[Chimera-users] 3D stereo

Greg Couch gregc at cgl.ucsf.edu
Tue Sep 28 12:59:13 PDT 2010

  On 07/21/2010 07:24 AM, Nadir T. Mrabet wrote:
> Hi,
> This is for teaching purposes so that students can "walk" though 3D structures. Would it be possible to use Chimera via a 3D stereo beamer to project display on a very large screen and watch the selected structure in 3D by means of shutter glasses?  If this is so, what kind of equipment would you recommend?
> Many thanks,
> Nadir

So there were some developments at SIGGRAPH, but nothing that would 
change the previous recommendations made in the chimera-users mailing list.

To summarize, for a large group of people, you want a setup similar to 
what is done for 3D movies in a movie theater, which is to use left-hand 
and right-hand circularly polarized light for the left-eye and right-eye 
images.  There are three parts to the setup: (1) projecting the stereo 
images, (2) reflecting the images, (3) receiving the images at the eyes.

1. For projecting the stereo images with chimera, you need a 
workstation-class graphics card, either an AMD FirePro (or ATI FireGL) 
or a NVIDIA Quadro (or Quadro FX, not Quadro NVS), and either (a) two 
projectors with passive polarizers, or (b) a single projector with an 
active polarizers.  The single projector method is much simpler to 
maintain because you don't have to keep aligning the two projectors, but 
may cost more because the projector has to be able to display at 120Hz 
(and there's the cost of the active polarizer).  The relative costs of 
the two options vary.  Active polarizers are available from DepthQ, 
http://www.depthq.com/, and RealD, 
http://www.reald.com/Content/professional.aspx.  DepthQ also sells a 3D 
projector that can display 3 meter wide images, and has European 
distributers, so that might be the best choice.  If you want a larger 
image, you'll need a Christie Mirage or a Barco projector.

2. To reflect the stereo images, you need a screen that doesn't change 
the polarization of the light.  There are lots of choices.  Google for 
"3D projection screen" to see what's available.  What screen you want 
depends on the layout of the room that the stereo projection will be 
in.  Narrow rooms can use screens with a smaller viewing cone and higher 
gain.  I've heard good things about Stewart Filmscreen, but get 
recommendations from whoever you buy your projector too.

3. Last part of making sure each eye only receives the image it is 
supposed to is for the person to wear circularly polarized glasses.  
Google for "polarized 3d glasses" to see what's available.  I'd avoid 
the disposable paper ones.  I like the RealD glasses that the movie 
theaters use.  Perhaps a theater would sell some to you.  The glasses 
from Zalman displays work too.

     Bon chance,


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