As many of you will remember, Magic Eye books flourished around the late 90’s and contained a collection of patterns (in technical language, know as “random-dot autostereograms”), which, when looked at with the proper technique, would reveal a secret 3D image.
In my recollection, this technique involved something along the lines of staring off into the distance of the page and resisting the urge to blink. Another method required you to begin with your nose against the page and to then slowly pull the book away from your face.
Apparently, the magic behind Magic Eye is that “the images have a horizontally repeating pattern which differs slightly with each repetition, therefore giving the illusion of depth when each eye focuses on a different part of the pattern”.
The explanation sounds so simple now. In the heat of the Magic Eye Moment, though, it really felt like we were on the brink of time-travel, or something. The Millenium was coming, after all. TLC was walking on the ceiling in their “No Scrubs” music video, and it was a BIG DEAL. The cool kids were wearing all-silver.
Magic Eye holds this same aesthetic. I feel the anticipation of Y2K when I look at these pixelated aquariums and rosebeds, and I love it.
I have this book!! I feel very old all of a sudden! LOL