You know what’s cool? 3D images. You know what is also really cool? Illusions. Like the ones we had in the children’s magazines when we were kids. That was probably the highlight of my endless poring over those magazines, and they have a huge role to play in my interest in visual illusions.
To that end, cross view is perhaps one of the most magical illusions ever, and I am not exaggerating! Cross view is, basically, an illusion which allows you to see 3D pictures without using 3D glasses. How great is that!
The most common way of viewing stereoscopic images (which is what these are) is through glasses; another method is “freeviewing”, which is what we will work with here. Freeviewing is mainly of two types: parallel view and cross-eyed view or cross view.
Cross-eyed viewing involves two very similar pictures placed next to one another, with some kind of a line or border dividing them; the left and right-eye images are then swapped in order so that they can be viewed correctly. When you “un-focus” your eyes by crossing them and letting the images spread out, the same image will manifest, much larger and more pronounced, and also in 3D!
Warning: If you have any known problems in your eye muscles, please do not attempt this; it might further weaken them or escalate the problem. Also, make sure you don’t over-exert your eyes.
And because this explanation is nothing short of vague, here is a step-by-step tutorial that will help you see in 3D (believe me, you need the tutorial; the process is slightly tedious, but so worth it!):
1. Keep the image in the centre of your vision; make sure it is perfectly horizontal.
2. Cross your eyes; a third image will appear in the middle. This resultant third image is the two images merged into 3D. If you start seeing four images instead of three, relax your eyes.
3. Be patient (be very, very patient).
4. If you follow the three aforementioned points duly, you will see that the central image you were focusing on will become a 3D image. It’s magic!
It will strain your eyes a little, but that becomes irrelevant in the face of the sheer beauty of the 3D picture you will see.
Things you should keep in mind:
- A large image could strain the eyes; with a smaller image, you will need to cross your eyes less.
- If one image seems above the other, tilting your head a little to be aligned with the image will help.
- Avoid glare on the screen.
With a bit of practice, you should be able to view 3D cross view images with ease, and focus on them in a matter of seconds. Check out the following pictures; they make for pretty good practice.