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Moriash Moreau: My Second Life
Friday, May 25, 2007
 
Wiggle Stereoscopy
This evening, I spent a little time tinkering with "wiggle stereoscopy", otherwise known as "time for space wiggle" imaging. If you're an avid follower of webfilters, you might have heard about this a few years ago. Jim Gasperini, one of the acknowledged experts in the process, has more examples (some images NSFW) on his website. I know I've seen at least one of his images imported into SL as animated artwork. In some cases, the illusion of depth is quite surprising.

Basically, the process involves attempting to create free-viewed 3D images by taking the two halves of a stereo pair (such as the ones I occasionally post) and rapidly flipping between them. Persistence of vision and parallax effects will suggest depth, to some degree.


I've created a pair of scripts that attempt to generate real-time wiggle stereoscopic views on the fly. Basically, the scripts take a given camera view, calculate an (adjustable) offset for left and right cameras positions, and rapidly move the client camera between them.

The first script keeps the camera's focus centered on a given subject. To use it, alt-click on a subject, then touch the HUD object to activate (see the comments for full instructions). The camera's focus is locked in place, while the camera's position is swapped side-to-side. This is how Gasperini appears to make his images. That's how the above image was generated, as well.

Note that the above is a simulation. I'd intended to include a YouTube video here, but I was unable to get FRAPS to reliably and smoothly capture the wiggle effect on my mid-specs machine. The framerate dropped too low. However, the script above will generate an effect identical to the one illustrated, given reasonably low lag.

The second script works a little differently. Instead of holding the camera's focus on one fixed point, it generates two parallel camera images, left and right. In regular stereoscopic photography, the cameras are not generally toed inward to point directly at the target. Instead, they are kept parallel to each other. This script does the same thing. I've found that the first method (focused on subject, above) seems to work better, but your mileage may vary. The methods used in the second script might be useful if one were to try to come up with an automated method for taking conventional stereo pair photographs, however.

My next task will be to try to get NVIDIA's 3D Stereo drivers to work on my machine, both with anaglyphic (red-blue) glasses and my old e-Dimensional LCD shutter glasses. They claim that the system will work with any software or game running Direct3D and OpenGL. But, so far, they've done nothing but hard crash my machine, requiring a system restore and driver reinstall. I'm going to try one last full uninstall and reinstall sometime this weekend (an NVIDIA driver's biggest weakness is apparently an older NVIDIA driver), but I'm not optimistic.

Credit where credit is due: qDot Bunnyhug and UM3D, have presented concept models for two different methods of viewing SL in 3D. To my knowledge, nobody else has attempted real-time wiggle stereoscopy, but I know better than to claim to be the first at anything in SL. In any case, if you try either of the scripts, please drop me a comment and let me know how it works out.
Comments:
Hi, have you had any luck with Second Life in Stereo 3D? I haven't been able to get it working with the Nvidia drivers at all - the SL client bombs as soon as I switch into stereo mode. I tried the University of Michigan client, and it wouldn't even load, and they've disabled the downloads until they get a final working version.

Not sure if you've seen these, but these are reasonably up to date beta stereoscopic drivers for Nvidia cards.

94.24 Can be found in the download section here: http://mtbs3d.com/

93.71: http://downloads.guru3d.com/download.php?det=1511


I'd really like to get this working, I have been using SL in 2D with some emagin z800 goggles and a wiimote, it's really quite immersive what with the built in head tracker etc, I think 3d would take it to a new level though.
 
No, I haven't had any better luck. I haven't been able to even get as far as running SL after installing the drivers, come to that. Still crashes my machine right after install.
 
Hi, I thought I'd drop this in, in case you hadn't already seen it. You can get the standard nvidia stereoscopic drivers to work in SL if you disable the menu and HUD via ctrl-alt-1. I just tried it out and it seems to work perfectly well!
 
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