Stereograms-Wonders of Visual Perception

Autostereogram generator based partly on my old HidImg stereogram generator from the early 90's...

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Site last modified: 2015-Apr-25



Here is one of my old, but now newly-updated stereogram programs, HIDIMG Java - Hidden Image in Java
It generates Auto-Stereograms using the Java 2 programming language.



The various command buttons are:
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Hidden:  Hide the Picture as an auto-sterogram
Visible: Show the Picture as a gray-scale topographic map
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RTL: Quick 'n Dirty Right-to-Left algorithm
RTL-Inv: Quick 'n Dirty Right-to-Left algorithm, picture inverted
LTR: Quick 'n Dirty Left-to-Right
LTR-Inv: Quick 'n Dirty Left-to-Right, picture inverted
Symm1: A type of symmetric algorithm which more accurately represents the height data
Symm2: Same algorithm with x2 oversampling - a little smoother image, usually
Symm4: Same algorithm with x4 oversampling - much smoother image, reduces the "stairsteps" significantly
Symm8: Same algorithm with x8 oversampling - might take a while to generate
Symm16: Same algorithm with x16 oversampling - only if you need a coffee break
Symm32: Same algorithm with x32 oversampling - hey, I tried to warn you...
Symmxx-Inv: The inverted picture
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Dots,Bands,Plasma,Test: All various pattern overlays to hide the image with
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Black Hole, Cake Pan, etc.: various pictures to make into stereograms
Word: You can change the word to whatever you want and then select Word type, short words work better
Kryptos, EllipsoidTransparent: These seem to work better with the RTL and LTR algorithms 

I wrote my original  HIDIMG autostereogram program back in college (~early 90's).  It was called HIDIMG, meaning Hidden Image. I got it up to version HidImg v3.0
It is still available on some of the legacy DOS ftp-sites in the Graphics section (try SimTel or a mirror site).
While the DOS program usually doesn't run on anything anymore, there is a lot of documentation and info on how stereograms work.
Meanwhile, I am slowly getting the program converted over to Java 2 so it should run for anyone who downloads the Java Machine for their browser.
Also, you might find more info and images here:
3D & SIRDS images
Stereograms (excellent info source)
Gary & Peter's Mother of all Sirds Links List
MagicEye.com
3d Stereograms - eyetricks.com
3d Stereograms - SoftSource.com
3d Stereogram Examples
Color Stereo Stereograms
TechMind.org - Andrew Steer's Stereogram pages

Technically, these are auto-stereograms or Single-Image Stereograms (SIS), as opposed to the original dual-image stereograms.
If you use the random dot overlay patterns, they are known as SIRDS - Single-Image, Random Dot, Stereograms.
Auto-Stereograms are created using special algorithms that change the structure of an overlaying image according to the topographic information of the underlying image.  The idea is to use a repeating pattern, with slight modifications where there is to be perceived height or depth. This is sometimes called the "wall-paper effect".

The principle can be understood with the following procedure.
Look at a distant object while holding 1 finger in front of your face.
You should see 1 "solid" image of the background, and 2 "partially transparent" fingers.
Now, without moving, change your visual focus to the finger.
The 2 "partial" fingers will merge.
You should now see 1 "solid" finger in front of a double "partially transparent" background.
Return your focus to the background.
Now, try to concentrate on just one finger while still focusing on the background.
With sufficient concentration, you can vary the "transparent-ness" of one finger with respect to the other.
By practicing this change of focus and eye info %, you can get to where stereograms just jump out at you with very little effort.

Unfortunately, there are some people who physically cannot see these kinds of sterograms:
If you have one eye that is significantly stronger than the other (one eye sends ~70%+ of the information), or if you have astigmatism, you might not be able to see them.
The effect requires two eyes of approximately equal strength (meaning that each eye is sending ~50% of the information).
You must hold your head level with the picture, and "look through" the picture, as if you are looking at something more distant.
To those who can't see them -- don't worry, it's just a big conspiracy anyway, try my fractal program instead.  ;-)
To those who can -- have fun!



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The Science Realm: John's Virtual Sci-Tech Universe
John's Science & Math Stuff: | About John | Send email to John
4-Vectors | Ambigrams | Antipodes | Covert Ops Fragments | Cyrillic Projector | Forced Induction (Sums Of Powers Of Integers) | Fractals | Frontiers |
JavaScript Graphics | Kid Science | Kryptos | Photography | Prime Sieve | QM from SR | QM from SR-Simple RoadMap | Quantum Phase | Quotes |
RuneQuest Cipher Challenge | Scientific Calculator | Secret Codes & Ciphers | Science+Math | Sci-Pan Pantheist Poems | Stereograms | Turkish Grammar |

Quantum Mechanics is derivable from Special Relativity
See QM from SR-Simple RoadMap