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How Well are Some New Games Performing in Stereoscopic 3D Mode

September 26th, 2010 · 18 Comments · Stereo 3D Games

A few days ago I’ve mentioned some Interesting Upcoming Games to Try Playing in Stereoscopic 3D Mode and here is what you can expect from the titles that already are available or are expected in the next few days. I’ve had the chance to test some demos and some of the final games in stereo 3D mode already for a bit and here are some of my findings and tips and tricks that might help you to get better results playing them in stereo 3D mode. I’ve already discussed the game Blade Kitten, so below I’ll go with other titles…

Arcania – Gothic 4

The 3D Vision drivers detect the game and load a profile for Gothic 2 instead of Ghotic 4. Shadows are rendered incorrectly and although you have a lot of options to tweak the graphic settings from in-game, you cannot completely disable the shadows and that makes the game quite uncomfortable to be played in stereo 3d mode with 3d vision. The good news is that you can disable the shadows completely from within the config file the game creates called “VideoSettings.xml” and available in Documents under a folder named ArcaniA – Gothinc 4 Demo (and without the demo for the final game). Just open the file with a text editor and edit the value of the attribute “shadows” changing the value from true to false. After that the shadows will be completely gone and the in-game options controlling them will have no effect at all which ultimately makes the game playable in stereo 3D mode, although there are still some minor issues left. These include some objects over characters that are rendered in 2D and some glowing around some of the characters when viewed from a certain direction. Also the water is not being rendered correctly, so you can see halos around objects over water, but as I’ve said the wrongly rendered shadows are the most serious issues and you can pretty much go along with the other minor ones.


No official 3D Vison profile available yet, but the game handles pretty good in stereo 3D mode with 3D Vision. There are some issues with the rendering of some of the atmospheric effects like fog, smoke some glowing lights or even some of the fires that may lead to some weird halos around different objects, but the issue is not that serious the game remains quite playable. With some custom convergence settings you can get pretty good results.

Dead Rising 2

Has a 3D Vision profile saying not recommended game, however the game looks almost great in stereo 3D mode with 3D vision. Interestingly enough there is a 3D Vision ready logo being displayed during the start of the game! And pretty much the only thing that might be a bit of a bother and create some issues in stereo 3D mode are the health icons and item icons that you see during the game that are rendered in 2D and thus sometimes may create a wrong depth cue. Other than that the game looks really well in stereo 3D mode…

F1 2010

Has a 3D Vision profile, rated fair with some elements not rendering correctly. But in reality the game looks really great in stereo 3D mode with 3D Vision, so probably the rating that Nvidia gave it is a bit off and the issues they mention are actually not present or very minor. The most serious issue actually might be some ghosting you may or may not notice on some high contrasting objects.

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light

There is no official 3D Vision profile yet, but the game is quite Ok even with the default settings. You have to disable the Shadows and the Volumetric Effects since they do not work well in stereoscopic 3D mode, but other than that the game plays quite well in S3D mode. You can play a bit with the custom convergence, to set Lara’s character as the convergence point for optimum results and stay at lower depth level, otherwise in cutscenes or other taller objects inside the game world you might have trouble focusing on the 3D objects. The red circle below Lara is rendered in 2D and that is presenting some problems together with the crosshair also rendered in 2D, so in getting a better resulting convergence level without issues you’ll have to do some compromises, so stay still with the Lara’s character as the convergence point for best overall result. I’ve provided a custom convergence settings which work great with a depth level of up to about 15%.
Download the custom convergence settings for Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light…

Sid Meier’s Civilization 5

The game has a 3D Vision profile and is rated as Excellent. It performs really good in stereo 3D mode with 3D vision and the only possible issue you might notice is the presence of some ghosting depending on your 3D monitor. High contrasting objects as usually tend to give a some ghosting and here you have an abundance of while clouds over unexplored territory that can cause some ghosting as well as some other minor details too. But pretty much the game looks and plays really well in stereo 3D mode.

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18 responses so far ↓

  • 1 josh // Sep 26, 2010 at 03:27


    i always see downloads and articles relating to custom convergence settings for games to help them work better with 3d. is there a link for this website or any other website that explains how to use these custom convergence settings? thanks for any help

  • 2 distant // Sep 26, 2010 at 03:44

    Love your blog. The new game reviews are just great. Thank you.

  • 3 Semprini // Sep 26, 2010 at 04:57

    Sid Meier’s Civilization 5 should be 3D Vision Ready… for me is one of the best games in 3D Vison so far. Greatings from Brazil!

  • 4 Helifax // Sep 26, 2010 at 13:13

    For me Arcania is a total letdown from the stereo 3D point of view. I’ve waited for this game quite a lot only to see a poor implementation in 3D. Think how this game would have looked if it was properly implemented. I disabled the shadows the lightning and everything I could only to find an empty “world” game. Another thing I noticed is that you cannot change the convergence. You actually end up changing the convergence of the special effects : light lightning etc from the objects in the world. I hate it when developers don’t create a real 3D world and use workarounds like these. For me is totally unplayable.

    The good thing came from “Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light” and “Darksiders” which for my surprise it is an awesome game and both are very playable in stereo 3d.

  • 5 Bloody // Sep 26, 2010 at 13:54

    Josh , for the custom convergence settings you just double click on the reg file to import it into the Registry, if you want to remove it just delete the Registry key that was created.

    Helifax, you are right that Arcania – Gothic 4 is the biggest disappointment in stereo 3D from the new games that are coming out. I also had high expectations from it and now I’m a bit disappointed, although I’ll still play it, but not in stereo 3D ;)

  • 6 galop1n // Sep 26, 2010 at 17:26

    Thanks to you i discover that dead rising 2 is out also on Pc ^^

    It’s a shame that so many game mess their shadows but this is a sick limitation of the way nvidia take over the game to create the stereoscopic projection :(

    At least, thanks to nvidia, i have the keys to bring a 100% compliant 3dvision mode to the game i am working on :D shadows and interfaces includes xD

  • 7 m3nace // Sep 27, 2010 at 19:55

    hey guys. can you recommend a game or movie that gives an imax like experience with 3dvision, something that has u dodging and ducking from the effects, for I am not impressed by anything I have seen thus far..

  • 8 Helifax // Sep 27, 2010 at 20:50

    I discovered something very funny about “Arcadia”. It seems the developers choose to create the game by using the “multiple layer” technique. In plain 3D zoom as much as possible looking at your characters face and notice the 2nd layer around his head. This layer is supposed to be the detailed hair. I found out this is better seen in the cave near the end of the demo. So it seems that no future patch will make this game playable in stereo. (I hoped something to happen like the Trine game).

  • 9 frank // Sep 28, 2010 at 15:05

    forget about Civ5 – yes it looks very nice but its a beta test. freezes, crashes and grafix bugs – thats what you get in the game.
    dont buy!

  • 10 Matthias // Sep 28, 2010 at 15:38

    I played the Arcania Demo in stereo 3D and can say that it is pretty much unplayable most of the time. I am very disappointed, because I really locked forward to play Arcania. I do not plan to play this game in “flat 3D” and therefore will not buy it. I think it is a shame for a current game not to support stereo 3D properly. I would have been quite happy if it just was possible to switch of the buggy effects like the transparent water and the glow of fire like it is possible for the shadows.


    Best regards,

  • 11 Matthias // Sep 28, 2010 at 15:41

    @ Helifax
    The “multiple layer” technique seems to be used for the transparent water and the glow of fire effects. The transparent water isn’t handled correctly in Risen too. I think this is because the second layer is not shifted correctly by the Stereo 3D Vision driver. Might it be possible to fix the stereo 3D driver in this respect without changes to the games?

    Best regards,

  • 12 Helifax // Sep 28, 2010 at 19:18


    Yes Risen has almost the same faults but :
    -Risen can be played with a very low depth without switching off shadows or so, for me it worked.
    Prince of Persia Forgotten Sands has the same problems around water and later in the game around dust( creates 4 images instead of 2.)
    I don’t really believe this is a problem from the 3d vision driver. I strongly suspect that the spacial coordinates of these shaders (effects) aren’t pinned down with the models and thus when trying to render the left-right eye these shaders move as well with the amount of the set-by-user convergence. This shouldn’t happen. I think is a problem from development on how the game was actually developed.
    I’ve posted a question on the official support page for ARCANIA to ask how can I disable these shaders. Until now nothing thou.
    If you want to contribute or write your feedback (in case you think that being more then me) maybe the developers will answer of will fix this. Here is the link:


  • 13 gapper4 // Sep 28, 2010 at 20:06

    Guys, I need some help. I’ve played the demo for Civ V and it’s unplayable in 3D Vision for me. I have the latest drivers and I follow the recommendation to have the Fog of War quality at Medium or less, but the game looks like it has overlapping negative textures (textures look like the “negative” of the real one). Any suggestions ? Other games I love, like Medieval and Empire Total War, look fantastic with 3D Vision, and I was soo looking forward to playing Civ 5 !

  • 14 Matthias // Sep 29, 2010 at 14:43

    @ Helifax
    many thanks for your answer.

    I am currently playing Risen with 100% depth and shadows turned off and I am very happy with this setting most of the time – except when there is water visible. Shadows in stereo 3D would be a nice thing to have, though.

    I can’t test it right now, but i think that the water bug in Risen is due to the “under water model” being displayed ad the center instead of being shifted left or right. This leads to 3 images, which itself leads to two ghost pictures to the left and right nevertheless.

    I had a closer look at this picture posted by Zloth and at the picture in your link:
    After doing this, I think the problem in Arcania is different. Here the artifacts seem to be shifted further to the left or right. This leads to 4 images instead of 2 as you stated. To make things even worse, the additional shift is not the same for the different shaders as can be seen in the second picture.

    Best regards,

  • 15 Helifax // Sep 30, 2010 at 01:02


    Hmm you are right. It does look like the shift if different in Arcania from Risen. From, what I dug so far it seems that the demo was from a very early build of the game or so I’m lead to believe. Still I don’t get my hopes high on the final product. Still I would love if we could find a way to disable these effects altogether. The shadows doesn’t quite bother me so much in Arcania or I got used to them:)) as do the lightning effects. Of course without these effects the game would look more flat but at least playable in 3D. I also noticed that these shifts in the display of effects appear even on minimum depth which demonstrate that something weird is happening with the game engine. Again I really hope this is fixed in the final release.

    Best regards

  • 16 Matthias // Sep 30, 2010 at 14:44

    @ Helifax

    I have had a closer look at Risen yesterday and found out that the sub-water-models are also shifted farer from the middle as they are in Gothic 4. I think it is shifted exactly twice as far as the normal models. I don’t know how the multi-layer stuff works exactly. Do you have some knowledge about this? I doubt that the triangles of the 3D models are handled multiple times, since this would also multiply the computational effort. I think what we see is the “optimizations” which are not working properly together with the camera-shift in stereo 3D.

    It’s sad that in order to play games in stereo 3D, to make them look more deep, you have to switch of shadows and probably other things, which in turn makes the games look more flat.

    Best regards

  • 17 Helifax // Sep 30, 2010 at 22:47


    I don’t know exactly how the coordinates for the effects layers are created, but I have a hunch they are computed instead of using the coordinates from the object mesh instead. This is why the gap between the object and the effects (which should drop on the object) increases direct proportionally with the amount of convergence. Again this is a hunch from what I know. Could be that this method is not used anymore, I don’t know. Unless the developers provide a feedback we are kinda left in semi-dark here.:))

  • 18 lionmedia // Oct 3, 2010 at 03:44

    thx very much u have a very helpful blog , continue

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