There are three types of glasses used to view 3D, based on the rendering technology that creates the stereo images. For more details, see 3D visualization.|
#1 - Anaglyph Color
Used for 3D movies in the 1950s, anaglyph glasses are still occasionally used for 3D on the computer, and anaglyph 3D DVDs include a pair of glasses with the disc.
The anaglyphic method separates the stereo images by RGB colors. Using glasses with a red lens for one eye and a cyan, blue or green lens for the other, it filters the left stereo frame to the left eye and the right stereo frame to the right eye.
The June 2010 issue of Playboy Magazine included 3D glasses (top right) and a 3D ad for the True Blood TV series. This excerpt, also from the magazine, shows how an anaglyphic image looks in 2D.
Rainbow Symphony offers a wide variety of anaglyph glasses such as these paper and plastic models. (Image courtesy of Rainbow Symphony, Inc., www.rainbowsymphony.com)
#2 - Passive Polarization
This method projects polarized images onto the screen, and the glasses filter the left image to the left eye and the right image to the right eye. With "linear" polarization, the stereo images are at right angles to each other, and viewers cannot tilt their head without losing the 3D effect. Thus, linear is fine for video games where people look straight ahead. However, in movie theaters, people move around, and "circular" polarization is more effective. (Image courtesy of Actif Polarizers Ltd.)
Widely used in movie theaters, these glasses from RealD are circular polarized. (Image courtesy of RealD, www.reald.com)
Well, not really. These steampunk goggles with RealD lenses remind you of the 1800s while you watch your 21st century TV. See
#3 - Active Shutter Glasses
Liquid crystal (LC) shutter glasses deliver the best 3D experience on computers, TVs and training simulators. Also called "wireless glasses," an emitter near the screen transmits infrared signals to the glasses to synchronize them with the stereo frames. See 3D visualization.
NVIDIA's 3D Vision system alternates 60 frames for the left eye with 60 frames for the right. The infrared signals received by NVIDIA's shutter glasses cause the lenses to open and close in sync with the frames on screen. (Image courtesy of NVIDIA Corporation.)
This CAVE system teaches people how to operate a Caterpillar bulldozer. Wearing shutter glasses, the man thinks the wheel on the left is the one he is turning. See