This intriguing image is taken from my book “Curiopticals“. Look at Frankenstein from a certain distance – approximately 2-3 meters, or 7-8 feet – and you will see what he is dreaming about. This type of illusion is known as a cryptic or hybrid optical illusion, and is produced by merging two subjects with different resolutions. The result is that one subject is hidden or suggested in the ‘host’ image.
But how does it work?
When you see the picture close-up, the fine details dominate (Frankenstein), but when you observe it from a distance, the larger, more blurred tones become more coherent and, in this case, a beautiful diva appears! (fig. A)
A lot of artists used similar optical processes to create ambiguous artworks, such as Salvador Dalí’s intriguing painting “Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea Which at Twenty Meters Becomes the Portrait of Abraham Lincoln” (1976).
You can create such amazing cryptic optical illusions too, with Photoshop, by blending together two faces in one hybrid image. You just need to smooth (high-pass) one image, and sharpen (low-pass) the other one. This method can be applied to other kinds of subjects, but face swapping seems especially amazing…
Posters and t-shirts featuring mu hybrid optical illusion are available from my online store.
As you surely know, the “BEST ILLUSION OF THE YEAR CONTEST” is a yearly competition under the patronage of Scientific American, organized by the Neural Correlate Company (New York, USA).
Müller-Lyer’s illusion proves that a segment can visually appear longer or shorter depending on the sense of the arrow heads at its ends. In what consists my variant? As shown in the animation, the red dot in the middle of the line is equidistant from the other two red dots, although the ends of the line visually appear to alternately stretch and shrink like a rubber band!
The radial version of the illusion is even more impressive:
The perceptual increasing and decreasing of the segments occurs in a very short time. Thus, I suppose it is more a physiological phenomenon, rather than a psychological bias. Our attention seems to be attracted by the receptive field WITHIN the V-shaped arrow heads, causing an illusory inward or outward shift of the ends of the line.
The very first illusion is to believe that there is one, unique world of perception. The mind and the world we experience are inseparable, as it is the mind that makes the world meaningful. Our mind IS our world. Despite the fact that our mental construct of what is perceived is distinct from the objective reality, our mind accepts it as real.
Every organism, man as well as animal, lives in its own subjective spatiotemporal world that semiotic philosophers call ‘Umwelt’ (from the German Umwelt, ‘surrounding world’, or ‘life-world’). According to the biologist Jakob J. von Uexküll, organisms and their life-world shape each other in a functional loop (see fig. below): interactions between the subject and the outer world, mediated through the sense and effect organs, determine the world framework of the subject. Thus, a particular stimulus which has a perceptive cue or meaning to the subject induces always a purposeful reaction.
“Bathers”, incredible etchings by Swedish artist Anders Zorn (1860-1920). Zorn pursued light as the guiding principle of his art. The expression of light on the human form and his beloved homeland was the foundation of his work, and drove him with an intensity visible in the details from his multiple etchings. Magnifiques eau-fortes (dessins au trait) par l’artiste suédois Anders Zorn.
Inspired from the astrological tables, here is a new puzzle of my creation designed according to the ‘Golden Number Rules’, which is reflected in the proportion of each single piece of the game. Thanks to the balanced dimensions of its pieces, this puzzle acquires some intriguing magical properties!
This “math-magical” puzzle is composed of a tray in which the pieces are assembled.
I am working on a new two-dimensional variant of the Müller-Lyer illusion… You may be surprised to know that the Müller-Lyer illusion isn’t only linear: it involves plane geometry too! In fig. A shown below, the ends of the blue and red collinear segments, arranged in a radial fashion around a central point, delimit two perfectly concentric circles. However, for most observers, they seem instead to define a large ovoid that circumscribes another one, slightly eccentric (Fig. B). This comes from the fact that the red segments seem to stretch towards the lower part of the figure, while the blue segments seem to stretch towards the upper part of the same. As you can see, in this variant comes also into play the “neon color spreading” effect. In fact, a bluish inner oval-like shape appears within the black arrow heads (Fig. A), though the background is uniformly white.
Using a cell-culture dish filled with a nutrient broth commonly used in labs, Tasha Sturm, a microbiology tech at Cabrillo College in California, gently stamped her 8-year-old’s hand on the plate. She then incubated the petri dish at body temperature and 2 days later, the bacteria and yeast that were transferred to the dish had built a blooming colony (see featured photo above). Continue Reading →
This Roman artifact is thought to be the forerunner of the magic lantern. In fact, by placing the flame of a candle (or a lantern) behind the elliptic lens, it was possible, according to Flavius Russus, to cast on a white wall the image/portrait painted on the lens, like the same principle as modern slide projectors. Continue Reading →