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Rock band releases world's first "Magic Eye" music video, with help from a Kinect


February 6, 2014

Young Rivals' newest music video is all optical illusion, with this image reflecting the depth data required to generate it

Young Rivals' newest music video is all optical illusion, with this image reflecting the depth data required to generate it

Image Gallery (3 images)

Remember those 3D MagicEye calendars you’d stare at, convinced that if only you tried for 10 more minutes, you’d finally see what you were supposed to see? Canadian indie band Young Rival has released their newest music video as one of those "autostereograms," providing enough crossed-eye action to ensure your eyes potentially stick that way. It’s also a neat demonstration of the Microsoft Kinect’s depth-capturing capabilities.

The creators used a tool called RGBD with the Kinect to acquire 3D depth information while the band performed the song. This data was “unpacked” into their images and manipulated as traditional video, but with depth information represented as luminosity. Next, an algorithm turned all the depth information into randomized stereogram frames.

Without properly viewing the image, a random dot illusion appears meaningless

The song Black is Good is viewable both as a crossed-eye and a parallel-eye or wall-eye format, since those who attempt to see these images can usually manage one technique successfully but not the other.

And for those who need to “cheat," they’ve also released the depth-map as a video, so you can essentially see what you’re supposed to see, just without the whole perception of dimensionality. All three videos are posted on their website.

Director Jared Raab has also created music videos which rely on other neat hacks, like manipulated oscilloscopes and 3D holographic projections.

The parallel and crossed-eye versions of Black is Good are linked below for your listening enjoyment and visual frustration. It's recommended you view in HD and on a large device.

Source: Young Rival via Ohgizmo

About the Author
Heidi Hoopes Heidi measures her life with the motley things she's done in the name of scientific exploration. While formally educated in biology and chemistry, informally she learns from adventures and hobbies with her family. Her simple pleasures in life are finding turtles while jogging and obsessively winnowing through her genetic data. All articles by Heidi Hoopes


Chris Winter

It's not just recommended to view in HD, it's mandatory. the compression of the non-HD version ruins the effect completely. The changing random pattern made this hard to watch. They could have gone with a slower changing or static pattern, I think.

Michael Grosberg

In the parallel-eye video, the images were 3D standing out from the background and in duplicate.

In the crossed-eye video they appeared to be reverse 3D with the images pushed in from the background.

Well, that was certainly different.


ha, this was great! When I got it, I was reminded of the feeling as a kid first experiencing the sensation.

@Michael Grosberg - How do you show real time motion (like a drummer) with a static pattern?

Mia H
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