How does a 3D Technology Work?

How does a 3D technology work?

To understand how 3d technology work, we must at first learn what is a 3D technology. It is basically a 3-dimensional concept where the human eyes can perceive depth along with length and height (the common concept of 2-dimensional technology). But the human eye needs special kind of 3D glasses to see the 3D effects while watching a 3D film.

Sir Charles Wheatstone was the first person to describe the process of stereopsis, by which human beings are able to perceive three dimensions way back in 1838. From that time on, many men have tried to use this technology into greater uses and now 3D technology has become one of the most technology in the society.3d technology work

The most significant being the 3D films, where the humans enjoy images containing cars racing beside them or snowflakes falling on them. The technologies which use 3D include:

  • 3D modelling
  • 3D computer graphics
  • 3D printing
  • 3D scanning
  • 3D films
  • 3D video games
  • Stereoscopy

3D or stereoscopy is the process by which humans perceive 3D effect. This can be demonstrated by a simple experiment. If we hold an object near our eyes and close one eye and then the other, we will see the object with both the eyes separately differently. This is due to the brain making us see the object in a different perspective.

The left eye will see slightly more the left side of the object while the right eye will see more of the right side. The brain fuses both the images and in turn helps us to see a 3-dimensional figure. This is known as stereoscopic vision.

The making of 3D films also uses this simple trick to produce the 3D effect. To produce the similar effect, films are captured using two camera lenses just like the human eyes. There are mainly two ways by which filming of 3D is taking place and they are anaglyph and polarised lenses.


It is a process of achieving the 3D effect by encoding images of each eye in two different colours, red and cyan being the basic colours used.

One may click on the link for further info about what an anaglyph is. The anaglyph 3D images mainly contain two differently filtered colored images, each for one eye. Now when the image is viewed through an anaglyph color coded glasses, which comes in two different colors of glass in a single spectacle for each eye, the image viewed by humans, as a result, is a 3D image. This is because the brain fuses both the images perceived by each eye, making it a stereoscopic image. But this system does not allow human eyes to distinct other colors and see a full range of colors. So, this process is being ignored nowadays by most companies and the technology is shifted towards a better method.

Polarised glass

The other way or the more efficient way of viewing a 3D film or simply a 3D image is by the use of polarized glasses.

In the above link, one may choose to watch the process of polarization done in the lenses of a simple glass. In this process, two images are superimposed on the same screen or it is displayed through different polarizing filters to create the 3D stereoscopic image or film.

The humans see the image of film through an advanced glass which is also polarized to perceive the effect of 3D. One kind reminder to all my readers, this is different from 3d printing pens in some way.  A polarized light wave vibrates in a single plane. There are many light waves which are un-polarized, which means it means vibrates on different planes like the light waves emitted by the sun. An un-polarized light is polarized by the help of different polarized filters. The polarized glass have a different filter for each eye and when the image is displayed through the filters, the filters allow only that light which is similarly polarized and blocks all of the others.

This makes the human eye able to see different images from each of the two eyes in a slightly different perspective and the brain does the rest by creating a three-dimensional effect by presenting the image in front of our eyes in the three-dimensional format. Films like Avatar have been the pioneer in 3D film history, which has allowed the man to enjoy films in the 3D format quite amazingly.

There was one drawback related to the use of polarized light since images were projected as horizontal and vertical formats for each one eye. So, humans had to keep their head straight in order to perceive the 3D images perfectly. To curb the drawback, in the later stages, images were projected in clockwise and counter clockwise formats. It allows humans to enjoy the films with tilting heads sitting in a cinema hall.

The computer generated animated movies are easy to produce rather than the real ones. Normal films are made by capturing images using two cameras as lenses, quite similar to our eyes. Later they are made to sync with one another to create the 3D effect. In computer generated movies, creators make two versions of each image, in perspective of each eye. This technology is also used in making 3D games.

In future, more stress will be given to produce autostereoscopy. In that, the 3D effect does not require any form of glasses. The new Nintendo 3DS can be cited as an example of this new feature. This technology keeps a track on the eyes of the user and controls the shift of the display accordingly.

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