Creativity Pool
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By waiao
A pair of glasses that when looked through, it filters out all color, so all you see is shades of grey. Black and white movie through your own eyes!

Reward: Free pairs of these glasses.
By Rishi
Simple filters cannot convert all colours to grey shades. Any one colour can be converted to grey by using a filter of the complementary colour. Night vision glasses(NVG) do give a mono-chrome vision by processing an infra-red image to a visible one.
If a grey scale rendering is needed one may have to get a real time monochrome imaging system similar to NVG.

By waiao
You sound like you know what you're talking about, but then again... probably not. It doesn't have to be that complicated; you put a red sheet of transparency paper in front of you eyes and everything appears to be a shade of red. We don't need to bring night vision goggles' crafty technology into this.
By Rishi
There is a saying all cats are grey in the dark. If the overall illumination level goes down the human eye sees by a different mechanism, which is why we cannot perceive colours too well by moonlight for example.

If a red acetate sheet is put in front of the eyes not all colours will appear a shade of red. Green would appear black. Red would appear white. That is it will not be possible to differentiate red from white iwhen looked through a red filter. A polychrome scene cannot be rendered monochrome by simple filtration.

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By Michael D. Grissom
Waiao <-- you didn't mention why anyone would want to see everything in shades of grey. Is this a novelty idea?

Rishi is right! I have a patent on something I call the "ColorPen" (on this site somewhere) which is a standard pen with an LCD panel in the side and will read any named color (132) that it touches. I had to study light and filters for months to complete the patent draft and prototype. It is for color blind people and telecommunications workers who work in low light conditions.

There is an alternative solution though that was invented in the early 1980's and demonstrated at a trade show I attended. It was a pair of variable translucency (if that's a word) LCD glasses that allowed the wearer to, for example, read his email in perfect focus without distorting the normal vision of the outside world. It would be a simple matter to place micro cams at the left and right side of the glasses (to maintain stereo viewing) and, through a tiny dedicated computer, display on your glasses exactly what your looking at only in whatever shade(s), magnification, or distortion you would like -- even total grayscale or live motion psychedelic conversions. Today I imagine these glasses could be mass produced in China to retail here for under $100 and with current advances in micro-technology, you might have a hard time telling that they were not ordinary sun glasses.

So, the technology is here and it CAN be done. The real question is -- at what price is it marketable? This sounds like something kids and young adults would love to have but generally don't have that kind of money to spend. You probably have a much greater insight into the marketability of these 'PsychoGlasses" (like that name?) than I will ever have so, what are your thoughts?
By e
i am interested in how this is done. i would like to see things desaturated to help me learn to shadow and highlight when drawing.
By DorianDecay
e wrote:i am interested in how this is done. i would like to see things desaturated to help me learn to shadow and highlight when drawing.
Squint! When you squint it is easier to see the lights and darks of an object you're observing. I've been drawing for decades and I squint at objects all the time, not because I can't see it, but just because it helps to determine how the light is playing on my subject matter.
By sidzdead
I beleave this can be easily achieved, the human eye can be tricked with almost no effort. With the knowledge of the human eye and a careful play of layered shading film you could succesfuly make these glasses.
By rwizek1
I have read through this thread and am very interested in a pair of glasses that would turn the color world grayscale. I would use these in a drawing/ art related environment. The suggestion by Dorian regarding squinting (which I already use) helps me see shadow shapes when drawing, but the rub for me is that the colors themselves are distracting and I am having difficulty seeing the transition of shades without the color information getting in the way.

The only thing I have found that simulates this activity is to set my digital camera to grayscale and use the digital viewfinder during classes to give me this information-live and in real time. Obviously the art thing is somewhat organic and I'd like to avoid this appendage while drawing.

In my search the only wearable item I have found is called Eyeclops, and as the name indicates it is pretty futuristic looking. They are night vision goggles for kids which a parent actually reviewed and the results were what I was looking for, however in normal daylight the grascale viewer just becomes normal color. It seems that the boost or depletion in that spectrum results in the grascale image or lack thereof. So my search continues. Any help suggestions or links appreciated!
By todbr
I would be REALLY interested in a black and white pair of glasses. In fact, I'm curious why it's not something more easily available - it'd be so useful for drawing, cinema, and all kinds of visual arts.
If I understood correctly, you can't do it solely with filters, it'd have to be something like a night vision goggle, which involves digital processing, right? These goggle are rather cumbersome to wear, they're not like normal glasses... Strange how it's something so simple to do chemically (i.e., black and white film) but hard physically (glasses)...
I've googled a bit but found nothing of this kind of thing for sale, if someone does, please drop me a message. I'm really hooked up in 20's-40's films, so it's simply incredible imagining it'd be like an old movie, but for real...

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