3D Vision Blog

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

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Trying Anaglyph Stereoscopic 3D Gaming on your Laptop

February 3rd, 2010 · 5 Comments · Anaglyph Glasses

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The usage of Anaglyph method for viewing stereoscopic 3D is still by far the easiest way to get a glimpse of what is possible in the world of S3D and what you can expect from a better solution. Of course there are some issues associated with the anaglyph method like problems with color reproduction or you getting tired even after a little use of the red-cyan or other color filters. But still having in mind that you can try it without the need for special display, glasses or even software that you have to pay is just enough for a lot of people to want to try that first and then go with solutions like 3D Vision, iZ3D Monitors, Zalman Trimon and others that require a serious investment in hardware and not only for the 3D setup itself, but also for the PC that will be able to handle the 3D content good enough. So lets get to the point how you can test anaglyph stereo 3D gaming on your mobile computer in particular, but the same solutions will also work on a desktop PC…


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If your laptop has an Nvidia-based GPU inside (GeForce 8xxx or later mobile graphics) you can go for the 3D Vision drivers and use their free anaglyph mode called 3D Vision Discover with any pair of plain red-cyan anaglyph glasses paper or plastic. Or it was working without problems for the 3D Vision Drivers up to version 190.38, as with the later 191.xx (if I remember correctly) up to the latest ones you will get the error above when trying to enable the Stereoscopic 3D mode from the control panel. It seems that when you run any newer 3D Vision drivers they try to find a compatible 120Hz LCD panel in your laptop and if they don’t you are out of luck and cannot even enable the 3D Vision Discover mode to try out the anaglyph mode. It is still weird why Nvidia did not do anything about his issue since it has been around for some time already, or maybe they are simply ignoring all the owners of gaming laptops since there is still no official 3D Vision support for mobile systems with external monitor (with shutter glasses and 120Hz LCD). If you are a lucky owner of Asus G51J 3D laptop – the only one so far with a 120Hz panel you are Ok and you probably should not have any problems running the 3D Vision Discover anaglyph mode too, but why would you do it on this laptop anyway? Still with a modified drivers and and external 120Hz LCD monitor you can run both anaglyph and shutter glasses mode with the 3D vision driver. At least running the anaglyph mode on your desktop PC does not bring any issues, but still if you don’t yet have the shutter glasses you cannot even try the anaglyph mode on your laptop, why?


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Anyway, the good news is that there are alternatives for laptop owners that still want to try the free anaglyph mode and that is to use the iZ3D Driver that does support Anaglyph and a few other stereo 3d viewing methods apart for the specific mode used for their own stereoscopic 3D displays. Another good thing about the use of this driver is that it will work not only on Nvidia-based hardware (including pre-stream processors architecture GPUs), but also on ATI-based video cards. The only drawback here is that the iZ3D Driver still does not support DirectX 10 games, unlike the Nvidia solution, although the company seems to be working on adding it for some time now. So if you have a laptop and you want to try out stereoscopic 3D gaming on it with anaglyph mode you should definitely download and try the iZ3D Driver.

To download the iZ3D Driver with free Stereoscopic 3D anaglyph mode…

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A little bit about DirectX 11, Tessellation and Stereoscopic 3D

January 20th, 2010 · 1 Comment · Other S3D Tech


You have probably already seen the Unigine Heaven benchmark that is one of the first demos of actual game engines supporting DX11 and Tesselation (the Unigine game engine is also Stereo 3D ready), and if you haven’t you should take a look at the video above. Have in mind that the scene in the video looks like that only when running on DX11-capable hardware and with active Tessellation (only on Radeon HD 5xxx series video cards at the moment and will be supported on the upcoming GF100 “Fermi”). What you should take a not at is the level of detail that the Tessellation can add to objects in the virtual world you are playing in, for example: the rocks on the road, the walls of the buildings, the rooftops even the dragon statue looks much better and with a lot of additional detail. And when talking about stereoscopic 3D having also support for tessellation and actually using it in a game will add a lot more detail to objects making them even more realistic… by changing for example the flat rocky road to a one with uneven and bumpy rocks that actually have different depth are are much more like the real thing. You should consider the fact that with tessellation used right the 3D objects using it will not only look better on a 2D screen, but they will actually feel more real when you are viewing them with a 3D screen. This all means that tessellation is something that you should look for in upcoming games especially if you plan to play them with some sort of a stereoscopic 3D setup, but don’t be too glad and in a hurry about that…

I’ve already mentioned that at the moment only the latest ATI GPUs do have hardware support for DirectX 11 and Tessellation, but then again ATI still does not have official stereoscopic 3D support on their own. This does not mean you cannot use some sort of a stereoscopic 3D setup with an ATI hardware, but you need to also rely on additional software to support the respective technology. At the moment such software (universal by the way, working on both ATI and Nvidia hardware) is the iZ3D Driver and DDD TriDef, but there is another catch with these two. Actually more like two catches, the first – both software solutions still do not have good support or such support at all for active shutter glasses, and the second – they still do not even support DirectX 10, let alone DX 11. There is information however that both companies are working on adding DX10 support for Stereoscopic 3D and there were some promises to bring it out in January this year, but we are still waiting and the month is almost over. And then again we’ll probaly need at least a few more months until DirectX 11 support can be introduced – just enough time for more games that do actually take advantage start appearing and more mainstream and affordable hardware from both big names in the consumer VGA market.

You can say that Nvidia has a somewhat better position at this moment because their 3D Vision already does support stereoscopic 3D gaming with DirectX 10 and there is no DX11 yet, just because the company still does not have GPUs that support it on the market. A lot of people are waiting for the first such cards based on the “Fermi” architecture for quite some time already and the GF100 series are due to be out in the market most likely in the beginning of March. It would be quite interesting if Nvidia does introduce DirectX 11 support for 3D Vision too at that time as this will give them even stronger position in the S3D field, just because they don’t have to rely on external software solution they can afford to do that, but it does not mean they will. Still we’ll also need some good games that do take advantage of DX11 features and can use Tessellation to do things like the ones we see in the Unigine demo above and that could take some more time as we all played the same “game” not too long ago DX10.

But no matter how long we’ll have to wait for things to happen if you are into stereoscopic 3D gaming, then you should be looking forward to DX 11 hardware and software that does take advantage of Tessellation to make the game world much more realistic and appealing. I just hope that we are going to have games that do look like the demo in the video above and of course are normally playable even in stereoscopic 3D mode…

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Using Acer Aspire 3D Laptop with iZ3D Driver Instead of TriDef Ignition

January 3rd, 2010 · No Comments · Other S3D Tech

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If you are an owner of Acer Aspire 3D AS-5738DG laptop you should know that this mobile computer uses DDD’s TriDef software to provide Stereoscopic 3D support for pictures, video and games, but since it is using a Horizontal Interlaced mode to create the stereoscopic 3D effect you can also use other software. This made me try the Aspire 3D laptop with iZ3D’s driver instead of the bundled TriDef software just to be sure and to check if there will be any significant difference when using one or the other software. You should know that both TriDef Igniton and iZ3D Driver still do not support DirectX 10, although both are working on adding this support and we should have it pretty soon, and as for DX11 it is still too early.


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When you install the iZ3D driver you need to setup it to use Interlaced, Horizontal (optimized) mode in order to have it working as it should with the Aspire 3D laptop. You can as well use the normal Horizontal mode, but the Optimized version is supposed to provide a little bit of improvement by doing some minimal vertical anti-aliasing as opposed to just skipping the unneeded lines in normal mode, although the difference it is hardly visible and there seems not to be any significant difference in terms of performance.

The next step was to try a game that is not completely problem free when played in stereoscopic 3D mode and to measure the performance difference by using both programs to see if any of them is better. The game I choose was X-Blades, because it looks quite good in S3D mode and is not too heavy so the Radeon 4570 video card in the Acer laptop could handle it. But at the same time X-Blades also has an issue when HDR is enabled and you try to play in stereoscopic 3D mode that becomes apparent when you move the camera with the mouse around your character. It turned out that the weird “wash out” effect is present with HDR enabled on both iZ3D and TriDef Ignition and then again the performance I got from both solutions was pretty close to each other. When playing X-Blades in normal mode, at maximum details, with no AA at 1368×768 resolution I get average of about 40 fps, but when switching to stereoscopic 3D mode with the help of iZ3D or TriDef Ignition the framerate on both goes to an average of 24 frames per second. There is just a slight difference if you turn the Autofocus function of the iZ3D driver On, resulting in about 2-3 fps drop. Have in mind that these results were achieved with PowerPlay disabled for getting the top performance from the laptop as I described here Optimizing your Aspire 3D Laptop for Best Performance in S3D Mode. The end result from the comparison between the programs that allow you to turn a normal 3D game into a stereoscopic 3D game is that they perform pretty much on par with each other in terms of quality, performance and even features. Of course each of these solutions has its own small advantages, but if you’ve bought an Acer Aspire 3D laptop there is no reason for you to additionally buy a license for iZ3D Driver as you won’t get a significant improvement at this moment. When iZ3D Driver version 2.0 comes out things might get improved, but also don’t forget that DDD’s TriDef is also being updated quite frequently and you can upgrade your Acer Aspire 3D laptop with latest TriDef software for free.

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