When I was growing up in the late eighties, early nineties; Magic Eye books were the rage. If you crossed your eyes or smashed your face against the page and drew back slowly, a 3-D image would appear, floating in space. It was great. There was always that one friend that couldn’t ever get it, which made it even more fun.
When we were in class Tuesday, discussing wallpaper patterns, I kept thinking about Magic Eye. I had to investigate if there was any relationship between what we were learning and the secret behind creating these crazy images.
The images in the book are autostereograms. There are different types but the one that is most like what we have been talking about is the wallpaper autostereogram.
Here are a few examples:
When you stare at the image with crossed eyes or from a wall angle, 3D images are revealed. It takes some time and practice but it’s pretty mind blowing when it happens the first time. As demonstrated by my dear friend, Markice:
It was great.
So basically, and without going into the physiology of the eye and brain, the repeating images create a pattern that establishes different visual planes. When viewed from wall-end view, the brain distinguishes between these different planes and certain parts of the image stick out or push in, giving a 2D image, a 3D perspective. Try it! You can see that a few of the images I posted show several of the characteristics we have discussed including reflection, translation, and rotation.