Stereoscopy, also known as stereoscopic imaging or three-dimensional imaging, refers to the photographic technique of reproducing or creating a three-dimensional image on a two-dimensional surface, such as a piece of photographic paper or a film screen. First invented in 1838 by Sir Charles Wheatstone, stereoscopy is generally used by researchers to view experimental data or for art and entertainment purposes, such as stereograms, holograms or topographic maps.
Traditionally, stereoscopic imaging was done by superimposing two two-dimensional versions of the same image over one another. This technique manipulates the way the eye works: to detect depth and sense an objects dimensions, the eyes look at the same object from two different angles (the right eye captures one side of the object while the left captures the other side). Where the angles of vision meet, the eye sends signals to the brain, which then takes in the spatial dimension of the object to identify it as familiar or foreign.
With modern photographic technology, a photographer can produce a stereoscopic image by using a three-dimensional scanner.
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