Todorovic’s Dartboard Illusion

After seeing this grayish dartboard below, and being a regular fan of Might Optical Illusions blog, the question arises almost spontaneously – Do the light and dark regions, as indicated by the arrows, appear to be different? Which region is actually darker? Believe it or not, they are identical! Errrm…Well, at least they should be! Please bear in mind that the picture you see below was first scanned and then uploaded by the person who sent it to me, so they might not actually be the same. Still, in the end it might help the illusion to work even better! As it might turn out that the darker region is the one that appears lighter at the first glance! You be the judge…

31 Replies to “Todorovic’s Dartboard Illusion”

  1. Vurdlak – no mention that the whole thing looks conical, with the center being “pointy?”

    Love your site – keep up the great work!

  2. Me thinks we are getting our proverbial legs pulled on this one. I have attempted to block the sections off on my monitor with sections of paper and they still don’t look similar in density. hmmmm…

    Maybe I will attempot to load the picture into a graphics editor and do samples? Who has time over the next 48?

    1. Yeah, just put them into PS, and they’re the same shade of grey when you isolate the area they’re pointing to. Pretty impressive illusion.

    2. yep.just checked it in photoshop.
      tis the same color indeed :)
      i didnt doubt vurdlak.
      its crazy how our minds trick us.
      but they are the same shad

  3. So I couldn’t wait any longer and did the cut’n paste exercise!


    If I could post the result I would but it seems to only be possible to post URLs here.

  4. They are not identical.

    Checked with photoshop and the identical coloured parts are the white on on the apparent darker region and black on the apparent lighter region which is due to their surrounding colours.

  5. I copied the image to Paint and cut out sections to compare. They are close enough to be deemed identical. Sure doesn’t look like it until you lay one on top of the other. Good one V!

  6. Loaded into Photoshop and the are the same, (or extremely close).

    This illusion makes them look much more different than they actually are.

  7. They are very close in color but not quite the same (that is the dark grey in the lighter area and the light grey in the dark area).

  8. I cut out 2 sample blocks from each band and placed them side-by-side in my Corel Photo-Paint. The ‘light’ band is in fact slightly darker than the ‘dark’ band!

  9. I didn’t believe it either, but when I used the Snipping Tool and moved one closer to the other, they do look the same.

    Nice job!

  10. The areas in question are the dark areas of the lighter rings and the lighter area of the darker rings. Look at the exact spot the arrows point at, not the entire ring.

    In short, while you may perceive the lighted area of the dark ring to be lighter than the shadowed are of the light ring, the gray density is the same in the darkest areas of the light rings as it is in the lightest area of the dark rings.

  11. Far from identical, as a Photoshop sampling test proved. I suspect this is a result of artifacts from the data compression in the jpeg. If this were a vector image or high-rez raster with clean gradients, they probably would be the same values.

  12. It looks like its a photo of a conical object and the differences in color are produced by the angle of the surface the light is reflecting off of.

  13. The arrow on the left should be pointing to the band below. The illusion is in the way the light is shining on the conical shape for that same ribbon to which the right arrow is pointing.

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