The Proprietary (but simple) .TVG File Format
Most people can't do "free-viewed" 3D stereo imagery. This is not their fault; they simply have neither tried, nor been trained to do it.
All of the dual images ("stereo pairs") on this website are in crossed-eyes full color 3D stereo, except those few specifically labelled as "TVG"s. (See page bottom for my reasons why.)
All 3D-stereo viewing other than free-viewing is technological trickery, and requires usually costly equipment (goggles hooked up to the computer) and software, or else in some way wrecks ("anaglyph", or "red-blue" stereo) the full-coloring of the images viewed.
My proprietary " .TVG " ('TetrahedraVerse Graphics') file format presents a stereo pair to the viewer using one admittedly crude piece of basic technology (a mirror) and a special stereo pair in which one image has been reversed left-for-right.
Here's how it works:
(Click here for a photo of the process in actual use.)
All you have to do is find a nice thin piece of mirror about a foot by a foot (size isn't very critical; "mirror tiles" at Wal-mart work very well) that you can hold up between your eyes and be able still to see both the images (stereo pair) on the screen, one eye seeing one image directly, the other eye seeing the other image reflected in the mirror.
Then move the parts --the mirror; your head-- around slightly until you see the two images fuse on screen into one image.
(You may have to flip the mirror over; there is "handedness" to the format, so if the mirrored surface is on the wrong wide, the image will look "inside-out," and lemme tell ya': that's a very strange way to look at things....)
That image will be DEEP! (true stereo 3D), and will let you see what I see all the time by free-viewing.
Try it with this 800x600.jpg image: TVG DEMO1 LINK, or this 1024x768 .jpg: TVG DEMO2 LINK. (Trust me: you're gonna love this....)
(Back-button on browser to get back here from the picture.)
Promised note on why Crossed-eyes:
There are two mutually exclusive free-viewing methods, crossing the eyes (look at the tip of your nose), and "walling" the eyes (think: "Marty Feldman, in _Young_Frankenstein_").
Humans naturally cross the eyes. We do it every time we look at something close-up. So, this is the easiest and most controllable method for a non-free-viewer to learn.
The 'walleyes' method requires the viewer to diverge the eyes —to turn them outward away from each other, and while this method is easier for some people, it is also highly restrictive: the two images of the stereo pair must be very small, and very close together. This method is almost totally useless for looking at large, gloriously full-colored images at the normal distance for people sitting in front of computer monitors, so I don't recommend it.
BOTH methods require the brain to separate "focus" from "accommodation" (parallax), so no matter which method is used, it's going to make your eyes feel really, really funny, and if you do it too long, they will actually hurt, SO:
Time for a . . . .
FORMAL LEGAL DISCLAIMER !
I'm telling you what I do, and giving you info about stereo 3D.
I am NOT recommending you learn to do this. Nor am I requiring you to use freeviewing to view stereo images on this site.
(I AM suggesting you use the .TVG format, which involves none of the eye-trickery involved in free-viewing of either of the aforementioned types.
Now, lastly, a word on how to make .TVGs for yourself, either from this site, or from any other site where you may find stereo pairs in either the crossed-eyes or the walled-eyes format:
1) Copy a stereo-pair picture.
2) Stick it into an image editor.
3) Select, using a rectangle-box selection tool, select exactly either the left or the right half.
(An 800x600 image has two halves, each 400x600.)
FLIP ("mirror") the selected half, and stick it back right where you got it.
Presto ! : a .TVG image !
Use your mirror on it. be amazed.
"True believers," if I generate any, will probably end up with a permanent mirror mounted on a stand at the right height, to move into place when working on images or simply viewing a bunch of them.
Also such believers may prefer to spend the money for a front surface mirror, since the depth of the glass in a Wal-Mart mirror tile or other "standard" mirror introduces a slight fuzziness into the viewed image.
Oh, yeah, one more note: this works, of course, as do all stereo-viewing techniques, on MOVING pictures as handily as on static images ("stills").
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