Stereo 3D Display Options

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This page is for aggregating the latest know-how and links to current Stereo 3D display options best suited for molecular graphics applications like PyMOL. Please strive to provide objective factual information based on first-hand experiences while using the displays for real work and teaching.

Let's figure out together what stereo solutions work well in this brave new post-CRT world!

Contents

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Active Stereo 3D (High-Refresh) Displays

This solution would be analogous to using desktop CRT monitors with shutter glasses.

LCD Displays (120 Hz)

NVidia NVision 3D Setup

The NVidia 3D NVision setup provides a very nice 3D experience. You need the following to enable PyMOL to show NVision 3D on Windows. Please review the hardware and software requirements before moving on to the installation and setup.

Necessary Hardware
Necessary Software
Installation Instructions
System Setup
  1. Install the Quadro Graphics Drivers and reboot your machines
  2. Install the NVision Installation, hooking up the 3D emitter and glasses as directed in the instructions
    1. Make sure the 3D demos work
    2. Complete the 3D Vision Drivers install (I had errors/warnings about old drivers but this did't matter)
  3. Specify how to drive the 3D by, click on
Windows Start Button > Control Panel > NVidia Control Panel > Manage 3D Settings (tab) > Global Settings (tab on the right) > Base Profile (tab). Then, under Settings choose Stereo - Display Mode. Next, select Generic Active Stereo (with NVidia IR Emitter). If you have a DLP monitor/TV choose the corresponding DLP option. You must also set Stereo - Enable to on.
Running PyMOL

That's it! PyMOL should now work in Quad Buffered 3D Stereo using the NVidia 3D NVision system. To run PyMOL in 3D mode on:

Start > PyMOL > PyMOL > PyMOL 3D Launch (last menu option) > PyMOL Stereo (Quad Buffered 3D)
pymol -S -t 1
Sorry, at this time the NVision system is not known to work on Macs.

DLP Projection Televisions

Projection televisions tend to be too large and fuzzy for desktop use. Also, a band of about 20 pixels around on the edge of the display are invisible, and this limitation cannot be eliminated through overscan since the image must be scanned at native resolution in order to support stereo 3D. The workaround is to shrink the PyMOL window to cover the visible portion of the screen. It is worth noting that true 3D-capable LCDs (as distinct from 3D-capable HDTVs) do not suffer from this problem.

Aside from the above concerns, the quality of the DLP stereo 3D effect is exceptional: there is absolutely no ghosting or cross-talk between the two images.

See The 3D HDTV List for more 3D-capable HDTV options.

Passive Stereo 3D Displays

One Piece Multi-layer LCD Displays

Affordable!

Zalman

iZ3D, the original supplier of Zalman display drivers has ceased operation and support as of 31 July 2012. DO NOT PURCHASE THESE MONITORS WITHOUT FURTHER CONFIRMATION of display support, the iZ3D support (required drivers, etc) is not activatable. If you do have further information, please post it here. Jedgold 12:21, 12 September 2012 (CDT)

On Linux
   Option "Stereo" "7"

in the Screen section of xorg.conf and an additional:

   Section "Extensions"
       Option         "Composite" "Disable"
   EndSection
   pymol -S -t 6
On Windows
  1. From the Start Menu: In the "PyMOL" folder, go into the "Stereo 3D Launch" subfolder, and select "PyMOL Zalman 3D (By Row)". You might want to control-drag a copy of that shortcut on to your desktop in order to drag & drop content files onto it for stereo 3D visualization
  2. From the Command Line:
   "C:\Program Files\DeLano Scientific\PyMOL\PyMOLWin.exe" -S -t 6
On Mac
  1. MacPyMOL: Copy and rename the "MacPyMOL" application bundle to "MacPyMOLZalman". You can then double-click on the MacPyMOLZalman icon or drop data files directly onto it to visualize content in the Zalman stereo 3D mode.
  2. PyMOL X11 Hybrid Mode: Copy and rename the "MacPyMOL" appplication bundle to "PyMOLX11Zalman". After launching X11, you can then double-click on the PyMOLX11Zalman icon or drop data files directly onto it to visualize that content in the Zalman stereo 3D mode.

For all platforms, remember to toggle stereo on and off using the "set stereo" command:

   set stereo, on

iZ3D

Mirror-based Multi-LCD Solutions

Expensive!

Autostereoscopic LCD Displays

Some autostereoscopic displays have the ability to switch between 2D and 3D display modes. Others are built for 3D only.

Stereo 3D Projectors

Although these displays require shutter glasses out of the box, when combined with the adapters below and a special "silvered" screen, they can be used to project Passive Stereo 3D to a large audience.

Active Stereo 3D DLP Projectors

Passive Stereo 3D Adaptor Hardware for Active Stereo 3D Projectors

These devices make it possible for a large audience to see projected stereo 3D using inexpensive polarized glasses.

Who Says What?

If you provide a specific quote or endorsement above, please say who you are so that everyone can know the source of the information.

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