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    Stereoscopic 3D

    Concept »

    3D Stereoscopy is the use of two images generated from slightly different angles in order to create a 3D effect. This usually requires the use of 3D glasses to separate the left/right image for each eye.

    Short summary describing this concept.

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    Currently, stereoscopic 3D is typically produced in one of two different types of ways.

    • Anaglyph - Requires the use of certain types of glasses that are typically colored differently for each eye. This type of 3D glasses was more common for movies and games in the 1980s. Early examples include the North American versions of Squaresoft games 3-D WorldRunner and Rad Racer for the NES.
    • LCD shutter glasses - The most common type of 3D used for movies and games today, it works by openly presenting the image intended for the left eye while blocking the right eye's view, then presenting the right-eye image while blocking the left eye, and repeating this so rapidly that the interruptions do not interfere with the perceived fusion of the two images into a single 3D image. This type of 3D system was initially developed by Sega and Matsushita for the arcade game Subroc-3D, and was subsequently adapted into LCD shutter glasses for the Master System's SegaScope 3D and the Japanese NES's Famicom 3D System, but would not be widely used for movies or games until the 21st century.
    • Autostereoscopy - Requires no additional accessories. The prime example for this form is the Nintendo 3DS handheld.

    Stereoscopy and PC Gaming

    In actuality, most 3D PC games rendered using DirectX 9 and up can support stereoscopic gaming. To do this, users need to download an additional 3D stereoscopic driver provided by most popular Graphics Processing Unit manufacturers (eg, Nvidia, ATI), then activate this feature in-game usually using a hot-key determined by the 3D stereoscopy driver setup. The driver will then process the scene and render 2 or more images each frame for a 3D effect; since the GPU is processing more information per frame, the frame-rate while having stereoscopic features turned on, is likely to take a dive.

    Health Related Issues

    Some people can have a difficult time perceiving 3D stereoscopic effects. These commonly happen to people with depth-perception problems, or sometimes is simply viewing the image too close or too far away; please refer to your 3D Stereoscopic driver user manual for the latter case. Some can also feel uncomfortable, or even ill while attempting to view stereoscopic images; in this case one should either take off the viewing glasses and close his/her eyes for a brief moment, or take off his/her eyes off of the screen and let it rest. In more extreme cases, one is advised to stop viewing immediately. For those who have no problems viewing stereoscopic imagery, it is still strongly recommended that one shall take a brief rest for your eyes at least every 30 minutes.


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