NVDIA Stereoscopic 3D Vision Gaming Review :: The Technical Aspect

01-11-2009 · Category: Hardware - Misc

By Doc Overclock

NVDIA Stereoscopic 3D Vision Gaming Review
NVDIA Stereoscopic 3D Vision Gaming Review

How does the brain translate the two-dimensional images represented by the retina into the three-dimensional (3D) images that we see? Like I stated in my opening words the idea and concept of 3D has been around a long time. The basic technology involved is taking an image and then splitting it into two various and slightly different parts and then using glasses to make your brain translate those images into one 3D image. Your brain takes these two images and combines them bringing depth to the entire scene you are viewing and tricking your brain into seeing the images in 3D Vision.

Creating 3D computer graphics and its process can be broken down to three various stages in its application: 3D Modeling which describes the process when shaping an object, layout and animation which describes the motion and placement of objects within a scene, and then the last phase the actual rendering which produces an actual 3D image of an object. These processes are the only available with the realization of the modern PC as the processing power needed to make this technology a reality is only know showing actual real time progress. NVIDIA takes this technology to a new level by adding an element to their driver package that works in conjunction with their NVIDIA branded VGA cards and Stereoscopic 3D glasses.

When 3D was introduced back in the 60s, they used paper glasses with red and blue lenses that helped trick the brain into seeing altered images that were called stereo 3D, but this had its limitations due to the older anaglyph technology, which was able to give each eye its own image by superimposing each frame of a video with a different color hue and eliminating the unneeded frames. Having a red and blue lens defined and filtered out various frames of a sequence that in turn gave each eye a different perspective of the scene. The main problem with this older technology was tinting of the image due to the poor processing of the image to your brain that resulted in only mild and slightly blurry 3D effect. This anaglyph technology has actually has a very long shelf life all things considered as up until the last decade this was the solitary way of translating 3D to the brain.

Now polarization is the most common way of translating stereo 3D to your brain and it has many of the same technological aspects that the older anaglyph technology. The main difference in this technology is that instead of using read and blue colored lenses transparent lenses are used that polarize, or filter out the images and allow each eye to see its own image clearly. Polarization technology is nothing new; it's been in your sunglasses for years filtering out various color patterns form the sun that can harm your eyes. It works in the same way with stereo 3D only in a slightly modified way. This as well has its limitations as well as you must be facing the monitor at just the right angle to see the picture correctly translated in 3D. The reason for this factor is that there is not enough power in a normal monitor to correctly change the view accordingly with your heads position to the monitor and although IZ3D did solve most of this problem by placing one monitor screen on top of another in conjunction with polarized glasses, it still gave you that headache associated with your retinal translation of 3D and slow framerates.

NVIDIA has gone a different direction entirely with this process, but this idea is not new just redefined by them and reintroduced as 3D vision, as technology in monitors has advanced to a new level by way of 120Hz refresh rates, which play a major role in this application. The major problem with any of the older passive or active technology using 3D glasses in conjunction with a monitor has been poor framerates, as most monitors at their highest resolution only offered 60Hz refresh rates, which translates into barely thirty framreates per second, per each eye of a pair of stereo 3D glasses. When playing games 30 framerates a second was the minimum requirement to keep games playing without the games playing sluggish, so take that and apply it to the 3D environment and you can understand why older monitors and glasses never quite worked right. Ah, but alas now come along monitors that have a refresh rate of 120Hz and new possibilities can be realized as now each eye of the new powered glasses can now give you the same refresh rate per eye in stereoscopic 3D as your old monitor did in standard gaming.

The key to an active glasses solution is that the lenses must be properly synchronized with the display requiring some form of communication between the two devices to function properly. When the left eye frame is shown on the screen then the left lens must be completely open and during the time the screen refreshes with the next frame for the right eye the glasses must also switch lens opacity. This communication could be done by way of a cable of or using infrared signals, as the NVIDIA solution we are looking at today uses. Each lens in the glasses is effectively a 1 pixel LCD screen that is turned off (black) or on (clear) depending on which eye should see the image displayed on the screen. An infrared box that connects by way of a USB cable is the communications hub of the Stereoscopic 3D Vision technology and the new glasses are constantly updated and refreshed with the proper information to each eye that translates through your retinas 3D imagery that does not cause headaches due to poor framerates. Using this technology also allows the user to move their head and angle to the monitor with little effect to the translated 3D image. NVIDIA is ahead of the curve and as monitors improve so will the ability of technological advancements in NVIDIA's Stereoscopic 3D Vision.


NVDIA Stereoscopic 3D Vision Gaming Review
NVDIA Stereoscopic 3D Vision Gaming Review