3D Film Connection | 3D Animation, Visual Effects, 3D Design » Blog » All you need to know about Auto Stereoscopic Content
All you need to know about Auto Stereoscopic Content

tvmain All you need to know about Auto Stereoscopic Content

Stereoscopy is a technique used to create two images for a single picture, set of pictures or frames. It enhances the illusion of depth by displaying two images at the same time, one for each eye. Both of these 2-D images are perceived and combined by the brain, in-turn creating a 3D effect. Many companies around the world are now opening up and expanding as 3D studios and are increasingly following the trend of 3D object creation, animation and 3D graphics displayed in stereoscopic 3D.

Various techniques are used to produce this groundbreaking content. New Software Technology has made it possible for many companies to make 2D images or clips that appear to be an originally created 3D object. Both the audience and the developers see the added incentives of having 3D with the recent advances in 3D technology not to mention the vast amount of white papers proving it has massive potential for advertisers and educators.

Visual attention is an important element to discuss prior to manufacturing 3D objects. Viewers naturally focus their attention on specific areas of interest in their visual field and this phenomenon must be kept in mind while making 3D content. Within Stereoscopy itself, there are two more techniques that can be used to produce a 3D-effect. The first one makes it compulsory for a viewer to wear 3D-Glasses that helps in perceiving two separate different images. In the second method, the light source is used for the splitting purposes and viewers do not require wearing any glasses, this technique is refereed to as Auto stereoscopy (AS3D) or No Glasses 3D (Glasses Free 3D). This type of 3D is growing in popularity and is finding its way into airports, cinemas and conventions in ever increasing numbers.

G240S 300x283 All you need to know about Auto Stereoscopic ContentThe first method for creating Auto stereoscopic content was evolved in the 1980s’ through the use of  lenses. As technology developed over the years, the displays became increasingly affordable and produced dramatically more vivid 3D. Currently, the majority of auto stereoscopic display manufacturers are European companies. The technology currently derives from a few main patents and is licensed widely. The displays being used are common known brands with the addition of a specialized lenticular lens that is positioned in front of the screen to give a split pixel view.

Another process widely used for single viewer displays is based on eye tracking and displaying 3D images based on where the viewer is positioned, mainly used in the 1990s and early 2000s, but has since lost its edge. It is basically a device used for tracking eye movements for a certain period of time and is widely used in visual systems creation. While viewing Auto Stereoscopic content, lenticular lenses or parallax barriers are used. They basically direct the incoming image into several regions or zones allowing a user to view objects in 3D. Customarily, these zones, due to the split pixels, have very low resolutions.

Recent developments in display technology have brought resolutions up to 4k x 2k so that once split the image maintains high resolution. Multiple imaging zones are often used to allow multiple users to view the image simultaneously. There are however what we call dead zones that can be seen between the sweet spots.  Most commonly, the dead zones are blurry versions of the 3D where you can see the crosstalk between the 2 images as they combine.

Parallax barriers were first developed by Sharp technologies in early 90’s. They were successful in developing an electronic flat panel application, hence selling world’s first laptops with flat 3D LCD screens. This technology was no further developed by Sharp, but since then companies such as Tridelity and Spatial view have made small changes to this technology and began marketing it. The same technique was used by Hitachi to introduce the first 3D cell phone in Japan. The advancements in Parallax barriers allowed Fujifilm to develop a digital camera which had a built in auto stereoscopic LCD and the same technique was later used by the popular gaming console Nintendo 3DS.

Lenticular Arrays are also used to make Objects appear in 3D. This technique uses integral Photography and an array of various 2D lenses to capture a 3-D scene. It is an advanced form of Auto stereoscopy because it develops window-like images that reproduce objects and group of objects. One of the drawbacks of this tool is that it requires a high bandwidth and a large quantity of various small optical systems. Phillips Company found some bugs in the earlier lenticular systems, but solved some significant problems by relating conventional ways and produced its WOWvx line until 2009, which could run at HD resolution from different angels that counted up to 50. This and other advancements allowed the emergence of Magnetic3d and Zero Creative technology and techniques. These are basically used to convert a normal 3D display into auto 3D display, which is being used by many handheld cell phones like the LG Thrill 3D, HTC Evo 3D and others. These smart phones use a hardware overlay lens. Other companies like Dimension Technology use a technique which is a merger of parallax and lenticular techniques.

There have been some other Autostereo systems developed like using a fly-eye lens array to develop a volumetric display. Sunny Ocean Studios, located in Singapore, has been credited with developing an automultiscopic screen that can display auto-stereo 3D images from 64 different reference points. Holovizio also has an automultiscopic display that is capable of displaying 90 images at the same time! The word auto multiscopic display has lately been introduced as a shorter synonym for the lengthy “multi-view Autostereoscopic 3D display.  These appear to be the way of the future, that is why 3D Film Connection has focused its development team on being able to create the absolute most amazing AS-3D (Auto stereoscopic Three Dimensional) content possible.”