Long thought to be mired in the annals of kitschy 90s nostalgia, the technology behind those Magic Eye posters has climbed out of the time capsule and been rebooted, compliments of Canadian band Young Rival.

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Stereograms, as they’re technically called, are patterned images that when stared at with a trance-like gaze, reveal hidden three-dimensional objects. You might recall staring at these posters or books at your local mall kiosk around the time Janet Jackson’s “That’s the Way Love Goes” was wrecking the charts. Or perhaps you were unable to see the castles and race cars jumping off the page. If so, don’t sweat it, you’re not alone.

For their new video for “Black Is Good,” the Ontario-based indie rock trio basically created an animated stereogram illusion. After pushing play, viewers are asked to defocus and relax their eyes above two onscreen dots. Once those dots “form a third dot in the middle,” the magic begins.

“This video is made up of a sequence of something called a ‘random dot autostereograms,’ the video’s YouTube page states. “These are also made on computers, but use subtle differences in a randomly generated field of noise to create the illusion.”

The video was directed by Jared Raab, and comes with a handy technical explainer about how the project was made:

To make your own autostereogram, one must first create a thing called a “depth map” which is a 2D representation of 3D depth information. We collected real-time depth data of Young Rival performing the song using an X-Box Kinect hooked up to a computer. The computer was running software called RGBD toolkit, designed for capturing the depth information from the Kinect using its built-in infrared system. Once we had our depth information, we unpacked it into image sequences and edited these sequences as if they were regular video. The only difference in the editing process was that depth was represented by luminosity.

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Still having a problem seeing the band in the video? If so, the band suggests taking this tutorial. No word yet if the band’s next video will include Beanie Babies, florescent wind breakers and re-runs of Saved By The Bell.

via Fast Company

Credit: Young Rival