Stereograms

Stereograms

…and no they are not like stripper-grams!

Some of you may know I once planned to become an optician…well I decided it wasn’t for me but thats not to say I am not still interested in perception, vision and optical illusions.

One of these perception tricks is 3D. Here are a few photos that show a funky type of stereoscopic vision.

Wigglegram example. A type of stereogram

Wigglegram example. A type of stereogram

Wigglegram example. A type of stereogram

Traditionally stereograms are photographs taken slightly apart from one another at exactly the same time, as our eyes would do. Then the left photograph would be presented to the left eye and the right photograph presented to the right image with each eye occluded from seeing the other eyes image. Our brains see the two images and merge them together to see a three dimensional image using different visual clues within the images and differences between the two.

One of the ways our brains do it is that objects viewed far away in each eye don’t appear to have much movement when you swap between them however objects close to you move a lot more. You can see what I mean if you hold your finger up in front of your nose and focus in to the distance now close one eye at a time your finger will jump a lot when you change eyes. Extend your arm and repeat still focusing in the distance…it will jump around a lot less.

The stereograms above are examples of a different type of stereogram called Wiggle-grams which flips between the two images rapidly. What interests me is that the stereo images are not separated in space as normally would be but in these type of stereograms are separated in time. The brain still reads three dimensional information from this.

Even if you don’t appreciate the science behind it you have to agree they look pretty cool.

Here is a website that tell you how to make them yourself and here is a website with more examples.

There are a few old stereogram cameras and examples to see at The National Media Museum (formally the National Museum of Photography Film and Television) in Bradford, Yorkshire.

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  1. October 27, 2007 at 12:35 am

    excellent blog space about the wiggle o grams i might want to experiment with that someday, perhaps even it could even be intergrated into films or videos flickering abababcdcdcdfgfgfgfg or ababbcbccdcddedeefeffgfg and so on… thanx for posting, i live in montreal yoU?

  2. October 27, 2007 at 12:58 am

    Hi Alex,

    I’m from England…in fact Bradford which boasts the National Media Museum, containing many examples of Stereograms in its public archive.

  3. March 19, 2010 at 6:26 am

    @alex hurts me: I had the same idea. I haven’t finished it yet, but I have taken some stereo-videos and I wrote a flash app that will flip between two images on an interval. The next step is to have it do similar to what you describe: ababcbcdcdedefefgfgh etc…
    http://blakebarrett.net/flipper/flipper.html
    I also wrote an application to line up stereo images and save off stereo-pairs:
    http://code.google.com/p/stereogram-studio

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