Church Stereogram Optical Illusion

Sad but funny comment appeared in one of our Stereogram posts the other day that made me think. One person said that he/she only has one eye, and asked us how to view stereograms. I felt sorry for the person, even though I got feeling the commentator’s intention was only to leave funny comment. If the situation was true, this wouldn’t be so funny, but then again among these 14 million people that visited the site till now, surely some had to be disabled in this way. This should make us grateful for our health and good things in life we aren’t normally even aware of.

Antonio Solorio Cendejas sent in this stereogram recently. These are his words: “Hello! I Think your website is great. I visit it every time I have a chance, but this is the first time I have submit an illusion. Maybe this illusion is not very amazing, I have seen many stereograms in this site, but this is special for me. I am Mexican, and this stereogram is an image of the center and the cathedral of Puerto Vallarta, I hope you enjoy it. P.S.: I apologize if my English is not very good.”

66 Replies to “Church Stereogram Optical Illusion”

  1. I love stereograms! What you do to view them (I was pondering this as I saw this picture, but I figured it out because I used to read a lot about eyes and how we see 3-d, and all that kind of stuff) is you cross your eyes and sort of try and see the two separate images, and try and fit them together as sort of a mix. Eventually, it will sort of come to you. It might be a little clearer if I tell you guys the science behind it. You see, your eyes each see two different images that are slightly different, and your brain basically places these to images together to form a single image. These stereogram images are actually two images taken from the exact distance of your two eyes. Otherwise, we would see sort of a “false depth”. Try to figure out how to view these yourselves. It’s kind of hard for me to give instructions, so I thought that it would be better if I just gave you guys the theory behind it all, and also how it works.

  2. Well, you see, these are NOT the same pics. The camera took the picture from slightly different angles, which simulated the difference in length between our eyes.

  3. Good explination, Black Mamba. To see the image as it’s intended, click on the image to enlarge it and remove the surrounding junk. Then sit perfectly square to your monitor and slowly cross your eyes while trying to focus on the image. Without crossing your eyes there are two images (obviously) and once you start crossing them two images become four. Keep crossing them until the two center images become one then focus on that one. It helps to tilt (not turn) your head left to right to better align the images. If you have problems, try holding the two “center” images directly over one another and slowly start focusing on a certain feature in the image. On a side note, everyone i’ve known who has been cross-eyed as a child is unable to see stereograms. If you have depth-perception problems, you will unlikely be able to see them as well. Hope this helps!

    1. Unfortunately you can’t get the images to line up as you cross your eyes. The problem is that as you do so they start to counter-rotate relative to the other (the image from one eye starts rotating clockwise, and the other counter-clockwise). To make this work you’d have to start them rotated so that the eyes offset the rotation, or do what the kids toy does and just physically display separate pictures to each eye.

  4. You have to look at it cross-eyed… it could take a little while to overlap the two images. But then you’ll see amazing depth!

  5. Altthoug I have two eyes, having one near-blind eye makes me unable to see these kind of 3D things.

    As long as you don’t start showing these kind of thinge every other day, I don’t care you present an illusion I can’t see.

  6. also stereograms are soooo sooo cool if can do it right. it takes me about 30 seconds to get my eyes to cross the images and focus on them at the same time. it looks 3D for real. its really awesome.

  7. Yes there is ment to be 2. the idea is not to go cross eyed but to go the opposite to cross eyed. by doing this your left eye will see the left picture, and your right will see the right.

    black mamba was right in saying that your eyes see 2 pictures and that is exactly what you are trying to copy here.

    try looking behind the picture until a third 3d image appears in the middle.

    i do have to say that the wider the image the harder it gets.

    There are others on here that are easier to sart with….

  8. Vurdlak – It’s nice of you to feel sorry for the one-eyed web-visitor.

    With that in mind, why put up an illusion that needs two eyes?

    Why not post an illusion that works in ‘mono’?


  9. You see two photos, but you have to concentrate, mix your eyes, I mean, like if you want to look at your nose whith both eyes. Then you’ll see one image in 3D (more or less). You just have to train your eyes and then you’ll see all the stereograms.

  10. Cool! Love this one, looks really good when you get there.

    All you need to do is look at the image, then slowly cross your eyes until the two images come together in the middle and merge into one. The image you then see is in 3D and looks cool.

  11. You need to go cross-eyed so that the two images overlap in the centre. This gives you the same effect as 3D specs used to.

    Your brain thinks it s viewing a 3D image.

    If you look at the pictures, they are the same thing from very slightly different angles – as if one picture taken from your right eye, and the other from your left.

    Hope this helps.

  12. I tried crossing my eyes as BLACK MAMBA suggested, but all i got is a headache. I just can’t see what this stereotype image is all about.

  13. I can see that there is a very subtle difference between the two pictures. But other than that, i don’t know where to go from here. What am i missing?

  14. i didn’t get it either, i tried to cross my eyes, and i can’t do it without placing a finger over my nose, but then i was looking at my finger not at the illusion itself… i think it needs more explanation on how to view this

  15. I find it easier to see these by crossing my eyes and lining up the resultant images so they overlap exactly in the middle. Incidentally, this technique also works well for spot the difference puzzles! The differences sort of flicker and are easy to spot.

  16. I love these. When I was very small, I used to lie in my bed and stare at the wallpaper (no Wii in those days!). Because the pattern repeated, eventually my eyes would shift and the patterns would merge, and it looked as if the wallpaper image was a few inches away from my face. I spent many a happy bedtime in the summer when it was still light making sterograms!!!

  17. Very cool. However, I had to c&p it to paint and make it more narrow, it was too large for me to work the images together. (My office space is not very deep either.) I suggest backing up several feet from your screen or c&p it somewhere where you can make it a bit smaller.

  18. To above:

    It is a stereogram and if you can get the two images to ‘merge’ together thehn you see an image in 3D. Very much like the ‘magic eye’ pictures you see around the place. Google it.

  19. I am usually very good at viewing stereogram images, and couldn’t figure out why this one wasn’t appearing correctly to me. The depths seemed reversed, i.e. far away objects appear closer than close objects. And then I realized why. I learned to view stereograms by diverging my eyes (focusing beyond the image), which is the correct way. But the left and right images here are on the wrong sides, so it only works by crossing your eyes (focusing on a point between you and the image), which is harder to do and more uncomfortable. Once I reversed the order of the images in my paint program, I was able to see it correctly.

  20. ok i always struggle to see these. so i’m not really sure what i’m seeing is right or not. but if the science behind it is to see each of the pictures separately with each of your eyes…then instead of changing your focus or crossing your eyes can’t we place a divider (like a card or something) along the middle line and then place your forehead up against it…so that you see only the left image with your left eye and the right one with your right eye. i tried it and “something” happened…i’m not really sure if that’s the supposed thing to happen…
    if someone could verify or tell me it’s not possible then i’ll get back to figuring out how to see these lol

  21. I could not see this after trying several crossing/uncrossing/looking behid etc.

    Eventually when the image was fuzzy I pulled the side of my eyes outward with my hands and it instantly appeared.

    Hope it helps ;-) … CE

  22. i love magic eye, and these are even cooler. nice! i wont bother putting up my explanation of how to do it, if you cant with the others you just have to keep trying if you’ve never seen these before.

  23. Most stereograms are viewed with the parallel technique. This one takes a cross-eyed approach, otherwise the image will appear inverted 3D. The best way I know to do cross-eyes is to hold your fingertip or a pen tip about halfway between your eyes & the images. Focus on this tip sharply. As your looking at the tip, the background images should form a 3rd “middle” image in 3D. Good luck! =^.,.^=

  24. It is impossible to do stereograms when drunk or stoned aparently. It disables the part of the brain responsible for depth perception, thats why you see blurry when drunk. Interesting.

  25. It took me a while to see it, but it’s a very cool picture. I wish it would be bigger and there would be two black dots under the pic to find the fixing point better.
    but thanx for this cool pic!

  26. i was born blind in one eye, and only see from one eye. i sometimes wonder what people with two eyes actually see, its quite strange. i dont miss it though, i cant miss something i never had :p though i just live normally and have no problems i just cant see much left like i can see right, if i look to my left i see my nose

  27. Sorry, but I couldn’t avoid to add a comment:
    y-man, maybe there is an option than you could try to see a stereogram, but maybe is too complex and even expensive: in this picture, the left picture was taken about two seconds after the right picture; then, in Paint, I put together the two images. But there is a easier method: there exists “special” accessories for the professional photographic cameras, that splits the optical image into two different pictures. This allows take a single picture instead two, and doesn’t need put both together after it. Maybe if a single eye uses that accessory, the brain could put together the images, as it does with the images from the two eyes. I’m not 100% sure if this could work, but I can’t think in anything else.
    ASC, México.

  28. To editor: cross-eyed stereograms (can’t remember correct term) are better viewed when there is a space between them. Cross-eyed images are not affected by distance like parallels are.

    Also for the tip about finger pen… it’s not quite fleshed out. The idea behind it is if you focus on the picture, your finger/thumb/pen should split into two images. Move pen back and forth between you and screen until the 2 images line up in the center. Then, focus on your pen/thumb. This is the degree to which your eyes must be crossed. Now the tricky part… changing the depth of your focus without changing the degree to which your eyes are crossed. (When focusing on your thumb, you should be able to see three blurry images behind it. Remove your thumb from line of sight and refocus on the center image.) This may take some attempts but once you get it once, it will be forever easy.

  29. There must be something wrong with my eyes!
    When I cross them I just see two blurred visions of both pictures, what am I suppose to see??

  30. wow it’s a bit like a magic eye illusion…

    first time i’ve seen a stereogram, as it was intended thanks to the kind comments on this blog !

  31. This stereogram also has the two images the wrong way round.

    Not convinced?

    Put either hand in front of your face with the thumb nearest your eyes. You can see the left side of your hand more with your left eye, and the right side more with the right eye.

    Now look at the lamp post on the right pic. It shows a person. Only the LEFT eye would see this! So the images need to be swapped around to be viewed in 3D.

    The pigeon one was correct.

  32. Unlike most people, crossing my eyes(even slowly) makes the image a hell of alot worse…

    Instead, with stereograms i look “through” the images (as if looking at something far away) and try to get them together that way.

    Sometimes it doesn’t work (if the images are too big, or such) but on the whole it works fine.

  33. The “looking-through” method won’t work with this one. This picture is a little too big to get the two parts together. Each width should not be more than 4,5 cm (130-140 px). And you must look quite close.
    Also they should change places!!! That means the left picture should be seen with the right eye and vice versa. Otherwise the far parts get to front an vice versa. Unless this weird effect is meant to be…
    But crossing eyes (really just a little) gives here the right impression; right eye focus on left picture. And it is in fact easy too – you may need some training first. The picture size or distance is no problem either!
    Good luck. It is a beautiful picture. And creating 3D-effects is fun, I have done some drawings (“cartoons”) like that.

  34. A comment about one-eyed people and 3D seeing.
    It’s impossible to see in stereo with one eye! Stereo means space, 3 dimensions. One eye only sees two dimensions, height and width. But with a second eye placed a little bit away, the both eyes’ different viewpoints make it possible to get the depth too. They see more than a flat image from the front, they see a bit “round the corner”. And this is important to estimate distances, regardless the size of objects.
    Example: One eye sees two people of same size, and thus thinks they stand on the same distance. Two eyes see that they stand in different places and that the guy in the far actually is taller. Or if the one eye sees a big person and a little one, it thinks the big is closer. Two eyes see they are on same distance and get a correct perception of their size difference. Also the both eyes must look in the same direction for the stereo effect – humans, cats, owls etc. Animals with one eye on each side of the head – rabbits, gazelles – have no real stereo sight, more like to monos. But they can see all around themselves, also much behind. Very useful when a “front-eyed” predator comes from the backside.
    A chameleon has both advantages. It turns its eyes separately in any direction needed to check up the surroundings, and then focusing both eyes exactly on a certain object – the prey.
    One-eyed people of course learn to estimate distances by knowing a lot of facts about the size of different objects. And they can move the head to look from different directions, and many animals do so aswell. All this goes for (stereo) hearing too! Just think how you do when trying to find out where a noise is coming from…
    And crossing eyes again: it’s no more difficult than looking at your finger maybe 20 cm away. Normally you should see even 5 cm close.

  35. This one is not possible, not when 2 pictures are side by side, the distance is just too great. Most of the stereograms have pictures that overlap at some point with varing distances at certain points to give the effect of various depths. Maybe if i has some tequila.

    1. It IS possible! Once you get it in focus it’s beautiful!You have to cross your eyes to the point where it seems like there are three pictures on the screen, then focus on the one in the middle until becomes clear.

  36. Wow! I love these! If I try I can get the picture perfect in a second. The 3d looks amazing, especially since mi can cross my eyes easily. Only problem is uncrossing them!

  37. This one is for crossing the eyes. If you look with the eyes defocused, it’s inside-out image, doesn’t make sense. Copy the image on the hard drive and swap the sections left-right into paint to make it right for defocused.

  38. Hi friends, I can help you.
    Do not look at the pictures as if they are few feet away, but look relaxedly into distance, as if the pictures were far away, be relaxed and in few seconds- suddenly – you will see the stereo effect. That is the tric how to look at these pictures.
    I admit it takes some practice, because normally, when you look as something close, you focus your eyes.
    So do not focus, look as if into distance … and that’s it.

  39. hey im 15 and i do only have 1 eye but i was born that way and yes we arent capable of doing things such as seeing 3d movies or being able to see these sterograms. but it dosent matter to me that i only have one eye. i can still see well and read well but visibility is weakend alittle.

  40. Hey, I really am blind in one eye. Not that it really matters, stereogramsnever worked on me… even when my eye could see

  41. This one IS possible as long as you view it here on this page and don’t view the enlarged version :) Beautiful image

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *