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

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Entries Tagged as 'Other S3D Tech'

No Stereo 3D Support on Acer Iconia Tab A510 Tegra 3 Tablet

July 29th, 2012 · 3 Comments · Other S3D Tech

Up until now I’ve had the impression that all Nvidia Tegra 3-based devices should have stereoscopic 3D support when connected through HDMI to an external 3D-capable TV set (or other display device supporting HDMI 1.4 3D). I’ve already played a bit and liked the stereoscopic 3D support on the Asus Transformer Pad (TF300) tablet a while ago and I’ve decided to try out another Tegra 3-based tablet that comes with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich pre-installed – the Acer Iconia Tab A510 tablet. I’ve tried connecting the tablet to multiple 3D-capable display devices such as a Panasonic 3D plasma HDTV, a 3D monitor from Acer and a 3D projector with HDMI 1.4 support, but no luck in being able to enable stereo 3D support or in seeing the HDMI menu with the settings appear. The external display works just fine and displays what is shown on the tablet’s screen, but only in normal 2D mode, so apparently the the Acer Iconia Tab A510 Tegra 3 tablet simply does not feature stereoscopic 3D support. I can say I’m a bit disappointed, though besides the lack of stereoscopic 3D support the tablet actually seems quite nice and comes at a good price…

There are probably other Tegra 3-based devices that may or may not support stereoscopic 3D output to a 3D-capable display device using HDMI, so if this is a feature that you want to have on your tablet, you better try it out or thoroughly check if it is really supported before deciding on the product. The thing that I’m not very happy about is that there is no clear information which Tegra 3 devices do support stereoscopic 3D output on an external device and though Nvidia has a list of all Tegra powered products released on the market, this list does not include that information (and device manufacturers not always make information about that support or the lack of such available). The Tegra dedicated website that Nvidia also has called Tegra Zone also does not contain a list of devices with clear information on the features they support such as stereoscopic 3D output, though you can check what Tegra-optimized games do support stereo 3D mode on it. And here I’m wondering am I the only one interested in the stereoscopic 3D features of Tegra 3-based devices, surely not, but it seems like if Nvidia does not care much about that feature that is apparently supported by Tegra 3, though not available on all Tegra 3-based devices. And stereoscopic 3D support is a feature that can really make a difference for some people when making a choice for a new tablet or a smartphone and they want to be able to connect it to a 3D HDTV and use in stereo 3D mode.

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What Should Nvidia Do With the “Optimized for GeForce” Solution

July 24th, 2012 · 3 Comments · Other S3D Tech

Probbaly not many of you are aware what exactly is this thing called “Optimized for GeForce” that Nvidia actually does not promote a lot, so you don’t have an idea what it is. Nvidia puts the “Optimized for GeForce” logo on products that have licensed their 3D software for use on passive 3D solutions or autostereoscpic 3D ones. Nvidia actually calls this 3D support for entry level glasses-free and passive 3D displays and unfortunately there are just a few products that carry that logo and provide support for the same thing that 3D Vision offers on active 3D displays with the difference being that on passive 3D displays you get half vertical resolution in 3D mode and half horizontal resolution in 3D mode on autostereoscopic 3D displays. The rest is essentially the same – the same number of profiles of 3D games, the same interface and control of the 3D effect, the same support and software for playing back 3D videos and opening 3D photos.

So why isn’t the “Optimized for GeForce” solution more popular and widely used on different 3D-capable products that have passive or autostereoscopic 3D displays? It is hard to properly answer that, but considering that DDD has teamed up with the two major OEMs making 3D displays in general as well as 3D monitors for PC – Samsung for active 3D and LG for passive 3D, it is probably not that easy to convince them or other makers of 3D displays that you have better alternative. You either have to offer better price for the license agreement or coming in other way, but there is one other major disadvantage that “Optimized for GeForce” has and that is the fact that it will only work on systems that have Nvidia-based 3D-capable graphics cards, so that essentially limits the users a bit. So the question here is why Nvidia is not more active with their “Optimized for GeForce” solution now, especially considering the fact that the other competitor besides DDD and their TriDef 3D software – iZ3D, has stopped developing their software also supporting passive 3D displays for a while now?

At the moment there are only two 3D-capable passive 3D monitors supporting the “Optimized for GeForce” solution and they are both from Acer – ACER GR235H and ACER HR274H, and there are two series of autostereoscopic 3D-capable laptops from Toshiba – TOSHIBA QOSMIO F750 and TOSHIBA QOSMIO F755. But in reality out there there are a lot of passive and autostereoscopic 3D capable display devices that should be compatible and may be able to work with “Optimized for GeForce”. So why doesn’t Nvidia go the same way with “Optimized for GeForce” as they did with their 3DTV Play software for 3D HDTVs – offer users of passive 3D displays to purchase a license and use the software with their 3D-capable hardware (with glasses-free solutions it may be a bit harder as there are various implementations available). This would actually give an alternative solution to those that use the bit outdated already iZ3D Driver or the TriDef 3D software and want to have another solution that might work better on other hardware, provided that they have a compatible Nvidia-based video card. Of course there are always other methods to make things work on not officially supported hardware like to use an EDID override driver from another compatible monitor, but while this works well most of the time, there is no guarantee that it will work in your case or will not give you different trouble, so it is not very recommended… but when you don’t have another choice.

What do you think, should Nvidia reconsider their strategy for “Optimized for GeForce” and offer it not only as a licensing option for hardware manufacturers to bundle it with their 3D-capable displays, but also to offer licenses of the software to end users of passive and autostereoscopic 3D solutions as well?

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Creating Stereo 3D Presentations in PowerPoint Using Presente3D

July 22nd, 2012 · 1 Comment · Other S3D Tech

Presente3D is an interesting add-on for Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 that allows users to easily take any existing PowerPoint Presentation and add some volume into it turning it into a stereoscopic 3D presentation. Presente3D is currently in open beta stage and is available for free download, so anyone interested can download and try it, the full package comes with a few example presentations that you can test viewing in 3D before you actually start turning your presentations in 3D format. Probably the nicest thing about this software is the fact that everyone can quickly start using, even people new to 3D should be able to get the hang of it in a few minutes. The fact that it is so easy to use is very important, though you can say that the ease of use also limits a bit the functionality of the software. Then again when making presentations in 3D you should focus what you are presenting as information and not that much on adding a lot and very fancy and distracting 3D effects, right? The 3D in presentations should be properly used in order to help you focus the attention of the viewer on the key points in your presentation and not to sway their attention away from them.

When you install the Presente3D is going to be automatically integrated directly into Microsoft PowerPoint’s Ribon Bar, and you’ll see the Presente3D menu at the rightmost part of that bar, just click on it to see the options you have available. You’ll immediately see that there aren’t that many things that you can do and the good thing is that all of the 3D effects can be added with changing just two parameters of all the objects you have in the presentation – the depth position of an element and the other only is for applying an extrude effect. So essentially you are going to make all your presentations as you normally do in 2D mode, using all the traditional tools of PowerPoint and then you’ll have to add the depth information to the objects you want and that can just take a few minutes extra when you get the hang of it.

Currently Presente3D supports only PowerPoint 2007 and PowerPoint 2010 and it can work with most more common 3D display methods such as 3D HDTV or 3D-Ready projectors, but due to the fact that the visualization of the software uses OpenGL you will not be able to make it work with 3D Vision for example. But since we are talking about presentations after, the most common ways of showing these to a group of people would be either using a projector or a bigger TV set and you should covered for these just fine. You have Side by Side and Above-Below modes for 3D HDTVs (there is a mention of HDMI 1.4 support on the official website, but I could not find it in the software) as well as Frame Sequential output for 3D DLP projectors, though apparently the FrameSequential Stereo (QuadBuffer) requires you to have an Nvidia Quadro card. What we need for 3D DLP projectors that are actually the most common and affordable ones with 3D-capabilities is a generic frame sequential mode that would not require you to have a professional level graphics card to work. Presente3D apparently will also support the quite common Anaglyph mode as well as some professional products for output such as the ones made bu Dimenco, Tridelity and SpatialView – autosterescopic 3D solutions not requiring you to wear any kind of 3D glasses to see the 3D effect.

With Presente3D you can control the depth or extrude any text, image or shape in PowerPoint or add real stereoscopic 3D images inside the presentation. You can also adjust separation, zoom in and zoom out and you can also rotate the resulting slides. When you want to change the depth position of an object in the presentation are working on you need to select it and give negative value to the Z-depth parameter in Presente3D to make the object go deep inside or positive value to make it pop-out of the screen. If you want to use extrusion as a form of adding depth to an object you need to select it and play with the value for Extrude, make sure you add an outline color as it will be used for the extrusion, and you can of course use both the Extrude and Z-Depth parameters together. Another option you have available is to add a stereoscopic 3D images into a presentation, though this is a bit tricky as currently only images with separate left and right views are supported (separate files for left and right eye), you need to insert the left view as a standard photo and then attach the right view trough the Presente3D interface. With stereoscopic 3D photos you can also play with the depth pf the photo in the presentation, though you are not able to control the 3D effect inside the photo itself.

Due to the way that Presente3D works for adding volume into existing 2D presentations the final effect is more like having cardboard cutouts as you are essentially building slides out of a number of layers with different depth for the elements or parts of elements you put in the presentation. But this actually works quite well in presentations, and if you need something else with more complex depth levels you can always include an external stereoscopic 3D photo to show. Also have in mind that running 3D presentations in stereoscopic 3D mode needs to be done through the options for showing the current slide and the whole presentation in the Presente3D bar, not trough the normal presentation play options as this way you’ll only see the normal 2D version of the presentation. There are some other limitations and things not yet implemented in Presented3D, but hopefully they will for example there is no yet support for videos, so you may have to switch to an external player to show a 2D/3D video and then get back to your 3D presentation. Getting an option to export the presentation in 3D format either as stereoscopic 3D photo pairs or a 3D video would also be useful and this is probably planned seeing an inactive option to export the presentation. But then again as I’ve mentioned PResente3D is still in beta version, so there is more to be done, but even at its current stage of development the software definitely looks very promising, so it is something to keep an eye on. I suggest you download the beta and try it out by opening the few sample presentations included to see what is possible to be done with it, and then try adding 3D effects to some of your own presentations to actually see how easy it is and how with just a few touches your presentation may suddenly become more interesting in 3D.

To download and try the Presente3D beta software for PowerPoint 3D presentations…

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