How to view stereograms
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A Stereogram is an optical illusion of depth created from a flat, two-dimensional image or images (wikipedia.org). Our website is dedicated mostly to Single Image Stereograms, also known as Autostereograms. We'll be calling them just Stereograms.
A Single Image Stereogram is a two dimensional image with a hidden illusion of depth, which could be observed (seen, revealed) by viewing them in a special way.
A stereogram usually consists of repetitive patterns or objects. When you diverge (look through) or cross (look in front of) your eyes, the patterns or objects overlap, and that develops the hidden depth.
Classification by viewing method:
A Parallel Stereogram requires you to diverge your eyes or to look through the image, in order to see hidden depth. The hidden image will appear behind the picture you are looking through.
Crosseyed Stereogram requires you to converge your eyes or to look in front of the image, in order to see hidden depth. The hidden image will appear in front of the picture you are looking through.
Parallel stereograms are more common then cross-eyed ones, and they both have pros and cons. Some people say that cross-eyed stereograms are difficult to view and they cause more eyestrain. On the other hand parallel stereograms have a limitation on pattern width (parallax) which makes it difficult to design large parallel posters.
If a cross-eyed stereogram is looked at with the parallel method and visa versa, a parallel stereogram is looked at with the cross-eyed method, they both will have inversed depth, the hidden image will be inside-out.
All the types could be combined in one stereogram to achieve various effects such as transparency, layers of depth, 3D ornaments, etc. Most common are Patterned Stereograms, 2D/3D Floaters and their combinations.
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