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

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unwanted

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"and its not like you are going to be wearing them for the length of the movie."

How do you plan on watching a 3d movie using shutter glasses if you don't wear them for the whole movie? You do know that if you don't have them on you don't simply see the 2D version of the movie but both the left and right image mixed together which means you see a whole lotta ugly blurry double vision crap.
 

somata

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Just as an aside, an alternative to cross-viewing is divergent viewing (this is the method that MagicEye requires, for example). Cross-viewing requires you to focus on a plane in front of the screen, which I personally find very hard to do and it puts a lot of strain on the eye muscles. Divergent viewing has you focus on a distant plane behind the screen, which I find much easier to pull off (though a bit harder to explain how to accomplish for those uninitiated). However, this technique requires that the screenshots provided in this review be swapped left-for-right for the proper effect. Likewise, if you try to view these cross-view-compatible screenshots using the same technique you'd use with MagicEye, you'll get an odd and underwhelming composite. Swap them and you'll see them the way they're meant to be seen, provided you use the divergent/MagicEye technique.
 

64NOMIS

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Cleeve, great story on the obscure which will ultimately be ubiquitous. The arrival of 3D TV is just a glimpse of what is to come and you have taken us one or two steps beyond. I continue to wonder how deep the audience is for this kind of content, really Tom's has been one of the few places this kind of work can live. Gadget press be damned, long live the DIY futurist. I think the full implications of 3D visualization and full motion control are significant and unexpected. Virtual reality is upon us, whether we would have it or not, and there are few thinking it through fully.
 
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Viewsonic PJD6211 or better(3D ready projector) and XpanD X102 (DLP-link, system without emiters) is best solution. I work on 2Dto3D conversion (just google "Nikola Tesla and my Thoughts" and you can find my GPL code). I look movies with ColorCode glasses on standard monitor. It look good but 120 Hz will be better on big screen...
 

EddieLomax

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It would have been interesting to see what a game that had been optimised for 3D would have looked like, both D&D and Star Trek seem to be 2D only, Everquest 2 recently had 3D optimisations added (as the review showed the menu's are actually a big problem if they're coming at you at multiple depths etc).
 

coldmast

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[citation][nom]pluripotent[/nom]But Don! I'z only gotz one eye![/citation]
That's not an issue you just have to shake 3.5" back and forth at 60Hz.
 

michaelahess

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Hey Cleve, I've got a 106" screen with a Sanyo PLV-Z700, cost $1300 for the projector and $100 for the screen. After reading this I'd be tempted to buy another projector and screen to do this. Problem is the Projector, though 1080P, only has 1200 Lumens. I can make my basement pitch black, do you think it would be bright enough though?
 

JonnyDough

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What a difference three years can make in the technology industry. Avatar thrust 3D into the pop-culture mainstream and all of the major TV manufacturers have announced 3D-ready sets for the home
That's because they started making glasses that didn't look so geeky. Still geeky, yes. But not AS geeky. :) Besides, these days most people are wearing contacts so its actually cool to wear glasses because not as many do. :p
 

C_S

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I remember very well the original article three years ago, as I contributed half-a dozen or so posts near the end of that discussion back then, and have been running a very similar 3D projection setup (based on that idea) here ever since.

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I don't use my projector with 3D as a rule--I run 2D about 98% of the time--but it certainly does work as described (then), and it certainly can be very convincing if configured right.

My setup uses a NEC LT180 projector (1024x768 native) and the “old” Nvidia stereo drivers (which worked only up through the 7800 series video cards--I run a 7800GS). Wicked Eye-3D shutter-glasses, and a VERY big picture, giving me an exact life-size image when I sit inside the cockpits of the virtual race-cars I drive almost every day (the racing sims are "rFactor" and "Richard Burns Rally").

Even as only an occasional 3D user, I'll certainly have to agree that "bigger is better" when it comes to 3D, but I'll take it even further, and add my own, narrower, caveat to this: LIFESIZE is what you really want. IMO if the 3D objects you see aren't viewed pretty close to LIFESIZE--if the "field-of-view" they encompass isn't nearly identical to the FOV they'd encompass if they were objects in the real-world--then the 3D effects wont' be either as convincing or immersive as they really can be.

If the objects are too small--if you are driving a 3D race car that scales out closer to half size...or even if it's only 3/4 size..."something" just isn't going to feel quite right to you. Your everyday experience with similar objects is going to leave you feeling decidedly "underwhelmed" if the car you are driving seems very much undersized--it has to feel like it's as big as a real car to be believable...and not a kart.

But if you get it scaled just right... :D ...then objects...particularly real-world, common objects (including 3D body parts, weapons, and things like cars and trucks) will be seen by the eyes as actual objects would be seen...and if they are lifesize (or pretty close to it...say within 10%), you will really buy into it.

For this reason, I take great pains to measure out my field-of-view and to ensure that the in-game FOV settings match exactly the measured relationship between my own eyes and the screen. That means a 75 degree FOV (vertically) in my case in the case of “rFactor,” half of it above the horizon line and half below it....

For movies, or when dealing with objects (like people) in which there is commonly variation in even their real-world sizes , setting FOV this precisely won't be anywhere near as critical--there will be quite a bit more flexibility in the setup--but if you use your rig in a one-man gaming/simulator application as a rule, you're going to want to nail this down as precisely as you can, I do think....

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I just bought myself a new Mitsubishi HC3800 (1920x1080 native) DLP projector the day before this article appeared*--it should arrive here Friday. Since my 7800GS video card doesn't have a HDMI connector, I won't be able to realize the full 16:9 HD resolution from it, but even seeing only 1600x1200 (using the VGA connector) what I should get will be a huge step up in resolution from my current projector...and if it's as good as I hope it will be I just may have to open the wallet further and spring for a second unit (to try this dual-projector version). Further updates as events warrant....

[* US price was $1299 delivered, and it's price competitive with several other similar new HD-DLP models just hitting the market: Optoma HD20; BenQ WD1000; Samsung SPA600; Vivitek H1082]

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The authors of this article might also want to take a look at this new item:

http://www.depthq.com/modulator.html

…and factor it into their thinking for configuring possible future 3D projection setups.

I have no idea as to the price of this unit**, but if a similar DIY solution could be built which would work with single projectors running at only 60Hz (30Hz/eye), and if some or all of the available 3D drivers could be hacked or “spoofed” into running at the lower refresh rates of 60Hz, instead of 120Hz as a minimum, then even inexpensive HD projectors like the one I just purchased could be used for full HD resolution/passive glasses 3D projection...and in a price range which could make the idea much more acceptable to the masses.

[** note that, as described, it currently requires a projector running at a 120Hz overall minimum refresh speed, like the 720p model offered by Depth-Q, so there currently may be little or no advantage over the dual-projector solution described in this article]



C_S
 

gwolfman

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Another slight disadvantage is that the filters polarize the light across a plane, so the more you tilt your head, the more crosstalk you will see. Once again, this isn't a problem for most people, since they don't watch the big screen with their heads tilted sideways, but it's something else to keep in mind.
Only the cheaper implementations use linearly polarized glasses and projection methods. Some IMAX theaters and others use these methods. RealD uses circularly polarized methods, which don't suffer from the head tilt and angle-of-view drawbacks.
 

cleeve

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[citation][nom]gwolfman[/nom] RealD uses circularly polarized methods, which don't suffer from the head tilt and angle-of-view drawbacks.[/citation]

Yes it does. Circular polarizers allow for slightly more of a tilt, but it suffers from the same issues.

I didn't notice a single problem during my entire testing due to head tilting. In fact, tilting your head is very unnatural unless you have a physical problem causing it.

As I mentioned, most of the enthusiasts will attest that linear filters are considered superior to circular ones for home use.
 
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Do your research better please...The output of Tridef is nowhere near the quality that 3D Combine produces from 2D. It will not work in realtime, but what you need is a perfect 3D experience, not the basic stuff that Tridef produces...
 

Humans think

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Thank you for this excellent article.

Commercially it is tough for DIY dual-projection polarization to get the software support it needs, since the industry is going for the other technology when considering home use. Ease of installation & use comes first when release to the masses is considered.

Do you believe that companies like Benq consider releasing tandem projectors with preinstalled filters to simplify installation. This would lead to better software support too...

I hate it when great technologies get no support because people don't bother to learn how to use them...
 

cleeve

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[citation][nom]guest56[/nom]Do your research better please...The output of Tridef is nowhere near the quality that 3D Combine produces from 2D.[/citation]

Please point out where I said otherwise.

Do your research better, yourself. :)
 

cleeve

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[citation][nom]Humans think[/nom]Do you believe that companies like Benq consider releasing tandem projectors with preinstalled filters to simplify installation.[/citation]

unfortunately, no. Dual-projector systems are the redheaded stepchild of 3D displays and nobody in the industry wants to talk about them. The only feedback I got was how horrible the crosstalk is and how much better 120 Hz AFS displays are.

We'll see if that's true in the follow-up... I'm still hearing a lot of comments about 120 Hz glasses causing headaches and being hard to watch for long periods. We'll see...
 
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unfotunately you need to do a bit more resaerch on theatrical display systems to provide correct info, but the gist of what you're saying is correct here...
The only dual-proj commercial digital 3D system is Digital IMAX, the others all use single projectors.
 

k_meleon1982

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I guess there are MANY readers that would love to have this in their livingroom (me included), but the costs are over the affordable...so to try to lower such costs could this setup be made with some sort of home built projectors like the ones in the lumenlab.com's forum (http://www.lumenlab.com/forums/index.php?showforum=3)?? Or are there any other DIY projects out there that could be used to replace the two projectors in this article?
I know the quality is less than optimal but it could be a great trade-off between price/quality. Any opinions on that?
 
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Great article, I think I would like to see an unlimited budget version of this =). Some questions:

I know there are some optical polarized lenses in photography. They may have better resistance to heat and filter out less brightness. Did you try that?

The good projector I see is Panasonic AE4000, but it is claimed to be 1600 lumens. For a dark room, what minimum brightness are we talking here for the projector?
 

ceridianmn

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I wonder if there is a way you could use the dual ports or a third party inline box to split an alternating left/right for one display to instead feed two projectors. If there is a way to do this, especially natively in the nVidia drivers, that would be another great test for this series. At a high refresh rate (like the 120 that is becoming standard) this would provide for a flicker-free passive solution. Next year as 3D hits mainstream a box to do this for under the cost of a pair of glasses could conceivibly be a money saver for anyone wanting to allow more than 9 people to watch 3D at the same time.
 

ceridianmn

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[citation][nom]ceridianmn[/nom]I wonder if there is a way you could use the dual ports or a third party inline box to split an alternating left/right for one display to instead feed two projectors. If there is a way to do this, especially natively in the nVidia drivers, that would be another great test for this series. At a high refresh rate (like the 120 that is becoming standard) this would provide for a flicker-free passive solution. Next year as 3D hits mainstream a box to do this for under the cost of a pair of glasses could conceivibly be a money saver for anyone wanting to allow more than 9 people to watch 3D at the same time.[/citation]

To clarify, I wonder if there is a way to do this with the nvidia drivers, obviously the two drivers featured in the article were used in L/R mode for two projectors.
 
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