Color really is an illusion


Well-known member
The balls appear to be in two different colors.


If your client saw this version and insisted that the balls should be the same color and told you to fix the problem - i.e. to make the green and yellow balls the same green color, could you do it?

By the way, the balls are in fact already the same color. Seeing them as two different colors is just an optical illusion.
Maybe if you uploaded it as a .psd with layers intact ;)
Don't believe?
I can't upload a PSD file so, instead, I've attached are the balls and the screen as separate images. You can do some editing in photoshop to combine them and see for yourself.
The creator of this illusion is David Novick, Professor of Engineering Education and Leadership, the University of Texas at El Paso. You can see more examples of this kind of illusion here:


  • Just Balls.jpg
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No maybe about it—there is an error. More than an error. I didn't keep it. I just made 2 layers and applied the Multiply effect to the top one. Tried a few other things . . . nothing came close to an illusion. Have you done it?
Child's play :)
4 Photoshop layers.

Well done! You have shown that the color illusion is real. But the customer insists that you make the balls all the same color. Can you edit the ball colors to compensate for the effect of the illusion so that they look to be the same color? Or what do you say to the customer if you can't?
Can you edit the ball colors to compensate for the effect of the illusion so that they look to be the same color?
Balls the same colour is easy! See my previous (failure) post. Doing the illusion = not so easy, as Alan (above) will likely testify. I had to think!
Wow this was an absolutely interesting thread- and the beginning itself to think of colors as illusion/ construction pulled me right into the conversation. Thanks Alan for demo-ing it! Also amusingly reminded of a color-related word problem that was all the rage in my child's high school abt different colored pebbles or some such.


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