How to View Stereograms|
Remembering that stereograms are created by placing dots on the computer screen
so that a 3D image appears to exist behind the screen, it should come as no surprise
to learn that the basic mechanism for viewing a stereogram is to focus your eyes
behind the image (behind the computer screen).
However, letting your eyes relax and focus behind an image is a skill that has to be
learned. Most folks can learn the trick, but some never quite get the knack. It took
me almost 6 months before I was able to learn the trick. The good new is that once you
learn it, it becomes very easy to repeat any time you want.
Teaching folks how to view stereograms is all about teaching them how to focus their
eyes beyond the computer screen. The following suggestions usually help:
The most common helpful hint for viewing stereograms is to focus on your reflection
in the computer screen. You may need to put a light beside the screen to help
create the refleciton.
Many stereograms are created with two dots near the bottom of the image. By letting
your eyes relax you can begin to see a third, floating dot between the two dots.
When you've gotten the third dot to appear, you should be able to see the 3D content
of when you shift your focus to the stereogram
Throughout most of the day your eyes are focussing on the objects you look at. This
involves focussing/converging both eyes on the same object. The closer the object is
to your nose, the move the eyes converge and you can feel the muscles in the eyes
contracting/straining to hold the focus.
Conversely, when you look at an object a long ways off, the eyes diverge (move apart).
This is the most relaxed position for the eyes and is the way in which you want to
view a stereogram - relaxing the eyes so that their focus is off in the distance. When
the distant focus is achieved, with the stereogram in front of the eyes, the 3D content
will be visible.
Note: Most stereograms can also be viewed by crossing your eyes - converging them to focus
as though looking at a very close object. If viewed in this way a stereogram will reverse
itself. Surfaces which look far away when viewed with a distant focus will look very close
when viewed with a very short focus distanced.