Illusion of a third dimension in 2D images.

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Unknown_Quantity
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07 Dec 2008, 3:16 am

My eyes have been acting up lately. I've been finding it difficult to focus on some things and had a sensitivity to light (more than usual). I've also been experiencing some sort of slight vertigo in situations where there should be no reason for it.

Well, just now, something strange has come to my attention. I've been seeing imaginary three dimensionality in two dimensional surfaces and images.

This is of course fairly normal upto an extent. Lighter colours "popping" more and comeing to the front. Reds appearing closer to the eye than blues (or vice versa in some people). The optical illusion of shading and perspective. But recently, it's been a lot stronger and more intrusive. It's like a lot of the objects I see on screen are almost holographic in their depth. For example, the avatars on the side of this forum seem to be set back from the page and their contents seem to me to be on very distinct layers, like how pictures look in those 3D viewers like ViewMaster. (Not my avatar though, it's sort of pushed out from the background with lumpy swells and troughs like an over stuffed chair)

Not only is it in photos and pictures where there is intentional depth, but also in other things. Like paragraphs of words. The words in the block of text above seem to be layered at different heights from the background. It's like I can see a pattern of higher and lower levels of words. I can't really see and reason for the pattern. Strangely the short sections in brackets seem flattened and the rest more randomly distributed.

I haven't experienced this before. I've been able to see depth in photo's that others have not for a couple of years now, but this thing with words is a different experience for me.

Anybody else have this sort of illusion or some similar experience? Is there something you see very differently than those around you?

Hopefully this isn't a brain tumour! :lol:


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capriwim
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07 Dec 2008, 3:48 am

I've had this all my life. I know exactly what you mean. I have learnt to control it to a certain extent, though, by altering my focus. It's worse when I look at a recurring detailed pattern. I remember as a child staring at wallpaper (back in the seventies when we had weird wallpaper!) and it would seem closer and smaller than it was, and completely 3D. And I get vertigo a lot.

Have you seen those magic eye pictures? It's similar to that - you see in 3D because you are focusing differently. Although, with me, often this weird focus comes when I don't intend it to. I also see those magic eye pictures inside out because I am focusing on a spot in front of the picture rather than behind it.

I am pretty sure I have scotopic sensitivity syndrome (also known as Irlen Syndrome) which is common in autistic spectrum disorders. I'm supposed to be getting tested for some tinted lenses at some point. If you google it, you can see more about it - there are online questionnaires you can take that ask you different questions so you can see if it sounds like something you have, and then you can get yourself tested.



pensieve
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07 Dec 2008, 3:51 am

I see the same thing in paragraphs of words. I thought it had something to do with being dyslexic.



pensieve
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07 Dec 2008, 3:53 am

capriwim wrote:
I am pretty sure I have scotopic sensitivity syndrome (also known as Irlen Syndrome) which is common in autistic spectrum disorders. I'm supposed to be getting tested for some tinted lenses at some point. If you google it, you can see more about it - there are online questionnaires you can take that ask you different questions so you can see if it sounds like something you have, and then you can get yourself tested.

Really? I believe I have that too. The assessment is $490 though, so I haven't bothered with it. I find a pair of $15 glasses with tinted lenses sort of help out.



prillix
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07 Dec 2008, 4:33 am

Wow, that sounds like fun. Im jealous ;)



prillix
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07 Dec 2008, 4:36 am

from wikipedia:

Image




Maybe not as fun as i originally thought. What does this picture look like to people who are already suffering from "scotopic sensitivity syndrome"?



capriwim
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07 Dec 2008, 4:44 am

pensieve wrote:
Really? I believe I have that too. The assessment is $490 though, so I haven't bothered with it. I find a pair of $15 glasses with tinted lenses sort of help out.


Eek - well, I'm in the UK, and I should be able to get it free, I hope, as part of disability allowance of being a student. I'm waiting to hear from disability services about it.

And pensieve, yes, it is also related to dyslexia. I am not dyslexic though. Apparently, it normally co-occurs with either autism or dyslexia (or I guess both if you have both of them).

The second example from Wikipedia is how I see words on a page if I don't make a conscious effort to focus. Except the letters move as well.

Oh - and tinted overlays help a lot with reading. They stop the letters jiggling around, and they aren't too expensive. I bought some online - www.crossboweducation.com - but it's a British site. I'm sure there must be equivalent sites in other countries though.



capriwim
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07 Dec 2008, 4:50 am

prillix wrote:
Maybe not as fun as i originally thought. What does this picture look like to people who are already suffering from "scotopic sensitivity syndrome"?


Hehe - I'm not sure how it differs from how you see it. Maybe in that it moves around a bit. But the normal text on these forums actually does not look like that for me, because of the green/blue background. That makes it much easier to read. And also the fact that the font is a sans serif one. These forums are actually the easiest to read that I've found online. There are sites that I can't read at all.



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07 Dec 2008, 10:56 am

I had the exact same thing happen to me starting four years ago! I told the eye doctor about it, he didn't seem to have much info on what it could be. But finally, someone else who describes my condition word for word---some other wp members suggested scotopic sensitivity syndrome, but I am pretty sure that's not it, because I have no difficulty with reading.

The 3d seems to come and go. I've had a hard time finding a pattern to what causes it to, but I think it happens more when I'm tired. Sometimes images will look completely normal, then they'll be extremely 3d later.



computerlove
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07 Dec 2008, 12:57 pm

Unknown_Quantity wrote:
My eyes have been acting up lately. I've been finding it difficult to focus on some things and had a sensitivity to light (more than usual). I've also been experiencing some sort of slight vertigo in situations where there should be no reason for it.

Well, just now, something strange has come to my attention. I've been seeing imaginary three dimensionality in two dimensional surfaces and images.

This is of course fairly normal upto an extent. Lighter colours "popping" more and comeing to the front. Reds appearing closer to the eye than blues (or vice versa in some people). The optical illusion of shading and perspective. But recently, it's been a lot stronger and more intrusive. It's like a lot of the objects I see on screen are almost holographic in their depth. For example, the avatars on the side of this forum seem to be set back from the page and their contents seem to me to be on very distinct layers, like how pictures look in those 3D viewers like ViewMaster. (Not my avatar though, it's sort of pushed out from the background with lumpy swells and troughs like an over stuffed chair)

Not only is it in photos and pictures where there is intentional depth, but also in other things. Like paragraphs of words. The words in the block of text above seem to be layered at different heights from the background. It's like I can see a pattern of higher and lower levels of words. I can't really see and reason for the pattern. Strangely the short sections in brackets seem flattened and the rest more randomly distributed.

I haven't experienced this before. I've been able to see depth in photo's that others have not for a couple of years now, but this thing with words is a different experience for me.

Anybody else have this sort of illusion or some similar experience? Is there something you see very differently than those around you?

Hopefully this isn't a brain tumour! :lol:

are you getting enough sleep?


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Mike61290
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07 Dec 2008, 1:35 pm

I see the same thin, 2d pictures seem 3d, learn to control it, it helps pass the time by when you are bored.

Try concentrating on an object and changing your focus to certain points, if you do it perfectly you can make an object seem to magnify, I've actually managed to make my hand seem to be almost the size of a basketball. Well I just tried to do it and it only seemed slightly larger.

At the moment I'm not perfect at controlling it I seem to only be able to do it if the object in question meets certain conditions such as I can't seem to do it with my fingers, just the palm of my hand. If I concentrate I can also my my fingers seem smaller, the change isn't as great as the palm of my hand though. Often times it suddenly starts acting up and I can't seem to stop things from looking larger than normal. It's just about point of view and manipulating it by changing focus. I think it is mostly imagination, most people need high detail 3d images (video games etc.) in order to see the 3d effect, I think we have such flexible minds that we can see the 3d aspects of a 2d image that most would never notice as well as add the 3d effect, when this type of skill is used on an already 3d object it magnifies the effect. After all, if we didn't have subconscious imagination then we would never dream would we?

Well thats all for my guessing today, just my personal opinion.


Just think of it as a 3d movie without the need for the glasses, we just need less stimuli in order to see in 3d than most people. Plus I can already see the 3d movies in 3d simply by adjusting my eyes to make the 2 images cross, although its not as effective as the glasses and I constantly have to concentrate in order to do it, it works.


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ValMikeSmith
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07 Dec 2008, 5:25 pm

Seeing different colors at different depths on a computer monitor is very likely to be because you wear glasses and that the lenses are separating the colors like a prism does, and a good eye doctor SHOULD know about this, since any professional photographer or telescope user certainly does. Glasses with quality lenses more like those used in good cameras and telescopes would fix the problem.

As others have said, the kind of unusual focusing which allows us to see pictures that are designed to look 3D may be happening also, which is common if you are looking at something that may have repeating patterns like tiles. I can imagine that happening also while reading if the font is typewriter-like ... like this "XOXOXOX" instead of "lmiwolmiwolmiwo" ... in other words, letter sizes all the same are easy to misfocus on.



TheSpecialKid
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07 Dec 2008, 6:56 pm

I have experienced this thing too (I'm not using glasses, but probably should :P)...

I think it has something to do with hyperfocus, cause I always have it this way, but it's WAAAAYY stronger when I'm hyperfocusing.



Unknown_Quantity
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07 Dec 2008, 11:06 pm

Thanks for all your replies!

I have only had this effect over the last few days and it seems to be fading, capriwim. However, what you describe reminds me that I have had this effect occur at other times in my life. We had wallpaper like that when I was a kid too!

Ironically, pensieve your's is one of the avatars I was talking about. The depth in that picture is amazing, I can almost look around the foreground objects to reveal more of the background objects and people.

That picture you posted, prillix, I can read it as that "lorem ipsum dolor sic..." text. The bottom block looks fairly flat to me. The top block of text has a triangular pyramid in the foreground over a slightly more distant background. Kind of like a 3D MagicEye picture of a pyramid in a desert. Can anybody else see that?

Mike61290, I rememebr now (after capriwim's comments) I have been able to manipulate my perceptions during previous bouts of this, causing parts of a floor to swell up into a hill or constrict to a smaller area, etc. and things like causing cars to zoom in and out on the road. If I tuned it just right I caould make it seem as if stationary objects were moving. I just always thought this was a simple optical illusion, like the inverting box type tricks.

I'm glad I'm not the only one, Juggernaut. I can see that mine comes and goes too, though it probably hangs around for less time in me and isn't as severe, as I didn't really notice/remember it till now. It might be linked to my tiredness, or perhaps I'm not eating right.

And computerlove, I NEVER get enough sleep. Even when I've had too much.

ValMikeSmith, I don't wear glasses, my version is near perfect (slight long sightedness, but not enough for a prescription). So it's not refraction. The colour depth illusion I was talking about is when you have a red object on a blue background, like blue or cyan text on a red backing, the text seems either to hover or be cut out from the background. By the way, your avatar looks, to my eyes, like he's standing on a strip of turf (about 8 feet deep) in front of a painted backdrop with a slight curve in it. It's a bit like looking at a shop mannequin in a window display. I like 3D graphics, this looks like it's the Poser 4 guy, is that right?

TheSpecialKid, yeah, it's stronger in me when I notice it and am looking for it. It would be nice if it did something cool, like you could look at a page of text and read a special encoded message based on what floated up to the top!


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07 Dec 2008, 11:44 pm

prillix wrote:
from wikipedia:

Image




Maybe not as fun as i originally thought. What does this picture look like to people who are already suffering from "scotopic sensitivity syndrome"?


What are we supposed to be seeing here? To me, the first paragraph looks like some weird font, but I can recognize that it's something in Latin.
The second one, I can't look at at all without feeling quite nauseated. I don't recognize it as any particular letters, but again, I can't look at it for more that a few seconds. In fact, I still feel nauseated from looking at it. The same thing happens to me if I look through a View Master.

Am I supposed to recognize letters in that one? And not feel sick, I assume?

BTW, I have near-perfect vision (I assume) and don't wear glasses.



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08 Dec 2008, 12:59 pm

It started in 2004 for me. More recently I don't see it much, but I really don't know if it is because it has actually gone away for the time, or because I've just gotten so used to it that I don't conciously notice it anymore unless it is really strong.

As for making objects appear larger or smaller by focusing on them, I've never experienced that. Two years ago though, I started seeing objects and patterns shift, whether it was tiles, carpet, or wallpaper. It happened very suddenly. There was a certain room with painted brick walls that was so intense that it literally looked like I was watching the wall melt like there was a waterfall of bricks coming down---to the point at which I couldn't use that room anymore because it was too intense to look at. I noticed the carpet in the library looked like it was glowing and shooting rays of light down it. I was thinking about how intense the carpet looked, and suddenly it hit me that carpets arn't supposed to look intense. That had been more gradual so I think I had gotten used to it and hadn't noticed it. I noticed also that certain colors looked super intense, such as one day in class, a girl was wearing a yellow shirt, and I thought, oh my gosh, that is the most intense yellow I've ever seen, to the point at which it looked like it was glowing and pulsating yellow. And like the carpet, it hit me that it was just a yellow shirt and it probably didn't look like that to most people.

I think that if I look at some patterns they definitely seem to shift and become liquid, but I've gotten so used to it that I don't notice it anymore. It originally bothered me becuase I thought it might mean I had something wrong with me. But by now, I realize it is just that I process stimuli differently and this is actually a benefit for me. I always thought it was kindof cool though. I don't need to bother with trying psychedelic drugs because I know what it's like and can just feel that without doing something that's bad for me.