Saturday, May 10, 2014

A good video explaining what we mean when we say "Presence" in 3dVR...

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Moar 3D

3D VR Goggles How-To

So what's all this 3d nonsense I'm on about and why am I so obsessed with it?

It's interactive IMAX.

The original IMAX screens were domes.
The idea is to fill your "Field of view" so you see nothing but the screen. Nothing in your periphery... just screen.

I saw this once in Las Vegas, it's pretty awesome.
Now "IMAX" just means "Huge screen".
The goal is the same though... fill your eyes with screen.

BUT (there's always a but)
You can't turn your head.

You're watching a video. You look where the video camera looks. That's what made the IMAX domes neat.. you could look around a little.

Now you can turn your head.
Computers have gotten powerful enough to be able to generate 3d environments that are extremely convincing....

Yes folks, this is a game... not a video in a game... actual gameplay.

Since the computer can send different images to each eye, you get "sterioscopic" 3d.... aka, real 3d.
This is how your eyes work, so the effect is pretty compelling. If you're standing in a large room, it looks large. If you're right next to a car, you feel like you can reach out and touch it... you can tell how far away from you it is. This is the real deal.

So what?
The whole idea is that "you're there" feeling.
With sterioscopic 3d and "head tracking" (being able to turn your head), you get to be "in" the game.

One of the most frustrating things with flying any flight simulator is not being able to turn your head. Now you can... and it is glorious.

For now, because the home made goggles don't take up your full field of view, the illusion is not as compelling. That's what the Oculus is all about.

Seeing is believing.
I gotta tell ya, the results are no less than stunning. But it all sounds like "fanboy" stuff till you see it. Then you "get it". It might not even be your thing, but if it is, then it's the biggest change in computers in a long time, especially gaming.

How To

Ok, for anyone looking to see this 3d stuff in person... it's supremely easy to do and does not require disassembling anything or installing anything "funky". It only takes a few hours of cutting and gluing some cardboard and about $7 for the lenses.

In a nut shell... you build a holder/mask for your phone. These are the 3d "goggles".
You install an App from the AppStore (iPhone) or Google Play (Android) and you're done.
This stuff works out of the box.
[Instructions Here]

If you don't feel adventurous with cardboard, you can even buy commercial ones. They'll cost you around $80 and take about 2 weeks to arrive (they're made in Germany)

[Durovis Dive]

So what can you do?

With just the goggles, you can head over to YouTube and check out what the big systems can do. This is because people are posting up videos of Oculus style side by side video.

[War Thunder]


Load up the video on your phone and slap it in the goggles and you can see what the games will look like (although with a lower FOV). 
War Thunder and Arma3 look absolutely stunning.

Gaming on the phone
Head over to Dive Games and pick up some 3dvr games and demos that work right on your phone.
No fuss, no muss.

Pick up a SnakeByte controller and you can play some of the more interactive games.

Poor mans Oculus
Oculus Rift
For the very adventurous, you can output your computer display to the phone in the 3d goggles and play Oculus software. You won't get the full FOV or resolution, but you get everything else.

You use a free app called SplashTop to send the display and a $20 "Flying Keyboard" to do the head tracking (because your phone is only being used as a screen, it won't do the tracking)

[Flying Mouse]
[Adding HeadTracking]