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Basic 3D Viewing Terms

3D VIEWING: Plain English: looking at a 3D picture with depth perception and watching something pop out in 3D. Technical English: the act of viewing a 3D image with both eyes in order to experience stereoscopic vision and binocular depth perception.

FREE VIEWING: Viewing 3D stereo images with the naked eye, without the aid of any special 3D technology such as stereoscopes, red/green glasses, polarized lenses, or virtual reality (VR) equipment.

STEREO: There's more to stereo than two speakers and a sound machine! According to Webster's dictionary, stereo comes from the Greek stereos for hard, firm or solid and it means combining form, solid, three-dimensional. With stereo sound or stereo vision, TWO inputs combine to create ONE unified perception of THREE dimensional space.

STEREO VISION or STEREOSCOPIC VISION:Two eye views combine in the brain to create the visual perception of one three-dimensional image. See the illustrated page on Stereo Vision and test yourself with The Framing Game.

BINOCULAR:Of or involving both eyes at once

BINOCULAR DEPTH PERCEPTION or STEREOSCOPIC DEPTH PERCEPTION:a visual skill that allows you to accurately judge relative distances between objects and perceive three dimensional space. This is what you're playing with when you 3D view! The first computer generated stereogram was invented by a vision scientist in 1960 specifically to test binocular depth perception. You don't have to have perfect binocular depth perception to see Magic Eye stereograms or other 3D illusions, but you've got to have some.



CROSS-VIEWING or CROSS-EYED VIEWING:a free viewing technique in which the lines of sight of the two eyes aim and meet at a point in front of the 3D image; the lines of sight of the eyes CROSS in front of the image.



PARALLEL-VIEWING OR THE PARALLEL METHOD:a free viewing technique in which the lines of sight of the two eyes aim and meet at a point beyond and behind the 3D image; the eyes move outward (away from the nose) toward PARALLEL lines of sight. (NOTE: you view all Magic Eyes stereograms with the Parallel Method!)

THERAPEUTIC 3D VIEWING: (used in vision training, vision therapy, orthoptic therapy, behaviorial optometry or developmental optometry): 3D viewing for the sake of improving important visual skills such eye teaming, binocular coordination and depth perception. Find out more about how stereo 3D images are used to improve vision.

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Magic Eye How to See 3D copyright © 1995; Out-of-Print
by Magic Eye, Inc. and Rachel Cooper, Advocate of Vision Therapy Eye Exercises for Lazy Eye.
All other images and text: copyright © 1996- by Rachel Cooper. All rights reserved.