What Is Cross-Eyed Stereo 3D?
To recap, a stereographic image or video actually consists of two images or videos displayed side-by-side: one image or video represents the left eye’s view, and the other is the right eye. A cross-eyed stereographic image or video means the left view is on the right, and the right view is on the left.
Many individuals prefer this method over parallel 3D viewing because the eyes don’t need to be aligned with the center of each side of a stereographic image. Your eyes have a much greater range of motion converging inwards (cross-eye’ing) than looking outwards. Without the need to step far back from the image, the stereo 3D image will also occupy more area of your field of view, greatly improving detail and enhancing the immersive experience. Strong anecdotal evidence suggest regular cross-eyed 3D viewing improves the health of your eyes.
How To View Cross-Eyed 3D With The Naked Eye
We’ll use a picture of Kitty Jane as a guide. You can click to enlarge. Notice the two black dots beneath each picture. First, place yourself directly in the center of the stereographic image. You don’t need to move farther back like you would in parallel 3d viewing.
As a guide, use the two dots at the bottom of the image and focus your vision on the space in between the dots. Begin by crossing your eyes. As you do so, the two dots will begin to move closer towards each other. The two dots will eventually become three with the one in the middle the strongest and clearest, flanked by slightly fainter dots on the side. and your eyes are locked into cross-eyed vision mode. Look above the middle dot and you’ll also see a 3D picture of Kitty.
More Sample 3D Cross-Eyed Photos
You may notice a shakiness and blurriness in your 3D vision, especially if you’re sitting very close to the image. Your eyes are not accustomed to being significantly cross-eyed for extended periods of time so naturally, the eye muscles “shake” a bit as it strains to stay focused. You can position yourself further back from the image to relax the amount your eyes must cross-eye, thereby reducing strain.
If you’re slightly near-sighted and need glasses for important tasks such as driving or reading signs far away, but not for computer use or reading a book, you may find it helpful to put on your glasses to do the cross-eyed method.
Although more of your field of vision is filled with the stereographic 3D image, your eyes are not viewing each side of the image straight on, but at an angle, and can cause a skewed 3D image, especially at the corners. It’s akin to watching TV on the side and not directly in front of it. You can alleviate this by positioning farther away from the image. If you are preparing 3D content for cross-eyed display take note of this problem and not make your images too wide.