Build Your Own: Wall-Sized 3D Gaming, Just Like Theaters Do It

Stereoscopic 3D Display Basics

Since 3D displays are by no means a common household item, most folks are likely to be somewhat uninformed when it comes to how a 3D display actually works. This calls for a short primer. Please keep in mind that we'll focus on the core points for the sake of simplicity.

A human being's ability to perceive the third dimension goes hand-in-hand with our binocular vision. Put simply, we can see in 3D because we have two eyes. Each of our eyes sees the world from a slightly different perspective and our brain combines these perspectives to give us a sense of how close or far an object is. Because there are two separate perspectives, this is commonly referred to as stereoscopic vision.

An easy way to demonstrate stereoscopic vision is with a quick exercise (best performed when you're not looking in the direction of a PC monitor). Close your left eye and put your right hand about four inches in front of your right eye. Wiggle your hand a little. Now, open both eyes and do the same thing with one hand in front of your right eye--you will experience a big difference in your sense of depth and the position of your hand in 3D space. When both of your eyes are providing an alternate perspective, your brain is able to put together that rich sense of relative placement and provide an accurate indication of how far your hand actually is from your face. If you stop moving your hand and close each eye alternatively, you will notice that each eye provides a different view of where your hand sits in your field of vision.

The key to a 3D display, then, is to provide each eye with an alternate view of the same scene. As you can imagine, in the theater or on television this is a bit of a challenge since there is only one screen to look at. How does a 3D display provide a separate image for each eye?

Surprisingly, there are a number of ways to achieve this goal, one of which involves the use of old-school anaglyph red-and-blue colored glasses. But when it comes to widespread and modern applications, there are two stereoscopic 3D systems that rule, or are about to rule, the world: alternate-frame sequencing and dual-projector polarization.

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    Top Comments
  • MiamiU
    seems like being a hardcore gamer just keeps getting more and more expensive...
    27
  • Icehearted
    As for poor folk like me, we'll just settle for those still images where we cross our eyes, and cry because $2,565 is far away from "comfortable".
    23
  • salgado18
    I don't know if it would be possible, but it would sure be AWESOME to see some of those games on a short gif animation in "fake" 3D! Please! (a video review would be great too!) :D

    PLEASE people, vote me up! If you do they'll try it!
    12
  • Other Comments
  • MiamiU
    seems like being a hardcore gamer just keeps getting more and more expensive...
    27
  • Anonymous
    Don't gives too big an image to try and see it 3d. A monitor can't handle: 800px × 248px!!!! That's just crazy big!!!
    -12
  • Icehearted
    As for poor folk like me, we'll just settle for those still images where we cross our eyes, and cry because $2,565 is far away from "comfortable".
    23
  • winner4455
    I can see this becoming main stream and the next few years... In 3d too.
    -3
  • tigerwraith
    2.6k now but you know things like this keep getting cheaper and cheaper. Maybe by this time next year, the 1080p 2600 lumens will drop to 500, and the drivers will better support dual projector setups.
    6
  • tigerwraith
    But I do have a question would of mattered if you used LCD projectors?
    -4
  • gti88
    Great article! Thanx a lot.
    But as I can see, 3D stereo is not there yet.
    Almost no movies are available at 3DS, and game developers don't focus on stereo optimisation. Thus, we have some glitches and inconveniences.
    0
  • pojih
    ahh, something else to cost an arm and a leg...

    not saying that many people here don't want the fastest and most expensive....

    but it was clearly shown that many people looking at this site want something that performs for what it costs, as seen by the fermi release and the comments .....
    1
  • skora
    Whats the next price bracket up for a projector with higher res?

    I like the idea of dual projectors better than the alt-image standard, but they didn't ask me.

    Here's a wild thought, soon, everyone will have their own glasses that not only do the shutter for 3D, but will also be able to be personal monitors. Connect to any computer/phone/TV with your glasses. Displays might even become unnecessary. That will be the next wireless mainstream device. The iShades. Phone, mobile pc and display, earbud is right there. Have pants that have built in keyboard. We'll all just be sitting there with our shades on and never see the person next to us as we get lost in the cloud. And it all starts with 3D glasses. :P
    2
  • djab
    IceheartedAs for poor folk like me, we'll just settle for those still images where we cross our eyes, and cry because $2,565 is far away from "comfortable".


    No, you can at least use red/cyan paper glasses with iz3d drivers and a normal display.
    That is not that bad!
    -1
  • manitoublack
    Great article, and no doubt people ask you: "why have you got 2 projectors?" The only trouble with polarized setups is that you cant view 3D laying down, eg: Lounge Lizard style, which you can do with shutter glasses (however uncomfortable that may be.)

    Still though, for $2,500USD you've built a pretty mad setup. To those winging about price, deal with it, if you want the best you've got to be prepared to buy the best. I'd suspect that a WUXGA setup would be in the $5-6,000 range using the projectors you'd want. Well worth the buy-in price. I hope for your sake (if you payed for it, not Tomshardware) that it is compatible with yet-to-be-released BR3D.
    1
  • mjello
    manitoublackGreat article, and no doubt people ask you: "why have you got 2 projectors?" The only trouble with polarized setups is that you cant view 3D laying down, eg: Lounge Lizard style, which you can do with shutter glasses (however uncomfortable that may be.)Still though, for $2,500USD you've built a pretty mad setup. To those winging about price, deal with it, if you want the best you've got to be prepared to buy the best. I'd suspect that a WUXGA setup would be in the $5-6,000 range using the projectors you'd want. Well worth the buy-in price. I hope for your sake (if you payed for it, not Tomshardware) that it is compatible with yet-to-be-released BR3D.


    Samsung display dont work lying down
    1
  • idisarmu
    What's wrong with the old school red-green glasses? It seems like a much cheaper and convenient solution. I would hate having to recharge glasses, let alone wear them if they're going to be heavier than normal.
    -4
  • d70guy
    There are a lot of issues with this. The lack of resolution, difference in brightness of the images over time (no two bulbs are identical), the less than ideal projection surface, the fact that all bluray titles will be 1080p for each eye, etc.. I mean, this *is* a fun toy, but not for a serious gamer, and not for an even semi-serious home theater person. It is strictly for someone with the money to blow on a toy.
    -4
  • d70guy
    idisarmuWhat's wrong with the old school red-green glasses? It seems like a much cheaper and convenient solution. I would hate having to recharge glasses, let alone wear them if they're going to be heavier than normal.


    Red blue glasses are the worst case 3D experience. Both polarized and shutter glasses are 10 times better at delivering a realistic 3D experience. The anaglyph (red/blue separation of the image distorts the color of the image, and even with high quality (eyeglass quality) red/blue glass lenses the overall effect is that of a poor quality experience. Shutter glasses these days are not that heavy, and its not like you are going to be wearing them for the length of the movie. It really doesn't factor in. Personally, I will take the shutter glasses. They block light much better thereby eliminating the ghosting issues associated with the polarized lenses. I say this as someone who has worked with linear, circular, and shutter technology since the late 1980s.
    0
  • Artman256
    From the dual projector page - "the filters polarize the light across a plane". This is not entirely true, old systems did that, but modern systems use circular polarization, which avoids the problems caused by tilting your head.
    1
  • JohnnyLucky
    This is going to be very expensive.
    1
  • salgado18
    I don't know if it would be possible, but it would sure be AWESOME to see some of those games on a short gif animation in "fake" 3D! Please! (a video review would be great too!) :D

    PLEASE people, vote me up! If you do they'll try it!
    12
  • pluripotent
    But Don! I'z only gotz one eye!
    5
  • Rehnquist-
    Why on earth are all the screenshots scaled down to such a low resolution?
    2