Monday, July 18, 2011

Nintendo 3DS

Over the weekend I finally got to try a Nintendo 3DS. Given that I can't see stereograms and that 'proper' 3D with the glasses makes my eyes hurt after less than a few minutes how would the glass-less 3DS stand up?

It worked, but only for a given value of work. I played Pilotwings which should be a good test of 3D-ness. To me it was a bit like those changing flick cards - look at them from two different angles to get two different pictures. It wasn't really 3D to me; depth was there but it was just false; just wrong.

I found I also had to adjust the slide quite often while playing. Any time I moved my head forwards or backwards the depth went strange and I had to move my head back to its original distance which was never quite right. As such this hand-held console can never be held naturally, sit back tilt it or just move it and the 3D fails.

Oh and finally less than a minute in with the slider set and my head fixed, my eyes were starting to hurt.

Yeah not for me.


Orphi said...

The trouble with the new 3D displays is this:

1. To make a 3D effect that works when viewed from any vantage point, you need a lot of images sewn together. The displays I've seen don't produce nearly enough of these, so they only work when viewed from one specific spot.

2. Most of the 3D games I've seen are just flat objects and different depths in 3D space. Hardly worth the effort, really.

Unrelated, but I went to see Journey to the Center of the Earth in 3D a few months back. That makes your head hurt quite quickly, and the 3D doesn't really “work” properly. I suspect because in a truly 3D image, your eyes can focus at any point, while in a filmed 3D presentation, the camera has already done the focusing for you.

FlipC said...

"Most of the 3D games I've seen are just flat objects and different depths in 3D space. Hardly worth the effort, really"

I'm guessing those are conversions like some films, but JttCotE was supposedly a 'proper' 3D production.

I agree with focussing problems, depth isn't just a matter of two different viewpoints it's what is and isn't in focus too.

It would be interesting to see a film shot at infinity so everything was in focus I wonder if that would be as headachey too. I suspect games would have a better time at this as it would be a case of turning off the fake DoF post-processing.

Orphi said...

I think the problem isn't focus (CGI movies have been completely in focus for decades). I think the problem is that your eyes usually converge differently depending on the distance between you and the object. But for most 3D technologies, this doesn't work. In the case of film, the position of the cameras during shooting determines the image separation, and no amount of moving your eyeballs will alter it.

FlipC said...

"CGI movies have been completely in focus for decades"

Is the background in focus in this shot or this one? :-)

But I think you also have a point regarding convergence - if the view presented to each eye suggests it as at 'this' distance but our eyes are angled to 'that' distance it probably doesn't help either.

Orphi said...

I'm having severe difficulty finding am image, but if you look at something like Toy Story, I think you'll find virtually everything is in focus. Focal blur is a trendy new feature.

And if that doesn't do it for you, consider that nobody has had a problem with computer games, which have almost always been completely in focus until very recently indeed.

FlipC said...

Yeah that was kind of my point - it's a case of removing a feature.

Given that they would need to re-render the film to produce a true 3D viewpoint do they remove the DoF whilst doing so? On the other hand given the time required do they 'shoot' the 2D version with DoF and then just re-render for the other camera?