- Viewing Stereoscopes in 3D without the aid of a viewer -


The technique needed to view the 'stereoscope' pictures in perfect '3D' without the aid of a viewer is very similar to that used with the modern 'Magic-Eye' 3D pictures, which have recently been quite popular, and available in many shops.

Those who have had success in viewing these recent 'Magic Eye' pictures should not experience much difficulty in attaining the '3D' effect with these 'stereoscope' pictures. For those not familiar with this technique, here's how it's done:

The secret, in a nutshell, is to get your left eye looking at some point in the left-hand picture, while, at the same time, your right eye looks at the corresponding point in the right-hand picture (PARALLEL VIEWING): this is alien to normal viewing (where both eyes 'view' the same point at any one time), but the following instructions should enable you to achieve the effect (it can be difficult at first, but becomes quite easy with practice):

Do not look directly at the pictures, but through them: adjust your eyes as if you are trying to focus on something situated way in the distance. Keep your eyes relaxed. You should notice a tendency for the two images to 'come together' (See N.B: below) and merge. Slowly adjust your eyes such that the two pictures do merge (but you must not look directly at the pictures on your screen). At this point, you will see a central image, with a more vague one either side of it (three pictures in a row). Ignore the outer ones, and concentrate on the centre one, which should now appear in perfect 3D.

N.B: Try the technique on the '3D SAMPLE' picture at the bottom of this page: you will notice a tendency for the two DOTS at the top to 'come together'. Adjust your eyes so that the dots DO come together and merge: at this point, the picture beneath should appear in perfect 3D.

If you are having difficulty achieving the 3D effect, try these two techniques:

1. Look past the top, or side of your monitor, focusing your eyes on something across the other side of the room (or further beyond - i.e. if you are looking through a window). Now move your head so that your eyes are aiming towards the pictures on your screen, but concentrate on NOT adjusting your eyes to focus on the pictures themselves - imagine that you are still looking at the original, distant, object - through the screen: the 3D effect with the pictures should gradually appear.

2. Move your face close up to the screen, so that your nose touches the bottom centre of the picture pair. You cannot possibly focus your eyes on anything at this distance: don't even try, just allow your eyes to relax. Now slowly move your head away from the screen to the normal viewing distance, but concentrate on NOT adjusting your eyes to focus on anything: just keep them totally relaxed and 'un-aimed': the 3D effect with the pictures should gradually appear.

  • N.B: CROSS VIEWING:  It is possible to view the pictures in 3D by viewing them 'cross-eyed' (left eye looks at right picture, right eye looks at left picture); however, for this technique to give the proper effect, the left, and right, images would need to be reversed (move left image to right, and right image to left) (If you do not do this, distant objects appear close, while close objects appear distant - a very peculiar effect!). I find this viewing technique rather stressful on the eyes, but it does work on pictures much larger than are possible with the 'PARALLEL VIEWING' technique (described above).

  • N.B: These pictures are optimised to give best results in the 800 x 600 screen resolution mode (the effect is also quite good in 1025 x 768 mode), and on a 15" monitor. In 640 x 480 mode, however, or on a monitor larger than 15", the effect may be more difficult to achieve due to the increased size of the images. In a nutshell, the effect is fairly easy to attain providing that the total width of the picture pair does not exceed about 6" (the smaller the images, the easier it is to attain the effect!). If the width of the picture pair is greater than this, viewing from a little further away from your screen may help; or, if your monitor has a 'picture-width' adjustment, reducing the width of the picture will also help. Alternatively, you could download the images and use a graphics program to re-size them.

    With practice, the 3D effect can be achieved within a few seconds of looking at the pictures.

    Happy viewing!


    Imagine the picture is transparent - look 'through it' and focus your eyes on some imaginary distant object - you should notice the 2 dots appearing to 'come together' - when the dots DO merge, the picture will appear in perfect 3D!

    3D Sample Picture

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