Introduction: Transform Any Color Photo Into an Optical Illusion

Trick your eyes into seeing a black and white photo in color! This may sound confusing but stay with me here. I'll show you an original color photo file and then tell you how to use virtually any photo editing program to alter that photo in two simple ways. Then, with the help of any video editing software, you can complete this project of optical delight.

The effect takes advantage of how our eyes function. Make sure that you focus intently on one particular spot of the photo until just before the end of the video. I added a tiny black dot in the center to stare at, but feel free to pick any one spot to hone in on. The key is that you look solely at one area so that your eyes are thoroughly fooled at the end. Most importantly, have fun!


zakamooza (author)2010-11-23

why did you remove the video

greeenpro (author)zakamooza2010-11-23

There was a technical problem with this video so I made another one that's even better (which I created a full ible for) here:

I cannot delete this one because I entered it into a contest a loooong time ago, but there's some kind of problem.  When I go to delete it, I get a message saying "this cannot be deleted because it is entered into at least one contest".  It's not entered in any contests though.

Sorry for the inconvenience.  I know the feeling (an annoyance for sure).

Puzzledd (author)2010-11-20

This sounds really interesting, and I think i understand how it's done.... but the video is no longer there- I realise it's an old one but is it easy to get it back for more recent viewers?

greeenpro (author)Puzzledd2010-11-20

I am unable to delete this instructable (I get an error message saying that it's entered into a contest...that contest ended months ago though). I apologize for this inconvenience but I did make a formal instructable on this.  It's really a fun illusion.  Here's the link if you want to check it out:

Puzzledd (author)greeenpro2010-11-20

Oh, thanks heaps for replying so quickly- the link is brilliant!

Tomboys (author)2009-09-22

Cool tutorial!

greeenpro (author)Tomboys2009-09-23

Thank you!

ChappyShowcase (author)2009-09-10

Hey, I'm color blind now?

greeenpro (author)ChappyShowcase2009-09-10

Haha....that brings up an interesting point. Most people that are colorblind say that this type of illusion doesn't work for them. One person, however, mentioned in some comments on the formal, featured instructable that he was colorblind and that it actually worked for him. You can read the comments here (pretty interesting):

I'm actually color deficit. So I don't know if it works so well on me or not. Could you describe the effect it's supposed to have? (My apologies, but I don't think I get it.)

Pardon me for calling the deficiency "colorblindness." What happens is: one stares at one spot of a negative image of a color photo for at least 15 secs. Then a black and white version of the same photo is shown suddenly, but instead of seeing it in black and white, one sees it in color (the way that the original color photo looks). Then he/she looks away from the spot that they had been staring at and sees that the image actually is black and white.

Ok. That makes sense. I'll have to try it again. Thank you for explaining that to me.

No problem.

Frivolous Engineering (author)2009-09-10

So that's how it done. Cool!

wenpherd (author)2009-09-10


greeenpro (author)wenpherd2009-09-10


gagfilms (author)2009-09-10

This is a really great trick!

greeenpro (author)gagfilms2009-09-10

Thank you. It's neat to experiment with different pictures. The illusions of color vary in intensity with different photos.

Nextraker (author)2009-09-10

Great Explanation!

greeenpro (author)Nextraker2009-09-10

I appreciate that. Thirty seconds is deceptively fast!

wibrle (author)2009-09-10

Wow! Thats trippy o_O

sorinescu (author)2009-09-10


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