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Perspective Tunnel

Illusions and the Brain | Projects

  • For this studio, “Illusions and the Brain”, we designed a Perspective Tunnel which is a short length tunnel that gives the illusion of longer length tunnel by adding special effects. Our group wanted to create the Perspective Tunnel to show how a short run could appear very long to the eye by adding effects. Inside the Perspective Tunnel are square cut outs that get smaller as they go back into the tunnel. LED lights under the square cut outs slowly turn on and off square by square into the distance to make it seem that the tunnel keeps going into the horizon. Our inspiration came from looking at a video based on a fire illusion. After doing further research, our group decided to make this Perspective Tunnel because it was portable and could be shown anywhere.

  • For this studio we learned about illusions and how the brain perceives certain images and patterns. We also learned how certain things can manipulate our senses, like taste, touch, and sight. In this studio we made a perspective tunnel. The inspiration for this tunnel came from a series of images we saw of rooms or spaces that looked real, but were actually a bunch of optical illusions tricking the eye.

    The first step we took in making the perspective tunnel was to figure out what illusion that we wanted to portray. It was a bit of a process trying to  figure out because our options were unlimited. Although, in the end we decided to make a tunnel that would give the illusion of being longer than actually was.

    After we distinguished our idea we drew it on paper and figured out the dimensions. Then we made a mini version of the perspective tunnel in a computer software called Rhino. Rhino allowed us to cut out a smaller tunnel in paper. After our design was cut out with the laser cutter, we were able to assemble it. Once it was put together we realized the illusion was not working to its potential because we made the end of the tunnel flat. We also established that in order for our illusion to work we would also have to add other elements to  help enhance the continuousness of the tunnel.

    Our version of the perspective tunnel, we made with a pointed cone like end. This end helped magnified the perspective tunnel. We also added rectangles on two sides of the tunnel. The placement and size of the rectangles was also important because they added another element that would help draw the eye towards the back. We also experimented with having the color progressively darken, but we decided not to because when we made the tunnel larger it took away from the illusion.

    Once we figured out the size we wanted of the tunnel, we printed it out with the laser cutter in wood. When the perspective tunnel was made out of wood the material blocked out all light, unlike cardboard, which was what we were using before. The blockage of light gave us the inspiration to add LED lights going down all three the sides of the tunnel walls,  to strengthen the illusion.

    After we hooked up the LED lights to the wooden version of the perspective tunnel, we used the 3D printer to print the perspective tunnel in red. We hooked the LED lights to the 3D printed version and we thought the illusion worked much better.  We then added a cardboard covering for the 3D tunnel. The white shell ended up reflecting the LED lights and creating a shadow, which also improved the tricks of the tunnel.


    The first step in our