Project 2 – The Improbability of Vision

Project Information

For this project, we had to create an optical illusion or an optic image that confuses the mind. I decided to do research on Kokichi Sugihara, a Japanese mathematician and artist who is well-known for his three-dimensional optical illusions that seem to defy logic.

Chosen Optical Illusion

I decided to try out his triply ambiguous object as i felt that it would be interesting to challenge myself to create a two-dimensional plane and make it seem like a three-dimensional object.

The triply ambiguous object is a set of cuboids drawn on a piece of paper, and are seen to be stacked on top of each other. On plain sight it seems like a drawing, but when placed in a space with only 1 colour with 2 mirrors, it appears to be three-dimensional, and each angle seen from each mirror looks like a different object.

The key to creating and perfecting this illusion is the angle in which the cuboids are drawn. Usually, cuboids are drawn with a 90 degree angle on each side, but in this case, to make it appear 3-dimensional, we have to draw the cubiods with an angle of 120 degrees instead. The 3 main axes of the drawing are connected by a 120 degrees angle. Thus, in order for it to appear 3-dimensional in real life, this illusion must be seen from a certain angle.

The PDF guide for this illusion is below:

triply ambiguous object


I realised that the triply ambiguous object did not look as 3-dimensional in real life than in pictures. Probably that is because our cameras flattens certain dimensions and aspects that our eyes usually comprehend, thus allowing us to see the object as 3-dimensional through the phone screen.

Improvements that can be made would probably be engulfing the whole set-up in a black backdrop/ put the set-up in a box with 1 light source.


Set-up of project

Video of object can be found here


Author: Amanda Lee

Sometimes what you are most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free

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