Importance of Ebbinghaus Illusion to understand 3D perception idiosyncracies

One of the reasons we can easily process a range of interocular spacing is that our perception of depth and size is derived from many cues. There are many examples of objects looking smaller or larger depending upon the context of the image. No better example of this is found than the Ebbinghaus illusion named for its discoverer, the German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus (1850-1909).  In the example below the two orange circles are exactly the same size but the one on the left appears smaller. Why? Well, scientists are debating the reasons and they have to do with how the brain works and the psychological reference the images evokes.

Ebbinghaus Illusion in 2D

When we convert the illusion above and add 3D depth to the orange circles the illusion gets even more interesting.  What do you see now? ;^) To see in 3D use the crossview method I described in the previous post by crossing your eyes until the tiny red dots align.

When composing a shot, a whole new mindset is required for 3D. What is emphasized or not emphasized and what is made to look “more” real is in many cases not intuitive. One size does not fit all and EVERYTHING interacts. Distance to object, focal length of lens, interocular spacing, color and shape, size of the printed image and distance of the eyes to the printed image.

With 3D you see more than you see.

Is it “rocket-surgery”? You bet! Once you understand that 3D isn’t just a filter click in Photoshop you are well on your way to freeing your mind on what might be possible artistically with 3D imagery. To engage the brain at much deeper levels of processing to add heretofore unimagined viewing  captivation, engrossment and fascination. Like the layers of an onion to peel back, 3D photography reveals more and more the deeper we look into it.


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