Hamilton’s Young Rival has created a new music video that exploits your childhood weaknesses.
Anyone who was a kid in the 90s remembers them: Magic Eye Puzzles. They were popularized in Scholastic Book Orders, and gleefully passed around playgrounds all over Canada.
The basic premise was this — cross your eyes and you can see a “magic” 3D image appear out of the blurred hodgepodge in front of you.
Some kids could see them no problem. Others didn’t have a prayer.
Young Rival bassist John Smith was one of those kids.
“I was that kid on the playground with the Scholastic book of Magic Eye Puzzles and I could never ever get them to work,” Smith told CBC Hamilton.
But when the band (which has a flair with inventive music videos) was pitched the idea of a Magic Eye music video on Black is Good, Smith was all for it. That is, until he couldn’t see the finished product, either.
'I'm told there's a T-Rex'
“I was so fed up,” he laughed. But he persisted, and somewhere around the two-dozen viewing mark, Smith could finally see the video’s hidden gems — like a 3D dolphin, a heart, shots of the band, and even a tyrannosaurus.
“I’m told there’s a T-Rex in there somewhere, but I haven’t seen it yet,” he said.
The video, which the band is touting as the first ever made for Magic Eye, was made by director, editor and cinematographer Jared Raab and artist Tomasz Dysinki. Raab actually hacked and repurposed an Xbox Kinect — the motion sensor that’s used to monitor movement on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
Raab collected real-time depth data of the band performing Black is Good using the Kinect hooked up to a computer, which was running software called RGBD Toolkit, designed for capturing depth information.
Once he and the band had that depth information, they used it to create the video you can see above.
“I think this guy is a total genius,” Smith said.
Authostereograms (the technical name for Magic Eye Puzzles) aren’t the easiest thing in the world to decipher, Smith admits.
“But it’s possible to see the stuff,” he said. “I got there.”
How to make sense of all that snow
By using one of several different techniques to view them, an autostereogram produces the illusion of depth perception.
To view autostereograms, people have to "decouple" or defocus their eyes, which tricks the brain into seeing the slight variations in the repeating pattern as depth information, Raab wrote in this post on the band’s website.
They can be viewed in one of two ways, using either the "crossed-eye" method or "parallel-eye" method. The band has actually produced two different versions of the video for those who prefer one or the other for their Magic Eye viewing goodness.
Young Rival is no stranger to unique music video treatments. Their collaboration with face-painting artist James Kuhn on Two Reasons garnered over 800,000 hits on YouTube. They followed that up with an innovative take on lyric videos with Better Things to Do, which features a host of local artists.
Somehow, the band keeps coming up with new ideas, Smith says.
“We’re just having fun right now,” he said. “It’s great trying out different ideas.”