Excel Optical Illusions #18

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This weeks' Excel Optical Illusion is called, Enigma.

When staring at the sun in the center, you should quickly see some strange and scintillating activity in the purple circles. If you stare long enough you may even see a supernova!

The Enigma optical illusion is subtle, the supernova, not so much. Ok. I added the animation with VBA. I was staring at the Enigma, and I could not resist.

The chart is really two Radar charts stacked on top of each other. The bottom one graphs the the black and white rays. The top one is responsible for the circles. Pretty basic stuff, but the effect is quite good in my opinion.

This one requires Excel 2007 or greater. Sorry, but the earlier versions weren't up to it. It's funny. The workbook is only 26 KB, while the animated GIF above is over 6 MB! There's some data compression for you. And, the animation in the workbook is quite a bit smoother than the GIF.

Here's the workbook.

--- UPDATE ---

I just looked at this blog entry with Internet Explorer 8. Wow. The animated GIF sucks. In Chrome and Firefox, it is not half bad. Just download the Excel 2007 file. The animation is way better than all of the browser rendered GIF files.

Here's a list of other animated charts on Excel Hero:

 - Excel, A Presentation Platform (Number Spiral)
 - Lilac Chaser (Optical Illusion)
 - Stereokinetic (Optical Illusion)
 - Illusory Contours (Optical Illusion)
 - Breathing Square (Optical Illusion)
 - Enigma (Optical Illusion)

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I run Firefox on a fast i7 64 bit machine and the animated GIF is fine.

Me again (sorry). Couple of thoughts on this:
1: It gets even better after a couple of glasses of really nice Gewurztraminer
2: If you change the number of rays from 550 to say 5500 and amend the macro accordingly from 550 5500 etc you get some REAL crazy shit happening. These weird and beautiful interference pattens 'congeal' and slowly move out from the center towards the edge. Plus you get this effect that is like fog mixed with dust spots on your screen.
3: I learned a lot from this, like your method of amending the value of the dynamic named range (i.e. oNames.Add "rays_n", i). And your use of the named formula Rays =CHOOSE(1+MOD(ROW(INDIRECT("1!1:" & rays_n)),5),2,0,0,2,2). And your trick of setting min and max axis values so that a traditionally round radar chart renders as a quare chart. (Aside: I did something the same with your Lissajous chart, and got some really cool effects by just looking at a stretched out cutout of the original chart).

Very, very cool.

Thank you for share very good informations What a cool site.

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This page contains a single entry by Daniel Ferry published on June 17, 2010 8:25 PM.

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