3D Vision Blog

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

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The Stereoscopic Player with Native Windows 8 Stereo 3D Support

March 10th, 2013 · 1 Comment · General 3D News


Native stereoscopic 3D support was one of the features introduced by Microsoft with their new Windows 8 operating system as a part of the new DirectX 11.1 release coming with the OS. The idea behind this new stereo 3D support was to have the game developers using one universal set of instructions for the stereo 3D output (the game still has to have native stereo 3D support built-in the engine), regardless of what technology, GPU type or 3D display device the user has. The video drivers should take the role of outputting the stereo 3D image to the right type of setup that the user has as long as he has a 3D-capable system.

And while all this was something that we definitely need in order to have game developers not focusing only on AMD or Nvidia when developing stereo 3D support in their games, but to have it truly universal, we are still yet to see a game announced to support the new DirectX 11.1 stereo 3D features, let alone have it released. Fortunately if you want to test out how good the new Windows 8 stereo 3D features work you can do it using the popular Stereoscopic Player that since its version 2.0 has a “Quad Buffered DirectX” viewing method available that takes advantage of the Windows 8 stereoscopic 3D support. So if still you haven’t, you should go and give it a try if you’ve already switched to Windows 8, have in mind though that this output mode will not work on previous versions of Windows.

You can download an try the latest version of the Stereoscopic Player here…

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The New Windows 8 OS and the Stereoscopic 3D Support in It

November 3rd, 2012 · 11 Comments · General 3D News

The new Windows 8 OS from Microsoft has been officially out for a few days already and you can get it and upgrade to it or get it with the purchase of a new PC. The big question is if you should do it now, wait for some time before going for Windows 8 or not even think about upgrade for the time being or at all. You can say that the most worked on part of the new OS is the new interface designed for mobile devices such as tablets or computers with touch screen interface, but that can also be considered as the biggest drawback for the users of traditional computers that are used to things like the Start button and programs menu as are missing it. Sure there are other improvements as well and changes that are considered “for the better” for the user, but do all users think they can actually benefit from them. Actually the overall user impressions from the new Windows 8 seem to be more negative than positive, even though people are saying that the new OS works faster and is smoother compared to Windows 7.

And here comes another important question, does Windows 8 work well for stereoscopic 3D use, something that probably a lot of people that are into stereo 3D are asking about. There have been some changes in the video driver model used in Windows 8 and the makers of graphics processors have already implemented and released drivers supporting this, however there might be trouble with other drivers for different hardware, though drivers for Windows 7 might still work if they are digitally signed. There might be some issues for a while with games using different DRM solutions or cheat protection algorithms, preventing you from running certain games, but hopefully these will soon be resolved. Another thing that you might have trouble with if going for the new Windows 8 are all those workaround solutions and tricks that you might’ve used successfully under Windows 7 for making different older or not officially supported 3D hardware working.

My advice for now is not to be in a hurry to go for Windows 8, or at least not as the sole OS you have on your computer. If you want to check it out and try migrating to Windows 8 slowly, then you better start with it installed as a second OS, or even in a virtual machine, as you might have trouble making all your hardware work, trouble with some of the software you are used to working with, or you may not like the new concept at all and decide to skip it and wait for the next major OS release, or at least for some updates or tools to make the transition easier. I already have Windows 8 as a second OS installed, more out of curiosity an to try it out and test various things, including stereoscopic 3D support as well. If you’ve already installed Windows 8 and have tried it, you might’ve faced some issues and here you can share your trouble making things work properly in stereoscopic 3D mode, so that we can find a solution that will work in Windows 8.

I’ll start with one very useful tool that I’ve found out about, a tool that actually makes Windows 8 useable for me, it is called Windows 7 Explorer for Windows 8 (Ex7ForW8) and what it does is to replace the new Windows 8 shell with the one from Windows 7, bringing you back the Start button and menu from Windows 7 into Windows 8. You need to have an installation copy of Windows 7 as the software needs to copy the Explorer.exe executable file from it (it is not included with the installer) and you can easily revert back to the standard Windows 8 shell should you decide to do that as some point. Feel free to share not only your problems, but also some other interesting things that you’ve found out to be useful for you in Windows 8 in the comments below.

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About the Stereoscopic 3D Support in the Upcoming Windows 8 OS

October 12th, 2011 · No Comments · Other S3D Tech

You’ve probably stumbled on different news regarding Microsoft’s upcoming operating system, currently know under the name Windows 8, that also mention stereoscopic 3D support as one of the new features in it. This is certainly a good news for the whole stereo 3D community, but you should be aware of what exactly does Microsoft mean by adding Stereoscopic 3D support in their new operating system as it is not exactly what everyone had hoped for. Nevertheless since Microsoft recognizes the need of implementing stereoscopic 3D support as a feature in their new operating system it should sooner or later develop in a full-blown standard for generating and displaying visual information properly on 3D-capable displays. And in the upcoming Windows 8 OS it will kind of happen with DirectX 11.1 and new video driver architecture WDDM 1.2, although is it just marking the start for what is yet to come, as initially the stereoscopic 3D support will be somewhat limited to recognizing a 3D-capable display and outputting 3D content to it (with the help of the video drivers). This however is something that AMD, Intel and Nvidia already support in their current video drivers, but each of them uses their own implementation and this means that the application code required to add support for 3D with all of them gets more complex and needs more time to be made. So the developer of a stereoscopic 3D capable application or a game would be able to more easily implement stereoscopic 3D support in Windows 8, and saving time and costs associated with programming can actually help in the faster adoption of stereoscopic 3D support…

According to Microsoft:

Windows 8 provides the ideal platform for further innovations for partners to deliver a solid media experience. Windows 8 enables a rich graphical composition model that allows for more flexibility to support video playback and stereoscopic 3D scenarios. Windows 8 will provide a consistent API and DDI platform for Stereoscopic 3D scenarios such as gaming and video playback.

Stereoscopic 3D will be enabled only on systems that have all the components that are stereoscopic 3D capable. These include 3D-capable display hardware, graphics hardware, peripherals, and software applications. The Stereo design in the graphics stack is such that the particular visualization or display technology used is agnostic to the operating system. The Graphics driver talks to the Display and has knowledge about the display capabilities through the standardized EDID structure. The driver will enumerate Stereo capabilities only when it recognizes such a display connected to the system.

According to Microsoft the stereo 3D functionality can be enabled only on DirectX 10-capable hardware and higher, but that should not mean that if your video card is DX10-capable you will not be able to play games in stereo 3D mode if they use DX9. The improvements for stereoscopic 3D video content playback relates to the new D3D11 API for Stereoscopic 3D video that unpacks stereo frames into left- and right-eye images, that is if your video player application uses D3D11 API calls for the playback of 3D video.

So what does the stereoscopic 3D support for Windows 8 mean? It means that if you have a game with native stereoscopic 3D support you should be able to easily make the output compatible with different 3D solutions by using the S3D support in the OS (no matter what is the video card in your system) and not by talking to each of the video drivers in a specific way depending on what your video card is. If your game does not support stereo 3D in its engine, then you’d still have to use an additional software to convert it in stereo 3D format such as 3D Vision or iZ3D or TriDef 3D that are already available. These solutions of course would need to be updated to support the new stereoscopic 3D features when Windows 8 becomes available, but it will also make it easier for their developers to implement generic stereo 3D output if they decide to rely on the new features and not continue to use their workaround solutions. So the situation in terms of stereo 3D support wouldn’t actually change that much with just the release of Windows 8, but as I’ve already said it is a step in the right direction.

For more information on what the new Windows Display Driver Model will bring…
A Direct3D 11.1 Simple Stereo 3D application code in C++ utilizing the new features…

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