# Can you see it?

Discussion in 'Main Forum' started by Prometheus, Jun 18, 2012.

1. ### PrometheusAdministratorStaff Member

I found some "stereographs" online that allow you to fool your brain into seeing 3-D images from 2 flat 2-D images. Here's an example:

It's just 2 side by side identical images with Blue, Red, and Yellow dots, right? Not quite... but you have to fool your eyes into not focusing on the plane of the screen to "see" that, because your brain is constantly busy trying to make sense of the world around us.

To see the 3-D image, you have to focus your eyes beyond the screen. You'll get double vision when you do that, which your brain will hate, but try to relax and not focus back on the screen. At first you'll see 4 red dots. Keep going until the middle two Red dots (of the 4) merge into one... and then magic happens.

You'll know when you've got it because you'll suddenly see the dots coming out of the screen at you with the Blue dot is behind the Red one, and the Yellow dot in front. The dots and the words will no longer be fuzzy but will be clear as well. Remember you brain is desperately uncomfortable when it cannot make sense of what it is seeing, so it "likes" making sense of it by perceiving it as a 3-D thing. You'll actually see 3 images, and only the middle one has any depth -- the ones on the far right and left are flat (and behind the middle image).

Cool, eh? Well, then try a more interesting one. This one is a 3-D picture of our stellar neighborhood -- that is, our sun and its several nearest stars:

This one is harder. If you have trouble, try backing away a bit or reducing the zoom. You should see that alpha Centari and Barnard's star (or 2 nearest star systems) are behind the sun, while Sirius and Procyon are in front of it. Cool, huh?

These were taking from an interesting astronomy site, called "Harry's Comparative Astronomy".

2. ### Dr MoocowzAdmin de BovinStaff Member

I tried and failed on both

3. ### PyklMember

ya no worky for me either.

4. ### PrometheusAdministratorStaff Member

Hmm... It does take a little practice controlling your eyes. Are you at least able to see a double image -- 2 of each dot?

It's mostly an exercise of staring off into space. If you relax your eyes and let them go out of focus, everything goes double. The trick is to get the middle two double images to merge into one. I have noticed if your head is tilted, you cannot get those two middle images to merged because one is above the other. They need to be side by side horizontally to merge.

I also noticed the bottom image is harder because if I just relax my eyes, the two middle images are still pretty far away from one another. At first I had to reduce the size of the image (by adjusting browser zoom), just to make it easier. But later I managed to do it at 100% magnificant.

The guy who made the images also posted some more detailed instructions on viewing them in 3D here. You could try following his instructions. It is pretty cool when you see it.

5. ### FauleMember

I tried this with a picture IRL of what's supposed to be Klingon birds of prey. 5 years and I never saw it.

6. ### PrometheusAdministratorStaff Member

I've noticed it is somewhat harder if you are too close to the screen, so backing off a bit might help. Also, you cannot tilt your head at all, or else the images don't merge.

If you just stare off into space and just pay attention to the word "Red" and the dot next to it, you get double vision that goes more or less like this:
Code:
       * Red                 * Red          * Red                 * Red
Only pay attention to the middle two,
Code:
                                 * Red          * Red
And just try to get those two to move closer together until they merge into one. When they merge, they it all comes into focus rather suddenly and you perceive depth. The image is sharp, and you see 3 copies of every dot rather that two or four. Also, the letters and dots _seem_ bigger, at least to me. Everything else on the page will be blurry, so don't look at the rest of the screen at all! Only look at the areas in black.

If your head is tilted, you get something like:
Code:
       * Red                 * Red
* Red                 * Red
That won't work. You need to tilt your head until they all line up horizontally and then focus on bringing the middle two together. But the biggest advice I have is completely tuning out everything but the middle of the image and just practicing letting your eyes relax. The top image is actually pretty easy, and I can do it pretty much instantly. The bottom one is much cooler but it takes me several seconds most the time to relax my eyes enough for it to work. For that one, I focus on making the two middle
Code:
                                * Sun                      *Sun
images merge into one, but they start off *much* farther apart than the red dots on the first image, so it is harder to merge the sun into one spot.

Not sure if that helps at all, but hopefully....