Stereoscopic cross view photos can be viewed in three dimension (3D) without special glasses. Most people can learn how to view a cross view photo in just a few minutes.
How does it work?
If you hold a pencil about 10 inches in front of your face and look at the eraser, you are slightly crossing your eyes as compared to, say for example looking at a lamp on a table. This isn't dangerous, people look at things up close all of the time. You will notice that when you look at an eraser and focus on it that things in the background will be blurred and doubled in much the same way the photo below demonstrates.
When you stop looking at the pencil eraser and look at the lamp your
eyes un-cross and refocus and you see one lamp. Your brain actually
merges the image from each eye into a single three dimensional picture. Our brains are pretty amazing.
Stereoscopic cross viewing exploits the ability to slightly cross your eyes when looking at things up close. The tricky part is learning to re-focus your eyes farther away while keeping your eyes slightly crossed as they were when viewing the pencil eraser.
To help you do that we put a black border between two images. A left eye image and a right eye image that your brain merges together as a single stereoscopic image. We take these two images with two matched high-end digital slr cameras spaced eye distance apart.
Hold a pencil up close and look at the eraser. See how the background doubles? This is the key to being able to see 3D without special glasses.
Let's start again with the pencil looking at
one of our cross view stereoscopic images.
We will show you the actual cross view stereoscopic image in a minute, but first we will explain the process in a bit more detail. The photo at right shows what it will look like when you look at a pencil eraser held inbetween your eyes and our image (roughly).
If you start with the pencil too close you will see 4 images, to far and you will see 3 images but the middle image will be smaller than the left and right one as shown at right. Again, the photo shown at right assumes the pencil is a bit too far from your eyes. Note that if you are looking at the eraser, the photo will be blurry as it is depicted. The arrows show that the middle image is narrower than the other images.
The image at right shows what it will look like when you slowly move the pencil closer to your eyes. Do this until the middle image is the same size as the left and right images.
In the example at right we made the middle image have more color to illustrate clearly that there are three images. In reality, all images will have the same amount of color.
This step is critical because the middle image must be the exact same size as the left and right image for your brain to be able to recognize it as something it can focus to as a single image. In essence, you will be tricking your brain with the next step. As you look at the pencil eraser be relaxed and look at the eraser naturally. Simply be aware of the out of focus images in the background.
Now for the fun part!
Slowly remove the pencil and look at the middle picture. This is the magic part because your brain will recognize the middle picture as what you normally see in reality. It will fuse the left eye and right eye image into a stereoscopic 3D view.
Don't worry if you don't get it the first time, you are afterall tricking your brain and that's not something you normally do on purpose. The problem people have is that they uncross their eyes or they over cross them and the brain doesn't recognize the middle image. For it to work, you have to proceed slowly, relaxed and let it happen naturally. When your brain recognizes it - it truly is magical because you suddenly see in sharp detail a three dimensional image in perfect clarity.
If it doesn't happen right away, take a break and come back to it later. Over crossing your eyes for a long period of time will give you a headache (like staring at the tip of your nose).
All three images must be the same size to be able to trick your brain.
Ok, shall we try it for real now? A cross view photo is below. Give it a try.
If you are still having trouble, move back from the monitor a little more and try again or: [click here]
So, how did you do? Please email us and let us know at: news@2eyePhotography.com Hopefully, we can make this tutorial effective at teaching people how to be able to view in 3D cross view. Once you learn to do it, you not only can look at our photos but you can look at hundreds of cross view photos on the internet at sites like www.Flickr.com. Sadly, there are a few people who can't do it (or give up trying). They just have to wait until they can view an Almont Green autostereoscopic photo that doesn't require glasses or crossed eyes.
Ok, assuming you were able to see the above image in 3D with the girl obviously standing in front of a door did you also notice how her arms had shape and depth? You could tell how far in front of the door she was. The level of detail that you can determine from a stereoscopic photo is orders of magnitude greater than with a standard flat photo. Indeed, it is possible to use stereoscopic images to create 3 dimensional models with accurate proportions. It is in essence a life-like representation. The bigger the 3D image the closer to life size you get and with a big enough 3D stereoscopic image you are looking at simulated reality with all of its depth and detail. It is a true snapshot of reality at that moment.
Stereoscopic 3D is now more than just a fad or curiosity. It can provide a new perspective and enhance memories and details that a flat photo simply can't. The new multi-dimensional photos from Almont Green make viewing 3D as easy as viewing any photo. Viewing images in cross-view helps you get an idea of what they look like.
Try again with this simple illustration. Use the pencil or just cross your eyes until you see three white rectangles with three black circles. All need to be the same size. If you are using a pencil, slowly move the pencil toward the image and away from the image keeping your focus on the pencil and being aware of the blurred background. Adjust the pencil until you see three equal size black circles. Work on that first a few times.
Once you have that mastered, then slowly become aware of the middle circle and slowly let it come into focus. When it comes into focus you will suddenly see the white dot jump into the screen as if by magic. Practice this a few times and then gradually switch to the image below.
Once you have mastered this, go back and try it with the bigger color image. It might help to move back from the monitor a little more as this reduces the amount you have to cross your eyes.
To go back to the bigger image, click here to return: [click here].
WARNING: While I know of no risk associated with viewing cross view photos, you do so at your own risk. Many thousands of people can do it, but your experience might be different and all risks associated with the following examples are yours and yours alone.