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Introduction to 3D Technology

Introduction to 3D Technology

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Seems like whole world is talking about 3D this year, though half of them think 3D is dead before it even began, and the other half knows very well that 3D is simply the next step in the evolution of viewing digital video. In actual fact, much of the technology being touted as amazing new 3D has been around for around 20 years or more. Let’s take a look at the 3 main types of 3D display out there so you’ll know what they’re trying to sell you in the local electronics store next time you go to upgrade your TV.

First though, what on earth is 3D and why is it so important?

3D is how the average human sees the world around them – though you should know that not being able to perceive in 3D is actually quite a common disability among many adults. Assuming you do see the world around you in 3D though, how can you artificially produce and replay something in 3D, like a movie or video game?

Being able to see in 3D means that your vision has a sense of depth, of how far objects are from your eyes. Your brain automatically calculates this for you by combining the images it gets from your left and right eyes, and working out the tiny differences that occur when you look at something from a different angle. You can see what I mean by holding a finger in front of your eyes and looking forward. Close one eye, then open it and close the other. Do this quickly and you will see how different each one looks. Your finger is in a completely different place to each eye, but your brain recombines the two and figures out that it means your finger is close to you.

Making a 3D movie is as simple as using two video cameras, which are fixed together at roughly the same distance as the human eye. Each one takes a slightly different recording, which when played back to the human brain is able to show you not only the visual scene but also the depth of everything you see. If the movie was animated on a computer, making it into 3D is easy as it merely involves re-rendering all the movie data from a slightly different angle. If the movie is shot with 3D in mind from the start – as Avatar was – the effects are stunning.

3D games are actually incredibly easy to do, as all the data required to figure out where each object is in 3D space is held right on the computer and can be processed in real time. In fact, many of us were playing PC games in 3D as early as 10 years ago, and the technology is exactly as those in a lot of 3DTVs and cinemas today.

Assuming you have some 3D data, either a movie, computer generated animation, or video game – the problem is then how to show it to the viewer. This is the technology aspect we’re going to be discussing a little today.

Before I explain some of those though, let me say I won’t be talking about those tacky red/blue glasses you get with cheap old 3D DVDs and comics, as that isn’t true 3D and the quality is shockingly poor – quite apart from the fact that everything you see is then coloured red and blue!

All these 3D technologies essentially boil down to how to get that slightly different image to each separate eye – without the other eye seeing it too. Since regular TV’s show the same picture to both eyes no matter what you do, 3D is impossible on them. That’s why you absolutely have to get a new TV if you’re going to view any kind of 3D material.

But how can we deliver a unique image to each eye?

1. Passive Polarized Glasses:

Polarization means making light beams point in one direction only. Normally, like comes at us pointed in all different directions. A Polarizing filter only lets light from one direction through. They’re generally used in photography to avoid reflections – for instance, if you tried to take a photograph of a window, you wouldn’t really be able to see the other side as light would be bouncing off of it and into your lens. With a Polarizing filter, you’d cut that out, and be able to see whatever was on the other side of the window.

The unique and useful properties of a polarizing filter mean that by combining 2 filters, we can make a kind of dimmer switch for light. If you take two pieces of polarizing film (think back to junior high science classes now), and slowly rotate them around, at one point they will let most light through and at another point they will let zero light through. This is because in the first instance the direction of the light is aligned by the first filter than allowed to pass through by the next filter. However, when you rotate the second filter, you are slowly making it so that the aligned light is unable to pass through and reach your eye.

In terms of 3D tech though, being able to filter out particular light beams so they can or can’t be seen by each eye means we can deliver a unique image to each eye at the same time. How? We have two images at the TV side of things, and each one can be polarized in a different direction. We then add the same filter to a pair of lightweight glasses, and each eye will only see the light that is polarized in one particular direction.

This is basically the cheapest method of doing 3D, and it is far from perfect. It is used in large 3D cinemas where the quality of movie isn’t so important as the experience, and probably isn’t a full length movie – like at Disney World, for instance. The primary benefits are that the glasses are lightweight and incredibly cheap to produce, so it doesn’t really matter if people break them or ‘misplace’ them.

There are a number of cheaper 3DTVs being produced this year for the budget market, but I would suggest you stay away from them. You tend to get a lot of blurring between the images (so you can see both the left and right at once), and really need to be in a dark room to get the best of this kind of 3D. Dolby also have a proprietary system that apparently produces better quality than standard filters, and is currently used in a number of better 3D cinemas.

2. Active LCD Shutter Glasses:

This is the best quality 3D you can get right now, and anyone who has harped on about how good Avatar was probably went to see it using this technology. Active LCD shutter means that the viewer must wear some pretty bulky glasses – each eye has a separate LCD screen inside it, as well as an infrared signal receiver that connects it to the movie being played. As opposed to passive polarization which just shows both images on screen at once, active shutter methods display one frame after the other, alternating between the views destined for the left and right eyes. The LCDs in the glasses then turn on and off in sync, blocking one eye out then the other. This flashes on and off so fast that your brain simply combines the two images and forgets the other 50% part where each eye couldn’t see anything.

The advantage of this method is that the quality is superb with almost no “bleeding” of one image into the other. Unfortunately, some people claim it gives them a headache. In all my years of playing games with active LCD shutter glasses from NVidia, I have never had a headache, so I suspect the problem is perhaps just something you get used to. When TV first came out, I suspect there were similar complaints from a large proportion of the population.

This will be the consumer 3D platform of choice for many years to come. Yes, the glasses are annoying, but then again we won’t be watching everything in 3D. When I sit down in front of my PC to play a game in 3D, for instance, I barely notice them. The latest incarnation of LCD shutter glasses from NVidia is actually quite light weight, wireless, and recharges from a small USB socket. The bulky models you get in high-end 3D cinemas are no longer bulky due to old technology, but simply to make them more resistant to wear and tear and discourage you from taking them home. If you are really against wearing glasses to view 3D content though – well, you’re going to be waiting a long time. Which brings us onto the 3rd method.

3. Parallax displays:

Parallax 3D displays show 3D content without the use of glasses. Though there are many competing technologies and there are rapidly evolving as we speak, the basic principle is that both images are shown on screen, then a filter of sorts bounces the images off in different directions. When viewed from a certain angle, you see the 3D effect. Most offer a variety of about 6 different angles you can view from, but outside of those you will lose the 3D effect and just see a blur of two images.

It’s a relatively new technology, and was shown first last year in the form of the words first consumer 3D camera by Fujifilm, which I had a chance to play with. The camera took 3D images, and was able to simultaneously preview and playback those images on it’s small 3D glasses-less screen on the back. This year, the Nintendo 3DS will be using a similar but somewhat refined version of the same tech to bring portable 3D gaming to masses.

My experience with Parallax displays has been less than impressive. Firstly, keeping your head in a fixed position is just annoying. Especially if you’re viewing something in 3D, your head has a natural tendency to move around and want to see it form different angles. Also, the depth you can perceive on one of these display is quite poor. It doesn’t really “pop out” at you at all, even if it does look somewhat like it is 3D. I have yet to see the 3DS though, so I won’t comment on that until it’s out. Either way, this kind of 3D will not be coming to huge 3DTVs anytime soon, or possibly at all.

I hope that gives you a little insight into all this new-fangled technology. Don’t forget to check out my other tech tutorials.

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Source by James A Bruce

Introduction to 3D Technology

Does the Xbox 360 Towel Trick Really Work?

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Does the Xbox 360 towel trick really work? No doubt you are asking that question because the very idea of ​​using towels to fix the Xbox 360 sounds ridiculous!

That is exactly how I felt when I first heard about it and I am happy to tell you that I still feel the same way! Many desperate Xbox 360 gamers have tried using the towel trick to fix the red ring of death, but does it really work?

What the towel trick involves

Obviously you need some towels for this trick, 3 actually, at least that is what some of the towel 'experts' say! The first step is to wrap the 3 towels around your Xbox 360 while it is still switched on!

Sound dangerous? You bet! Wrapping towels around any electrical device while it is switched on presents a serious fire hazard, which is probably why it is recommended that you have a fire extinguisher handy!

The reason for the towels is to increase the internal temperature enough to melt any broken solder joints allowing them to re-solder. When the towels are removed the solder cools down and then hardens.

Does it really work?

Although the towel trick is a quick fix and can get your Xbox 360 working again quite quickly, the fix doesn't last for long and it has to be repeated every few days or so!

Sounds great in theory, unfortunately though, it's not quite as simple as that! Using this method puts unnecessary strain on the internal components and ultimately destroys the Xbox 360!

The bottom line is that the towel trick does more harm than good and should be avoided unless you want to turn your Xbox 360 into an expensive paperweight!

Repair your console without towels!

If you are really serious about fixing the ring of death then it is far better to invest in a professional Xbox 360 repair guide. These guides take out all the risk of repairing your console and they are a lot safer.

These guides are developed by professionals in the industry and they show you how fix your Xbox 360 permanently rather than just being a quick fix.

Thousands of Xbox 360 gamers have successfully repaired their consoles by using one of these guides and have been amazed at how simple it is due to the excellent demonstration videos that show you exactly what to do.

The only downside I suppose with these guides is that they are not free, but you get what you pay for, right?

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Source by Steven B. Chappell

Introduction to 3D Technology

Nintendo DS Lite Also Comes With Dual Screens

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Dual-screen hand held gaming consoles are very much in demand. People want to use these gadgets to participate and indulge in video games to spend some quality leisure time away from back-breaking work. The Nintendo DS Lite is one such hand held gaming console that is designed and developed by Nintendo. Sleek in looks, light in weight and attractive in design, the Nintendo DS Lite has captured the imagination of avid games in Japan, Australia, North America, Singapore and Europe.

The Nintendo DS Lite is available in two colors that are sleek black and a stylish white. Competitively priced, the Nintendo DS Lite is a premium product and can be used as an alternative to the more popular Nintendo DS.

All the features that were present in the Nintendo DS are present in the Nintendo DS Lite. However, certain features also exist that are unique to the Nintendo DS Lite alone. One such feature is the sophisticated touch screen technology. Users can use their fingers or stylus to control the inherent software. Nintendo DS Lite also comes with dual screens, Wi-Fi capabilities and features such as voice recognition. The screen brightness is adjustable and one can select between four settings. The microphone is positioned differently to facilitate ease of use. The stylus is also larger and more comfortable to use.

People from different age groups, economic and social backgrounds and ethical and cultural identifies are patronizing the Nintendo DS Lite. This hand held gaming console is turning out to be an answer to the problem of easy access to entertainment solutions. Busy professionals, business users, as well as globe trotting corporates can now easily acquire the Nintendo DS Lite and enjoy a few moments of gaming to take the stress out of their day to day lives.

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Source by Alice Erin

Introduction to 3D Technology

XBox 360 Red Ring Of Death Codes

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The red Ring of Death shows on almost over 1 / 5th of all Xbox 360 consoles. The following is a listing of the codes given to the errors caused by the red lights based on how many flash on the console. Find out the problem and read further to find the answers to your problems.

Error codes when two red lights show:

There are no error codes for them as the two appear only as a result of overheating. In this case it is observed that the console works for barely 15 minutes and ceases to continue working thereafter.

Error codes when three red lights show:

0001, 0002: both indicate to having problems with power supply

0010, 0011, 0012, 0013: overheating is the problem

0022: it is the GPU Error also referred to as GPU Overheating

0102: an unknown error

0110: known as Memory Error possibly caused due to overheating

1003, 1010: both are hard Drive errors

1022: the AV cable error

Error codes when 4 red lights show:

There aren't any codes. This is because the only reason why all the red lights show is when the console is unable to place the AV cables. By ensuring that the cables are properly connected you can treat the problem. If that doesn't help, then try changing the AV cables to new ones.

How to gather codes:

It is a simple process of just being able to read the signals given by your console while it displays the 3 red lights. Activate your console first and watch till the lights start to flash. Holding the button that syncs, push the eject button. Observe carefully, as the console will give you the first number of your code. If 4 lights are flashing, then the code is 0. 3 lights, the code is 1. 2 lights, the code is 2. When 1 light flashes, the code is 1. Continue the process to get the second, third and fourth numbers to decipher the codes by releasing and re jamming the eject button without letting go of the sync button.

Solving the problem of the Red Ring of Death:

There are many different methods to fix the problem of the 3 red rings. One major approach is to visit the website that shows on the error screen that is if there is one. Or try opening the same page, which is that of the Xbox Support site. This site will guide you in getting your 360 fixed for sure but will charge you around $ 100 and the process of repair will take not less than a month.

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Source by Alex Kidd

Introduction to 3D Technology

Final Fantasy VII Review

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Since its release in 1997 this game has set the benchmark for all other RPG games, since its release there have been up to FF XIII so far in the series but as the number in the series gets higher there seems to have been some loss that has been making FF games less popular. So Square-Enix has been going back and reproducing their previous FF games for hand held gaming, but enough of the facts let’s talk about the game.

When FFVII was released it was the first of its kind, a 3D RPG game that had one of the most detailed storylines of its time, the main source of evil and enemies in this game comes from the Shinra company that controls a city where most people live called Midgar. The Shinra company mainly supplies electricity to the city and other places round the world with reactors, but the catch is that it they make this electricity by taking the life-force of the planet (It basically takes today’s problems with power to the extreme), but as well as supplying electricity Shinra has an army of troops the strongest being the 1st class SOLDIER who are genetically modified humans who have been exposed to the planets life force and injected with alien cells.

These alien cells come from an almighty being called Jenova, which crashed on the earth hundreds of years before FFVII. Shinra found Jenova and took her into captivity and performed various experiments even creating a human being from Jenova’s cells.

As every game has an evil guy in it this game has Sephiroth who was the best SOLDIER there ever was, during a routine check up of a reactor Sephiroth goes into the Shinra mansion nearby and starts to read some books from the secret laboratory underground, one book mentioned a child of Jenova who has super human physical abilities and being the best fighter in the Shinra corporation Sephiroth believed this child to be himself and took it upon himself to free Jenova from captivity and destroy the planet, but he was stopped by two Shinra SOLDIER’s Zack and Cloud (the hero of the game) and when Shinra learned of their victory they captured the two SOLDIERS and performed various experiments on them until the day they escaped. But during their escape Zack was killed.

FFVII takes place five years after Sephiroth was killed and you take the role of Cloud, as you progress through the story you meet new friends and even some old ones from Cloud’s past throughout the game, these friends will join you in the fight against Shinra and Sephiroth. The battle system is time-based meaning that you don’t have forever to think of what you want your character to do which keeps the action and the pressure coming time and time again. During battles you have a wide choice of moves that are updated as you progress through the game. The main factor that affects your moves is ‘materia’ which will allow you to cast a variety of magic spells, steal and even summon monsters. Also there is one factor that can turn the tide of the battle in the blink of an eye, this is called the limit gauge and fills accordingly to the amount of damage that your character receives, when the gauge is full you will be able to perform a special move that deals great damage. Your limit move will be upgraded depending on how many enemies you kill and also how many times you use it, each character has about 8 different limit break moves and are very different from one another, I’m sure FFVII fans will understand when I say “Omnislash destroys all!!!” Google it if you don’t know what Omnislash is.

As you can see from the length of the review FFVII was a very long game but entertaining none the less. Most PlayStation games usually have one disc but this game had three and since its release there has been what is known as a ‘Compilation of FFVII’ and in this compilation there is a fully animated movie (Not Cartoon looks more like real life) that was a huge success and also games that tell the story of the past and future of Final Fantasy VII and also other characters stories, FFVII was so successful there have been millions of requests for a remake of the game.

Even though it’s a PlayStation 1 game it is still worth buying and is better than most of the games out today. It’s also my favourite game of all time, and Cloud rules!!!!!!!

Boydies Overall Score- 10/10

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Source by Matthew Boyd

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