The sixteenth of May, 2011: a little bit obsessed with Professor Richard Wiseman

I’ve getting a little bit obsessed with the psychologist and ex-magician Professor Richard Wiseman. Here are a couple of thing I’ve lifted from his stupendous blog.

This is a lovely bit of illusion-cum-animation:

It put me in mind of a zoetrope – but apparently it’s “sort of the mechanical opposite of a zoetrope”.

“It’s pretty simple to make these [says blog-poster Fluffy]. First, your overlay just needs to have opaque bars with gaps between them which are sized such that for N frames of animation, you have 1 unit of clear and N-1 units of opaque. Then you have your frames of animation, and you cut them up into 1-unit strips and then put the first strip from the first frame, the second strip from the second frame, the third strip from the third frame, and so on, wrapping around. Then as you move the overlay, you get the illusion of motion.”

And this is a brilliant bi-stable image (do you see one face, or two lovers kissing?):

That’s by Gianni Sarcone, Courtney Smith and Marie-Jo Waeber from the splendid Archimedes’ Lab Project in Genoa, Italy.


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