David Knight - 15th Nov 2013

This is a rather amazing video, for Glasgow band Washington Irving's Palomides, by James Houston - a 3D film that works without glasses. James calls it the world's first 'autostereogram' video, and it works in a similar way to the 'Magic Eye' pictures that were popular in the Nineties. You just have to adjust your eyes... 

Which some people are going to find easier than others. It's all about defocussing your peepers. But follow the instructions and it should work, eventually (as James says, "If you have difficulty in observing the 3D effect, sit farther back or reduce the size of the video window.") 

The effect is really quite astonishing, and probably unique. There's a sort of interactivity between the viewer and the film going on here that doesn't really having anything to do with the internet. Bloody ingenious.

James Houston: "I believe this to be the world's first autostereogram music video. Stereograms are an old technique that had a recent resurgence in shopping precincts during the 90s. They are images which can achieve a 3D effect when viewed a certain way. You don't need any special lenses or a fancy television, simply defocus your eyes and look 'through' the image. I'm very happy with how the effect translates to video and I'm thankful to Washington Irving for allowing me to do such a wild experiment with their track. I don't believe it's been done before. 

"The video isn't as difficult to see as some 'Magic Eye' pictures from the past so it's worth trying even if you've had bad luck in viewing them before. It may help to sit farther back from the screen or reduce the size of the video window. As long as you have two functional eyeballs and a moderate attention span, you'll be able to see this. It works thanks to the horizontal repetition.

"Each of your eyes are looking at a different repeated element but your brain sees them as the same thing. Don't cross your eyes, look straight ahead (through the image) as though you're focusing on the horizon. It may help to pause the video if you lose the effect and use the dots at the beginning to calibrate your eyes. You may have encountered this phenomenon while observing a chain link fence or while looking at patterned wallpaper. That's pretty much all I did before YouTube was invented. Feel free to watch this video multiple times & send it to all of your favourite people."


DirectorJames Houston

David Knight - 15th Nov 2013

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