Name for a popular series of books featuring autostereograms - allowing the viewer to see three-dimensional surfaces without any special equipment. But they had to look at the page in a funny, cross-eyed manner, or diverge their eyes unnaturally.&A skill that many people just could not learn, leaving them with the impression that the whole "Magic Eye" franchise was just another conspiracy theory, and there weren't really any hidden images.

Here are some tips on how to get one of these things to work:

First, to understand the concept, hold your finger up about a foot from your face. Now, focus on something in the distance, like the wall of your room. As long as you continue focusing on the wall, you should see a double image of your finger.

This is because you have two eyes. They are angled so that their lines of sight cross at whatever distance you are focusing on. Essentially, you perceive two images (one from each eye), and your brain superimposes them. However, if you are focused on something far away, their relative perception of the position of your finger is different for each picture. The result is that you see two fingers.

Now, find two similar objects that are far away and relatively close to each other. Hold up your finger again, but this time focus on IT. In the background, you'll see double images of each of the objects you've selected.

By moving your finger toward and away from the objects, you can change the distance between each instance of the object. At some distance, if the two objects are roughly identical, one of each of their images should superimpose. The result is that you now see three images, instead of four.

This is how magic eyes work. If you look at the magic eye picture, you can see it is really a pattern of similar images. There are subtle differences between each tile, but the overall pattern is the same.

What you need to do is focus on the page in such a way that each tile of the pattern forms a double image, and the distance between these two images is the length of a tile. The result will be a page full of tiles that are superimposing over each other.

The best way to do this is to cross your eyes. If you can do this, just look at the image and slowly start crossing your eyes. Once the tiles' double images superimpose, hold it and just stare. Your vision will sort of "lock in" (your brain compares the image from each eye and sees that they're basically the same, so it thinks you're focused. However, the subtle differences in the images cause you to also perceive 3D!). Once your vision is "locked in", it will no longer be necessary to pay attention to your eyes, and you will notice that you now see the magic eye. Endless joy will follow.

If you can't cross your eyes, you're going to have to fake it. I'd suggest doing the thing with the finger again. Hold the book at arm's length, put your finger between you and the book, and move it until the book's tiles line up. Now you'll need to hold that focus distance, remove your finger, and lock in the picture.

It takes some practice, but knowing what you're shooting for helps. Once you get really good at this, you can "lock in" your vision on ANY two similar objects. It's kind of like a super power. It's really cool to take a pair of differently colored but otherwise identical objects and "lock in" on them.

Once you get really, really good, you can double the distance the images are separated by, and "lock in" series of 3+ objects, resulting in even crazier looking stuff.

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