Project: VisualAid

What It Does

VisualAid helps you learn to visualize things in your mind’s eye—traditionally a useful skill for sorcerers. The project displays a monochrome image of an encircled hand with a triangle in its palm1 for 30 seconds and then hides it for another 30. Gaze at the image while it is visible, then when it disappears, concentrate on the afterimage. Use your concentration and imagination to visualize the image as best as you can while it is hidden.

How It Works

Instead of showing you how to build VisualAid from scratch as I did for Meditaid, I will explain how the project works and you may download the project and open it in the Scratch editor to see for yourself how it is constructed. You should get used to learning about Scratch programming by opening up projects and examining how they are put together.

VisualAid hath been raised by the magic formula: easy peasy lemon squeezy! It has but one sprite with one costume and one script.

When the project starts, the sprite moves to the center position (x:0, y:0), then goes into a forever loop of: showing the sprite (using the show block); waiting 30 seconds (using the wait () secs block); hiding the sprite (using the hide block); and waiting another 30 seconds (using another wait () secs block), after which the cycle repeats indefinitely or until you click the stop sign (you can always stop a project by clicking the stop sign or just closing the tab or browser the project is running in).

Make It Better

I also made a project named VisualAid2 (download or preview online) that adds some functionality: you can adjust the image size and the show/hide times. Use the Scratch editor to compare it to the original VisualAid.

Try this with different images. You can use colored ones to get different colors in the negative afterimage (cf. flashing colors).

You can combine VisualAid with Meditaid to make meditation sessions involving visualization exercises. One way to do that would be to keep the forever loop and have a second script keep track of the total meditation time and stop everything when that time is up. Another would be to replace the forever block with a repeat () or repeat until () block. If you know the wait time is 30 seconds after showing the image and 30 after hiding it, then looping through that 30 times will take 30 minutes, so you can place the show, hide, and wait blocks inside of a repeat (30) block, which will loop through them 30 times.


In designing the triangle-in-hand, I used the “Hand Silhouette Clip Art” image.

  1. This image was inspired by one from Clint Marsh’s The Mentalist’s Handbook: An Explorer’s Guide to Astral, Spirit, and Psychic Worlds, p. 7.