Visual Encyclopedia

Magic Eye

Magic Eye is a series of books published by N.E. Thing Enterprises (renamed in 1996 to Magic Eye Inc.). The books feature autostereograms, which allow some people to see 3D images by focusing on 2D patterns. The viewer must diverge their eyes in order to see a hidden three-dimensional image within the pattern. A "Magic Eye" has become something of a genericized trademark, often used to refer to autostereograms of any origin. The autostereogram predates the Magic Eye series by several years. Christopher Tyler created the first black-and-white autostereograms in 1979 with the assistance of computer programmer Maureen Clarke.

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Can't See the Image?

Some people have difficulty seeing the 3D images in magic eye puzzles because of binocular and stereo vision impairment. Other times this is just due to technique. Try putting your nose right by the puzzle and focus your eyes like you're looking in the distance. Slowly move the image away from your face and you should start to see the image.

Contributed by Katlyn Powers

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