It’s easy to see the allure of 3D. Both immersive and astounding, 3D glasses allow viewers to become part of the action and see images as if they were jumping right off the page.
But how do 3D glasses work? It’s not magic, if that’s what you’re thinking!
To begin, it helps to know what you’re looking at. A 3D image is one that has two different perspectives of the same image superimposed on each other. This is what is known as an anaglyphic image. By using 3D anaglyphic glasses, each eye filters chromatically opposite colors (typically red and cyan) to create a 3D eye-popping picture. That’s why 3D glasses have two different-colored lenses – neat, right?
But 3D anaglyphic glasses aren’t entirely to credit – it’s your brain that’s doing most of the work!
Have you ever closed one eye while looking through a pair of binoculars? By closing one eye you can see a slightly-shifted perspective than if you had both eyes open. Each eye sees two different images, but because your eyes are only set about two inches apart they’re still close enough that the images seem to “merge” into one. This enables you to judge distances, and grants you proper depth perception towards your surroundings. It’s the same process with 3D glasses.
When you look at a 3D image through 3D glasses, your brain is using a technique called stereoscopy to create the illusion of depth. Remember how two images from two different perspectives formed a single anaglyphic image? Your brain takes these two separate images and processes them so that the image appears to “pop” out. 3D glasses merely recreate what your own eyes do on a daily basis!
It’s almost like you’re tricking your own brain!
Now that the question “How do 3D glasses work?” has been answered, 3D images are even more incredible!