Dragon Gardner: Optical Illusion with Your Own Hands

Optical illusions do not leave indifferent neither adults, nor children, immersed in the original world of magic and at the same time make the brain boil from the impossibility of what was seen.

Sometimes tricks are not so difficult to perceive. Among them, the so-called tracking dragon, made from paper for a certain pattern, is extremely popular.

Illusion: Gardner's Dragon

This trick was invented by the famous juggler JerryAndrus for the donations of Gardner, so it is often called in honor of the creator or owner of the fund. From the previous name of illusion it becomes clear what it is: a paper dragon always looks at the observer and even turns his head.

dragon gardnera

To achieve maximum effect, the figureit is necessary to place above the light source, and during the movements it is recommended that the viewer close one eye and do not move more than 2 meters from the figure (the optimal distance is 1 m).

What is required to repeat the illusion

In order to make a figure, you need a paper dragon Gardner, a template with the image of which is presented below.

Blanks come in three colors: green, blue and dark pink, and also contain a detailed assembly instruction with fold indicators and a picture explaining how the result should look (rear view).

dragon guardian template

In addition, you will need scissors, glue and photo paper, which has a more suitable texture for this purpose.

How is the Gardner's dragon made by yourself?

Next, you need to print the workpiece on a colorprinter, its size should roughly coincide with the A4 printing sheet. As it was said above, it is best to do this on photo paper, but if it is not there, as well as the desire to spend money, then any one, preferably with high density, will do.

After this, the workpiece must be carefully cut out,while retaining the white field around the figurine in its entirety, in order to be able to read the instructions and see the assembly diagram. The template should be bent according to these instructions.

At this stage, the Gardner dragon is almost ready,remains to secure the base, pushing the plugs into the slots. Only the head of the figure needs to be stitched, it is important to remember that the colored part of the workpiece must remain inside.

dragon gardnera own hands

How it works

This illusion is based on some nuanceswork of the human brain. A special coloring of the dragon's head makes it visually perceive it as a convex object, despite the fact that the paper is concave inside the color side. This is due to the fact that the brain tries to recognize the shape of the object on the basis of everyday experience, as well as its possible trajectory of motion.

Therefore, when the observer moves, heIt seems that the Gardner dragon turns his head slightly (this effect is possible only at a short distance). The location of the eyes in the figure, as it turned out, also has great significance, because on some variations of the patterns created following the example of the illusion considered in this article, the look of the figure is slightly mowing.


In general, creating a paper illusion (dragonGardner) does not take more than half an hour with one's own hands, but it's better not to trust this activity for children under 5 years old - they may not understand how to store the workpiece and spoil it.

illusion dragon gardnera

It is not necessary to dwell on the dragon- there are about 10 templates with the image of other animals. Among them there is a dog, a cat, a frog and even a human skeleton, but not all of them are successful.

Therefore, having sufficient artistic skills, it is better to draw your own version, guided by the original Gardner template, in order to understand the principle by which the illusion works.

Similar optical tricks

Since the Gardner dragon is fully exposed and there is nothing to say about it, you can talk about other interesting illusions (some of them can also be repeated on their own with the proper skills).

For example, an artist under the name brusspup animatesmonochrome images by superimposing over a black lattice of parallel lines. Moving it, it gets a kind of animation. In addition, he also owns the idea of ​​a floating cube.

This is a very simple trick for which you will needOnly a sheet of plain cardboard, some paper, scissors and scotch tape. The volume of the cube is achieved by the same principle that operates when assembling the head of the dragon Gardner - that is, the figure is obtained by concave the color side inward. Then the workpiece is glued to the cardboard with the help of a twisted sheet of paper, and due to rotational movements, it seems that the cube is hovering in the air.

In addition, brusspup draws extremely realisticimages distorted in such a way that the one looking at it directly seemed to be in front of him is quite a real thing, which can be picked up. However, when you rotate the object, the effect disappears.

There are a great many optical illusions,with a considerable part of them playing on the color perception and the sense of volume, so the looking dragon is certainly not unique, but extremely popular due to the fact that anyone can do it with one's own hands. However, it is worth noting a very amusing fact - people who are schizophrenic are often unable to recognize such tricks.

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