Albert Einstein Optical Illusion

As far as optical illusions, this one is pretty nifty: Stephen Fry of the QI shows us how we can't help but see the back side of Einstein's hollow face as the front. It's hardwired in our brains.

Consider your melon twisted: Hit play or go to Link [YouTube]

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Isn't this the illusion painters use so that the eyes in a portrait seem to follow you around the room? It's how they add depth to a 2-D painting using light, shadow and perspective.
Something else happens when you have a 3-D image and light can shine through the material. Light seems to fill the space, giving the mask life, making it that much more plausible to our brains. Willa Shalit (daughter of Gene Shalit) did a series of casts of the faces of famous people. They were good casts alone, but when she shone a light from behind them, they came alive like a halogram. The material she used for casting was white, but thin enough that light could penetrate.
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Not mentioned is the importance of light passing through the material. It's more than just light filling in the face. Would this illusion still work with black opaque plastic?
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