Cover image for The great book of optical illusions
Title:
The great book of optical illusions
Author:
Seckel, Al.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Buffalo, N.Y. : Firefly Books, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
304 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 26 cm
Language:
English
Subject Term:
ISBN:
9781552976500
Format :
Book

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QP495 .S42 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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QP495 .S42 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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QP495 .S42 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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QP495 .S42 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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QP495 .S42 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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QP495 .S42 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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QP495 .S42 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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QP495 .S42 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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QP495 .S42 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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QP495 .S42 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

It is said that "seeing is believing." But what if the picture you see is hard to believe? Maybe it appears to be something else entirely.

In The Great Book of Optical Illusions , Al Seckel brings together a collection of fascinating visual puzzles and enigmatic designs that make the viewer wonder: How does this work? What does it really contain?

From collections of baffling shapes that defy the viewer to work out the hidden figures, to dazzling patterns that appear to change on the page, here are optical illusions found in classical art and through history to the most modern of visual tricks.

There are more than 280 color and black and white illustrations in the book, from Illusionworks, the world's leading brand of illusion artworks.


Author Notes

Al Seckel is currently working on a comprehensive academic treatise on illusions for Massachusetts Institute of Technology and working in the Division of Computational and Neuronal Systems at Cal Tech in Pasadena. He lives in Pasadena, California.


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

You can't always believe what you see in The Great Book of Optical Illusions by Al Seckel. Organized in eight sections called "galleries," the exhaustive volume presents more than 280 color and b&w images created by the likes of M.C. Escher, Salvador Dal!, Shigeo Fukuda and Ren Magritte. Classics such as Impossible Staircase and Rubin's Face/Vase Illusion are also included; Seckel's IllusionWorks presents brand-new stunners, each of which is explained at chapter's end. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

A leading authority on visual perception and a designer of interactive galleries for science museums around the world, Seckel here assembles more than 300 visual illusions, some of which have fascinated viewers for centuries and others that are designed specifically to challenge one's visual intelligence in today's world. The book collects traditional puzzles such as eternal spirals and ground/field reversal images, as well as works by such artists as M.C. Escher and Ren Magritte; other illusions involve themes, photographs, and sculptures from the last 20 years. Visual science, which the author claims has become "one of the most exciting areas in current scientific research," not only challenges and tricks the reader but encourages us to look differently at our own world. This is a fun-packed book, divided into seven galleries, with illusions depicted in full color. Each illusion presents the reader with a question or a problem to solve, with the answer and explanation given in detail at the end of each gallery. A glossary of terms and a list of resources are also provided. A highly useful and entertaining book for public, school, and academic libraries.-David A. Berone, Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-This visually stunning collection will appeal to illusion enthusiasts as well as to art lovers. It presents more than 270 classic examples and works of art that incorporate them. The book is divided into "galleries" and endnotes explain individual entries and how they work. One could spend hours exploring its thoughtful arrangement and the excellent-quality, full-color and black-and-white reproductions. There is factual information about the science behind the illusions, a bit about the artists, and about the types of illusion. However, this is, by and large, a sophisticated coffee-table book that young people will enjoy poring over and figuring out what they see or think they see.-Cynde Suite, formerly at Horry County Memorial Library, Surfside Beach, SC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

GALLERY I (1) Shepard's Tabletop: These two tabletops are absolutely identical in size and shape! If you don't believe it, trace only the tabletops and see for yourself. Previous page: Fraser's Spiral is one of the most powerful illusions known. What you see appears to be a spiral, but it is really a series of perfect concentric circles! This illusion is so powerful that it has been known to induce incorrect finger tracing! (2) Extent and Perspective: Although they appear to be dramatically different in length, lines AB and CD are equal. (3) The Scintillating Grid: The disks at the junctions will appear to flash when you move your eyes around this image. (4) Checker Shadow: The light check inside the shadow is identical to the dark check outside the shadow. If you don't believe it, cut out a peephole exactly the size of each square and test it! (5) Escher's Impossible Box. Belgian artist Matheau Haemakers, drawing his inspiration from a print by the Dutch graphic artist M.C. Esther, has created a physical model of an impossible box. (6) Ouchi Illusion: Move the page back and forth. The center section may appear to move in a direction different from its surroundings. The center section will also appear to be at a different depth. (7) Man on the Moon: This image of Buzz Aldrin's helmet was made out of a collage of space images. (8) Melancholy Tunes on a Flemish Winter's Day: Flemish artist Jos De Mey captured this incredible scene on a winter's day. How does that left column come forward? (9) Crazy Nuts: Can you figure out how the straight steel rod miraculously passes through the seemingly perpendicular holes? (10) Figure/Ground: What is hiding here? Before you check out the answer, search carefully, because once you perceive the hidden image, you will never be able to see this image in its meaningless state again. (11) Kissing Couple Illusion: An illusory kiss by American artist Jerry Downs. (12) Impossible Staircase: What happens when you walk around this peculiar staircase? Where is the bottom or top step located? (13) Ball and Shadow Illusion: Are the balls in the two illustrations in different positions relative to the background? (Continues...) Excerpted from THE GREAT BOOK OF OPTICAL ILLUSIONS by Al Seckel Copyright © 2002 by Illusion Works Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Table of Contents

Introduction
Gallery I
Notes on Gallery I
Gallery II
Notes on Gallery II
Gallery III
Notes on Gallery III
Gallery IV
Notes on Gallery IV
Gallery V
Notes on Gallery V
Gallery VI
Notes on Gallery VI
Gallery VII
Notes on Gallery VII
Gallery VIII
Notes on Gallery VIII Glossary
Further Reading