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History of Magic Eye 3D pictures

In 1959, Bela Julesz, a vision scientist, psychologist, and MacArthur Fellow, discovered the random dot stereogram while working at Bell Laboratories on recognizing camouflaged objects from aerial pictures taken by spy planes. At the time, many vision scientists still thought that depth perception occurred in the eye itself, whereas now it is known to be a complex neurological process. Julesz used a computer to create a stereo pair of random-dot images which, when viewed under a stereoscope, caused the brain to see 3D shapes. This proved that depth perception is a neurological process.

In 1979, Christopher Tyler of Smith-Kettlewell Institute, a student of Julesz and a visual psychophysicist, combined the theories behind single-image wallpaper stereograms and random-dot stereograms to create the first random-dot autostereogram (also known as single-image random-dot stereogram) which allowed the brain to see 3D shapes from a single 2D image without the aid of optical equipment.

Magic Eye images ignited the worldwide stereogram explosion of the 1990's which was published in USA. Magic Eye books have sold over 20 million copies worldwide and have been released in more than 25 languages. Magic Eye I, II, III were on the NY Times Bestseller List consecutively for 34 weeks and broke best selling list records around the world! In 2001 four new Magic Eye books were released, including a bestseller in Japan.




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