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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
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!
If you know of a good site that could be added, or have a comment about this site, or just want to say 'hi', please email John.
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