The a big difference between shades of gray

Topics: Design


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Last updated: July 25, 2019

The creative use of light, colors and patterns can be used to make images that can be very deceptive and misleading to our brains (mess with our heads). These images are called optical illusions. An example of an optical illusion is above which uses colors arranged in a certain pattern to trick our brain into thinking that the image is moving (1).This illusion shows a big difference between shades of gray than it actually is. When looking at the top image, the shades look similar but those same shades put side by side look very different from each other. This happens, because when the bands (the colored rectangles) are put side by side, light that is reflected by each different band overlaps the edges of the others (1). Thus, our visual system (eyes,brain) is set to believe that different luminance’s are present, or in others words we think the intensity of light from each band is different (1).  In this illusion the 2 yellow lines appear to be different sizes but in fact they are the same size.

This happens because, our brains think that the converging train tracks are parallel lines going into the distance (this is called linear perspective) and because of this we think that upper line is further away from the lower one. Thus thinking it is bigger. In the 3 dimensional plain for something further away to appear the same size as a object nearby would have to be larger (2). This illusion portrays that square A and B are of different shapes, but that is not right. Both A and B are the same shade, but our brains think they are different. But why? Well, the reason for this is that our brains know that shadows make things appear darker than they actually are (in this case the shadow of the cylinder), so our brains take that in to account and make shadowy surfaces appear lighter than they actually are to the eye. So this is very the illusion comes into play and we thing that square A is darker than square B (1).

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ideo- All forms of videos (animation, film…etc) rely on the phi phenomenon, which is an optical illusion. The pi phenomenon are still images played/viewed really fast to create the illusion of motion.

An example of this is modern Hollywood movies flicker 30 still images to make a smooth motion illusion (this flickering is called frames per second or FPS). (3) Interior design- In interior design illusion can be used to create the feeling of space. As in many flats (apartments) rooms are small, but using many lights that highlight the walls of the room can create the illusion of magnification of the room, thus the feeling of more space

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