Jumat, 24 Februari 2012

The Technology and the Biology behind 3D TV

We all have memories of early 3D TV, its primitive technology seemed to induce a somewhat nauseating experience, something that the coloured spectacles only aggravated further. Nowadays new technology has been brought to bear in doing away with most of the downsides to old-fashioned 3D TV, with major electronics companies betting on the resurgence of 3D TV and working furiously to produce newer and better technology.And it seems that they are right with Hollywood having truly resurrected 3D TV, with animated movies such as 'Beowulf', 'Up' and of course the truly spectacular 'Avatar', audiences all around the world have fallen in love with the 3D experience.

We perceive the real world in three dimensions so why should we settle for just two when it comes to entertainment?So how does this new technology work? Well before understanding this we must first take a look at ourselves and consider our biological make-up. So why do we perceive the world in 3D? In truth there is one simple reason for this; because we have two eyes that are both forward-facing, (binocular vision). Our eyes are about three inches apart, as a result of this each one perceives a different image.Alternating between looking through one eye and then the other is the easiest way to experience this first-hand. Though each eye sees a similar image there are still small differences in perspective; this is referred to as parallax and is crucial for us to perceive depth. The human brain receives these two images simultaneously and combines them allowing us to perceive depth or distance. To take this one step further, consider what happens when you perceive an object that is close to your face with one eye and then the other.

The object is subject to a larger shift in perspective when it is closer to you, and when it is further away this shift is smaller. So here we can gain an insight into just how the brain perceives depth from these visual cues.There are numerous ways of creating the illusion of 3D TV, all of which rely on exploiting the way in which we perceive depth. Firstly there was colour filter 3D TV; this used colour filter glasses, each eyepiece with different coloured film. The film is composed of two overlapping images in different colour tints such that each eye is only able to view one of these two overlapping images. Secondly there were polarised glasses; this is the technology of choice when it comes to commercial 3D projectors. The polarisation of light allows us to selectively screen out light based on its polarisation by using a material called polarizing films. Later methods include active shutter glasses and autostereoscopy, which does not require glasses. Both of these methods use similar principles, shutter glasses causing each eye to see particular images, and autostereoscopy relying on special optical elements to ensure that each eye receives a different image.

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