Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, Do My Eyes Deceive Me After All

Say what you will about illusions, [Create Inc] has some 3D prints that appear to change shape when viewed in a mirror. For example, circles transform into stars and vice versa. A similar trick was performed by [Kokichi Sugihara] in 2016, where he showed circles that appear as squares in the mirror. For the trick to work, the camera’s position (or your eye) is important as the shapes look different from different angles. The illusion comes in when your brain ignores any extra information and concludes that a much more complex shape is a simpler one. [Create Inc] walks you through the process of how the illusion works and how it was created in Blender.

When he posted the video on Reddit, most seemed to think that it wasn’t a mirror and there was some camera trickery. At its heart, this is reverse-engineering a magic trick, and we think it’s an impressive one. STL files are on Thingiverse or Etsy if you want to print your own. We covered a second illusion that [Kokichi] did that relies on a similar trick.

Thanks to [Vipul Rajan] for sending this one in!

4 thoughts on “Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, Do My Eyes Deceive Me After All”

1. LonC says:

Not much of a mistake, but he created the shape in blender using (basically) the same viewpoint parameters (VP1: x=0, y=42, z=42 and VP2: x=0, y=-42, z=42; the same except for minus in y) which ignores the fact that the object in the reflection is slightly further away from the viewer. Luckily the way he recorded it in the video the effect is small.

1. Create Inc says:

You are absolutely right about that. It’s my video and I had realized that while making the video as well but it really didn’t make much of a difference to the overall illusion, I did have to work with the position of the mirror a little bit. The simpler the shapes the better the illusion would work. Very complex shapes would require more careful design.

2. Mike says:

Awesome tutorial!

3. Jan says:

fascinating!

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