# Perceiving 2D images (that are not meant to be perceived as 3D) as 3D

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Hello

I just want to ask about something weird I've noticed... just out of my own curiosity^^

Apparently I have the ability to perceive some 2D images as 3D... very clearly 2D images that are not meant to be perceived as anything but 2D. It really only happens when strong colours collide... black on pure red, for example.

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQeUhbTReL-MrEEnjGCB1N_7NHUNk3Tc4zYBtKjZMWiZd1n8vVKIA <--This image here is the most '3D' picture I've ever seen... I cannot not perceive it as 3D. I showed the same picture to some friends, though, and they said they couldn't see anything even remotely 3D about it.

I can't come up with anything when I google it... does anyone have any ideas what could be going on?

I also have synesthesia... maybe that has something to do with it?

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The brain is built or trained to get 3D visual clues from 2D images, which is why it's possible to create illusions in which 2d geometrical shapes appear 3D.

Is there a difference that you notice between what you're describing, and 3d illusions?

For example, adding shadows can give an appearance of depth. The image could be seen as paint splatters, with apparent depth to them. Can you describe the extra dimension that you see? Is it like paint-like surface texture, or is it extreme differences in depth? If the latter, does it feel puzzling trying to resolve a lack of parallax in the image as seen with both eyes, or does the 3d nature of it feel consistent and "right"?

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It's definitely different from 3D illusions, yeah.

The depth is extreme. The yellow is at what should be the 'right' depth, but the blue is way further back and varies based on its shade. And... no, there's no lack of parallax... it feels totally natural.

It depends on the picture... sometimes I can't see it 3D at all, sometimes I can if I 'try' (I don't really know what 'try' means though... it's not at all like 3D illusions) and sometimes it's so overt and strong that I can't even perceive it as 2D (like the Swedish flag picture).

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Wait, the image in the link is supposed to look 2-dimensional? It looks 3-dimensional to me.

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Hello

I just want to ask about something weird I've noticed... just out of my own curiosity^^

Apparently I have the ability to perceive some 2D images as 3D... very clearly 2D images that are not meant to be perceived as anything but 2D. It really only happens when strong colours collide... black on pure red, for example.

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQeUhbTReL-MrEEnjGCB1N_7NHUNk3Tc4zYBtKjZMWiZd1n8vVKIA <--This image here is the most '3D' picture I've ever seen... I cannot not perceive it as 3D. I showed the same picture to some friends, though, and they said they couldn't see anything even remotely 3D about it.

I can't come up with anything when I google it... does anyone have any ideas what could be going on?

I also have synesthesia... maybe that has something to do with it?

black on pure red?

I see no red in the picture you posted.

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Wait, the image in the link is supposed to look 2-dimensional? It looks 3-dimensional to me.

Hmm, cool. Most people Ive asked have said it doesnt.

black on pure red?

I see no red in the picture you posted.

black on pure red, for example.

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Different LCD/LED monitors work slightly differently.

One mine monitor has linear polarization of photons with 45 degree.

Other one has vertical polarization.

Cell phone LCD is emitting not polarized photons.

3 LCD, 3 different results.

You can verify what is polarization of your devices by using polarization filter such as this one:

Pure speculation: if one of your eyes would be better at seeing polarized photons than the other eye, slightly different image would appear to each one, but brain would like to merge them. This technique is used by one of 3d glass technologies - screen is emitting image for left eye using polarized vertically photons, and image for right eye using horizontal polarized photons, then 3d glass has vertical polarization filter on one eye, and horizontal polarization filter on 2nd eye, so 2 different images (rendered/recorded by 2 cameras during movie making) are reaching eyes at the same time. And our brain is rebuilding 3d depth..

Do you have the same 3D illusion while watching 2D images in real world, not LCD monitor?

Edited by Sensei

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We have evolved to live in a (spatially) 3D world. For our "natural" understanding no material 2D objects exist. 2D objects can be only conceptual. Drawings on a plane are conceptually defined 2-dimensional but if we measure any line - how thin ever - it is of course 3-dimensional.

I think that no one can really have a percept of a pure 2D image. At least it belongs to some 3D environment. It's drawn on a plane or just floating in a space.

Consequently I think that only humans - having a symbolic language - can define a concept of 2D objects. Thus "perceiving" them is a conceptual illusion. My opinion is that differences in perceiving images depends on person's conceptual world; her thoughts, experiences and metaphysics of understanding. That's why I think that the 2D/3D perceiving is subjective and cannot be objectively defined let alone measured.

Edited by Rilx

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Different colours also focus at different distances, which can create the effect that they are at different depths. People vary in their sensitivity to this effect.

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Very interesting and puzzling situation. This is all armchair speculation, but if I were to try to figure out what might be responsible for phenomena as you've described them, one area I'd be inclined to learn more about and address with an appropriate medical professional would be common opponent processes in the visual system. This would be accomplished by the neural circuitry throughout the visual system - all the way from the retina and extending throughout the visual cortex. For example, a blue vs yellow center-surround antagonism is a generally accepted feature of the magnocellular pathway the visual system. A similar red-green antagonism is well described in the parvocellular pathway and you may find more abundant resources detailing how that works.

There would of course be many other features of this condition to look into as well, including the signal amplification and dampening that occurs to aid in the discrimination of boundaries / contours in the visual landscape, etc.

Understanding the neural circuitry of the visual system happens to be an area where a lot of academic progress is being made, which means there is a lot of information out there. That can be both good and bad when you try to sift through it all, though. I just put a few things in bold/italics that might make for good search terms if you want to seek out more comprehensive resources.

Wanted to add: If finding good resources explaining the anatomy & physiology I mentioned proves to be tricky, let me know and I'll try to find something good in the public domain next time I drop by here

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Hi, have the same thing. But i also see it in magazines that are just ads not ment to be seen in 3d. Usally when i view 3d illusions they can be very intens and i get dizzy. Dosnt happen all the time.

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Hallo Everyone,

I want to share with you the fact that since some time ago and gradually and un intently, I have developed this 3 D perception.
It is totally automatic All 2 D are  perceived to me as Full 3 D reality.
To make it clear I explain, Looking At a photo (Any photo) is exactly like seeing a stage in the wax museum,

I admit that i do enjoy it,
Here is one example to 95 %  like looking out the window (A 3 D world )

The backyard of the old house, just like those View master, To understand what and how i see the 2 d image,
Just like seeing all through View master.

Good high resolution and hiding the borders of the photo (Film Too) the 3 d effect get realistic.
It has to do with brain functions a very realistic effect.

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Yes! finally!! I’ve been seeing certain 2D images in extreme 3D / holographic perception so strong like I could put my hand into it and touch another layer inches if not feet deeper! A selective few instances for some images but a few every single time I look at it for as long as I want uninterrupted with no focus “effort/trying” at all ... Also , something I’ve noticed for years now if I stare at a focal point in clean cut grass and relax my vision / zone out so to speak , the one section I’m staring at will gradually turn into a perfect repeating pattern! My entire peripheral vision snaps into a perfect repeated mathematical repeating pattern like the old video games just stamped everywhere - I feel intuitively I’m getting a brief glimpse at the underlying hyper dimensional geometric framework structure that our mind compensated and allows chaos to cover the scaffolding of reality to appear random but just below that frequency is a mathematical grid pattern ....

Im so very excited I found somebody who is experiencing the 2D images as clear incredible 3D holographic reflection it’s so beautifully mesmerizing and inspiring like a child seeing space fly by their head at night so clear and vivid it reaches out to touch its slow passing by steady and incredible bursts of tiny clusters of magnificent lights that morph into “faces?” .... that’s what I also experienced 40 plus years ago as a young inspired child in this realm of beauty magic and perception ...

Super freaking cool to meet you!!!!

George James Drufovka

🙏🏻

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Assuming you guys aren't just experiencing flashbacks to your days as Hippies in Haight-Ashbury, maybe you're experiencing something along the lines of "binocular rivalry" based on our difficulties in simultaneously  focusing on red & blue. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3159595/

Or maybe it has something to do with the miraculous ability for the brain to fill in gaps in the data (Gestalt perception). That probably has something to do with Babe Ruth overcoming amblyopia to become arguably the best hitters of all time.

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Hi!

I've been perceiving these 3D images since about six months ago. I didn't notice them until one day when I watched the lyric video for the song "Ruby Tuesday" by The Rolling Stones where they used a lot of contrasts in the video like blue, purple, red and yellow. I perceive most of the video in 3D and it's very cool cause it's a whole other experience. When I asked my friends and family if they saw it in 3D too they said they didn't, so until this day I was the only person I knew with this hability. Also, the 3D effect in that image you've shown is very strong for me too.

Here's the link for the video if you're interest in seeing if it works with you.

Btw, I can only perceive this 3D effect in images with contrasting colours or with certain patterns.

Here's a screenshot of the part that gives me the most 3D effect from the video:

Edited by Fulanderson

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I too can see things in 3D. That are suppose to be 2d, sometimes when staring at my ipad, wallpaper, the apps separate from the background, and the image becomes 3D or the words seperate from the screen as a type. Usually I get lost in thought and am looking at just one thing when it happens. Its  so cool to see it, no 3d glasses, necessary.

the theory about one eye being stronger to perceive, may be true, I typically wear glasses, nearsighted and one eye is stronger than the other period. This only happens when I am not wearing my glasses, not wearing glassses means they are unequal in the vision perception, as prescription eyeglass evens them out. So theory might be true, as the spatial distance is not perceived while I wear my glasses.

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Posted (edited)

This feature could be like one person having attached earlobes, while his/her brother has detached earlobes. Could it be recessive/dominant or hereditary?

Edited by Salik Imran

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