Just What Do You Think You’re Doing, Dave?

Seeing our latest illusion, I was immediately reminded of Hal 9000 and his memorable voice addressing Dave Bowman in 2001: A Space Odyssey. I won’t talk about how great this movie really was, and how it marked the whole era, I’d rather see what you think of the illusion attached below. By now you must have noticed it has something to do with our recent Psycho post. After my initial disappointment (having read your feedback), I learned that my previous pick just didn’t do justice to the whole cinemagraphs story. I learned how I failed in choosing the right representative to start this whole new category with. I just hope today’s sample will change all that. If you have time, feel free to read my thoughts on this from couple of days earlier.

112 Replies to “Just What Do You Think You’re Doing, Dave?”

  1. I like both the Psycho and 2001 “illusions”, but don’t see why they are on this site. An animated gif that is mostly still, but occasionally moves, may be surprising, but it isn’t an illusion.

    1. Indeed Jay. between the “holiday photos of my boyfriend” and the sudden influx of these animations, MOIllusions has definitely lost it’s edge over the past few months.

    2. very much so – i dont want to open my browser and see some creepy guy – gif still, occasionally moving – its like those stupid “haunted” pictures a few years back – you stare – you stare – blamo something appears… supposed to be scary – IN NO WAY AN ILLUSION; if you want to post this in some section for people who like it to go find, fine – but not the main page – 2 days running

  2. In this and the gallery of cinemagraphs from yesterday, I think the ones with moving or blinking eyes are most disturbing. It reminds me of the old movie joke with someone spying through holes cut in the eyes of a portrait.

  3. I looked around on the web and found a lot of brilliant cinemagraphs. I also found a helpful definition “A Cinemagraph is an image that contains within itself a living moment that allows a glimpse of time to be experienced and preserved endlessly.” the thing to notice is that in the whole scene only one part is moving, his eyes. everything else stays perfectly still to capture the drama and wonder of the scene in a way the movie or a still photograph could not.

  4. Maybe I’m missing something, but an animated gif file as an illusion?

    I would rather watch the new Prius commercials where numerous people make up the body of an individual. Nice illusion for the masses!

  5. Both are good. It seems that they are more of a short clip rather than just a picture. What is the reflection in his right (our left) eye? Where I agree this doesn’t seem like an illusion, it is always entertaining. Keep up the good work. Thanks

  6. Now THAT’S a nice cinematograph! And I for one am glad you’re putting these on the site; while they may not technically be ‘illusions’ they do touch on the same part of the brain that’s startled to see something in an unexpected way.
    Keep ’em up, Vurdlak!

    1. I agree here, while not actually an illusion it still has an element of the unexpected within the mundane. Good work mate! :)

  7. I don’t understand what all these people are complaining about. I come here to get my brain fooled, every single day, over and over.

    These cinemagraphs are really doing the trick and I really like them!

  8. Your site is great, and I check it every day. Some illusions are obviously better than others.

    This new “category” seems like an interesting video technique, but how is it an optical illusion?

    It reminds me of “video art” you might see in a museum – it’ll be a whole room for one installation, you sit there for ten minutes and nothing happens.

    In this case, even if something happens, it’s still not an optical illusion.

  9. I love the cinemagraphs! You can open one with Windows Live Photo Gallery and near the bottom it shows how many pages there are; in one case there were 49. Try flicking thru those and you’ll be amazed at what it takes to form this great illusion!

  10. Great! I loved learning what a cinematograph is. I also loved that you offered more explanation than for the Psycho one. Pretty cool that you didn’t notice the skeletal effect that made it a double illusion.

    For those that say this is not an optical illusion, I disagree. I think at first your brain wants this to be a set of full frames, like a movie. That’s the illusion, since only a portion of the image changes.

    But even if it weren’t an illusion, I’d be happy with the site. Thanks!

  11. I know a lot of work goes into these but I have to agree with the masses you would think this stuff would be at a cinematograph site and not a illusion site

  12. OK, the argument for cinematographs being illusions may be a little weak, but here goes…

    An animated GIF *usually* has low resolution, slight blurring, so-so color, a little continuous camera motion, and an immediate loopy action. Notice I said usually there. Not always true, we all know that. You know ’em when you see ’em.

    Cinematographs are better than that. Your first impression is that you are looking at a still image. Nice and crisp with accurate colors.

    Then the thing moves, you might be startled, but at that point things aren’t what they seemed at first.

    For what it’s worth.

  13. I think these are intriguing, I just don’t see them as illusions. I look at them for about 15 seconds and then it’s done, I’m not really interested in looking at it again. They’re neat, just not that great (no matter how hard they are to make) and I don’t think they belong on an illusion site :) but I do love your site.

  14. There is a saying “You can’t please all of the people all of the time” and I think that is true with so many things.

    I have noticed a few of those who comment are downright rude. I heard a comedian respond to a heckler once by saying “Hey! If you don’t like it, get your own show”. Then there is the phenomena that came about as a side effect of the web and that is Trolls. There are folks who get a kick out of stirring up trouble and being rude.

    Personally I like the wide variance of your posts. Perhaps I like some more than others but that’s personal taste. Mostly I’m wowed and amazed and every day I find enjoyment in an otherwise predictable web environment.

    I dig the cinema graphs and I hope you’ll ignore those whose comments are antisocial.

    BTW, 2001 Space Odyssey was a fabulous movie.

  15. The illusion is that it runs longer than it appears. Notice the movement of the eyes between blinks. Rather than cycling after each one…there is actually three blinks in the cycle. Subtle…but, clever nevertheless. Well done.

  16. What’s the illusion? I mean, yeah, the blinking surprised me at first, but I don’t think it can be claimed as an “illusion”. Unless we are all just getting it wrong and can’t see the illusion, but so far, all the comments either ask what the illuson is or a guess at what it is. I think you’ve lost your edge a bit. I added your widget a year or two ago, and loved it, but I’ve noticed the “illusions” were more of cool images recently. IS there more of an illuson than we see?

    Wow that was long for an 11 year old,

  17. Neat. I like the way his eyeballs wiggle just a little bit then blinks, but the rest of his face is just like stone. Yep, kinda creepy.

  18. I have to agree with the others here. the dictionary defines an optical illusion thusly:

    a perception, as of visual stimuli (optical illusion), that represents what is perceived in a way different from the way it is in reality.

    while these cinemagraphs are interesting, they do not cause the viewer to see or perceive anything other than what is being presented: and animated picture that actually moves. If the picture was not animated, but caused one to perceive motion where there was none, then it would be an optical illusion.

  19. Wow people can not read these days….
    I’m grateful that you put these cinematographs on this site.
    And I do see them as an illusion. It’s amazing to see how this person appears to be normally blinking at first sight, but when you look a bit closer you notice something is wrong and after you’ve looked and understood what it’s about you can just see that a person can never blink like this in real life no matter how hard they’ll try,
    Amazing stuff and truly illusions! Keep them coming.

    P.S. to all the ignorant out there, please read the psycho post before you comment on this without knowing what you’re talking about…

  20. I am no expert about illusions, I just happen to work with psychophysics among other things, but it is my humble opinion that this can be considered an optical illusion. How? I believe that while your first impression maybe that it is a still image, the moment the eyes blink, the cognitive perception of several viewers (not everyone) will start to perceive the image as having some virtual depth (3D). The illusion is the virtual depth created by your cognitive skills and for some even the sense that it is the other side of the “looking glass”

  21. not only is he blinking his left eye moves ever so slightly. I enjoy all your presentations. I look at them every day, for the most part never disappointed though there are some illusions I like better then others. Keep it up love the variety.

  22. I think that this type of illusion is very weak UNLESS there are other people in the illusion who are “frozen” while the main subject moves.

  23. I Think you should forget these illusions because they’re really not all that impressive. When I look in my visual illusions box and see a face I’d like that face to not actually be a photo of a face and for that to be the illusion. Yes I get it he’s not moving its just the illusion of movement now move on and show us more of the good stuff.

  24. Based on this and the gallery you posted, my question would be: when is an image a cinematograph? I see some of those which to me have way too much movement to fit this category. Or would an image with only one pixel standing still already count as such?

  25. The point is that an static picture is used inside a movie just by moving the eyes. That was called mesmerizing some days ago in the psycho post. An static picture cannot be distinguished of a movie just by changing an small part, like in the manga animation.

    The point of this post is that mesmerizing, a novel technique, was used in a movie as old as 2001, an space odissey. Am I right?

    The blogger say that this is another argument to say that 2001 is a really influential movie.

  26. that was weired and scary at the same time. i have mot the slitest idea what was going on… apart from his eyes moving. but there was something stange ONLY his eyes were moving nothing ealse. that was really strange, i dont want to see ever again!!

  27. These are not illusions for me.

    His eyes move and then he blinks…so what? This isn’t an illusion.

    Give me chalk drawing illusions or body illusions or 3d illusions…something that makes you think to find the solution.

  28. For those unable to see any thing special in it, yes it is not technically an illusion!!
    Other images are just DOTS!!!
    Download the image and see it for yourself!

    1. So, to repeat my question, according to the linked definition, a movie in which one pixel is always the same is also a cinematograph?

  29. At least this one didn’t freak me out as much as the psycho one did. I had nightmares about that one. I think I stared at it too long!

    1. That it’s hard to make doesn’t mean it’s worth looking at (I don’t say that by the way. I like looking at those things, I just wonder why the should be considered special). According to your reasoning, anybody who doesn’t like Russian literature should try to write a book in that style first.

  30. Another negative comment here. It might be difficult to do but it still isn’t an illusion as it looks like what it is – a video where most of the image is static.

    On a positive note if you are in need of a filler illusion you can just run a clip of any cheap kiddies cartoon of the last 20 years because they are all apparently Multiple Simultaneous Cinematograph illusion showcases.

  31. I really dont get Cinemagraphs, I would just call it a “Video” or a “Movie” Really cant see the illusion in Cinemagraphs.

    Although if you realy want to get philosophical, a movie is all one big illusion anyway

    Keep up the good work I look forward to new illusions on my desktop everyday

  32. creeped me out the first time i saw it, but i actually think the psycho one is creepier – it really demonstrates his mental condition… fantastic images even if they aren’t what we think of when we think optical illusion…

  33. HELP!!!! I don’t see anything besides his eyes moving and him blinking! I love all the illusions though, it just drives me crazy when I can’t see it.

  34. ow, c;mon u smart furball, can’y ye see its only his pupil that was moving and not his eyebrow , ye who can’t apreciate something llike thiz, better look it without blinking yer eyez..

    1. Seriously… I can move my EYE’S (I’ll assume that’s what you meant since the pupil is the black part in the middle of the eye… NOT the whole eye) without moving my eyebrow’s… I think you’re mistaken.

  35. The reason this is so cool is because it is suppose to be timed to your blinking pattern! For those of us who are self-aware it creeps you simply because you blink at the same interval. Loved it!

  36. So…the point of the illusion is it’s a still picture but the eyes move? I’m sorry, but…how is that an illusion. It seems like lazy filmmaking to me.I don’t get it.

  37. Don’t really like this cinemagraph. All the man does is blink, blink, blink.
    I found this cinemagraph on google I much prefer, though when I typed the URL, a ‘dirty’ picture came up. Click twice on the right arrow to see the one I want to show you. It’s worth a look.
    So sorry for any of you who don’t like what you initially see at first.

  38. This was so scary. He blinked and I was like huh? But then he blinked again I screamed my life out. Hehehe its an animatation

  39. uhhh; this does not qualify as an illusion, because I saved it as a gif file, and then examined it as a background / enlargement. Amazing that DAVE Blinks on THIS page, but not when duplicated…..because then it’s a true image without some-type of insert that was placed within the image (before it was Posted)!

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