In the video for their latest song “Black Is Good,” indie band Young Rival created a random dot autostereogram music video with director Jared Raab and programmer Tomasz Dysinki.
The technique should produce an optical illusion which alters depth perception — a concept popularized in the 1990s with the Magic Eye book series.
It’s a really cool idea — as long as you can properly “de-couple” your eyes and are able to view the “hidden” images in the video, as Wired points out.
To see the video correctly, be sure to watch in 1080p HD on a full screen (not your mobile phone) and follow the instructions at the top of the video.
The video’s director Jared Raab explains the technology behind the video here, but here’s the gist of it:
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 (password required – hint: what type of animal appears at 2:30?). 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.
Check out the video below (if you’re having trouble seeing it, try the cross-eyed version, which you can find here.