depth perception to trick the viewer’s brain into thinking that there is a car atop a skateboard, although logically we know that this is impossible.
Some things just don't belong together!
If you are not able to view their stereogram illusion on this page, please right click on the image, save it to your machine and open it in full screen mode.
I made an autostereogram illusion using online software. It is a random dot stereogram which when viewed correctly displays a dinosaur. There are two methods for viewing a stereogram: parallel and cross-eyed viewing. Parallel viewing consists of focusing the eyes in a parallel fashion and behind the image, while cross-eyed viewing consists of focusing in front of the image and crossing their eyes. The hidden image is seen due to the sensation of depth perception arising due to binocular parallax.
If you are not able to view their stereogram illusion on this page, please right click on the image, save it to your machine and open it in full screen mode.
A Familiar Stereogram
I created a stereogram for my illusion project using a free online software program. You should be able to recognize a familiar image in this stereogram, and my inspiration was Conn College. Stereograms pertain to binocular disparity and decreasing convergence to experience stereoscopic depth.
Inspiration: Doodles from High School AP Chemistry notebook
Medium: Colored pencils & ink
Incorporates: tessellation, geons, oblique effect, Law of Pragnanz, Recognition by Component Theory, illumination, color ratio, chromatic color, depth (cast shadow/shading), & color addition
Explanation: The illusion consists of three basic elements: a yellow background, evenly spaced large blue squares, and yellow-walled (“green”) cube geons (top wall is transparent.) Each blue square has 4 diagonal, perpendicularly oriented yellow walled cube geons. They appear to be green due to color addition of blue and yellow and raised due to cast shadows. Each “green” walled cube geon is shared by a neighboring group, but layered so it lies directly opposite in relation to the old group. For example, a North-East cube becomes a South-West cube. Due to our previous knowledge of groups and layering, it is considered impossible to see both groups raised and shared at the same time.
The name of my project is CC Stereogram. The project was done with stereogram making software. I have always been intrigued by stereograms and wanted to try to make one myself. The stereogram I made should portray a 3D image of the “CC” logo that is represented on our school’s sport team jerseys. The project pertains to the effect of having two eyes that give a slightly different visual field, which when the stereogram is viewed correctly, it portrays a 3D image.
This illusion is an animated .gif image. If the image above is not animated, please click on the image which should open in a new page with animation.
Materials: 11 blocks of wood cut 12 inches x 12 inches x 3 inches. Each piece was then cut out to create negative space. Finally, a shiny gloss was used to enhance the wood.
Inspiration: I chose the word to fit the use of negative space making it, in a very real sense, intangible.
Aspects: It’s a negative space illusion that uses figure-ground principles, forcing the viewer to look in an unconventional way to see the word. Since it is only possible to read the word from one specific point it is also a sort of forced perspective illusion.
Here is a still image in case the GIF made it difficult to see the final finished product:
Hidden Object Illusion
I incorporated 3 faces into my painting of a landscape. The largest face is made up of the tree branches and leaves (eyes), the brown colored bird (nose), the smoke from the chimney of the house (mouth), and the clouds around it frame the features to give the round sense of a head. I also painted facial features into the composition in the right bottom corner and left bottom corner.
It is a hidden object illusion because the viewer may not initially see the faces until certain features become more evident. The expectation of seeing a face makes the viewer mentally arrange the components together to allow him/her to see the full face. This relates to the gestalt law of meaningfulness or familiarity, which states, “things are more likely to form groups if the groups appear familiar or meaningful.”
Name: Conn Coll Camels
This drawing of an impossible object illusion was inspired the “dancing elephant” illusion, but recreated using our school mascot and logo. An impossible object consists of a two-dimensional image that is subconsciously interpreted by our visual system as a three-dimensional object, although such an object cannot actually exist. At first glance the camel seems normal; however, based on out past experiences we soon realize that this object as drawn is impossible.
Playing with Afterimages
Fissures and Figures
This illusion is an attempt at an anatomical depiction of the human brain with a few of the important fissures highlighted, so that the specific lobes can be discerned. Upon further inspection of the brain, a few human figures can be discerned, five to be exact. There are two figures in the frontal lobe, one in the temporal (most likely this is the first figure you will see as it is the largest), one in the parietal and one in the occipital. The parietal lobe also contains a tree which appears to be in the shape of a neuron, and a light house casting a beam of light which seems to grow and disperse as it get farther from the origin, displaying this property of light. The figure in the occipital lobe is holding a telescope vaguely symbolizing that this is the area of the brain where visual information is processed. The main figure in the frontal lobe is watching TV, as this is the decision making portion of the brain. Down in the pons/medulla area there is what appears to be a human heart, as this area of the brain is partially responsible for unconscious processes such as heartbeat and breathing rate. The brain stem appears to be constructed out of sticks and branches over laid and entwined with each other, it is difficult to tell what branch originates where as you move up closer to the pons/medulla.
Black & White Tangled Ribbons
My illusion is an example of a black and white figure-ground illusion. To create this, I cut out many individual strips and pieces of black construction paper and pasted them onto a single sheet of white construction paper. Each piece of black paper has a very unique shape, yet when we view it as a whole we perceive multiple continuous black and white ribbons; our brains interpret the separate pieces of visual information by putting objects together to create a smooth curved line. This is an example of the perceptual law of good continuation because we see ribbons in the space instead of many small, individual black shapes.
When viewing this, there is no way of knowing if the foreground is made of black or white because it is ambiguous. We see a constant flowing of lines in both the black and the white spaces, and there is nothing that provides any spacial definition or differentiation between the two.
My illusion is made by creating a checkered pattern and changing the width between horizontal lines to design an illusion of a 3D image. I drew this on a flat piece of paper, however it looks like there is a wave in the sheet. I added a pencil to the second image to show that it is flat.
The fact that we can look at two objects that are exactly the same color, yet be convinced by our visual system that they are different colors based on the objects' surroundings is fascinating to me. For my illusion project, I tried to create something similar to the Rubik's Cube illusion we saw in class, in which the blue squares in one image are the same color as the yellow squares in the other image. I took a slightly lightened (to help with contrast) grayscale version of my baby picture and overlaid half with a 50% opacity yellow layer and half with a 50% opacity blue layer. I then erased holes for the eyes so neither of the colored layers was covering them. The eyes in the picture are thus the same shade of grey, but because of color constancy, which indicates that our interpretation of color is relative and based on ratios of surrounding colors, we are tricked into thinking that the eyes are actually different colors.
This is an example of an impossible image inspired by M. C. Escher, where it is a complete shape but due to our perception of depth, the shape can’t actually exist. All of the lines are parallel and yet the stairs are right side up and upside down at the same time, due to our past knowledge and experience with stairs and what we comprehend as “further away”.
Calli standing in front of the mirror.
This illusion was created by standing in front of a unique mirror in Scotland that invokes movement.
Connecticut College Afterimage
(click on the image to activate the .gif in another page)
The name of my illusion is “Connecticut College Afterimage” and it was made in photoshop. Unlike many other afterimages we have seen, this one incorporates a black and white background as opposed to a simple white background. So, the colors presented are much more saturated and altered to accompany the black and white counterpart. To view this afterimage, stare at the black dot in the center of the colorful image for its duration in the gif and continue staring in the same spot on that dot until the image switches and color will appear. If there is trouble seeing the afterimage, make sure the gif takes up most of your visual field for it to work best and try not to blink while viewing. This afterimage relates to the cones on the retina in the sensation and perception of color. Each cone that focuses on the color of the image gets chemically tired after focusing on it for a while, so when the image changes to a black and white version of the same photo, the opposite color of each originally seen lingers in its place. These afterimage colors are seen while the cones are regenerating their ability to see the previous colors. If viewed correctly, a color image of the Connecticut College campus should be the afterimage.
Camel Exodus from Barn
Linear perspective mandates that all parallel lines appear to converge as they recede into the distance. I created background depth using this simple trick.
Both camels take up the same amount of retinal space, and yet the principle determining linear perspective implies the top camel is farther from the viewer than the bottom camel.
The brain then automatically adjusts the perceived size of the top camel, making it larger than the bottom camel, even though they take up the same amount of retinal space.
Some of you may ask: “But why are there camels on a farm?”
Well, I say maybe you should stop asking questions.
Play the video clip and stare at the black dot in the center of the photo of Temple Green for 20 seconds. The screen will automatically change to a black and white image of the same picture. Due to afterimage effects, the black and white photo appears to be in color for a second or two directly after the switch.