topical media & game development

talk show tell print

example(s) -- 3D vision

Have you ever wondered how it would feel to be in Star Trek's holodeck, or experience your game in a truly spatial way, instead of on a flat LCD-display. In  [DEEP], an overview is given of technology that is being developed to enable volumetric display of 3D data, in particular the Perspecta swept-volume display (middle) and LightSpace DepthCube (right), that uses a projector behind a stack of 20 liquid-crystal screens.

The first approach of displaying volumetric data, taken by the Perspecta swept-volume display, is to project a sequence of images on a rotating sheet of reflective material to create the illusion of real volume. The psychological mechanism that enables us to see volumes in this way is the same as the mechanism that forces us to see motion in frame-based animation, at 24 frames per second, namely persistence of vision.

LightSpace DepthCube uses a stack of 20 transparent screens and alternates between these screens in a rapid way, thus creating the illusion of depth in a similar way. In comparison with other approaches of creating depth illusion, the solutions sketched above require no special eyewear and do not impose any strain on the spectator due to unnatural focussing as for example with autostereoscopic displays.

For rendering 3D images on either the Perspecta or DepthCube traditional rendering with for example OpenGL suffices, where the z-coordinate is taken as an indication for selecting a screen or depth position on the display. Rendering with depth, however, comes at a price. Where traditional rendering has to deal with, say 1024x748 pixels, the DepthCube for example needs to be able to display 1024x748x20, that is 15.3 million, voxels (the volumetric equivalent of a pixel) at a comparable framerate.

(C) Æliens 04/09/2009

You may not copy or print any of this material without explicit permission of the author or the publisher. In case of other copyright issues, contact the author.