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Color Stereograms FAQ Page

Glossary / Explanations / Excuses

With this page I've tried to answer basic questions and definitions about my stereograms and stereograms in general.


—  Frequently Asked Questions  —

Have I publications available? — I do have many nice publications, but mostly in Japan: the stereogram capital of the World.  Also in Asia, I have publications in China, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong. There are a few stereogram books in English, available in many markets.  I especially recommend Hidden Treasures and/or Startling Stereograms.  There are also a couple of very nice apps for iPad.  Please see my Stereogram books info page

Custom stereogram work available? — Yes. If you are interested in commercial work please view this area of the Color Stereo Stereograms site:  Custom Stereograms

What software & hardware do I use? — Please see the Tools of the Trade page.

Good for the eyes? — I get frequent questions concerning positive physiological affects for the eyes from viewing stereograms. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence for this. In fact, the primary publications of my work claim eyesight improvement. I also get email from Doctors, and other viewers that claim vision improvement. However, I tell people, I was nearsighted before I began creating stereograms, and I am even more nearsighted now. Who's to say I am not less nearsighted than I might have become? I truthfully don't know if stereograms help the eyes, or not.

More nude women! — Geesh!  I get a lot of request for this. I am indeed one of those fuzzy artists who think women are the only true work of art, but nude models elude me. Hence, there are very few nudes, and please don't expect any porno on this gallery site.


The first thing to get out of the way is definition of types. Do not contact the wide-eyed legal team of cross-eyed lawyers if I make a mistake here.

Stereograms or SIRDS are often used as a catchall term for all kinds of autostereograms. I will also use them this way on my site, but will only use the term SIRDS when a hidden image is involved.

Stereogram: Two dimensional images that can achieve three dimensional effect with or without mechanical devices.

Autostereogram: Two dimensional images that can give a 3D effect when viewed without any devices other than two functioning eyes, a human brain...and a bit of practice. On this site and elsewhere, these are most often simply referred to as stereograms.


RDS or SIRDS: Technically refers to Random Dot Stereogram and Single Image Random Dot Stereogram. This is the kind of autostereogram where a hidden image appears within a random pattern of dots. In practice, SIRDS is sometimes used as a catch-all term for any hidden-image stereogram, though technically wrong.

SIS: Single Image Stereograms: Another catch-all term that refers to 3D images hidden within a two dimensional image whether it uses random dots, abstract patterns, or recognizable patterns.

HIS: Hidden Image Stereograms: This is the term I use most often to describe RDS, SIRDS, and SIS. HIS are the kind of images most associated with stereograms due to their popularization in the 1990's by Magic Eye Publishing. HIS create a hidden object by mapping a pattern over a depth-map.

OAS: Object Array Stereograms are when the 3D is hidden, but not the objects. Most people prefer to be surprised with the discovery of a hidden object within a hidden-image stereogram. With OAS, the surprise comes with discovering hidden 3D depths, layers, and object interplay. Where hidden-image stereograms lack definition and detail, Object Array Stereograms can be elaborately and clearly detailed as well as show deeper levels of depth. These are generally more appreciated by experienced viewers.

MTS: Mapped Textured Stereograms appear to be a blend of HIS and OAS. In practice they form a 3D object using the object's own texture or color map, as opposed to an arbitrary pattern as with HIS. The objects may appear hidden or not.

Wallpaper: Wallpaper stereograms are created with 2D floaters. Floaters are object arrays that appear to float above the image. Floaters that are "volumized" in that they appear as 3D in parallel vision instead of 2D should not be called Wallpaper. This is because "volumized" floaters have a limited repeat whereas 2D floaters can be repeated infinitely like wallpaper.

Stereo Fields: Basically are Object Array Stereograms, but where OAS uses separate objects, a stereo field uses a seamless repeated pattern.

Stereo Pairs: Are the bases for all stereograms. They have been used in the world of photography since the mid 1800's. Now, with the personal computer and a graphics program, any image can be manipulated for a "stereogramic" effect.

Stereo Tiles: These are a seamless stereo pattern that can be repeated up and down with no limit of an ultimate perimeter border. Open your browser window all the way and they will fill the entire screen.

TOS: Texture Offset Stereograms offset a texture or pattern by squeezing or stretching to create a sense of depth as opposed to rotational or lateral offsets.

Hybrid Stereograms: Autostereograms using any combination of stereogram techniques. Technically... there's a lot of Hybrid Stereograms under all my categories. The way I categorize is taken from what I consider the major element. In other words, it's kind of vague and arbitrary. However, it keeps me semi-organized, and doesn't present viewers of this site with one big column of titles.


Depth Image or Depth Map: This is the grayscale image used by HIS and MTS software for the hidden image formed in the random dots or pattern. Also known as Image Maps, Reveals, and other various nomenclature.

Depth of Field: Autostereograms have no depth of field. That is what is so notable. If you've ever wondered about the peculiar sharpness possessed by stereograms, it is because the deepest and highest planes of the image are all in focus at once. In real world viewing, the eyes generally focus on one focal plane at a time. Stereograms, being physically 2-D, possess only one plane no matter how complex depth appears.

Wide-eyed: (Also called Parallel Vision or Divergent Vision) Viewing with your eyes focusing parallel to one another, as opposed to normal convergence. Virtually all hidden-image type stereograms should be viewed wide-eyed. Wide-eyed vision can be very relaxing to the eyes.
    Please Note:  All images on this site were created using wide-eyed vision.

Cross-eyed: Seeing with right eye viewing the left side and left eye viewing right side. Note that viewing wide-eyed images cross-eyed or visa versa will give the wrong effect by reversing depths. Stereograms that are made for cross-eyed viewing have their advantages, but viewing cross-eyed is hard, if not impossible for many people and may cause eyestrain.

Stereopsis: This is the process by which our mind and eyes using binocular vision give us our sense of 3D. This is the basis for all stereograms.

Stereogrammer: someone who makes stereograms

Stereogramic: I made this word up. Someone had to do it. I use this to describe the elements of stereograms that possess 3-D effect. If this isn't a real word—it should be, so let's get out there and spread it.

Whey: Watery part of sour milk.

For more info:  Wikipedia - Stereogram  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereogram

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