Perspective Errors and the Best Visual Illusion of the Year Contest


This is a detail from British artist William Hogarth‘s print made in 1754, to demonstrate mistakes in perspective.  For example, the sheep lower left get larger with distance, not smaller, and the woman top right is leaning out of a window offering a light to a man in the distance.

However I’m really showing it because a brilliant new animated demo of perspective anomaly, by Kouchiki Sugihara, has just won the first prize in the international Best Illusion of the Year Contest.  Don’t miss it, the ten best entries are shown, and there is some brilliant new stuff.

Coming back to Hogarth, his print was way before its time.  It was over a hundred years later, late in the nineteenth century, that illusion and puzzle picture books became common.  Then artists took up the challenge, Magritte and Escher for example.

Want to see the whole of Hogarth’s print?

Continue reading

Waiting for Shining Person (a new optical illusion cartoon)

Here is a new animation in our series of animated illusion cartoons, Waiting for Shining Person.  (As with our earlier cartoons, It may run jerkily on first run-through.  It should be fine thereafter.)

Compression for Flash has slightly reduced the effect. If possible, view Waiting for Shining Person as a
Quicktime Movie

These cartoons are meant to work just like a three- or four-frame cartoon in a newspaper – each one presents a situation that ends with a punch-line.  The cast of characters are all illusion figures of different kinds, but each cartoon depends on a particular illusion effect.

So the cartoons are a new art form – but I’m not sure they’re entirely successful.

The main illusion to watch out for in the movie is the glare effect, which radiates from the face of the mysterious Shining Person: