• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL
Help

2. Seeing: Hacks 13–33 > 20. Fool Yourself into Seeing 3D

Fool Yourself into Seeing 3D

How do you figure out the three-dimensional shape of objects, just by looking? At first glance, it’s using shadows.

Looking at shadows is one of many tricks we use to figure out the shape of objects. As a trick, it’s easy to fool—shading alone is enough for the brain to assume what it’s seeing is a real shadow. This illusion is so powerful and so deeply ingrained, in fact, that we can actually feel depth in a picture despite knowing it’s just a flat image.

In Action

Have a look at the shaded circles in Figure 2-8, following a similar illustration in Kleffner and Ramachandran’s “On the Perception of Shape from Shading.” 1

I put together this particular diagram myself, and there’s nothing to it: just a collection of circles on a medium gray background. All the circles are gradient-filled black and white, some with white at the top and some with white at the bottom. Despite the simplicity of the image, there’s already a sense of depth.


PREVIEW

                                                                          

Not a subscriber?

Start A Free Trial


  
  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint