Science of Media Information

Exhibition Program 19

Cast shadows add dimensions

Projection mapping giving depth illusion to real objects


We demonstrate a new perception-based technique to make real two-dimensional objects apparently hover over their original places. Previous studies have reported a depth illusion of a virtual object; given appropriate cast shadow patterns, the virtual object apparently hovers over its original place. By projecting cast shadow patterns to them through a light projection method, our technique can successfully give the similar kind of depth illusion to a real object. In addition to the depth illusion, our technique can give a transparent surface illusion to a real opaque object such as a paper. That is, by changing the shape of projected cast shadow patterns, we can easily manipulate the perception of object surfaces between transparency and opaque. We would like to develop and improve this sort of perception-based manipulations of real objects because we believe it is one of promising directions to offer users the rich and enjoyable perceptual experiences in the future.


  • T. Kawabe, “The illusion of floating objects caused by light projection of cast shadow,” in Proc. the Eighteenth Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS2018), 2018.




Takahiro Kawabe
Takahiro Kawabe
Human Information Science Laboratory