Young Rival – Black is Good
Directed by Jared Raab
Programmed by Tomasz Dysinski
Thanks to Nick Tiringer, Peter Dreimanis and Nadia Tan
A stereogram is an image which, when viewed with two eyes, using one of several different techniques, produces the illusion of depth perception. They’re cool. You can read all about them on Wikipedia. Some of you will already be familiar with the autostereogram, which was popularized by the Magic Eye book series in the 1990s. These are made on computers, and use subtle changes in a repeating pattern to combine depth information for both eyes into one single image. By tricking your eyes into viewing these images a certain way (see below) one can see a three dimensional scene. This video is made up of a sequence of something called a “random dot autostereograms”. These are also made on computers, but use subtle differences in a randomly generated field of noise to create the illusion.
HOW DO I SEE IT?
To view autostereograms, one must simply “decouple” or defocus their eyes, tricking the brain into seeing the slight variations in the repeating pattern as depth information. All autostereograms are made to be viewed in one of two ways, using either the “crossed-eye” method or “parallel-eye” method. Some can be viewed both ways and still look cool, but not really this one. To be nice, we made this video viewable both ways because some people are better at one method than the other. Crossed-eye stereograms are basically the same principal, but done by crossing your eyes, rather than “relaxing” your eyes or “looking through” the image. It can take a while to learn how to see them, but try practicing with some stills and take your time. It’s worth it. Try practicing with these identical images below to find out which version is easier for you to see. When viewed correctly, the image should pop out of the static towards you.
BUT WAIT, THIS IS A VIDEO. HOW DID YOU MAKE IT?
This is where it gets technical. To make your own autostereogram, one must first create a thing called a “depth map” which is a 2D representation of 3D depth information. We collected real-time depth data of Young Rival performing the song using an X-Box Kinect hooked up to a computer. The computer was running software called RGBD toolkit, designed for capturing the depth information from the Kinect using its built-in infrared system. Once we had our depth information, we unpacked it into image sequences and edited these sequences as if they were regular video. The only difference in the editing process was that depth was represented by luminosity. For fun, you can view the black and white depth-map version HERE. With much trial and error, we then ran the data through an algorithm which took each frame of depth information, converted it into a random dot stereogram image, and repacked it into the final video. Lastly, there was one more colour pass at the end, and voila.
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