A Man Walks in a Building in Tokyo


There was a post about 3D Floor Tiles, published two years ago. Pattern used when assembling the floor is a well know Escher inspired optical illusion. But in my opinion, no one ever bothered to explain how this works in little more detail. If you saw them tiles somewhere around the internetz previously, you probably learned they can be seen in two completely opposite directions; both as ascending, and descending stairs made out of blocks. From my experience, I learned that some people have hard time visualizing both. So I opened Photoshop, and made some changes to the most recent photograph made by Reuters. My edits were subtle – I added a second businessman, vertically flipped him, and then positioned him on the right part of the photo. Those bold outlines were added by me as well. I hope this will help you to try and visualize the left businessman stepping down, while in the same time seeing right businessman climbing up the blocks. NMN pointed me to this illusion, and I added his funny comment below the picture:


Is this a giant game of Q*Bert? – NMN

  • Glad you liked, Vurdlak :) I think the illusion here is an example of a Necker Cube:


    See them both, but never at the same time :o

    • MITCH


  • Care Bear

    Where is Q-bert when you really need him?

  • He’s in Japan!!

  • yourenemy

    This gives me a headache :D

  • AC

    instead of rotating him you should have flipped him vertically so he head was still upright. It looks like he is falling, not walkking down stairs.

  • random

    that’s actually a flat floor?!!? Nice!!!

  • Sarah

    Unfortunately, the guy you added on the right that you added isn’t positioned correctly so it’s very obvious that he was added and not actually there. He’s just floating there, his feet aren’t in the correct position to make it look like he’s walking anywhere. Might as well have slapped a cat sticker somewhere and said that it helped. :) The floor tiling is really cool though.

  • Judith Korupp

    Thank you for your effort Vurdlak,
    although I never had any any trouble in seeing ascending and descending stairs … to be honest, your second businessman doesn’t look like he’s climbing up the blocks to me – indeed, I thought he was shot dead ;-)

  • Leon

    only one of them has a shadow

  • tony

    I hope you don’t mind, but I re-did it – http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j84/tony_barnes/optical-illusion_tokio.jpg – works a lot better!

  • Niko

    No, you just spoiled the picture for me.

  • Rubster :)

    does anybody else have the glitch with the random illusion button?

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