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Pamsistoaglyph User Manual(1) General Commands Manual Pamsistoaglyph User Manual(1)


pamsistoaglyph - convert a single-image stereogram to a red/cyan anaglyphic image


pamsistoaglyph [--invert] [--sep=number] [--minsep=number] [--gray=number] [in_netpbmfile

All options can be abbreviated to their shortest unique prefix. You may use either white space or an equals sign between an option name and its value.


This program is part of Netpbm(1).

pamsistoaglyph reads a Netpbm image as input and produces a Netpbm image as output.

pamsistoaglyph takes a single-image stereogram (SIS) such as those produced by pamstereogram(1) and converts it to a red/cyan anaglyphic image such as those produced by ppm3d(1). Many people have trouble tricking their eyes into focusing beyond the image in front of them and are therefore unable to perceive the 3-D shape hidden within a single-image stereogram. Anaglyphic stereograms are easier to perceive in 3-D but require a pair of red/cyan glasses such as those often used to watch 3-D movies. The goal of pamsistoaglyph is to help people who have trouble viewing single-image stereograms see the intriguing 3-D effect.

pamsistoaglyph can convert single-image random-dot stereograms (SIRDS), wallpaper stereograms, and even dual-image stereograms to anaglyphic images.


In addition to the options common to all programs based on libnetpbm (most notably -quiet, see
Common Options
), pamsistoaglyph recognizes the following command line options:

For most images, no command-line options need to be specified. The following options are available, however, for unusual circumstances.

Swap the left- and right-eye
images. pamsistoaglyph assumes that its input
represents a wall-eyed stereogram and generates the anaglyphic
image accordingly. If the generated image appears to recede into
the page where it should pop out of the page (and vice versa),
this typically implies that the input image represents a
cross-eyed stereogram. Use --invert to correct
the image depth.

Specify the distance in pixels between the left- and right-eye
images. Essentially, this corresponds to the distance between
repetitions of the background pattern. The --sep
option should rarely be necessary
as pamsistoaglyph is fairly good at determining
automatically the eye-separation distance.

This option is similar to --sep but
constrains pamsistoaglyph only to
a minimum eye-separation distance. Any distance larger
than number is acceptable. The --minsep
option should rarely be necessary
as pamsistoaglyph is fairly good at determining
automatically the eye-separation distance. The default value for
the minimum eye-separation distance is 10% of the image width;
this value seems to work well in practice.

Limit the number of gray levels to use when searching for the
optimal eye-separation
distance. Because pamsistoaglyph looks for
repeated patterns, it is vulnerable to being confused by slight
variations in color. By reducing the input image to grayscale and
capping the number of gray levels,
pamsistoaglyph ameliorates the effects of
unintentional color variations (such as those caused by conversion
from a low-quality JPEG image, for example). The default of 63
seems to work well so the --gray option should
rarely be necessary.


The registration algorithm used by pamsistoaglyph was developed specifically for this program. As far as the author knows, there are no existing algorithms for converting stereograms to anaglyphs. The algorithm works as follows:

  • Convert the image to grayscale to increase the ability to identify

  • Count the number of pixels that match N pixels ahead in the
    image for all N in [1, width/2].

  • Maintain a running mean (mu) and standard deviation (sigma) of
    the number of matched pixels.

  • Store the N corresponding to each spike in the number of
    matched pixels. A spike is defined as a tally that exceeds the
    mean plus one, two, or three standard deviations. Only the first
    spike of a given standard-deviation multiplier is stored.

  • If a tally greater than mu+3sigma was encountered, return the
    corresponding N. If not, then if a tally greater than
    mu+2sigma was encountered, return the
    corresponding N. If not, then if a tally greater than
    mu+sigma was encountered, return the
    corresponding N. If not, then return the N that
    produces the minimum average distance between matched pixels
    (i.e., #matches divided by #pixels). If no
    such N exceeds the minimum allowable eye-separation value,
    return zero to indicate failure.

  • If the algorithm returned zero, rerun the algorithm independently
    on each row of the input image and return the median of
    all N that exceed the minimum allowable eye-separation
    value. If no such N exists, abort with an error


Scott Pakin wrote pamsistoaglyph in April 2009. It first appeared in Netpbm in Release 10.47 (June 2009).


Copyright (C) 2009 Scott Pakin,



This manual page was generated by the Netpbm tool 'makeman' from HTML source. The master documentation is at
05 April 2009 netpbm documentation