[Chimera-users] 3D viewing?
gregc at cgl.ucsf.edu
Wed Sep 15 14:58:18 PDT 2004
On Tue, 14 Sep 2004, Steven J Kolodziej wrote:
> I was wondering if Chimera had an option for viewing files in 3D from
> a PC using glasses and if so what hardware is needed.
Chimera does support hardware stereo viewing when given the --stereo
option in the Windows shortcut target field (or the command line). You
will need a graphics card that is capable of drawing stereo in a window, a
monitor that can display at higher refresh rates (120Hz preferred, 85Hz
minimum), and stereo glasses. There exist stereo monitors that don't need
While some consumer graphic cards have stereo support, they only support
fullscreen stereo, so you will need a workstation-class graphics card.
Those cards include the 3DLabs Wildcat cards, the NVidia Quadro cards, and
the ATI FireGL cards -- the workstation models. Be sure to double check
that card specifications say that it supports stereo (may be listed as
quad-buffered stereo) and has a 3-pin sync connector because the low-end
workstation graphics typically do not support stereo (and a couple of the
high-end ones!). After you install your stereo graphics card, you will
need to configure the driver (on Windows, in Display Properties/ Settings/
Advanced/ ?) to support stereo. See
<http://www.stereographics.com/support/boards/brd-chrt.htm> for a fairly
current list of stereo-capable graphics cards.
For a monitor, the traditional choice has been to get the largest quality
multisync CRT you can afford. LCD flat panels are currently a poor choice
because the individual pixels can not change colors fast enough for stereo
viewing. LCD panels are improving, so there might be one that would work
now. Be sure to test your monitor before buying it. See
<http://www.stereographics.com/support/st-mon.htm> for suggested monitors
and more information.
And do check out the monitors that have builtin stereo support, not
wearing glasses is a huge advantage. The disadvantages have been lower
image quality, poor 2d and 3d image coexistence, and/or high cost.
For stereo glasses, we use the CrystalEyes product from StereoGraphics,
Other glasses will work, but we do not have any experience with them.
For instance, the VRex shutter glasses look like they would work,
<http://www.vrex.com/products/sg_vrv.shtml>. They have a lower dynamic
range than the CrystalEyes product, but they weigh less (no batteries) and
cost significantly less.
As a general note, people vary in how quickly their eyes get tired when
looking at stereo images -- when you are modeling, you might want/need to
spend 8 hours a day in stereo. Part of your equipment evaluation should
include using the stereo for a long period of time.
gregc at cgl.ucsf.edu
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