Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Scientist TV

Friday Illusion: 'Magic carp-pet' makes fish swim

Turn your coffee table into a fish tank with this design, created by John Leung, based on an illusion known as the moiré effect. The interference points in the pattern built into the table trick your eye into perceiving motion beneath the table.
The moiré effect consists of two overlapping transparent patterns offset from one another. As the layers move new patterns form, like the folded layers of a nylon curtain moving in a breeze. The fish rug and glass coffee table serve as the layers in this design. The pieces work together to passively animate the carp. The static design only requires the observer to tilt his head to perceive the motion.
Leung's goal in creating the piece named the magic carp-pet was to create an artificial fish tank that brings life to the room. He calls illusions a part of his "design DNA." In his work, he often seeks to convert flat illusions into 3D objects with the added dimension of experience.
"Optical illusions have always fascinated me because they test the limit of the human visual perception," he says. "They pose the question: is what we are conceiving really the reality?"
If you enjoyed this video, watch trippy ellipses morph or ghost images change shape.

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