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3D Imagery


By: David Wood - February 24, 2000

Introduction To 3D Imagery

A limitation of the realism of any image portrayed on a computer screen is that your monitor is only a two dimensional display device. Your eye does not see any depth to the image in front of you, and this will always limit just how much your conscious mind can be immersed within a computer generated environment. Most of us have experienced 3D imagery for a few brief moments at a 3D-theatre in an amusement park, or maybe some special TV event where the glasses were given away in breakfast cereal packets.

At these times it becomes obvious how neat an interactive 3D environment could be, but also how limited current technology is. According to Hollywood in a few decades we will be able to walk around in complete 360 degree hologram environments, hold conversation with a holographic representation of your friend, and hopefully even pick up a holographic rocket launcher and chase him around a Quake map :).

About This Article

In this article I will discuss everything that I know about 3D imagery. By "3D imagery", I am referring to the whole realm of different methods and ideas of presenting a three-dimensional image, with depth, to a human being. I will discuss all known forms of 3D imagery (stereo glasses, holograms etc.) and some detail on how each method works and I will also discuss some working details of the human visual system. In this article I will also speculate on how some of the types of hologram effects that we only see in the movies may one day be achieved (or maybe not).

Some of the example images in this article will require special equipment or glasses to view. Don't worry too much if you don't have them as I will fully explain the principle of how they work. Also, in some cases the 3D equipment can be home made. Other viewing techniques do not require any sort of extra equipment and can be viewed with your own eyes, providing you have good sight in both of them.

Next: Human Depth Perception

Last Updated on February 24, 2000

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