3D Vision Blog

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

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Where to Get the Planar SA2311W 3D Vision-ready Monitor in Europe

February 18th, 2011 · 3 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision

After publishing the review of the 23″ Planar SA2311W 3D Vision-ready LCD Monitor I’ve been getting a lot of questions from people in Europe where they could get the monitor from as apparently it is not as easy to find it as in the States. So after checking, if you live somewhere in Europe (like me), you can contact one of the European partners of Planar that has the monitor in stock and can ship it to the European country you live, the company is called Schneider Digital (based in Germany). Besides the Planar SA2311W 3D monitor, they also have other high-end 3D-capable solutions from Planar and other professional products such as Nvidia Quadro cards, professional autostereoscopic 3D monitors from Spatial View and Tridelity Display Solutions etc. The’ve ensured me that 23″ Planar SA2311W 3D Vision-ready LCD monitor is available on stock, you just need to get in touch with them to arrange for the shipping (the total price may vary depending on where you live). The price of the monitor should be about 500 Euro with VAT included, so the rest depends on the shipping.

Also if you’ve already found the Planar SA2311W 3D monitor available somewhere else in Europe, please do share the information where with the other readers. And for people living in the States, the monitor is available for $495 USD directly from Planar. You can also check with other Planar partners around the world for availability, as there is a list of their partners available on the official website here.

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The Professional 3D Vision Pro RF Shutter Glasses are Now Shipping

January 25th, 2011 · 4 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision

Nvidia has just announced that it is starting to ship through its partners the 3D Vision Pro shutter glasses that are targeted at professionals such as engineers, designers, architects and computational chemists who work with complex 3D designs to see their work in greater detail. The 3D Vision Pro Stereo 3D solution is designed to be used together with Nvidia’s Quadro professional graphics solutions and it consists of wireless active shutter glasses that use radio communication instead of infrared as the consumer 3D Vision glasses do, an RF communication hub (using 2.4GHz radio frequency to transmit) and managements software that allows you to verify that the glasses are operating and see their current battery levels. It is interesting to note that looking at the official picture of the Pro glasses above, they do seem to be quite similar to the consumer 3D Vision glasses with minor differences and the transmitter looks the same on the outside for both, although for the Pro it is RF based and for the non-Pro it is IR based.

The 3D Vision Pro solution should be available already from Nvidia’s authorized channel partners and these include PNY Technologies in Europe, ELSA in Japan, and Leadtek in Asia Pacific. The recommended prices are $349 (USD) for each pair of stereoscopic 3D shutter glasses, and $399 (USD) for the RF hub. You will need a single RF transmitter and you can attach multiple pairs of glasses to it, depending on your specific needs and requirements for a single stereoscopic 3D capable system. You will of course need one RF transmitter for each system that you want to be working on, but you should be able to move the glasses pairings between different systems. 3D Vision Pro currently supports Windows XP, Vista and 7 (both 32- and 64-bit) operating systems and should also soon have support for Linux 32- and 64-bit.

The glasses should be able to provide you with up to 30-45 meters (100-150 feet) without the need of direct line of sight operating range, so you should be able to freely roam around large scale stereo 3D visualizations such as video walls for example. The Pro shutter glasses should be compatible with pretty much all 3D Vision-capable displays, but like their consumer variant they cannot be used for example with HDMI 1.4 3D HDTVs. And the last thing you should be aware of is that you should be able to use the 3D Vision Pro shutter glasses together with a GeForce and not only with a Quadro GPU, however with GeForce it will be just like with the consumer 3D Vision glasses, but due to the high price difference it will be kind of pointless to purchase the Pro version and to use it for consumer applications such as stereoscopic 3D gaming.

For more information about the Nvidia 3D Vision Pro shutter glasses…

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Some of the Challenges Behind the Making of the 3D Movie Avatar

January 6th, 2010 · 1 Comment · General 3D News

James Cameron’s 3D movie Avatar available worldwide since December 18, 2009 had a record breaking opening weekend of over $77 million for any 3D movie, and has grossed over $1 billion worldwide since then. Besides being really big hit Stereoscopic 3D movie, one of the distinguishing parts was that it features huge and very detailed scenes and an extensive cast of virtual characters set in computer generated (CG) environments mixed with live people.


The primary visual effects vendor on the film is the New Zealand company Weta Digital (they have a quite big portfolio working on the effects of a lot of hit movies) utilizing NVIDIA’s Quadro professional graphics solutions and Tesla high performance computing solutions in its visual effects (VFX) production pipeline. The company had to build sequences with as many as 800 fully CG characters in highly stylized digital settings, something that is not an easy job to do. The computational power required to process the Avatar shots was higher than that required by any project Weta Digital had faced to date, so they turned to NVIDIA for help, because for the first time in the history of CG visual effects, the number of polygons required was going to be measured in billions rather than in millions. And don’t forget that you also have to render each frame two times with a little different perspective in order to achieve the stereoscopic 3D effect, meaning that the processing of the movie literally gets doubled.


Weta R&D and NVIDIA Research began their collaboration by starting the development of a ray-tracing software solution that could handle the billions of polygons required in Avatar’s complex sequences. Together, NVIDIA and Weta co-developed a new pre-computation engine, dubbed PantaRay, to bring high-performance computing power into Weta’s VFX pipeline. The name PantaRay is a clever twist on a Greek aphorism “panta rhei” which means “everything flows”. This powerful ray-tracing system was designed specifically to accelerate pre-computation of scene occlusion information used throughout Weta’s rendering pipeline, to allow quick and dynamic re-computation of image-based lighting.

The innovative approach enabled Weta to render more complex scenes in less time, while using less memory and fewer processors thus also reducing various costs. The result gave artists the critical ability to iterate faster and make more changes, ultimately achieving higher quality photorealistic results. With NVIDIA’s co-development efforts, Weta was able to generate scenes that previously would have been time and cost prohibitive. With Weta’s PantaRay engine ported to a CUDA-based GPU driven version being able to run 25 times faster, utilizing an NVIDIA Tesla S1070 GPU-based server instead of a CPU based server.


A shot that demonstrates the advantages Weta achieved with PantaRay can be seen in the movie’s promotional trailer. The shot from a helicopter looking over a huge flock of hundreds of purple creatures flying over water, with a massive tree-covered mountain in the background was pre-computed in just a day and a half using PantaRay. That shot would have taken a week with previous methods and being so much faster with the help of PantaRay it was possible to create a much more beautiful shot – you can see fine detail on every bush, every leaf and the color separation between distances is clean and clear.

Weta Digital plans to incorporate its GPU-accelerated PantaRay solution into its pipeline for the upcoming Steven Spielberg/Peter Jackson film, Tintin, as well as exploring new ways in which PantaRay and GPUs can further accelerate its overall visual effects pipeline.

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