Illusion Chasers

Illusion Chasers

Illusions, Delusions, and Everyday Deceptions

Illusion of the Week: Steel Magnolias


The Steel Magnolias illusion, by graphic designer Michael Pickard of Sunderland University in the UK, was a Top 10 finalist in the 2007 edition of the Best Illusion of the Year Contest.

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Steel Magnolias is an impressive and beautiful example of illusory motion from brightness modulations. Nothing actually moves in the scene, but the careful arrangement of increases and decreases in luminance of various visual elements results in the perception of magnolia petals and leaves undulating in the wind.


The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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