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

Benchmark Results: Left 4 Dead

Left 4 Dead simply has to be one of the test cases for a wall-sized stereo 3D experience. And I'm not talking about Left 4 Dead 2 (the sequel with its bright outdoor environments). I'm talking about the original, with its dark claustrophobic corridors and rainy nights. This game is very suitable for 3D play and brings the experience to life in a way that is hard to describe, but awesome to behold.

Game Settings:

We set the native projector resolution to 1280x720 and the game's visual details to the maximum possible settings with 4x MSAA enabled.

Game Experience Using the TriDef Ignition Driver:

Perfection, absolute perfection. This is the kind of smooth experience I expect from a technology on the brink of mass adoption. Everything in the game looks right: the environments, the characters, the hand-held weapons, and even the effects and names above the other players’ heads. Shooting a zombie results in gruesome splattering effects that you can actually see in three dimensions. The depth of the game is incredible.

With the Virtual 3D option enabled, the frame rate certainly increases, but the visual quality is noticeably lowered. For some reason, this setting seems to turn off AA. Otherwise, the 3D depth remains excellent and this would certainly be a viable option on slower video cards.

Game Experience Using the iZ3D Driver:

While the iZ3D driver does a good job creating the 3D effect, it displays some distracting anomalies that make the game difficult to play. Specifically, the other players' names shown on the HUD seem to be coming from different perspectives and aren’t aligned properly. While the driver shows a lot of potential in this title, we wouldn't want to actually play this game using the iZ3D driver.

Note the distracting inconsistency in the placement of the character names above their headsNote the distracting inconsistency in the placement of the character names above their heads

Left 4 Dead 3D Stereo Performance:

As you can see from the benchmarks, the TriDef driver doesn’t seem to like the GeForce GTX 260 card. Since the iZ3D driver supplies some visual anomalies, this leaves us with a single playable scenario: the Radeon HD 4890 card paired with the TriDef driver. The 40 FPS performance in this case is smooth and enjoyable.

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  • MiamiU
    seems like being a hardcore gamer just keeps getting more and more expensive...
  • 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".
  • 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!
  • Other Comments
  • MiamiU
    seems like being a hardcore gamer just keeps getting more and more expensive...
  • 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!!!
  • 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".
  • winner4455
    I can see this becoming main stream and the next few years... In 3d too.
  • 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.
  • tigerwraith
    But I do have a question would of mattered if you used LCD projectors?
  • 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.
  • 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 .....
  • 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
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • JohnnyLucky
    This is going to be very expensive.
  • 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!
  • pluripotent
    But Don! I'z only gotz one eye!
  • Rehnquist-
    Why on earth are all the screenshots scaled down to such a low resolution?