3D Camera Technology For Dummies

3D Technology Review For Humans

3D camera technology is based on the principle of stereoscopy, which creates the illusion of depth in an image.

Stereoscopy (also called stereoscopic or 3-D imaging) is any technique capable of recreating three-dimensional visual information or creating the illusion of depth in an image.

The basic requirement is to recreate offset images that are presented separately to the left and right eye. Bothof these 2-D offset images are then combined in the brain to give the perception of 3-D depth.

Three strategies have been used to accomplish this 3D camera technology:

  1. Have the viewer wear eyeglasses to combine separate images from two offset sources, like the blur photos used all the way back at the 50’s of the 20th century, but those 3D effects were usually not so great
  2. Have the viewer wear eyeglasses to filter offset images from a single source separated to each eye, this polarized (or passive) technology, is the technology you have been exposed to when watching a 3D movie in an IMAX theater (e.g. Avatar 3D, Alice in Wonderland 3D, etc.) This 3D is possible because the film makers started using new 3D cameras with high definition possibilities.
  3. Have the light-source split the images directionally into the viewer’s eyes (no glasses required) this active technology, is the most recent one that is quickly becoming the standard in terms of 3D watching at home.

The easiest way to enhance depth perception in the brain is to provide the eyes of the viewer with two different images, representing two perspectives of the same object.  The images need to have a minor deviation exactly equal to the perspectives that both eyes naturally receive in binocular vision.

Simple 3D Technology Explained

Anaglyph 3D Technology

The first 3D images were done by the Anaglyph Technology. Usually the main subject remained centered while the foreground and background shifted laterally in opposite directions. When viewed with two-color glasses (the lenses are chromatically opposite in color usually red and cyan), these images produced a stereoscopic 3D effect (your brain is tricked into thinking that this picture is in 3D).

Polarized or Passive 3D Technology

The second stage of 3D technology is in the Polarized or Passive 3D Technology were two images are projected onto the screen, and each image is polarized in a different direction. You as a viewer wear polarized glasses (3D glasses are really cheap, between $1 and $10 per pair); with lenses that are polarized in opposite directions, each lens matching the polarization of its corresponding image. The polarized lens covering your left eye is polarized to block the right image, and the polarized lens covering your right eye is polarized to block the left image. So your left eye can only see the left image, and your right eye can only see the right image.

Active 3D Technology

The latest 3D technology is called Active 3D Technology.  In the Active 3D technology, the screen switches rapidly between showing the image intended for the left eye and the image intended for the right eye. It switches between images at least 100 times per second, more frequently on many 3D TVs.

This 3D active technology is now mainly used in the 3D televisions from the best consumer electronics firms, including LG, Samsung, Panasonic, and more.. allowing the new TV sets to show 3D movies and 3D games, they are all also Hi Definition 3D TV. All the best 3D HDTVs have a minimum frame rate of 120 Hz (most have a frame rate around 240 Hz or even 480 Hz).

Active shutter glasses

How does the eyes capture the 3D image if the image is flashed so quickly?

Splitting the images to a different eye at a time wouldn’t do anything without a ensuring that the images reach the left eye and right eye accordingly…  Although this is a dazzling speed, the image is distributed to the correct eye with the help of the active shutter glasses.

The lenses on these shutter glasses can turn from opaque to transparent and back again in an instant. That’s how they got their name.. they’re like shutters opening and closing. A wireless signal from an emitter on the TV tells  them when to open and close. The active shutter glasses are kept in sync with the 3D HDTVusing Bluetooth, infrared, or radio technology. They do it fast and synchronized in time with the alternating images on the TV itself…  These These glasses are battery-operated (battery life estimated at around 80 hours or so).

Now there you have it, all 3D technology explained


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