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Old May 30th, 2011, 04:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 3D "Pop-out" clarified and "violations" that lead to discomfort

I spoke with my neighborhood stereoscopy expert (30-years of experience, custom-built camera rig, home-theater setup with polarized projectors, etc.) and learned quite a bit about 3D imagery. Thought I'd share some general facts and other factors that cause eye strain and headaches.

Regarding images that pop out: already proven possible with the screen technology. But will the phone's camera be able to capture a subject and then show it popping out? Most likely, but not guaranteed.

In another thread, I incorrectly concluded that the focal point determines the threshold where things pop out or appear behind the screen. Actually that threshold is fixed based on the distance between the lens and the offset of the sensors behind the lenses. I have no visibility into how the E3D's sensors are set, so there's no way to guess what the zero parallax line lies. However, once the phone is released, it will be trivial to determine this by taking a picture of a ruler (or tape measure) that extends from the camera. If you overlay the stereo images in photoshop, the ruler will appear as a thin X. Where the convergence of the X is on the ruler will be the zero parallax line (aka point of convergence).

Objects farther from zero parallax will appear behind the display; objects closer will appear to pop out from the screen.

This article makes it really simple to understand:
STEREOSCOPIC (3D) FILMMAKING OVERVIEW Part 2

Commonly, the distance between cameras (aka the stereo base) is set to the human interocular distance (distance between human eyes), which is about 2.5". But there's no real reason why this needs to be enforced; it really depends on the scale of your subject. If you're taking a picture of insects, your camera lenses should be much closer together. If you're taking a picture of the grand canyon, the cameras should be very far apart. Again, that article above talks about why you may want to use cameras that are further apart. But a moot point for E3D since we can't adjust the cameras. But given that the Evo's cameras are kinda close together, the best 3D shots will be with subjects closer to the screen.

Onto the discomfort.

My source tells me that pop-out is actually not very desirable for two reasons:

1) it causes eye strain due to the need to focus on a point close to the eyes (cross-eye). Prolonged cross-eye is not comfortable.

2) when a pop-out object is cropped by the edge of the screen, our brain freaks out because it conflicts with reality. The object should appear in front of the edge and not be cut off. This is considered a violation of good stereoscopy and should be avoided.

Another violation is an exaggeration of depth where the distance between stereo images exceeds the interocular distance. This isn't going to be a problem with the Evo 3D's images, but this is much more common in a theater. Film producers sometimes push the limit to try to give the scene maximum depth by spacing out the parallax images. This can trigger instant headaches. Also if you sit too close to the screen, the problem becomes amplified.

He rattled off a few more violations that I can't recall, but basically he says that the violations are what make 3D gimmicky, and it's also responsible for the discomfort and inability to see in 3D for some subset of the public. When the rules of stereoscopy are obeyed, the results are spectacular and comfortable to view, because they simulate depth realistically.

Just sharing for those of you actually interested in the 3D capabilities of the phone.

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Old May 30th, 2011, 05:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks for this (and your other valuable info). Damn, we have great Mods here.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 05:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Much obliged, Novox!
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Old May 30th, 2011, 09:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Nice write up!

I agree the dam Nintendo 3DS on display in gamestop only took me 10mins before i got a headache , hope the Evo 3D isn't that bad !!
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Old May 31st, 2011, 12:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by novox77 View Post
Another violation is an exaggeration of depth where the distance between stereo images exceeds the interocular distance. This isn't going to be a problem with the Evo 3D's images, but this is much more common in a theater. Film producers sometimes push the limit to try to give the scene maximum depth by spacing out the parallax images. This can trigger instant headaches. Also if you sit too close to the screen, the problem becomes amplified...
Are you refering to 3D viewing or taking 3D pictures/movies here? If I understand this part correctly, the E3D shouldn't cause problems with headaches?
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Old May 31st, 2011, 06:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Are you refering to 3D viewing or taking 3D pictures/movies here? If I understand this part correctly, the E3D shouldn't cause problems with headaches?
I was talking about 3D images/photos captured by 3vo's cameras, and specifically about violating the "3D window," which is the comfortable near and far distance based on the layout of the cameras and sensors. That article I linked to explains this. It COULD happen with the 3VO in rare situations (like trying to exaggerate a pop-out) but under normal applications, it should be ok. I was trying to say that movie makers will try to increase the depth of the movie without the proper camera alignment, or artificially increase the parallax via software. These violations are built-in (hardcoded) to the film and cannot be corrected by the phone. Phone is just going to play it back as-is. So.... blame the movie maker, not the player.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 10:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for this (and your other valuable info). Damn, we have great Mods here.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 12:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Wow. What a comprehensive and interesting analysis. I think this definitely deserves some front page Phandroid love. Not all consumers will be interested, but I can tell you that any 3D Game/App developers should read it closely to understand and obey the rules, inherently creating a better experience for their users!
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 02:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Unfortunately none of this will matter if the camera quality is the same as most smart phones out there.

I don't understand why anyone cares about 1080p recording if the 1080p imagery is filled with hotspots. The whole point of this kind of technology is a perfectly clean image.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 02:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Unfortunately none of this will matter if the camera quality is the same as most smart phones out there.

I don't understand why anyone cares about 1080p recording if the 1080p imagery is filled with hotspots. The whole point of this kind of technology is a perfectly clean image.
To that, I would say there's a time and place for everything. I'm a photographer, and I would never use my Evo to do a photoshoot at a wedding, obviously, but we've seen plenty of good content come from mobile devices. Sometimes a technical limitation can be overcome with artistic creativity.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 03:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Nice write up. The last few writes up you've done have been nice. And congrats to the Mod title. Every time I turn around a familiar face is a Mod...
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 10:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I incorrectly concluded that the focal point determines the threshold where things pop out or appear behind the screen. Actually that threshold is fixed based on the distance between the lens and the offset of the sensors behind the lenses. I have no visibility into how the E3D's sensors are set, so there's no way to guess what the zero parallax line lies. However, once the phone is released, it will be trivial to determine this by taking a picture of a ruler (or tape measure) that extends from the camera. If you overlay the stereo images in photoshop, the ruler will appear as a thin X. Where the convergence of the X is on the ruler will be the zero parallax line (aka point of convergence).
Excellent; it's great you've further verified this! Of course this is assuming the lenses do not have any sort of swivel (that is to say, assume some arbitrary, fixed, immutable flat plane bisects both lenses). This assumption (and a few others) also underlie my "further uses of the 3D camera" ideas post from earlier. A ruler is also largely unnecessary if the distance between lenses is known (and it can be measured most accurately on a minute scale without involving spatial discrepancies, optical distortions such as barrel/pincusion and other radial aberration).

Further source(s) of discomfort may very well stem from the screen technology itself. The lower the resolution, the more the eyes attempt to re-focus on what is perceived as blur. For eyes "used to" viewing 2D images on various screens, our eyes may have become used to this, but for 3D, this problem may recur -- especially if "qHD" resolution relies on some trick like 960/2=480 for each eye like the 3DS (400/2). Pixel depth aside, the 3D effect (and therefore the depth of field) will change depending on the tilt of the device away from the "sweet spot" causing further binocular disparity changes and leading to convergence/deconvergence adjustments as our eyes attempt to again re-acclimate to the new field depth.

This is my take on it, but I agree these factors may be trivial. Then again, they could be the chief determining factors of "discomfort" -- the falloff and overaccentuated paralax may only account for suspension of believability and "impact" of the effect, rather than the actual strain.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 10:48 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
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To that, I would say there's a time and place for everything. I'm a photographer, and I would never use my Evo to do a photoshoot at a wedding, obviously, but we've seen plenty of good content come from mobile devices. Sometimes a technical limitation can be overcome with artistic creativity.
Indeed, or mathematical (DSP) creativity. I degrain my HD2's photos using automated computer-side temporal denoising. The phone bursts 3-5 pictures, which are then de-noised incredibly well on my computer.

The deal is to take med/high-ISO pictures to preserve high amounts of detail (in low-light settings this is especially paramount) and reduce exposure-time-induced blur at the cost of additional random grain. Ideally, this can be implemented on the device itself (on the GPU no less, for real-time low-power processing). Obviously, temporally-corrected de-shake and such have been realized for conventional cameras.

What's truly exciting to me are the new possibilities (and accuracy!) that comes with a 2-camera setup!
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 03:26 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks for the very comprehensive write up! I know myself, as well as many others, appreciates the very helpful info!

One quick question: Based on what you know, do you feel the Evo3D will cause problems with headaches/eye strain under normal use with 3D enabled? I'm not planning on buying the Evo3D solely for the 3D aspect, it's more of an added bonus, but if this is going to be uncomfortable and cause headaches/eye strain I may need to skip this phone all together. That, or as I understand it, you can disable 3D mode and have it run in 2D, thereby eliminating any of these issues.

I'll likely buy the phone anyway and if I experience issues, I can return it within 30 days and get something else. But your opinion on what to expect would be greatly helpful. Thanks!!
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 03:50 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Based on what you know, do you feel the Evo3D will cause problems with headaches/eye strain under normal use with 3D enabled?
Based on feedback I've seen from other forum users and their experiences with other 3D screens, I can safely say that....

...I have no idea if you will get headaches/eye strain. Aside from technical reasons caused by the 3D screen, there are also perceptual issues that vary from person-to-person. Think of it like motion sickness. There's a wide range of tolerance.

If you've generally had good experience with 3D in a theater or other stereoscopic media, you'll likely have no issues with the Evo 3D.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 04:06 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by novox77 View Post
...there are also perceptual issues that vary from person-to-person. Think of it like motion sickness. There's a wide range of tolerance.

If you've generally had good experience with 3D in a theater or other stereoscopic media, you'll likely have no issues with the Evo 3D.
That makes sense, thank you. I personally don't have any experience with 3D via either a theater or stereoscopic media, so I'm not sure what to expect. It makes sense though that this will vary by person, some people won't experience any issues and some others may be very sensitive and thus much more suceptible to issues.

My main reason for the question is all the talk I've heard about the Nintendo 3Ds (I believe that's what it's called), and how there has supposedly been widespread issues with people complaining of headaches/eye strain. That talk may have been overblown, but I'm not sure to what extent this problem has been confirmed or not.

Since the Evo3D uses a similar 3D effect (screen only, no glasses), I was wondering if this would also exhibit similar problems. Of course even if it did, as long as you can disable the 3D mode and have things in 2D mode, this would eliminate any issues you might experience.

Thanks again for your feedback and knowledge!
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 04:37 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Nintendo has come out and said:
Quote:
"We will recommend that very young children not look at 3D images," [Reggie] said. "That's because, [in] young children, the muscles for the eyes are not fully formed... This is the same messaging that the industry is putting out with 3D movies, so it is a standard protocol. We have the same type of messaging for the [1990s Nintendo virtual reality machine] Virtual Boy, as an example."
3D is dangerous / not dangerous: Nintendo 3DS warning label edition -- Engadget

Also,
Quote:
"we will offer 2Ds alone to children aged six and younger as continuing to watch 3D images for a long time could negatively affect the development of their eyes,
http://news.discovery.com/tech/nintendo-issues-age-warning-3d-101230.html

I don't know about you guys, but I will certainly make sure my Son doesn't watch anything on my Evo3D for extended periods of time. Better safe than sorry...

Again, this effect may be different than the EVO3D, so the article only pertains to the Nintendo 3DS. I'm sure if there is an issue with the Evo3D that HTC will make sure we are well informed.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 04:41 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
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...
Again, this effect may be different than the EVO3D, so the article only pertains to the Nintendo 3DS. I'm sure if there is an issue with the Evo3D that HTC will make sure we are well informed.
Very good point. Of course, provided you can toggle between 2D and 3D, you could keep your device in 2D mode most of the time, then enable 3D when you want to use it, like look at 3D movies or photos, etc.

From the sounds of it, the 3D effect doesn't do much for normal operation of the phone, you most realize the 3D when playing 3D games, watching 3D videos, etc. It doesn't sound like you'll really notice 3D when you're just using your phone for surfing the web, sending texts, etc.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 04:45 PM   #19 (permalink)
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From my understanding the 3D is only (automatically) turned on exclusively for 3D movies, 3D pictures, & 3D games and remains turned off (automatically) for all other functions.

I sincerely hope thats true and the 3D does not pertain to Menu/Web/Text. I do not want *everything* or even most things to be in 3D all the time.

This is an issue that I think will probably have to be clarified to people over and over again in the future.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 04:49 PM   #20 (permalink)
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From my understanding the 3D is only (automatically) turned on exclusively for 3D movies, 3D pictures, & 3D games and remains turned off (automatically) for all other functions.

I sincerely hope thats true and the 3D does not pertain to Menu/Web/Text. I do not want *everything* or even most things to be in 3D all the time.
I would like a better understanding of whether the 3D is enabled "automatically", or if you as the user can "manually toggle" between 2D and 3D. We likely won't know for sure until there is a phone available for extensive hands-on reviews.

Does anyone have any insight into whether you can manually toggle the 3D mode on/off, or if the Evo3D will automatically enable and disable this feature?
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 06:51 PM   #21 (permalink)
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From my understanding the 3D is only (automatically) turned on exclusively for 3D movies, 3D pictures, & 3D games and remains turned off (automatically) for all other functions.

I sincerely hope thats true and the 3D does not pertain to Menu/Web/Text. I do not want *everything* or even most things to be in 3D all the time.
Nah, I think you're pretty safe. They'd have to invent some sort of depth for UI or web elements, and it'd largely look ridiculous if not downright painful to focus on so many depths. Plus, since the autosteroscopy doesn't work in portrait mode, they'd have to be disabling it all the time anyway. Maybe you'll see someone put something like a 3D-ifying web browser as a novelty in the Android Market, but it would pretty much be so far down the "gimmick" route it wouldn't be the default anytime in the next few years.

Plus, I'll predict they've got a convenient way to disable stereo on the display. Maybe even have a global setting for it.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 07:05 PM   #22 (permalink)
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There's a CTIA demo of Sense floating around here - it's about 6 minutes long - the UI is 2D and crystal clear.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 08:52 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I would like a better understanding of whether the 3D is enabled "automatically", or if you as the user can "manually toggle" between 2D and 3D. We likely won't know for sure until there is a phone available for extensive hands-on reviews.

Does anyone have any insight into whether you can manually toggle the 3D mode on/off, or if the Evo3D will automatically enable and disable this feature?
There is no manual toggle for viewing 3d content, its all in the software. It will automatically detect any 3d content, so if you aren't interested in 3d content then leave the specific 3d content alone and you will be fine.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 09:17 PM   #24 (permalink)
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There is no manual toggle for viewing 3d content, its all in the software. It will automatically detect any 3d content, so if you aren't interested in 3d content then leave the specific 3d content alone and you will be fine.
Well, we've been told there's no hardware switch to disable it, but that doesn't rule out a software-based manual toggle. I expect at least a global stereo-kill switch, but even if I'm wrong about that, then I expect most apps will include a setting to control/disable it.

(Here's my reasoning: Think about the 3DS: the tolerable amount of stereo separation varies from game to game, and for some games, even though it supports stereo-3D, many users may not want to play it in stereo-3D. As much gushing there's been in the press over the existence and support of that 3DS slider, I think HTC couldn't possibly ignore that rather important lesson. As such, even if they couldn't fit a hardware slider on there, I'd expect them to have a software control, even if it's just to force stereo off. And if they managed to mess that up and include no manual controls, the individual application developers that support stereo will be smart enough to include one.)
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 09:25 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I'm pretty sure the Nintendo 3DS had a "Parental Control" setting so you could disable the 3D with a password.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 01:16 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Default Does the 3d videos hurt anyone elses eyes?

Damn...i dont like this.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 01:29 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Damn...i dont like this.
I haven't had any issues at all personally but my girlfriend got a headache with in a few minutes. But to add though, it also depends on the content. On some videos it didn't take long for her to complain but then on others she had no issues at all.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 07:41 AM   #28 (permalink)
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I haven't had any issues at all personally but my girlfriend got a headache with in a few minutes. But to add though, it also depends on the content. On some videos it didn't take long for her to complain but then on others she had no issues at all.
Among the sample 3Dphotos that came with the Evo 3D, some violate the 3D window, and some don't. Which means each photo causes a different amount of eye strain. For example, the very first photo is pretty hard on the eyes.

At some point, I'll write a guide for people interested in creating their own 3D content but don't want to create stuff that gives people headaches Well, you can't prevent it for 100% of the population, but you definitely can minimize it.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 08:59 AM   #29 (permalink)
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That is a very informative post and explains a lot of things.

I have been playing around with my evo3d and some of the 3d content I can find varies from amazing to instant eye strain. This is most apparent when viewing 3d videos off youtube since I just cannot look at some of the videos in 3d without instantly hurting my eyes...where as others look perfect and don't affect me at all. It really depends on how much the filmmaker is trying to force things to pop out.

You can test this concept with the Spiderman 3d demo that comes preloaded since you can adjust the 3d effects. With it set to the middle/low range the game looks good and doesn't affect my eyes at all. But my eyes start hurting if I set the 3d effect to the max and the game doesn't look quite as good in my opinion...and harder to find the sweet spot.

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I sincerely hope thats true and the 3D does not pertain to Menu/Web/Text. I do not want *everything* or even most things to be in 3D all the time.
ArmageddonX most things that you do on the phone are not in 3D. The only time the 3D kicks in is when you are viewing 3D content such as games made specifically for it or videos made specifically for 3d. The UI is all 2d and does not pop out.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 02:35 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Default 3D effect screws with my eyes...

Is it just me???
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Old June 24th, 2011, 11:30 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Among the sample 3Dphotos that came with the Evo 3D, some violate the 3D window, and some don't. Which means each photo causes a different amount of eye strain. For example, the very first photo is pretty hard on the eyes.

At some point, I'll write a guide for people interested in creating their own 3D content but don't want to create stuff that gives people headaches Well, you can't prevent it for 100% of the population, but you definitely can minimize it.
Scrolling through the gallery gives you that violation as well lol. I did notice the 3D seems to be more "sensative" with pictures than it does with the movies and the games. Watching the Green Hornet, the 3D effect didn't seem to get messed up too much, if at all, watching it from different angles. The Spiderman game seems to run fine as well. The photos on the other hand are a different story, and alot of it probably has to do with the violation you explained.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 11:35 PM   #32 (permalink)
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A well-composed 3D shot is very comfortable to watch. When done right, you sometimes get so used to the 3D that it doesn't look anything special anymore. I've been testing the 3VO camera and have determined that anything closer than 18" to the camera becomes eye-strain material. Keeping your subjects farther than 18" (or to be safe, 2ft) will give you photos that are comfortable to view.

There are a few other easy-to-obey rules that I'll put together a bit later for those interested in playing with the 3D cameras more.

I actually just enjoy walking around and looking at the viewfinder like it was a mini window. I just wish I could disable the autofocus.
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Old July 8th, 2011, 10:05 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Avatar 3D looks REALLY good on the Evo 3D screen. Best 3D movie I've screened so far. A lot of depth and even some subtle pop-out that doesn't strain the eyes.
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