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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Seeing is believing » » Australian Passport - amazing 3D image (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Bob_Hummer
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I just saw one of the new Australian passports today.

They have the most incredible optical illusion. A small image of a kangaroo floats off the page. It is a 3D image that does not require glasses to look at.

I have no idea what is going on. It is a new cutting edge security feature on Australian passports. It really is wonderful to look at.

I would imagine it is impossible to see an illusion like this on video. So sadly it is something you can only see if you ever come across an Australian passport. The principle involved is probably one that is not widely known at the moment - one imagines it is the result of millions of dollars of research. But I would love to learn more about it.

Anyway - here are a couple of articles discussing this new security feature:

http://www.australiaplus.com/internation....../1341286

http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/06/austra......feature/
Bob_Hummer
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I have done some more research. It seems the new Australian passport makes use of an autostereocopic image:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autostereoscopy

And here is a document from 3M (who designed the new passport) discussing how they created this 'floating kangaroo' effect:

http://www.keesingjournalofdocuments.com......nner.pdf

I think there is a good chance that the Australian Passport has one of the best optical illusions in the world. Totally unlike anything that most people have seen before.
Bob_Hummer
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Here is an example of the basic principle used (but on a much smaller scale) in the new Australian passports:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFqlQiTTHRs
Jacques
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The Australian passport use a holographic technique to print an image that will apparently float when viewed under UV light at the right angle. Usualy this technique use what is called embossed holography. This is not an autostereoscopic technique as suggested in your second post and is far from the principle illustrated in your third post. This last 3D image uses concave parabolic mirors and isn't holographic at all. It's not something you can put on paper or any flat support. Calling this a hologram is misleading and erroneous.
For security reasons, not much is disclosed about the 3M process. As far as I know, the thecnique is different since it embed the hologram in the paper itself unlike the sticker holograms we can see on credit cards.
Bob_Hummer
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Interesting.

I have actually held an Australian passport and experienced this illusion for myself. I didn't need UV light to see the illusion. Unless the UV light that is present in ordinary lighting conditions was enough to make it happen.

My impression was that this illusion was in effect a tiny miniaturized version of what happens when you use a large convex mirror. Tiny imperfections in a reflective surface are all calculated so that the image rays will cross over at the exact same point. Hence creating the "floating" effect.

Since the work to do this is incredibly intricate it makes the passport very difficult to successfully forge. Which is why it makes for a nice security feature.

But I am not an expert in this area. So I am probably wrong! Smile
Jacques
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I didn't see the passport but the description I found talks about UV light. It is possible that the image is visible in white light but have additional features in UV light to enhence security checking.
Convex mirrors don't produce this kind of effect. Concave mirrors do. They project the image in front of the surface, but the source have to be a 3D object. A 2D image as a source would appear floating in space but would still be 2D. Holography can produce a 3D floating image from a set of computer generated images.
It would be possible to use a lenticular screen (autostereoscopy) in such an image. However, there are limitations. Holography would be more reliable and more difficut to copy.
Bob_Hummer
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This is a brand new technique. The details are laid out here:

http://www.keesingjournalofdocuments.com......nner.pdf

It is worth having a read through.
Jacques
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Interesting.
Simon Layland
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I have one and never noticed until I read this
It really is a nice illusion.
LoganPorterMagic
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Didn't know about this at all. Thanks for sharing.
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