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Stereoscopic 3D gaming is really cool

Stereoscopic 3D gaming is really cool

Nvidia, in conjunction with Viewsonic and Mitsubishi, has been showing off stereoscopic 3D display technology and it's really cool.

According to Nvidia, one of the next big things for the visual computing industry is stereoscopic 3D gaming.

Jen-Hsun introduced the concept during his opening keynote speech and in many ways, it’s very similar to what Intel announced with DreamWorks last week. However, instead of being focused on the movie industry, Nvidia wants to bring this technology to gamers.

Down on the show floor, both ViewSonic and Mitsubishi have been demoing stereoscopic screens in conjunction with Nvidia’s new GeForce Stereoscopic 3D technology. ViewSonic’s display is a new 22-inch display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a 1,680 x 1,050 native resolution – it should be available worldwide in the next couple of quarters all being well. Mitsubishi, on the other hand, had a 72-inch DLP TV using the same technology and it’s already shipping. However, Mitsubishi said that we’re unlikely to see this TV in the UK because “the European market doesn’t like big TVs,” apparently…

Anyway, I had a play around in Unreal Tournament III, Guitar Hero III and Race Driver: GRID – I have to say the effect is amazing and it was probably the most immersive 3D gaming experience I’ve ever had. I seriously didn’t want to stop playing, but had I not stopped playing, I wouldn’t be here telling you about it right now.

Stereoscopic 3D gaming is really cool Stereoscopic 3D gaming is really cool
These goggles do something...

The technology relies on 3D shutter glasses designed by Nvidia and what’s interesting is that, unlike any other attempt at 3D display technology, the glasses don’t use polarised lenses. Instead, they use mini LCD screens that sync with the PC via an infra red sensor that sits down by your keyboard – this ensures that the correct image is sent to each eye and there is no loss of resolution, claims Nvidia.

Upon using the glasses, it was clear that the game looked appreciably sharper than what has come before and, more importantly, you can adjust the depth of the effect using a simple wheel on the back of the sensing device. This should go a long way to alleviating eyestrain caused by so many other attempts at delivering a truly 3D experience, but I still have my doubts for the technology.

Stereoscopic 3D gaming is really cool Stereoscopic 3D gaming is really cool
They make me look ridiculous, that's for sure.

First of all, not everyone wants to wear stupid glasses and if you’re playing a game in the living room with your friends, it means everyone—or no one—wears 3D glasses in order to make gaming in the living room a social experience. If you’re playing on a smaller screen though, I’m not quite so concerned about this because you’re unlikely to have a large group of people watching while you play.

What I really want is a stereoscopic 3D display that doesn’t require stupid glasses – at that point, I’m completely sold. Tell us your thoughts in the forums.

16 Comments

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profqwerty 26th August 2008, 06:08 Quote
This isn't exactly new new tech though... Someone (I forget who) demoed a stereoscopic screen at my old school last year that didn't use glasses at all - as long as you stood i nthe correct area, which wasn't exactly small either, it appeared in 3D. He showed us an animation of a waterfall and it was pretty amazing. They were doing large sizes too if you paid enough.

And even so, 3yrs ago I was using LCD Shutter glasses on my 21" CRT @ decent res, and a year before that I was using coloured glasses on an LCD projector!

These ideas / technologies have been around for ages; either no-one's pushed it hard enough or consumer demand just isn't there:(
Tim S 26th August 2008, 06:36 Quote
It's been around for a while - it's been in 3D cinemas since I don't know when... but the technology has been refined quite a bit since then and it's actually starting to get close to something that can be productised.
Xir 26th August 2008, 09:45 Quote
Welcome to the Year 1999.

German firm Elsa* brigs you the Revelator... a 3D-glass that works with LCD shutters.
http://www.stereo3d.com/revelator.htm
Available in cable bound and IR-Wireless version!

So much for the Nvidia Idea.

I used it back in 2000...problems were:
a) finding a CRT-monitor that runs at >150 Hz at a decent resolution (better yet 200).
As if effectually cuts your Hz in half for each eye, and you'll nees AT LEAST 75 Hz on a CRT...preferabbly 85 to 100.

b) nauseating effect over time

Played Half life (one) with it. Supercool!

Xir

*actually they also bougt it from someone
kenco_uk 26th August 2008, 10:05 Quote
I think you've got it wrong, because..
Quote:

The technology relies on 3D shutter glasses designed by Nvidia and what’s interesting is that, unlike any other attempt at 3D display technology, the glasses don’t use polarised lenses. Instead, they use mini LCD screens that sync with the PC via an infra red sensor that sits down by your keyboard – this ensures that the correct image is sent to each eye and there is no loss of resolution, claims Nvidia.

..sounds a bit different.
Delphium 26th August 2008, 11:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenco_uk
I think you've got it wrong, because..



..sounds a bit different.

Its the same tech, IMax ciniema uses polarised lenses which being a passive system do not flicker on and off like the LCD shutters, also the way IMax works with its polarised lenses is by using 2 projectors projecting onto the same screen, one projector with a vertical polarisation and the other with a hortizontal polarisatoin.

Where as the LCD shutters are an active system, ive a set of the edimensional 3D Glasses a few years back which use the LCD shutters, its very effective when you tune it right, but found that different games needed setting up acordingly which would take a while, I recall Dawn Of War, getting the image to look awesome in the menu, but then once in game, having to re-tune the 3d effect so that it looked correct in game.

As Xir says, you need a REALLY high refresh rate monitor for best smoothness otherwise it does look a bit jerky and can strian the eyes, also from what I noticed when wearing them, the display is half as bright as it was before, so idealy needs to be used in a darker room.
Blademrk 26th August 2008, 11:10 Quote
Quote:
What I really want is a stereoscopic 3D display that doesn’t require stupid glasses – at that point, I’m completely sold.
+1, although it sounds cool and all but what if you already wear glasses (and can't see for toffee without them)
Arkanrais 26th August 2008, 13:49 Quote
I'd prefer the stereoscopic headsets that have 2 OLED screens in them, one for each eye. instead of using shutters, it has 2 simultaneously running screens with (I think) a slightly displaced camera angle on one of them. the one I saw also had motion trackers inside it so you could move your head a full 360 horizontal and 60 degrees vertical. unfortunately the one I saw only went up to 800x600 pixels and acted as a single CRT screen and would essentially be taxing the GPU as if it were a 1600x600 screen. it also had built in headphones for virtual surround sound.
still, it would be cool having a run around on oblivion or fallout 3 and be completely immersed in the game.
Xir 26th August 2008, 13:54 Quote
The Elsa glasses worked really well...used the Z-Buffer information (that was used in most games anyway) for depthinfo.
Everything 2D (Menu's) looked a bit strange though.

IF you get a high enough refresh rate monitor, you've got the full resolution per eye, but brightness only one eye at the time, so it seems darker. Finding a monitor that would do 1024x768@170Hz or even 1280x1024@170Hz was the problem.

Also Fun...returning the borrowed monitor and NOT reducing the 170Hz setting in windows before you disconnected it. Then connecting your own monitor and getting a black screen (out of range). Try resetting that in Windows! :-(
Lowsidex2 26th August 2008, 16:48 Quote
I like the guy that used the wii remotes to track head movements to make his 3d display. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd3-eiid-Uw

Much cooler idea IMO. Still need some kind of head gear but not using shutters has to be easier on the eyes.
Anakha 26th August 2008, 18:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowsidex2
I like the guy that used the wii remotes to track head movements to make his 3d display. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd3-eiid-Uw

Much cooler idea IMO. Still need some kind of head gear but not using shutters has to be easier on the eyes.

That is easier on the eyes, but it still appears 2D. There is no stereoscopic effect with Johnny Lee's system, so while it IS moving like it should be 3D, it isn't.

However, if you combined that with a 3D system like the one in the article (Or even the old shutter glasses system), you'll have full 3D realism.

Oh, and if you want cheap 3D stereo effects, all NVidia graphics cards (With the driver bits) support using Anaglyph (The Red/Blue glasses) to make Stereoscopic 3D in any 3D game. http://www.nvidia.com/object/3d_stereo.html And it's not just the most recent ones, that's just the drivers. Older cards are supported using the "Legacy Drivers" - I've had it working on a GeForce 4MX.
Xir 27th August 2008, 09:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anakha
However, if you combined that with a 3D system like the one in the article (Or even the old shutter glasses system), you'll have full 3D realism.

Ehmmm, the point here is: the system in the article IS the "old shutter glasses system"
kenco_uk 27th August 2008, 10:56 Quote
No it isn't. The old sort relied on polarised lenses that 'shuttered' (sort of slowed down the refresh rate of your eyes to create a pop-up 3d effect, like wearing those red and blue filtered cardboard specs you got free with comics). This system uses 'mini LCD screens that sync with the PC via an infra red sensor that sits down by your keyboard – this ensures that the correct image is sent to each eye and there is no loss of resolution'. Does the same thing, but technically very differently.
Delphium 27th August 2008, 12:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenco_uk
No it isn't. The old sort relied on polarised lenses that 'shuttered' (sort of slowed down the refresh rate of your eyes to create a pop-up 3d effect, like wearing those red and blue filtered cardboard specs you got free with comics). This system uses 'mini LCD screens that sync with the PC via an infra red sensor that sits down by your keyboard – this ensures that the correct image is sent to each eye and there is no loss of resolution'. Does the same thing, but technically very differently.

Actually due to the nature of the LCD technology, them LCD shutters are still polerised, just 1 eye is open and other closed, then it switches... Just like the older style... I bet if you tilt your head 90degraes sideways and looked at an LCD pannel, the image would pritty much disapear, due to the LCD polarization.
Xir 27th August 2008, 16:22 Quote
Nope...the "Old" system also used LCD screens in the glasses, which shuttered...they turned black and transparent.

One eye black, the other transparent, screen shows one picture.
One eye transparent, the other black, screen shows second picture.
Both pictures together create in the brain a 3D-picture.

The same can be done without shuttering, with polerized lenses, one polarized vertical, the other one polarized horizontally.
one picture is only seen by the one eye, the other by the other...same effect as with shuttering.

But with shuttering you don't need polarized pictures, which is better for the colour quality.

(Read the Link: http://www.stereo3d.com/revelator.htm )

Xir
kenco_uk 27th August 2008, 17:59 Quote
Ah.. I see (pun intended). Huh, well the way I understood it to work is about as different as it could be then :)

Everyday is an education.
Delphium 28th August 2008, 11:17 Quote
Just a thought Tim... did/do these new glasses work on vista, and with dx10 gfx cards?

Edit: also the articles link to the forums still points to the forum home page rather than this thread.
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