How The RIT Stairwell Illusion Works

Earnest-Pettie by Earnest-Pettie on May. 05, 2013

How The RIT Stairwell Illusion Works One of the most popular videos on Break this weekend was Amazing RIT Stairwell Illusion. If you haven’t yet seen it, check it out now:

So how does this illusion work? Well, it doesn’t. What you’re witnessing is the illusion of an illusion. In short, this video is a fake. This is variation on a concept called Penrose Stairs, created in 1959, which, itself, has roots in an illusion created in the 1930’s. I’ll get back to the RIT Stairwell in a moment, but first let’s trace the evolution of the illusion. In 1934, Swedish graphic designer Oscar Reutersvärd created a series of optical illusions we’re all familiar with now. He created a series of 3-D geometric figures that are only possible in 2-D space. Not only did he create an “impossible triangle” but he also created an “impossible staircase.”

             

Penrose Triangle                

     

Penrose Stairs

 In 1959, mathematician Roger Penrose and his son published their own impossible triangles and staircases without having ever seen Oscar Reutersvärd’s work. They made these figures popular, so these figures bear their name. After seeing their work, which was published in a volume full of impossible objects, MC Escher created his famous lithograph “Ascending, Descending” showing figures moving around a Penrose Staircase. Ironically, it was Escher's work which had inspired Roger Penrose.

Ascending, Descending by MC Escher

 A sculpture of the Penrose Triangle exists in Perth, Australia.

 When viewed from the correct angle, the Penrose Triangle appears to be real and complete. An illusion, it is incomplete when viewed from any other angle. A twist on this appears in the movie, Inception. In Inception, it is the Penrose Staircase that receives this treatment. Remember this?

The RIT staircase is a twist on this concept, but clearly it was executed differently. Click on the next page to learn the how and the why of the RIT staircase.

51 comments
Egeli_Fenerli
Egeli_Fenerli

@kum_kitabi @GamzeBFB1907 2 nize de çok teşekkürler.Erdoğan Bayraktar okumasın.Ara eleman muhabbetinde sınıfta kalır.Ya da TOKİ İnş.larında+

Marsha-Hudson-190
Marsha-Hudson-190

I think the students did an excellent job! Great idea to create something so convincing (the video) and is fun to watch.

Rob-Patterson-445
Rob-Patterson-445

You can go do it yourself instead of believing that it's fake because someone who hasn't been there said so....

Stan-Zabecki-468
Stan-Zabecki-468

I have been trying to get to my class for three weeks. HELP SEND FOOD! sent from q fone..

Stuart-Rayner-137
Stuart-Rayner-137

I should know better than to read the comments section but damn, this is crazy. The article says it was a hoax by some art students and people are like "no idiots, it was a hoax by some art students". You guys agree pretty aggressively huh?

Ayub-Basha-255
Ayub-Basha-255

i want build this in my home , is it possible? can i get total daring? .

Virginia-Martin-651
Virginia-Martin-651

fake...just like magic. Enjoy it for what it is. Kind of sorry to find out the way it was done.

Judy-Dissmeyer-478
Judy-Dissmeyer-478

This was just FUN! Who cares if it's "fake", The explanation & other examples of illusions were cool!

papsmear
papsmear

at least its not a video about forklifts

KealGSeo
KealGSeo User

It is fake, it was a failed group fund (kickstarter like) that there is already an admission video to. As for this post, he specifically addresses the canted stair theory and says that it is not...the glass of water was to "prove" it.

KealGSeo
KealGSeo

It is fake, it was a failed group fund (kickstarter like) that there is already an admission video to. As for this post, he specifically addresses the canted stair theory and says that it is not...the glass of water was to "prove" it.

pen_cap
pen_cap User

Um. This isn't even remotely correct. The people responsible admit themselves that this was a huge hoax. Not only are you stupid for posting the original video believing it to be real but then you post all these explanations that are idiotic and untrue themselves. The ENTIRE thing is a hoax and the creators / people responsible openly admit this. Come on break.... really?

pen_cap
pen_cap

Um. This isn't even remotely correct. The people responsible admit themselves that this was a huge hoax. Not only are you stupid for posting the original video believing it to be real but then you post all these explanations that are idiotic and untrue themselves. The ENTIRE thing is a hoax and the creators / people responsible openly admit this. Come on break.... really?

Sam-Saqib-566
Sam-Saqib-566

this was part of a project at the university. get a grip you guys.

Sam-Saqib-566
Sam-Saqib-566

this was part of a project at the university. get a grip you guys.

WZRDZ
WZRDZ

this was fake? who would've guessed....

WZRDZ
WZRDZ

this was fake? who would've guessed....

uBlow
uBlow User

I just made $50 bangin yer momma

uBlow
uBlow

I just made $50 bangin yer momma

puppetshow
puppetshow User

I can't believe how many fu@king cretans bought into this bull$hit.

puppetshow
puppetshow

I can't believe how many fu@king cretans bought into this bull$hit.

gweedomang
gweedomang User

I'm giving you 5 seconds to leave, if I see you again I'm gonna rape you...

gweedomang
gweedomang

I'm giving you 5 seconds to leave, if I see you again I'm gonna rape you...

retardiq60
retardiq60 User

They did it in editing, it was an art project you dumbasses

retardiq60
retardiq60

They did it in editing, it was an art project you dumbasses

onasphere
onasphere User

I want to see Peter Griffin falling down those stairs.

onasphere
onasphere

I want to see Peter Griffin falling down those stairs.

H0p3le55
H0p3le55

Its still fake to me damn it!

H0p3le55
H0p3le55

Its still fake to me damn it!

Earnest-Pettie
Earnest-Pettie moderator User

It appears that you didn't bother to go on to the second page.

Earnest-Pettie
Earnest-Pettie

It appears that you didn't bother to go on to the second page.

Delilah-Jozaf-745
Delilah-Jozaf-745

like Janice explained I'm amazed that any one able to make $8881 in 4 weeks on the internet. have you read this site link >>>> wow92.com

youngrob650
youngrob650 User

yeah, if you read the article, it says its fake.

hypra1
hypra1 User

youtube.com/watch?v=GiTK3tbNt4Q

youngrob650
youngrob650

yeah, if you read the article, it says its fake.

hypra1
hypra1

youtube.com/watch?v=GiTK3tbNt4Q

Hue-Nery-785
Hue-Nery-785

"The filmmakers were going to create the myth by developing supplemental materials to support the idea that people had been talking about this for a while (ala The Blair Witch Project), including creating clips from of a 1997 TV show with people talking about the staircase." This article clearly states that it is fake. READ the whole thing again. The INTENT was to create a hoax.

Hue-Nery-785
Hue-Nery-785

So the article that you read saying that it's fake is lying?

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