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Art teachers were STEAM-ing before STEAM was cool!

Monday, March 28, 2011

More References: Optical Illusions

Sometimes things just work out great! I love the fact that my children are absorbing all of the "stuff" I'm doing with my art class. While they refuse to actually sit down and try the projects I'm teaching (I think that might be a control thing on their part), they are inspired to use the materials and are very interested in the research I do for each project. As evidenced by my oldest son's library books last week: both about Optical Illusions (FYI: I taught a class on optical illusions just a couple of weeks ago). Both of my older boys have been fascinated by these books, as am I. I'm putting them in my notes for next year...

"Amazing Optical Illusions," by Illusionworks

"You Won't Believe Your Eyes!" by Catherine O'Neil, National Geographic Society

Both of them were awesome! The are full of traditional optical illusions as well as examples of modern-day illusions (newspaper printing, 3D graphics, illusions in nature) all in full color.  There is even a section in "You Won't Believe Your Eyes!" that discusses art techniques where illusion is used (trompe l'oeil, and Pointillism). Wonderful!

And one of the followers of this blog (Hi Scott!) mentioned another kind of optical illusion I hadn't thought of:  Lenticular printing and 3D techniques
 
Say what?!?! At first, I was puzzled--I was sure I didn't know what this was! But then I checked out the definition above and realized that I has seen this before. OK, remember those little novelty stickers from when you were a kid that had a picture of a person or something on it and if you tipped it to the side the guy winked or something like that? They seemed to be made from plastic and have little ridges on them? I used to love these as a kid and my children just received bookmarks that have this technique on them (think: a swimming, biting shark!!). This type of printing is mainly used in novelties (like in Cracker Jack boxes, bookmarks, on Valentine cards, etc.). These pieces can have a series of images that create a little animated movie (sometimes lasting about 1 second) that almost seems 3D (but without the glasses).

What a great way to blend science and art! Thanks, Scott, for making that connection!

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