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optical illusion

Archimedes Lab Books to delight your eyes & your mind!



corner top left Kinetic Illusions 1

by Gianni A. Sarcone and Marie-Jo Waeber

"Credo ut intelligam,
non intelligo ut credam"
Saint Anselm
logo Subjective shade
Linear vs rotational
Trapezoid window

Subjective Movements
This spiral seems to spin, it just vibrates but does not rotate You may see 3 different discs rotate, actually one only does it
rotating disc 1 rotating disc 2
Although the disc rotates clockwise, the spirals seem to spin in opposite directions!

The rotational motion of the disc makes the "rays" of the geometrical shape flutter irregularly

rotating disc 3 rotating disc 4
Which direction is the rotation? Some spokes appear to rotate CW while the disc rotates CCW The rotation creates a 3D depth effect. To enhance the effect stare at the center of the disc
rotating disc 5 rotating disc 6



Subjective Shades ¬ top
Stare at this disc, the corners of the spinning square create dark zones If you look at this disc for a while, you may see colors (green and purple pastel shades)
rotating disc 7 rotating disc 8

Make Your Own Magic Spinning Top!



Optical linear motion converted
into rotational motion
¬ top
The circular patterns A and B below may spin if you slide a grid (a transparent overlay pattern representing vertical stripes) across them!
Pattern A
pattern A
Vertical stripes

Example in motion
disc spinning
Pattern B (variant of A)
pattern B
Vertical stripes
stripes B

Example in motion
example in motion

Another curious example of optical motion
with static images

The image below represents a printed card with a curious design consisting of a collection of vertical lines. These lines contain information about six different images, that together form an animation ('Dancing Man'). As a green grid is slid to and fro, different selections of lines become visible, and the animation appears

kinetic card
These cards, called Kineticards, have different designs
(currently these are only available from the artist)
Eye Think, Inc.
971 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215

Related book:
magic moving images
Magic Moving Images
by Colin Ord

Intriguing optically animated artworks!



Trapezoid window illusion ¬ top 
The trapezoid window illusion shows that our perceptions do not always give us correct information about the physical stimulus. When the trapezoid window is in continuous rotation and it is observed with one eye only, it seems to move back and forth like a pendulum (while in reality it is spinning round and round!). This occurs because the brain is interpreting the longer side of the trapezoid as being closer, and the shorter side as being farther away, even when they are not! (When the longer side is really farther away, we mistakenly see it as closer, just like the closer side of a moving rectangle)
trapezoid window


  Continue to page 2 index


© 2005 G. Sarcone,
You can re-use content from Archimedes’ Lab on the ONLY condition that you provide credit to the authors (© G. Sarcone and/or M.-J. Waeber) and a link back to our site. You CANNOT reproduce the content of this page for commercial purposes.
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