The 3-D Graphics Revolution of 1859—and How to See in Stereo on Your iPhone

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Stereo View Slide Show
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Wade Roush is the producer and host of the podcast Soonish and a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @soonishpodcast

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  • Try using this tinyurl. MUCH easier to type.

  • habbi

    woah! great!

    I just installed the app and suscribed to the rss feed. you guys try it, is really not that hard to see in 3D; the images just pop out and your brain does the rest by adjusting the focus.

  • Ethan

    It’s worth noting that all these fabulous stereograms are designed for parallel viewing, while the guide given here teaches cross-viewing.
    For best (ie., non-inverted) results, I’d advise people to learn to parallel view, which I personally find is a lot easier than cross-viewing.

  • Anonymous Coward

    Along with travel and uplifting moral tales came the inevitable pr0n … racy pictures of bordello beauties were common subjects, as were “classical” scenes of nymphs, and the softcore harem scenes.

  • Nice, here’s one from the Apollo moon missions:

  • Personally I find cross eyed easier than wall eyed. Of course I had to teach myself wall eye for those random dot stereograms (and simple image stereograms) that were all the rage 10 years ago.

    However why not produce pictures for both by swapping the order of the two images. Infact this could be done no brainer in software. Or have 3 images, by repeating one of them, so you could simply chose to go wall eyed or cross eyed by covering either the very left or very right image… whichever is easier depending on your DNA :-)

    I thought that the problem with wall eyed is that you cannot make your eyes point outward, only parallel, so the distance between images *MUST* be the same as the width of your eyes. Which is not very big compared to most images today.

  • A Johnstone

    I think there is huge potential for free-view video, either collected footage or computer generated.

    During this last year I met a guy working with VR equipment. He had created a program that generated parallel views of a 3D environment. I tried the cross focus on the two 17 inch computer monitors and it worked! Not only did the two massive images combine, but it wasn’t a problem to remain focused, even when I was looking around the environment using a 3D mouse.

    I really like this DIY approach to 3D, hopefully we’ll see some projects using this in the future.

  • RoverDaddy

    Great! Now I can place ‘ViewMaster’ on the list of gadgets replaced by my iPhone! ;)

  • You may be surprised to know that there are many people involved in producing modern day stereoviews. Some are as good or better than the best photographers of yesteryear. Look up the National Stereoscopic Association .

  • Vernon Davis

    To use the cross-eye approach, hold the iPhone an arm’s length away and cross your eyes until you see 3 images; the one in the center will be the 3D image and will be the brightest.

  • Most of my baby pictures were taken with a Kodak stereo camera. Mr. Bubble never looked so good…

    fyi, I flicked to your wonderful article at the end of this post:


  • steve

    Nice, but it would be better if the images were switched for cross eye viewing. Cross eye viewing is superior in many ways… First, it is a better technique to know; you can view much larger images (with parallel viewing, images can NOT be much bigger than the distance between your pupils). It is also much easier to learn the cross eye technique by looking at your finger in front of the screen and moving it towards and away from the screen until you see three images instead of 2 or 4. You get a real object to focus on until it becomes natural (only takes minutes before you no longer need your finger). With parallel view you have to try to focus beyond the image (not a natural thing for eyes to do).

    Using my I phone, I have taken great looking stereo images and with the cross eye method can display them on my tv. This would be impossible with parallel view. To do this you must have an object/person that/who will be very still. Just hold the phone slightly to the right of your head, take a picture, then take another picture from the left side of your head. Only move the phone/camera horizontally. Any vertical movement will make it harder to view. Find those 2 pictures on your phone. If they are listed on the same row on your phone, just cross your eyes and you can see it in 3d right there without opening the images. To make the images printable or viewable elsewhere just use MS Paint or photoshop to copy and paste the second image to the right of the first image. The picture you took from the right side always goes on the left, otherwise you have to parallel view it and it has to be small.

  • Just was wondering what kind of money I could get out of a Monarch 1904 PAT. stereograph with about 50 viewing cards? I came across one from my wife’s aunt.