Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Shady Diamond Illusion

See for yourself: all the diamonds are identical in tone.
Via Best of YouTube


Richard Smitheman said...

Very interesting. Anyone know how this is achieved?

Howard Lyon said...

Very cool. I just tried to reproduce it in Photoshop and succeeded. It worked when the diamonds had a slight gradient on them, from darker at the top to lighter at the bottom. Very fun trick!

Torbjörn Källström said...

Noticed this wile painting last night... two colors with the same value looked totally different in the painting...

Erik Bongers said...

Like many of those optical illusions, they undeniably show that it's absolutely impossible to mix the exact color you need to paint a certain spot.

Typically with opaque paint, you'll bring the brush with your first mixture attempt to the painting and assess - even before applying the paint - that the mixture needs adjusting.
After a couple of itterations you'll apply the paint.

There's a significant difference with painting in transparent layers. There you will assess what kind of wash a certain part of your painting needs: darker, redder,...But the mixture is not imporant - it's just a red wash.

The difference is fundamental in that with opaque paint, you constantly adjust your mixture but your endresult is fairly immediate, while with transparent paint you constantly adjust your endresult and it gradually grows.
The diffence in technique implies a diffent frame of mind: the transparent approach seems more synthetical to me.
...Although I'm not sure about the latter.

Shamood said...

nice clip buddy and impressive blog over all.

NortonVirus said...

This is cool. I do know that hard edges are not as hard as we think. There tends to a halo of similar tone that reaches beyond the border of any given shape and tone. What that means is scattered light reflecting off the toned diamonds or any object for that matter. This effect is somewhat subtle but it is additive. Since the diamonds have a gradient that is different from top to bottom, the effect multiplies enough to make the diamonds separate out from each other. Try holding your hand in some light and note the glow that is cast off the surface. This is subtle but is easier to see if you have a light toned hand against a dark background. An aura of light spills in all directions. But a hand is a 3 dimensional form, so the light is scattered in all kinds of directions. Since the diamonds are flat, they are generally scattering the light in one direction, but still spill enough tone to affect diamonds below and above.

Mario said...

Erik, I have come, more or less, to the same conclusion about opaque and trasparent painting (although the mixture is still important with trasparent colors - it's less critical).
However, the opaque approach seems more synthetical to me (gouache), while transparent colors are cumulative. Anyway, it probably all depends on the painter's style and "brain", not only on the technique itself.

Steve said...

The diamond never made it to the bottom row, but I suppose it would have fit in there.

I'm looking at this and writing on Thanksgiving morning. Good time to thank you for all your efforts posting each day, James. It enriches so many lives. Thanks!

Mark Heng said...

Hey Everyone!
Let's pretend we're painting a still life with a print of this illusion lying on a table. How would you do it? Would you paint it with subtly gradated diamonds as it is, or would you paint each row of diamonds lighter and lighter as the mind perceives it?

NA said...

how is that possible?! surely hen it was printed it would all come out as the same colour! im so confused! let me know if you find anything else like this, its really cool

Roberto said...

I'm going out on a limb here and say this is bogus! (or prove me wrong!!) If the diamonds are all the same value, then you could take a sheet of gray paper and draw diamonds on it to create this effect (which you can't),
If the illusion was created by contrasting values you should be able to isolate the diamond from it's background and eliminate the illusion, (which it doesn't). I think a special computer FX is at play, or too much tryptophane. This is Thanxgiving day, not April Fools day.
Thanx for the Turkey! -RQ

James Gurney said...

Debster and Roberto, I believe Lyon (second from top) has the secret: those diamonds are really gradated from dark at the top to light at the bottom. When they're arranged in an array they seem to be getting progressively lighter. It's helped by the row of white triangles at the top.

Roberto said...

You are absolutely Right!
I guess I’ll be eating crow instead of turkey sandwiches today!
(I’ll blame it on the tryptophane.)
It appears that the optics aren’t creating the illusion of shaded diamonds, but rather hiding/compensating it on the top row (with the light points appearing darker against the white background) and heightening the value shift in the lower rows (dark points surrounded by light points). The isolated cut out diamonds hides the value shading because the paper is slightly curled and catches the light unevenly.
Way-Kool, Jimmy G!
(one must be vvveerrryy vigilant on The Journey.)
Thanx for the lesson.-RQ

-blessed holy socks, the non-perishable-zealot said...

Very cool. But, where's thy great yearning for Heaven in this Finite Existence, the Great Beyond in this lifelong demise that's over in an instant, girl? We cannot become sooo enraptured by the world we lose sight of our TRUE home. God bless you profusely.