3D Vision Blog

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

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Playing Moonbase Alpha, a Free Game by NASA in Stereo 3D Mode

July 14th, 2010 · 2 Comments · Stereo 3D Games

If you’ve missed the new free game from NASA (yes, a free game developed by/for the American government), then you might want to check out Moonbase Alpha now available on Steam. It seems that now NASA is looking to educate and train future astronauts through a free game, much like it was with the American Army getting new recruits through the previous free game called America’s Army… ;)

In Moonbase Alpha, you assume the role of an astronaut working to further human expansion and research on the Moon. Returning from a research expedition on the lunar surface, you witness a meteorite impact that cripples the life support capability of the recently established Moon base. With precious minutes ticking away, you and your team must repair and replace equipment in order to restore the oxygen production to the Moon settlement. There are several ways in which you can successfully restore the life support system of the lunar base, but since you are scored on the time spent to complete the task, you have to work effectively as a team, learn from decisions made in previous gaming sessions, and make intelligence decisions in order to top the leaderboards. And yes it is a multiplayer only online game where everyone is a real person that is quite interesting and might be fun to play for a while, but without a lot of excitement and action, so don’t get your hopes too high.

The game is based on Unreal engine, so playing it in stereoscopic 3D mode with 3D Vision as expected can bring out the typical issues, such as a problem with rendering the dynamic shadows and disabling these can help. Also since there is a lot of white, black and gray colors the game is prone to have some ghosting, but it still has a lot of potential to provide a quite realistic simulation with stereo 3D. The in-game HUD is rendered mostly in 2D, but that is not such a big issue and you might want to play a bit with the convergence settings to achieve best possible results. And you would probably want to lower the default brightness level a bit… And since the game is free all you need to have is a Steam account to download and play it, so it will be a shame not to try it, after all you might like it and who knows, you might be a future astronaut yourself… :P

Visit the official website of the game Moonbase Alpha for more information…

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Building Process of the Water Cooled Green Reactor 3D Test PC

July 8th, 2010 · 1 Comment · Other S3D Tech

Somewhere along the idea to upgrade the old 3D Test PC with water cooling (details for that project are available here) I got the idea to leave the other computer as a dedicated AMD/ATI test system and build a completely new 3D test PC for 3D Vision, again with water cooling of course. So practically you can say I’ve started working on the two projects at the same time, but the system that just needed the upgrade was finished much faster than the completely new system. The reason for that being that I wanted to make everything the right way, choose the components carefully and apply a matching custom water cooling and the end product to be really good looking and performing as fast as possible in order to have the ultimate 3D Test PC for testing stereo 3D content and of course to be able to game comfortably enough in stereo 3D with the 3D Vision. Now that there are just some minor unexpected details left to work out…

The photos above are from the almost finished Green Reactor PC with a lot of small finishing details only left to be done, so it is pretty much ready and working at this point of time. I’ll just update with some more pictures when all the finishing touches are ready… So stay tuned for more information and photos.

The complete Building Process of the Water Cooled Green Reactor 3D Test PC is here…

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Time to Upgrade the Stereo 3D Testing Systems to Water Cooling…

June 13th, 2010 · 8 Comments · General 3D News

The summer is coming and it is time to get hot, really hot outside (depending on where you live of course), but with the temperatures increasing and all the hot hardware he have into out computers playing in stereo 3D can bring some issue. You should know that playing games in stereoscopic 3D mode is more demanding for your hardware and that does not mean only the GPU, but all other components and they all generate more heat. And with the the high-end video cards like GeForce GTX 4xx Fermi and Radeon HD 5xxx the heat dissipated is already quite a lot and the air cooling might sometimes give you quite high temperatures reaching even over 100 degrees Celsius or 212 degrees Fahrenheit and that is not good…

I’ve already started working on upgrading my stereoscopic 3D test PC using GeForce GTX 275 and Radeon HD 5970 to water cooling for the quad-core AMD CPU and the Radeon HD 5970 GPU and removing the GTX 275 card (to be used for iZ3D testing). The other project I’ve started working on is building a new Nvidia-based water cooled PC that will use single GeForce GTX 480 videocard and and Intel i7 quad-core processor with everything stuffed inside a Big Corsair Obsidian 800D case (great and big case, on the photo above, ideal for more serious water cooling projects). I think it is about time to get a GTX 480 card for stereoscopic 3D gaming with 3D Vision, because the GTX 275 is a bit old already and the GT 9800Ms in SLI inside the test Dell M1730 laptops is even slower. But thanks to a lot of money going into the upgrade and new system, I’ve postponed the purchase of a new 3D HDTV for testing at least for the end of the year hoping for some better prices and more content and easier PC connectivity for gaming in stereo 3D by then. I’m planning to get a Panasonic VT20E Plasma 3D HDTV as this is what is currently available and the best choice so far from what I’ve seen, unless other competitors manage to offer something better meanwhile.

Say tuned for some more information about the water cooling upgrade for my current test 3D system and the new PC built especially for stereoscopic 3D gaming coming soon… and I do hope to have some benchmarks in stereo 3D with the GTX 480 in stereo 3D mode on some of the newer and popular game titles… ;)

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