American Psycho in Color


American Psycho Optical Illusion 1Yup, it’s the American Psycho, also known as Christian Bale. I’m not sure whether the screenshot used in this optical illusion was taken from his Hollywood movie, or whether it’s the paparazzi shot during Christian’s Terminator rampage incident (when he went nuts on stage). If you think I’m joking, listen to the publicly available audio tape.

But all this doesn’t concern us too much, what we’re here for are the illusions. This time we have slightly different afterimage animation. Originally, authors create similar animations that switch between frames every half a minute or so. First you see colorful negative, then black and white photo appears. You get the impression black and white photo you are seeing is actually produced in color, because the afterimage was temporary burnt into your retina. This time we have exactly the same illusion, only frames switch much faster. What amazed me, is that the illusion still works – even better perhaps. To conclude this, I can assure you that there are only two frames – black and white one, and the color-negative. The more you observe, the more colors on Christian appear! P.S. You can check ultra-fast version of this, just be sure you don’t have problems with seizures or something…

American Psycho Optical Illusion Afterimage

  • The ultra-fast version has THREE different frames – the black & white, the negative, & the the normal version. It’s obvious. Save it & slow it down if you don’t believe me.

    • Your mom

      @RachelD… my computers slow. so i saw that too. Makes us wonder if this person wanted to trick us or the person who sent it in made the blogger believe so.

  • Hering

    @Rachel D: /signed. I saw the same.

    • GenCat

      same. It started out on that frame.

  • What you have here is black and white print and color negative makes fairly nornal looking print. This conclusion comes from experience.

  • Mish

    i don’t understand what the illusion is…?

  • ReverendJ1

    @Rachel D. – No you are incorrect. There are only the two frames. I just verified with GIMP.

    • wrong

      No. there is 3. My pc lagged and it stopped on the color frame for about ten seconds, which is completely defeating the illusion and is stupid and is cheating. Now ill never come back to this site ever again because i dont trust its integrity since i was just lied to. Never coming back.

  • sarahmb2

    Mish, i believe that when you stare at Christians face after a while the flashing starts to make more color on his face show. Like it went from comepletely black and white to some color =]weird pic though

  • thats great the negitive burns some colours into you eye then the black and white converts those coulours negativly again making the black and white one look normal ;P great illusion

    • wrong

      its COLORS you farking TOOL. Why would there be a U in color? Do you HEAR a U? Look it up in the dictionary i don’t care if you’re from faggy ass london or wherever. Its COLOR. english fags sound like sissy little dick sucking pansies.


      In ENGLISH colour is spelt with a U. Only ignorant Americans who have butchered the language spell it without one. Your abusive message shows just how WRONG you are.

    • Lasher

      There’s more than one country that knows how to spell proper English. The USA is alone in it’s lazy spelling, backwards logic and failure to convert to the metric system like everybody else in the modern world. Go back to your moonshine, getting fat and policing the world while your economy goes to crap. This applies to all y’all ignorant hicks and not the regular, intelligent, critical thinkers of the world regardless of their country’s spelling habits, who don’t need to be abusive for idiotic reasons.

  • @ReverendJ1

    No, she’s right. I saw the color frame when my browser loaded it first, and then showed that while waiting for the other frames to load.

    To verify, I used my own Animated GIF editor. Either you don’t know how to use GIMP correctly, or my program is not only susceptible to the illusions too, but decided to produce a third frame in full color.

  • random

    I saw three too…

  • Michael

    Ha, don’t even try to say it doesn’t have a color frame on the ultra-fast, the thumbnail picture of it when i saved it is a color picture!

  • Benjamin


    in the fast version the color-image is obvious. Here the animation got stuck during loading on the color frame – so it couldn’t be an illusion.

    i verrified with photoshop…

  • Firestorm

    ouch..that hurt my eyes…:P
    didn’t see the illusion either…:(
    ’bout to watch the ultrafast one, see if that works…

  • Care Bear

    Geeesh! Just what I need–another psycho in my life.

  • Firestorm

    ultra fast = fail…
    there was a thumbnail for the three, in negative, colour, and black n’ white.(though im sure most of you know this, and are getting bored/annoyed with all the comments re-stating this. yes, i know, i just added to the line-up of repeats, but i felt the need to contribute.)

  • Jacob

    there’s a color frame…argument closed and the actual one is pretty cool

  • Kimbo

    I disagree….I right clicked > ‘saved piture as’ as a gif file. I then opened it up using the free Microsoft GIF Animator (which I have used several times in the past to create animated GIF files) and it is clear that there is only two images. The first is the full colour negative and the other is the black and white positive. There are no other images and certainly no positive colour image. The colour image is created in the eye/brain due to the ‘negative colour after images’ effect. Look it up. :-)

    • Andy

      ya…did the same.. checked this out with Microsoft gif animator ver. 1…It has two frames only…one black and white and the other colored negative…agreed…

  • Luis Pachón

    The Ultra-fast version has a color frame…. is that cheating?

  • Greeng13

    The ultra fast version gave me the creeps but it was easier to see d pic like dat

  • peace-angel

    This isn’t about the illusion but about the audio tape, what a freak kinda think he reckons he’s a god, LOSER!!!!

  • Modar Al-Asmi

    Cool illusion! :)

  • Cheadle

    Ok, there is 3 versions on the page, first is black and white and negative… second black & white, Negative, and Colour, and third, Just black and white. I assume the second one with the Colour frame was put there so people could see what the full colour pick looks like!

  • dant

    awesome… the face gets more colourful every time you look at it

  • PhotoBug

    There are three images in the ultra fast version. It even shows all three under the animation…it is easy to see all three…and same here the color image was the first to load…but no sense in continuing to post and argue about it =P

  • Melissa Beall

    Yeah, the ultra-fast color frame is obvious: in fact, it was the first frame that loaded up for me, thus resulting in it being the still image for the page. Less than awesome, but the original illusion is still pretty sweet. And Bale’s a total hunk.

  • daniel green

    the first frame that opens up in photoshop is a correct colour image and the windows thumbnail icon is also a corrent colour image.

    it might be interesting to remove the coloured frame and see if the illusion is still valid at the high speed.

  • IllusionSolution

    Rachel D. is right. So right. I was like, I don’t get the illusion, then I clicked the ultra-fast version, and in one of the thumbnails it shows. I didn’t proved it with anyu program, it’s just impossible. I mean, you can see the 3 pictures under the animation.

  • asdfasfd

    the 2 frame version (the slow one) works best (for me at least) when i stare at the picture, keeping the eyes onto one spot, the nose, for example.

  • Fail

    The ultra fast one does have three frames. You don’t need to go all photoshop on it, just press the Esc button and it stops the gif. I pressed it, and the first time it landed on the colored one. I thought the negative was still in my mind, but I waited and it stayed colored.

  • ME

    Yeah, the fast one has a colour frame in it, when it loaded up for me it started on that. Pity, I like a good illusion :^(

  • anonumoas

    This is not a true illousion. I even let a hundred other people know, they agree with me.

  • kent

    the ultra fast version has three photographs.. the black and white, the colored negative and the colored… try to catch it on print screen.. it doesn’t lie..

  • neruo

    mmm…interesting, as for me I create avatar with Video avatar (

  • freeek

    Can someone actually remove the full-color frame from the ultra-fast one and post a link to it instead of stating the obvious fact that it has 3 frames over and over again?

  • Erik

    @ Michael Nope, as everyoe has already said, there are three frames, your computer just sucks/

  • Nikki


  • Dylan

    There is no 3rd frame! It’s only the result of the first 2 laying over each other, creating the illusion.

  • Hailey :D

    can evryon just stop talking about the 3 frames.. T=You guys have rpatd ach other lik 10 times…

  • Kiri

    I saw the color frame when it was done loading and playing back. My experience with flashing images serves me well once again.

  • notarealname

    ok now its just plain scary i meen does anione else see him go back and forth and turn into gorge wasghington , justin bieber , alien , and plain monster

  • adam

    The more I watch this, the more I think Christian Bale is not crazy, just misunderstood

  • 〇rlandο Gοdhand〇 (@Kodanshi)

    As with the others I too can verify three frames on the fast version. I used IrfanView to extract all the frames and there IS a completely normal, coloured frame as well as the b&w and negative ones.

  • Look there really is only two frames… I don’t know where you guys are getting this from…

    Do a save as… then switch between the B&W and the negative fast on your own. It works… and also yes it is an illusion.


  • Madison

    Why does that scare me when it goes back and forth??? I dont find the picture itself to be scary. Its just how it goes back and forth so fast..

  • Gary

    There is 3. I just print screened it. The only illusion here is the legitimacy of this illusion… How ironic

  • sMARTaSS

    oh my god, im 10 years old and i heard the tape !!!

  • Mehdi

    There *are* 3 frames in the superfast version.

  • I see him in color cool!!!

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