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Mr Angry & Mrs Calm
October 25, 2005 9:48 AM   Subscribe

Mr Angry & Mrs Calm. This illusion will BLOW YOUR MIND.
posted by smackfu (42 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Whoa.

How does this work?
posted by Kickstart70 at 9:53 AM on October 25, 2005


That's interesting. I get the same effect viewing at the same distance by just squinting.
posted by 327.ca at 9:53 AM on October 25, 2005


The blurry underlays are switched, and when you're far away, you see the broader blur rather than the fine details.
posted by brownpau at 9:54 AM on October 25, 2005


That's pretty cool, even if I did trip over a stool while walking backwards from my desk.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:57 AM on October 25, 2005


Either my eyes or my laptop are screwed because there is no distance at which they switch places. Perhaps it's due to the angle of my screen?
posted by spicynuts at 9:58 AM on October 25, 2005


It has to do with highlights - the highlights in the detailed image are discarded up close, but once you get far enough away, the shading causes the person to look angry. And vice-versa.
posted by SharQ at 9:58 AM on October 25, 2005


How does this work?

I'm guessing that, in lieu of the detail that's available when we're close up, our brains extrapolate based on light and dark tones in the face. For instance, the lips on the right-hand face are lighter than they should be, and from a distance (or when I squint) it looks like the mouth of the left-hand face. Also, there's a dark tone above the eyebrows of the left-hand face that become the "calm" eyebrows when viewed from a distance.
posted by 327.ca at 9:59 AM on October 25, 2005


Clickable GIF for the lazy (480k):

whoa
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:59 AM on October 25, 2005


Most optical illusions are so-so. This is truely brilliant. I will print it and post it everywhere!
posted by Acey at 9:59 AM on October 25, 2005


"Either my eyes or my laptop are screwed because there is no distance at which they switch places. Perhaps it's due to the angle of my screen?"

I got the same. It's mostly down to having abnormally good eye-sight. The blurred image doesn't blur sufficiently for you to get a problem with it. Try squinting, or look at the resized versions.
posted by SharQ at 9:59 AM on October 25, 2005


Amazingly, the same can be said for metafilter posts. If you read them up close the odd sentences are calm, the even ones are angry. But squint or read them from a distance and it flips.
posted by Peter H at 10:02 AM on October 25, 2005


Use this page to see what it was supposed to look like (until I looked at the page, I didn't realize that by "if you view it from a distance", it meant over 10 feet away)
posted by Bugbread at 10:03 AM on October 25, 2005


Also, with regard to the image - I've known chicks like that.
posted by Peter H at 10:03 AM on October 25, 2005


/
posted by brownpau at 10:05 AM on October 25, 2005


Woah.

Maybe this is a question for AskMe, but how the hell do people come up with optical illusions?

I suppose some of them are invented by accident, but what about the others?

Also, there's a chicken and egg question. Most of these illusions seem to work because of the way our eyes and brains interact, but are illusions created based on someone's knowledge of the eye/brain or do they discover things about the eye/brain by testing people with illusions? If the later, then how do they come up with the illusion to test people with?

I bet marijuana is involved somehow.
posted by bondcliff at 10:07 AM on October 25, 2005


bondcliff: I happened to be reading a textbook on perception this weekend, and it was the chicken. Here's one example from the book: The Hermann grid was apparently known for a long time, but the reasons for it weren't really investigated until it got used on some university publication, and thence began the research and the explanations that are now easily available to us.
posted by whatzit at 10:15 AM on October 25, 2005


Very cool. Thanks for the seat-cheat brownpau.
posted by OmieWise at 10:18 AM on October 25, 2005


Very cool. Thanks for the seat-cheat brownpau.
posted by OmieWise at 10:18 AM PST on October 25


>:(
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:20 AM on October 25, 2005


I know, O.C., I meant to add that I was too lazy to click on your link. ;>
posted by OmieWise at 10:23 AM on October 25, 2005


Also, with regard to the image - I've known chicks like that.

Tee Hee. This is Lambert's Inverse Beer Square Law in operation. Or something.
posted by lagavulin at 10:24 AM on October 25, 2005


Why do they both look like Bob Dobbs to me?
posted by Pollomacho at 10:25 AM on October 25, 2005


Nifty
posted by Smedleyman at 10:32 AM on October 25, 2005


Pollomacho : "Why do they both look like Bob Dobbs to me?"

The one on the right (at a distance) is definitely an angry Dobbshead.
posted by Bugbread at 10:42 AM on October 25, 2005


The left hand Mr Angry looks like a bit like an alien in a low-budget sci-fi film to me. Very cool link, though.
posted by greycap at 10:48 AM on October 25, 2005


H'm...I still can't seem to see Jesus.

I'm going to try again with one eye tied behind my back.
posted by CheeseburgerBrown at 10:52 AM on October 25, 2005


Apparently it can be done with any two faces; the fact that one is angry and one calm, in this case, is just icing on the cake. See the Thatcher-Blair illusion at the bottom of this page.

Salvador Dali's painting "Lincoln in Dalivision" does the same kind of thing, but it's easier to see what's going on.

"Either my eyes or my laptop are screwed because there is no distance at which they switch places. Perhaps it's due to the angle of my screen?"
I got the same. It's mostly down to having abnormally good eye-sight.


I concur. When I first saw this, I stood about eight feet away from my monitor, and the one on the left was still angry. Then I took off my glasses, and saw the one on the left as calm and the right one as angry.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:36 AM on October 25, 2005


Interesting optical effect, still waiting for it to "blow my mind".

Thanks for the link.

http://www.grand-illusions.com/
posted by tzelig at 12:00 PM on October 25, 2005


Cool trick. I want to try this with quonsar and mathowie.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:06 PM on October 25, 2005


It might have been wise to link to the originators instead.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:12 PM on October 25, 2005


I liked this presentation better, and it gives fair credit, so no harm done.
posted by smackfu at 12:17 PM on October 25, 2005


Too late, my mind's been blown for a while. But thanks for the link, I hadn't seen this before.
posted by Mr T at 12:24 PM on October 25, 2005


Ooops, sorry, Optimus Chyme. My reading comprehension is notoriously bad.
posted by brownpau at 12:51 PM on October 25, 2005


is it still caps lock day ?
posted by Substrata at 2:44 PM on October 25, 2005


freaky!
posted by shoepal at 5:09 PM on October 25, 2005


Cool stuff! How much of the illusion of the small "angry" face is filled in by our memory of the big "angry" face and how much of it is actually, visually there?
posted by soyjoy at 8:35 PM on October 25, 2005


One of the illustion's inventors is a colleague of mine... not that it makes me an expert on the topic, but the way this illusion works is that the "high spatial frequency" (i.e. details) are processed by the visual system when available. When they stop being visible (e.g. when you squint or stumble away from your laptop) "low spatial frequency" is the only visible information, so that's what you see (in lesser detail, of course).
Brownpau, don't take down that animated gif yet... I showed it to her so that she might add it to the lab's website as a snazzier way to demonstrate the effect... with your permission of course.

To answer the question about how visual illusions are come upon, these days most such illusions are thought about ahead of time-- the equivalent of a hypothesis. Then you test the hypothesis (create the image, and tweak) to see if it works the way you predicted, in line with the prevailing wisdom/you pet theory/etc. Older illusions were happened upon more serendipidously. These days the obvious ones have been documented and vision scientists have to root around for more obscure (but no less interesting) ones. Here's another one that's always blown my mind (from another scientist in the same department).
posted by mowglisambo at 9:08 PM on October 25, 2005


brownpau: After reading this thread, that scared me shitless.

God, an hour lost reading about bad horror movies.
posted by Eideteker at 9:11 PM on October 25, 2005


Can someone please explain what I'm supposed to be seeing here? As the faces zoom out, they slowly morph into the other. What's so cool about that? Honest question.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:04 AM on October 26, 2005


The images are just resized. No software morphing at all. You're meant to see the effect by physically moving farther away -- the zooming is just simulating that for the lazy.
posted by smackfu at 9:42 AM on October 26, 2005


This might blow my buttons.

Link courtesy Boing*2.

http://dashslot.co.uk/modules/xcgal/albums/userpics/10001/Ambiguous-Text.jpg
posted by tzelig at 11:06 AM on October 26, 2005


whatzit: Not quite. Sometimes it's the chicken, sometimes the egg.

In the case of this, Oliva has been studying this sort of thing throughout her career. mowglisambo: Are you in vision science? Aude's posters at VSS left a strong impression on me. MIT is one of the schools to which I'm applying because she and George Alvarez are there.
posted by Eamon at 11:24 AM on October 26, 2005


Eamon: I do work in vision science, but not Aude's lab. Maybe I'll see you at VSS this year. :)
posted by mowglisambo at 12:19 PM on October 26, 2005


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