Self-animating images: Illusory motion using repeated asymmetric patterns

Ming Te Chi, Tong Yee Lee, Yingge Qu, Tien Tsin Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Illusory motion in a still image is a fascinating research topic in the study of human motion perception. Physiologists and psychologists have attempted to understand this phenomenon by constructing simple, color repeated asymmetric patterns (RAP) and have found several useful rules to enhance the strength of illusory motion. Based on their knowledge, we propose a computational method to generate self-animating images. First, we present an optimized RAP placement on streamlines to generate illusory motion for a given static vector field. Next, a general coloring scheme for RAP is proposed to render streamlines. Furthermore, to enhance the strength of illusion and respect the shape of the region, a smooth vector field with opposite directional flow is automatically generated given an input image. Examples generated by our method are shown as evidence of the illusory effect and the potential applications for entertainment and design purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number62
JournalACM Transactions on Graphics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Aug 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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