Before you learn how to view stereograms, you’ll of course want to know what stereograms are.
Stereograms are pictures, which are seemingly only a sequence or loop of certain images, but when you view them with the proper technique you can see hidden 3D images in them! Below is an easy example:
The Technique (for viewing)
The technique behind stereograms is explained below, here I’ll just tell you how to exercise viewing stereograms. All you need to do is practice and practice until you’ve finally seen your first 3D image in a stereogram, and then all the other stereograms will be easy for you. Some people can already easily use the technique, some will have to train, but after a maximum of 30 minutes anyone should get it. Here it is:
- Look at the stereogram, at a certain point in the center. Relax yourself and your eyes.
- Now pretend you’re looking through the stereogram. I know this sounds weird, but it basically means: look at the center of the stereogram, but don’t focus on it. If you can’t do that, try to cross your eyes (better known as: squinting). There’s an exercise below for training this way of looking!
- Just keep looking at the stereogram without focusing, and slowly a 3D image will start to appear, and that’s when you know you did it!
So, how to practice this weird way of looking at something without focusing? Below you’ll find an image, with basically two of the exact same images next to each other. What you have to do is cross your eyes (or in other words: try to look at the left picture with your right eye and the right one with your left eye) until the 2 images start to become 3. Now, focus on the middle one of those three (while still crossing your eyes of course), and with a few times practice you should see a perfectly sharp 3D image in the middle. If you succeeded, you can try tilting or moving your head a little while still maintaining that view, so you will really see it’s 3D
The Technique (behind Stereograms)
So, why is it that you can suddenly see a 3D image in an image full of other random images, by just crossing your eyes? What a stereogram does, is really more or less an advanced application of the stereoscopic render you see above. It also uses the same mechanism as viewing a 3D movie with those red-blue 3D glasses*. It basically puts the hidden 3D image on both the left and right side of the stereogram, while making the left one a little bit different from the right one, so that when you view the stereogram in a normal way your brain doesn’t see the image, but when you view it cross-eyed you connect the left and right side of the 3D image and therefore start seeing depth in the image!
*With red-blue 3D glasses, we take a picture, we make it blue and red, and then move the blue one a little bit to the left, and the red one a little bit to the right, so that both eyes see a different part of the image, which will be connected in your mind as if it were 3D.
Now let’s view some stereograms!
Once you’ve achieved perfect stereogram-viewing-technique, you can visit our page full of stereograms to see what they can do! Visit our stereograms page