Optical Illusion


Design and code an animating optical illusion.


Pattern-making is an ancient and culturally diverse practice. For this assignment, we encourage you to look back into your own cultural history as a starting point to create an optical illusion that may appreciate, critique, or simply sit with the culture. In addition to the examples provided in this week’s lecture and tutorials, Nazia Fakhruddin has written a handful of interesting ways to create visual illusions in p5.js on Medium, and the Illusion Index documents various types of optical illusions you may incorporate into your work.

Design Constraint

Canvas Size: 600 x 600

Part 1 : Due 10/1

  1. Research and pick a pattern from your cultural traidtion to be turned into an optical illusion. Consider what is gained / lost through digitizing and animating this traditional pattern.
  2. Sketch out three ideas.
  3. Be prepared to share your sketches during CC Lab, and discuss how recontexualizing the patterns into optical illusions might alter the context of these designs. Be ready to discuss any questions you may have about the next part of the assignment.

Part 2: Due 10/5

  1. Choose the idea that's most meaningful to your culture to develop further.
  2. Begin working on your sketch. You will incorporate For Loops and Nested For Loops to create the patterns. Then you will use IF / ELSE statements to animate the shapes.
  3. Be sure to include the following information on your CC Portfolio Assignment #5 page:
    • Your p5 sketch (embedded iframe)
    • Your name
    • A description of your project idea including context and visual strategy you have employed.
    • Your assignment reflections
  4. Reflect upon the following:
    • What are some impacts and effects of translating the pattern of your choice into digital, animating form?
    • How does creating an optical illusion recontexualizes how the pattern was traditionally used & understood?

Submission Guidelines

Please submit your sketch to two places:

  1. Submit the sketch to the CC Lab class Canvas Assignment 5
  2. Add the sketch to your Critical Computation portfolio