[Chimera-users] Setup for 3D workstations?

Greg Couch gregc at cgl.ucsf.edu
Wed Jul 30 17:57:42 PDT 2014

On 07/29/2014 06:59 PM, Kenward Vaughan wrote:
> On 07/28/2014 12:01 PM, Greg Couch wrote:
>> For 3D stereo viewing in a lab with multiple systems viewing in stereo
>> at the same time, you need to avoid using an infrared-based system. That
>> means, either an active glasses setup with the NVIDIA 3D Vision Pro that
>> uses RF, or a passive glasses setup with a row-interleaved stereo
>> monitor (the same glasses that are used for Reald 3D in movie theaters).
>> The problem with row-interleaved monitors is that Chimera's 2D dialogs
>> are hard to read when looking at the screen with the glasses, so I'd
>> recommend the NVIDIA 3D Vision Pro solution if you have the money.  And,
>> for Chimera, you will need a NVIDIA Quadro graphics card like the K4000
>> that you mentioned.  See
>> http://www.nvidia.com/object/3d-vision-professional-users.html for 
>> details.
>> I don't know of any 3D TVs that use RF to control active glasses, so
>> there is no need to explore using 3D TVs, i.e., a HDMI solution is not
>> for you (but for people setting up a single 3D stereo system, a great
>> solution is a Windows 8 computer with an AMD Radeon w/HD3D graphics
>> card, and a 3D TV).
>>      HTH,
>>      Greg
> My thanks to both Mathew and you for your replies!  After doing some 
> further work on this, I believe I'll be going with the nVidia Pro 
> setup for each station, as soon as I can verify that they are still 
> being made (the contraction you were speaking about, Mathew?).  The 
> monitors I plan to get have multiple input types including HDMI-1.4, 
> and work with passive systems as well (in case the Pro stuff dies).
> I am also drooling over the idea of using a 3D capable TV (one of the 
> newer 4K Sony's or the like, along with passive glasses for the whole 
> class in a small class setting (i.e. not an auditorium).  It turns the 
> interleaved images into a normal HD image.
> If I go that route, is there a reason to use the Radeon card as you 
> mention above instead of the nVidia one?  I would want to have things 
> manage the whole available resolution, obviously, but I'm guessing the 
> Radeon does that?  I'll see what I can find out-perhaps it has a 
> direct HDMI output...
> Kenward

The problem with the current crop of 4K TVs is that you need a HDMI 2.0 
connection from the graphics card to the TV to get a 60Hz instead of 
30Hz refresh rate.  Not all of the 4K TVs support HDMI 2.0, and some 
that do, don't support the higher speeds needed to do stereo.  And then 
there's the problem that the current crop of graphics cards only support 
HDMI 1.4a.   However, if the 4K TV has a DisplayPort interface, then it 
can work.  This should change in a few years.

Displays that use passive glasses, typically row-interlace the left- and 
right-eye images, so they are not good for reading Chimera's 2D dialogs, 
but are good for viewing 3D stereo -- good for demos but not for work.  
The best use of passive glasses is projected 3D stereo, like in a movie 
theater, where a special screen is used that reflects polarized light 
coherently -- a filter in front of the projector polarizes the image 
(active filter for a single projector, passive filters with two aligned 

The reason I mentioned the Windows 8 with an AMD Radeon and a 3D TV 
solution is because it is a great relatively inexpensive solution. You 
can get a Radeon that supports HDMI 1.4a, and Windows 8 supports "stereo 
in a window" where you can have 2D dialogs and 3D graphics windows 
side-by-side.  On WIndows 7 and Linux that ability was reserved for 
workstation graphics cards, like the AMD FirePros and NVIDIA Quadros.  
Apple has dropped 3D stereo support in the current Mac Pros.  And last I 
checked, 3D stereo with NVIDIA GeForce cards on Windows 8 only worked in 
full screen mode -- that is a NVIDIA graphics driver issue and things 
may have changed by now.

     Good luck!


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