Perspective Illusion

Which colored block appears the largest and which the smallest? Take a ruler and measure them, you may be surprised at what you find.

I hope you measured the blocks. If you did you will have noticed that they are all the same size. Why then do they appear to increase in size as they get further away? Think about it. Maybe you can guess why.

Take close look at the pattern on the floor, walls and ceiling. Can you see how they tend to converge on to a common point in the distance? This is called perspective. The further way objects are the smaller the visual angle they subtend on the retina. However, if you were actually standing in the hallway containing the blocks the floor pattern and those on the walls and ceiling would not seem to converge. Another example is when you stand in the middle of rail road tracks (beware of trains) the parallel tracks continue to appear parallel for a long way into the distance even though they project onto your retina in perspective.

Artists are well aware of perspective and use it to create the impression of distance in their painting and drawings.

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