3D Vision Blog

A normal user's look into the world of 3D Stereo Technologies

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Get The 2D Glasses If You Have Trouble With 3D Movies at Cinema

April 22nd, 2011 · 5 Comments · General 3D News


Do you remember the De-3D Cinema Glasses prank that ThinkGeek has pulled for April 1st this year, well the movie theater glasses that will turn a 3D movie into a 2D one are now real and you can buy them for $7.99 USD a pair. But why would you need glasses that make a 3D movie into a 2D one, when you can just go to a projection of that movie in 2D and not pay for a more expensive ticket for 3D projection? The answer is pretty simple, if you are not going alone to the cinema and only you have trouble when watching 3D and your friends still want to watch the movie in 3D, you can be with them and still watch in 2D with the special pair of glasses. The 2D Glasses are intended to be used in movie theaters using RealD projection technology and should be also compatible with most passive 3D television sets. They are not compatible with IMAX 3D movie theaters or ones using Dolby Digital 3D technology as these use different type of glasses, and of course they are not compatible with active shutter glasses solutions. Active shutter glasses such as Nvidia’s 3D Vision can also be modified to show 2D image from a screen displaying a 3D one, I’ve made a guide on how to do that.

Here is the real story behind the 2D Glasses from Hank Green:

In late 2010 I wanted to go see Tron Legacy. My wife was happy to come with me… as long as we went to the cheap theater where it was playing in 2D.

Really? Tron in 2D? What’s the point right? And then my wife told me something I never knew, she gets bad headaches when watching 3D movies.

She never complained about it, but there it was. I didn’t want my wife to be in pain, but I also didn’t want to go see Tron by myself. So instead of complaining (okay, in ADDITION to complaining), I got out my tools.

Instead of “recycling” the 3D glasses that my wife and I used during the movie, I took them home. After a lot of poking and twisting and gluing and cutting and cursing and sawing, I had created my first pair of 2D Glasses.

They’re not pretty, but I took them to see Voyage of the Dawn Treader in 3D and they worked! Katherine could watch the movie in 2D, and even switch to 3D for the action scenes!

She told some friends and by the next week, I had around 10 “orders” for these ugly 2D glasses. Stealing my raw materials from the theater became impractical, so I decided to get some nice ones made and make them available to the world.

What these 2D glasses actually do is to use two lenses with the same light polarization, instead of lenses with different polarization for the left and right eye as the typical passive polarized 3D glasses do. So basically in order to make a pair of 3D glasses into a one showing you 2D image from a 3D projection you just need to replace the right lens on the glasses with another left one. So instead of getting two slightly different images through each of your eyes and the brain fusing them into a 3D image with these glasses both your eyes will see only the left projected frame and it will still feel as a 2D image. And there goes the trouble and problem you may be experiencing watching 3D content, even though the projection would still be in 3D, you will be seeing a 2D movie with these modified glasses.

For more information about the 2D glasses visit their official website…
You can also order the 2D Glasses from Amazon, they are being shipped worldwide…

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Anaglyph, Shutter, Polarized Glasses or Autostereoscopic 3D Solution

December 29th, 2010 · 8 Comments · Other S3D Tech


You are new to stereo 3D and you wonder where to start from? There is the very cheap and widely available (meaning easy to get) anaglyph red-cyan glasses that can be used with pretty much everything – printed on paper images, normal displays of all sizes, traditional projectors etc. On the other hand there are other solutions like autostereoscopic displays that do not require glasses, and solutions using passive polarized glasses or active shutter glasses, but all these are expensive and have some specific requirements and may not work well with each other if you try to combine things that are not originally intended to be used together. So what should you start with and what should you expect from each of these? I’ll try to give some ideas and of course my personal point of view on these, so that if you are new to stereo 3D you will be able to get some ideas. And the reason for that is that I get a lot of questions on topics like that…

Anaglyph Red-Cyan Glasses
The anaglyph output with red-cyan being the most common and widely used, but also available with other color filters is usually the starter solution for people that want to test the 3D effect for free. Yes, I do really mean for free as all you need is a pair of Red-Cyan anaglyph glasses and you will be ready to try it out on your computer and the chances that you have these glasses already are quite high. These come bundled with some products, magazines, newspapers, even some video cards etc., but even if you don’t have them already, you can get a pair of paper anaglyph glasses very cheap from eBay or any other online store around you that sells some sort of 3D-related products. The good thing here is that you can use a normal 60Hz display for showing anaglyph content in 3D, as this method relies on overlaying the 3D information – two different colored layers over each other and the color filters of the glasses you are wearing separate them to create the illusion of depth. The side effect of having color filters on your glasses is that you loose some of the color information from the original image, also it is more tiring for the eyes and not suitable for longer usage.

On the question if I’d recommend to try first in 3D anaglyph and then going to something that requires a significant amount of money to buy I’d say yes, do try it first in anaglyph as you can do it for free or pretty much free. However you should be prepared to not expect to be overwhelmed by the result you get from anaglyph and you should be aware of the fact that there are numerous other solutions that will produce much better results and will offer you better experience. So do not judge for stereo 3D in overall if you get a bit disappointed from anaglyph when you try it, just know that “the real thing” is much better. And even though I use polarized and shutter-based 3D solutions much more, there are times when I get back to using anaglyph as it is simple, easy and most of all very convenient for some tasks like when aligning the left and right view from a 3D video you’ve captured. As for software, you can go for 3D Vision and the free 3D Vision Discover mode or iZ3D and their free anaglyph mode as well to try games in stereo 3D mode. Just remember, if somebody asks you to buy hardware for anaglyph 3D, then say no, it is good only if it is free or you just payed a very small sum for the glasses, there is no point in purchasing hardware or software just to watch stereo 3D content in anaglyph mode!

Passive Polarized Solutions
These were more popular up to a few years ago and mostly among professional users that needed stereo 3D in their line of work. With passive polarized monitors you usually have a special filter applied on the monitor that can polarize differently the even and odd lines of the screen so when wearing a special pair of glasses with two differently polarized filters for the left and right eye you will see two different images that will be fused into a 3D one. The obvious drawback here is that you get just half the horizontal resolution per eye, because you use a single display/panel. And the obvious plus is the fact that the passive polarized glasses do come quite cheap for a pair and you can easily have more users able to see the 3D effect on a single displays without a lot of additional cost. Some of the other possible issues concerning the monitors include lower viewing angles, some crosstalk still present, etc. When talking about projectors and passive polarized glasses, the solution here usually relies on dual projectors with different polarization, so unlike with monitors you get the full resolution, but these solutions are more expensive, because you also need to get a special type of reflective silver-screen in order to keep the light polarization. But here there are also multiple technologies, especially when talking about usage in 3D cinemas both for the type of polarization of the glasses as well as the projector(s)/screen(s) combination, so I’ll not go too much into details about these.

Solutions with Active Shutter Glasses
These were quite popular in the era of CRT displays, but lately they are seeing their rebirth as a preffered solution with the appearance of LCD/Plasma screens that offer the high refresh rates that are required by the technology. Here you have the screen showing a fast sequence of images, both for the left and the right eye and the glasses that you are wearing actively switch between the left and right eye showing only the frame that is intended for each of them. However the prices of displays that can use a higher refresh rates are higher than the price of a similar size for a normal monitor and even a single pair of glasses is quite expensive, especially compared to the passive polarized ones, as here you have some electronics and not just a few “pieces of plastic”. With the shutter glasses you get the full resolution of the display in stereo 3D mode, however there is still some crosstalk/ghosting. And then again purchasing more than a single pair of shutter glasses can prove to be quite expensive, but still this combination is considered as the best solution for the moment.

Autostereoscopic 3D Displays
Now, there is a lot of talk going on about this type of solutions that do not require the user to wear glasses in order to be able to see the 3D image. It certainly sounds nice and more convenient than having to wear some sort of glasses like with the other solutions, however don’t think we are ready for going to autostereoscopic 3D displays for now. This technology is still quite new and not developed well enough to satisfy general demand and requirements, including in therms of price. The autostereoscopic displays have a number of issues that need to be corrected, before they can become the mainstream technogoly for 3D and that will probably require at least 5 more years. I’m talking about the limited number of viewing positions they offer (the place where you have to be to be able to see the depth of the image being displayed), the lower resolution (this is associated with the number of views you get) and most of all the price has to become much more affordable than it is at the moment. Sure, there are number of small portable multimedia devices that do have an autostereoscopic 3D display and they are not much more expensive than the rest of the non-3D supporting equivalents. However these displays are with a small size, small resolution, usually a single viewing position and due to their quite small size they do not come that expensive. But for a multiuser solution in the form of a big 3D HDTV the price even with what the current technology offers will be at least a few times more expensive than a good 3D-capable LCD or Plasma HDTV with shutter glasses. So there is some more time for that technology to catch up and if you want to experience stereo 3D now, then you should not be waiting for the time of autostereoscopic 3D solutions to come. You’ll quickly get used to wearing the glasses and stop considering that as an inconvenience.

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First Impressions from Acer Aspire 3D (AS-5738DG-664G50Mn)

October 23rd, 2009 · 9 Comments · Other S3D Tech

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Today I was finally able to get my hands on the Acer Aspire 3D laptop for a very quick test, or more specifically the model Acer Aspire AS-5738DG-664G50Mn. It has just arrived and I was able to get my hands on one of them for a short period of time in order to take a few pictures and try a how it works in stereoscopic 3D. And actually this is the first S3D-capable laptop that I’ve seen and tried and I can say that what I’ve seen with this one was pretty good, especially considering that the price of this particular Acer model is quite attractive. But anyway, lets get to the point and see what you get and what you can expect from this laptop that is using a polarized screen and passive polarized glasses in order to achieve the stereoscopic 3D effect in movies, pictures and games with the help of TriDef’s software…

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One of the most important things when considering a laptop is what are its specifications, of course stereoscopic 3D is present, but it also needs a decent set of hardware to support it good enough so that you’ll get the best possible experience out of it. So Acer Aspire AS-5738DG-664G50Mn comes with 15,6-inch screen with 1368×768 resolution (don’t forget that the polarized screen reduces the horizontal resolution in half), the processor is Intel Pentium Core 2 Duo T6600 (Dual core at 2,2 GHz), you get 4GB of system memory, DVD writer and a 500GB hard drive, as for the video cards, it is an ATI Radeon 4570 with 512MB DDR3 VRAM (the GPU could’ve been a bit faster). The laptop comes with a decent set of extras like Multi-touch touchpad, HDMI video output, integrated Bluetooth, Gigabit Ethernet, Wireless-N and so on and so on… the normal set of additional features for a multimedia laptop nowadays. Interesting news is that the laptop comes with the recently announced Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium OS and it is a 64-bit version, which is good, considering the 4 gigs of RAM.

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As I already mentioned you get passive polarized glasses and actually there are two pairs in the package with the laptop – one pair of normal sunglasses type and another one that is designed to clip on to a normal pair of glasses, for the people that need to wear prescription glasses. At first the sunglasses type seemed a little bit smaller to me, like it was designed to be worn by Asians only, but it turns out to be pretty comfortable and durable, which is also very important thing here. Anyway, if you are considering getting this laptop, you better try the glasses first if possible to be sure they will fit you right, just in case… ;)

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So it is time to skip right to the TriDef software and the stereoscopic 3D you are going to get with this Acer Aspire 3D laptop. The first time you run the TriDef software you’ll be presented with a setup screen to adjust your laptop in the best possible position in order to fully experience the depth effect. This means that you need to be viewing your laptop’s screen from at least 60 centimeters, which usually is around the normal distance you’ll be using it and to adjust the angle of the display. You’ll be doing that with the polarized glasses on, looking to the red roses, which should be visible with the perception of depth, so moving back and forth the screen you’ll need to find the angle at which the effect is at its best. For me personally this presented a bit of an issue, because the actual angle of the screen with the best stereoscopic effect seems to allow just about 10-15 degrees of freedom, otherwise I start to loose the depth and in turn see a little bit of ghosting around the objects presented in S3D. This is a little bit annoying, but I guess that after some time of use you’ll be able to naturally find the best position of the screen for the optimum effect and it won’t be an issue anymore.

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Now, Ive already said that the polarized screen and glasses that you are going to wear have a little bit of a disadvantage in terms of the technology that is being used, compared to some other solutions, although it also has some advantages too. The biggest disadvantage is that when in S3D mode you are going to “loose” half of the horizontal resolution in order to achieve the depth effect. Now this is not that bad as you may think it is, because for watching movies and looking through some pictures while in stereoscopic 3D mode they will still look very nice, especially if you increase a bit the distance between you and the screen. But when we are talking about playing games in stereoscopic 3D it might be more problematic, because things like smaller text for instance becomes harder to read and maybe even impossible at times and also some finer details might not be that apparent to you. Still gaming in S3D is very nice and interesting even with this more affordable solution and most of the people that see stereoscopic 3D in action for the first time are really very impressed. The few demo videos and pictures that do come pre-installed on the laptop seemed very nice to look at, but it is a bit of a shame that Acer did not think of also bundling some sort of a game that looks nice in S3D with the laptop…

This is what I can share for the moment from my first 15 minutes playing with the Acer Aspire 3D laptop and of course next week I’ll also try to play a bit more with the TriDef software to see what it is capable of and how well it works on this setup from Acer. And I’m also eagerly awaiting for Asus with their G51J model (Asus G51J-SZ028V) that will feature 120Hz LCD screen to go along with Nvidia’s GeForce 3D Vision shutter glasses as a bit more expensive alternative to what Acer is offering.

Get Acer AS5738DG-6165 15.6-Inch 3D Blue Laptop (Windows 7) for about $675 USD

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