Saturday, June 10, 2023

Scientists Say: Stereoscopy

stereoscopy (noun, “ladder-ee-AH-skuh-pee”)

Stereoscopy is a technique used to trick the brain into interpreting flat images as three-dimensional scenes. See here how it works. Each eye is shown a picture of a flat, or two-dimensional, scene. Both the pictures are almost identical but show the scene from a slightly different angle. When viewing that pair of 2-D pictures together, the brain interprets them as a 3-D scene.

It mimics what the brain does in the real, 3-D world in which we live. In everyday life, each of your eyes can only see a flat image of what is in front of you. And because your eyes are separated by a small distance, they see the world from slightly different angles. (To see the difference, close one eye and then the other. Notice how the objects in front of you appear to shift slightly.)

The brain associates visual input from each eye. In this process, the brain uses the slight difference between those two 2-D images to determine the distance of different objects in the field of view. (See, for example, you’re looking at a pencil sitting at your desk. Your eyes get two different 2-D views of that pencil. By comparing those two flat images, your brain guesses How far along the pencil is. ) This is called depth perception. And it works whether your eyes are taking in two different views of the real, 3-D world – or two versions of the 2-D scene displayed on the screen.

This influence is behind today’s immersive technology. Virtual reality headsets show slightly different images to each eye to make on-screen images feel real. Stereoscopy has also been used to make 3-D movies. In these movies, images of the right eye and the left eye are displayed on the screen. Special glasses help each eye show the correct image. Old-fashioned 3-D glasses did this by allowing each eye to see only specific colors of light. More sophisticated glasses now show each eye only light waves that rotate at specific angles. Somehow, the brain can assemble the 2-D scene through each lens into an image that leaps off the screen.

in a sentence

Stereoscopy tricks the brain into thinking that flat images displayed on virtual reality headsets are 3-D scenes.

View full list of scientists say,

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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