Checkers optical illusion, one of the very first illusions to appear on this site, an old time goodie and my personal favorite is blessed with the regular habit to reappear out of nowhere. In whichever form it gets recycled, the effect stands strong and it always gets best reviews. Just check out today’s real-life video of the original checkers illusion, shot in a professional studio.
Youtuber who goes under the name of brusspup noticed how this illusion has been around for a long time but always in the form of an image. His goal was to take it away from a flat piece of paper and turn it into a real, life-sized illusion that people could interact with. Obviously, brusspup has succeeded. He even included a scaled-down template for us to download and play with (file courtesy – brusspup).
Here’s how the author explained the effect and what he has done to achieve it:
The illusion works because of the “shadow” that falls on the checkerboard. Lets think of the square that the shadow falls on. Now picture that the shadow doesn’t exist: you would see a light colored square surrounded by the dark colored squares. But when the shadow falls on top of that light colored square, the shadow causes the shade to become darker but it also causes the surrounding darker squares to become darker. So within the shadow region the brightness and darkness of the squares are still relative to one another. But they are no longer relative to the squares that lie outside of the shadow.
So if you were able to pick up the middle square and move it to one of the outside dark squares, they would be 2 different shades, But the trick is ..that when you move the square you are moving it WITH the shadow still printed on the square. So now you’ve moved it out of its relative area, outside of the shadow region (but with the shadow still printed on the square) ..to the area where it’s the same shade as the “dark” square.