How 3D Technology Works
The Basics of 3D Technology
3D technology is a very simple process in nature. Basically, to create a 3D film, two images must be superimposed together on the same screen. This is done by sending each image through a polarizing filter and then projecting it on the screen. Currently eye glasses are needed to view the 3D image.
The eye glasses are a vital part in 3D technology. Each side of the glasses contains a different polarizing filter which only receives one of the two images on the screen. Therefore, when watching a 3D film, your eyes will receive the same image, but from two different filters - or perspectives. And this is what gives the illusion of depth and 3D.
3D technology has taken a great step forward in recent years, with such films as Avatar and How to Train Your Dragon. A new 3D technology called 'RealD' simplifies the process by having a polarizing filter placed in front of the lens which can switch polarities 144 times per second. Therefore, with RealD 3D technology, only one projector is needed.
Different 3D Glasses and Technology
There are many different 3D technologies which have been developed over the years. They are:
- Polarized 3D Glasses. See above.
- Eclipsed Method. In this method a shutter blocks light to one of the eyes, when the other image is displayed on screen. Then the image alternates, and the light is blocked from other eye. This happens many times a second, and creates a 3D image.
- Interference Filter Technology. This is the classic 3D technology. Using different wave lengths of color for each eye, the brain perceives two similar, but different, 3D images. This eliminates the need for a polarizing screen, but makes more expensive glasses necessary.
3D Technology - 3D Without Glasses
Is 3D Without Glasses Possible?
Yes 3D without glasses is very much possible. Actually the way your eyes, and brain, are set up, it's almost like it supposed to be used for 3D. What happens is that your eyes receive separate variation of the same image (due to the difference in how the iris, the angle of the eyes, and many other aspects). When this happens the brain has to meld the two images together to make a single picture for you to see. Many times, like with 3D technology, the separate images fools your brain into thinking there is depth and a 3D image.
Many of the principals of 3D technology without glasses uses this principal. Also many 3D perceptions are used by the illusion of movement. This 3D technology is called motion parallax. Its the different movements of objects in the foreground and the background. Think about when you walk away from something, certain objects get closer and certain objects get farther away. Motion parallax basically simulates that and created a 3D illusion.
3D Without Glasses - 3D T.V
The most practical use of this 3D without glasses technology is with television. It's every home viewers dream to have be able to sit on their own couch and watch a movie in 3D HD - without wearing any glasses. Amazingly that technology has already been created and the dream is very much about to become a reality. There are three different TV technologies which emphasize 3D with and without glasses.
Lenticular Viewing: This 3D without glasses technology is available today. What happens is that the TV projects two different images that are picked up by the right eye and the left eye - without having to wear any glasses. The only downfall - and why this 3D technology will never last on the market - is that one has to sit in a very specific spot in front of the TV. This means this 3D technology is only suitable for one person.
Passive Glass Systems: The same technology we use at the movie theater. Using polarizing lens, and GLASSES, the eyes receive two different images which emulate 3D. These TVs are available today, but aren't likely to be popular.
Active Glass System: This is the same as the passive except that instead of the TV created in the 3D image, it's the glasses which do all the work. This means that the movie, show, or whatever that is being watch can be watched in 2D and then, with the flick of the button - and the put on of the glasses - can be watched in 3D. The downside is that the glasses would be upwards of one hundred dollars.
Panel System: This is the most likely use of 3D without glasses. What happens is that a thin screen is placed in front of the TV which as the same function as glasses would. It polarizes the images and causes the right and left eye to receive different images. This would create a 3D effect without any glasses at all.
Camera 3D: This is the most innovative 3D without glasses technology. The TV has a camera on the front which is set to follow the viewer where ever he, or she, goes. What this allows is more dynamic lenticular viewing. By knowing exactly where a person is in space the TV can project a 3D image at all times - without any glasses. It's amazing. It's simple. It's genius.
Cylinder Method: A technology in the TV separates the 3D image into two pieces which are received by opposite eyes. Also two cameras are on the top of the screen which follow the user around and allow the 3D image to be projected at all times.
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The Future of 3D Technology
The future of 3D technology looks brights. The most notable 3D product coming out in the next year is the 3DS, a hand held system from Nintendo which promises to display a 3D image without glasses. Initial reaction to the system is good, and the it seems to be using Lenticular viewing. This means that the DS has to be held at a certain distance and can't be moved wildly in either direction. This could be seen as gimmicky to some, so the success of the product is still up in the air.
Many TVs are starting to come on the market, with many new ones becoming available over the year. In gaming the Nintendo 3DS looks to be the flagship; it already has announced that it will have games such as Ocarina of Time, Star Fox, and other classics - all in 3D.
But the question now remains:
Will 3D be the new blu-ray? What do you think?
learnabout3dtv on January 18, 2012:
Toshiba recently debuted a 3D glasses free TV 55” REGZA 553X though it's still in the early stages. Currently, it's only being sold in Japan. It'll be very interesting to see how big a leap 3D will make when they mass produce such models.
Rajiv on September 30, 2011:
Thanks for providing a good quick overview on the technology.
TVguy on September 29, 2011:
Will existing 3D Bluray movies play on a 3D TV that does not require glases?
ChristinCordle12 on August 31, 2011:
Great works. :D
roxk dev on August 20, 2011:
its cool yaar this technolog is really cool
iFly on June 30, 2011:
Good idea,3D without glasses.I hope 3D-TV will show in the next year,I can see a cinema at home with my family.
khanzee on June 25, 2011:
Good idea, we will be able to see without 3d glasses..
duonglaptopone from H? Chí Minh on May 12, 2011:
like that, when don't need 3d glass see 3d movie
jtyler on May 09, 2011:
These sound cool. I've never done too much research into 3D television. It seems like you've made an error, however. You put under the no glasses section methods that require glasses.
Angela Lethbridge on April 27, 2011:
I was never a fan of 3D or 3D glasses. I always thought it hurt my eyes and didn't make the movie seem 3D at all. In fact it seemed really fake.
Then I saw a 3D movie in a theatre that wasn't one of those discount ones, and WOW! I couldn't believe it. In fact it was so real I kept putting up my hands to block the stuff flying out of the screen towards me.
That's what it seemed like!
Cant Wait on March 04, 2011:
am I the only one bold enough to say
3D Pr0n on a 50" display ?
The missues is already excited by this prospect
vanchen (author) from British Columbia on February 14, 2011:
It's only a matter of time until 3D without glasses is a commercial success!
luckycharmz from Washington on February 14, 2011:
excellent hub. I'm looking forward to watching 3d movies without the need to wear those buddy holly glasses.
Step1234567 on February 09, 2011:
Informative. Nice work
3d tv without glasses on January 21, 2011:
Even though 3D TV is proving to be a hit, i think 3d tv without glasses is really going to take off when it is commercially launched at decent prices. People are waiting for more content to start buying and 3D TVs without glasses will help push the sales higher.
Stuart from Santa Barbara, CA on January 20, 2011:
Great article, You taught me a lot about 3D and what to expect in the future.
networkandy from Connecticut on January 18, 2011:
I am not sure how useful is 3D technology really. Its mostly for entertainment purposes but hey it is cool and I appreciate it.
This is a cool hub I vote this up yo
vanchen (author) from British Columbia on January 17, 2011:
You raise a good point RedTimbre. But don't you think as 3D becomes more and more relevant people are going to want it for everything?
It's true that 3D without glasses is a long way away and this is a good thing - because it does, as you say, let 3D technology and veiwing in 3D a rare and delicate thing.
But once we cross those borders, well, there's no turning back. At least that's what i think.
RedTimbre from Boston, MA on January 17, 2011:
You posed a question, is 3D the new Blu Ray? I hope not. I don't think the world is ready to have virtual holographic technology in our living room for virtually every thing we watch. Some things just should not be given an added depth dimension: the show Hoarders, shows on TLC that feature someone with a repulsively-textured skin disease, Glenn Beck, The Nanny...it should be a rare delicacy; we'll only appreciate it more that way, as the ground-breaking Willy Wonka-esque technology it really is.
samironwebtrack on January 08, 2011:
very informative hub, thanks a lot.
Romeo on December 23, 2010:
I like 3D Movies effects. But I had not seen 3D movies without glasses. I think watching 3D without glasses will not make anyone sick.....
christinium on November 08, 2010:
3D makes me sick so i don't really care its not making me want 2 c a 3D Movie
freehans from Philippines on October 30, 2010:
Great hub, thanks for a very nice information.
PC on October 28, 2010:
I like 3D film, I think 3D movies etc will be fun to watch without glasses.
SolutionC on October 24, 2010:
All in for holographic imaging not so sure how 3d without glasses will be, viewing angles will be severely limited
map65 on August 28, 2010:
3D without glasses on a big projector screen would be the best!
prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on July 05, 2010:
I like 3D film, but recently we can see 3D film without glasses and it still amazing for me. Thank you very much.
Info Bucket from Kerala, India on July 04, 2010:
A 3D film without using the glass will be sooooo much fun!!!
SOLAR383 from BRADFORD UK on June 28, 2010:
As an inventor I would say 3D movies etc will be fun to watch but holographic projection without any screen will prove the best!
This will be with image recycling mirror screen in ceiling & floor with built in projection lenses, the lenses refract light across the inside screen mirrors hense allowing projection light to bounce between floor & ceiling screen - this is called image recling, as a result of this performance the life like images fill the room with no screen to distract the viewer.
An outdoor scene will be such that images will flow through out the room.
IMAGE RECYCLING 4D PROJECTION without a screen to distract the viewer - the light reflecting off floor & ceiling screen allows viewer to become part of the production with the aid of image recycling future technology.
vanchen (author) from British Columbia on June 24, 2010:
It would sure be fun to be able to sit with the family at home and watch a movie 3D. Thanks for the comment!
SilverGenes on June 24, 2010:
Okay, I'm in. This would be so much fun! As for being the next blu-ray, maybe so. I hope so :)