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Technology

The Future Of 3D 98

tlb writes: "I found an article regarding the future of 3D at Beachside Tech. The article discussed 3D is movies and the internet as well as video games. It seems interactive 3D objects are becoming more popular for web use. There's also some history in it, and some info on technologies from Nvidia."
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The Future Of 3D

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  • by szcx ( 81006 ) on Sunday September 02, 2001 @02:07PM (#2245947)
    ... until they give us text-mode 3D acceleration. Lynx users wont be ignored!
    • szcx: Although you meant that to be whimsical, I'm seriously wondering how you could get that to work. I've seen textmode Quake, but I've heard all that is is a skin for Quake. Is there a way to make a 3d textmode thing? Like old ASCII-type graphics, only 3d? I wonder...

      ...If it was, what demographic would use it? I guess two different kinds: People that would be like, "Whoa, cool!" and those of us who remember the old days of ASCII art before JPEGs and CompuServe GIFs. Heh.

      That'd be fun. I'd buy that kind of product.

      PS: I guess if it was in more than one color, that'd be cool too ;-)
      • Believe SGI had something like that that turned .mov files into ASCII pics. Never seen it working myself.
        It was a little toy program that one of their employees had written in his spare time....IIRC
  • 3D is going away for a while, bayyy-beee.

    Seems bigger better faster is too mainstream for us folk.
  • Minor Warning (Score:2, Informative)

    White text on a beige background, so bring your spectacles. Oh, and you need JS on. Or you could just type in
    http://www.beachsidetech.com/perfection1.htm
    perfection2.htm etc.
    • That site definitely has some design issues. The section headings on the left like "Home" and "Articles" don't work, and there's no way to click "next page", you just have to select each next page manually.

      Not to mention the quality of the writing was pretty amateurish IMHO. And not in a good way, either :)

  • In his nvidia section he only lists the riva chipset and then jumps to the geforce in the next section. He completely forgot about the rivatnt and the rivatnt2(and all of its related chipsets like the ultra and m64)
  • Now, I know it'll be along time before I can go to my basement and download fully three dimensional porno, although I'm sure many of you dream about it.

    First Yahoo! in the porn industry, and now nvidia as well? :)

  • by 6EQUJ5 ( 446008 ) on Sunday September 02, 2001 @02:25PM (#2245996) Homepage
    Imagine if you had a system, where you used two movies, layed one on top of the other. It would look blury of course, but if the viewer were to wear a pair of expensive, high-tech filter glasses (having differently coloured lenses), a stereoscopic 3-D image could be achieved. I bet in 2 years time we could have a working proto-type, and then actually bring it to market within 10 years given the proper funding and agressive marketing.
    • Ever better: use a polarised film, with alternating pictures for left and right, and synchronised polarising glasses, thus not distorting any colour information. Oh wait! That already exists [uic.edu]. Still a bit expensive at the moment, but Bill should have one.

      But I'm sure prices will go down, eventually.

      Stefan.

    • Imagine if you had a system, where you used two movies, layed one on top of the other. It would look blury of course, but if the viewer were to wear a pair of expensive, high-tech filter glasses (having differently coloured lenses), a stereoscopic 3-D image could be achieved. I bet in 2 years time we could have a working proto-type, and then actually bring it to market within 10 years given the proper funding and agressive marketing.

      3D movies have existed for quite a while. Ancient systems used colour-filter glasses to get 3D. Other ancient systems used various tricks to get limited 3D effects in full colour. The Right Way to show a 3D movie is to have two projectors running films shot for each eye, put polarized filters on the projectors, and use polarized glasses to look at the resulting image. My understanding is that this is the way 3D movies are shown now, though I don't keep up with the industry (and so could easily be mistaken).

      For computers, the nicest way of doing 3D is to display alternate eyes on alternate frames, and use LCD shutter-glasses to decode it. You can buy packages for this off the shelf from several vendors; they work by replacing the rendering driver with one that renders two images and handles the synchronization of the glasses. These have existed for a while.

      Now, the fact that both of these solutions have existed for a while, but that neither of these have really caught on, should tell you the most important thing:

      Nobody really cares about true 3D for most entertainment or gaming applications.

      If they did, stereographic glasses would have sold like hotcakes when they were first introduced.

      A flat projection of a 3D world seems to be enough for most viewers, despite the industry's repeated attempts to provide something more.
      • the imax theaters use the alternating lcd technology. it is synched to the projector.
      • ....not spotting the ironic intent goes to:

        Yes, it's Christopher Tomas!

        • Sarcasm is all well and good in it's place...

          But it's interesting to note that on a -1 to 5 scale Christopher Tomas's post would rate a 3. While your suposededly more creative post would rate a mere 2. That means his post is 16% more interesting than your post.

          This fact is more impressive when you consider the subject matter that Christopher had to work with. Three dimensional movies are something that have been around for years. Every so called "geek" should already be somewhat familiar with how they work. Yet Christopher managed to take this topic and transform it into something new and fascinating.

          Christopher Tomas I salute you!

      • Now, the fact that both of these solutions have existed for a while, but that neither of these have really caught on, should tell you the most important thing:

        Nobody really cares about true 3D for most entertainment or gaming applications.


        Or it could mean that there is a flaw in the solution. Take for example the first motorcars. They were noisy, clunky and slow. People galloped by on horses laughing at the slow cars. It could be the same situation with 3D. Just because one solution doesn't work well doesn't necessarily mean the idea is flawed, it could be the solution.
        • Those glasses are of course NOT the right solution. I guess it can be great to play Q3, or watch a movie using one of these, but when someone walks into my room, I will have to remove the glasses to se who it is. I will have to remove the glasses to look on my watch. I will have to remove the glasses to find my cup of milk. Or whatever. Compare it to just slightly turning your head, or just your eyeballs...

    • oh ya! we could just put cheap coloured plastic lenses into cardboard eye glasses. i think the colours of the lens' should be red and blue. we could be RICH!!!
  • Hmmmm. My cookie for this page: "What people have been reduced to are mere 3-D representations of their own data." -- Arthur Miller

  • I've seen holographic images ages ago, and in my later teens or early twenties envisioned some sort of machinery capable of displaying holographic colour movies by choosing three different material/laser combinations and rolling films of holographic material. How come this never happened? I know the laser setup needed quite some room at the time, but surely progression has been made in that area, hasn't there? So how come there were truly threedimensional (static/monogrammatic) images decennia past, but nothing since? Does anyone know? I mean, I can't be the only one ever to think about it.

    Stefan.

    • It is getting there actually in Russia their are tying this with a infrared sensors that will detect movement and make an ATM that you don't need to actually touch if I find the link I'll post it or if any one knows anything else about it I'm going on memory

      • I was using one of those ATM's but I wasn't feeling myself that day so the ATM didn't recognize me.

        Hasn't the writer of the article ever heard of VR before? Not only that but they assume that the compter 3D revolution started with the Voodoo chipset. Obviously Elite or Battlezone were never heard of and those weren't even the first games with 3D graphics. I just don't get this the 3D revolution started at point X, as X does not exist.

  • by Xzzy ( 111297 ) <setherNO@SPAMtru7h.org> on Sunday September 02, 2001 @02:42PM (#2246040) Homepage
    From the article:

    > At least for now it is. As the great gods of
    > technology continue to design new, unparalleled
    > computing power, the detail will only become
    > greater.

    I really don't agree that the advancement of hardware is the main reason that 3D is becoming, or will become, more and more realistic. Fact of it is, us humans still haven't quite nailed down how to duplicate reality. Skin in FF looked plastic because we still don't know how to render skin well. They looked stiff when they ran because we still don't know how to add in the subtleties of movement. They looked fake when they talked because we still haven't mastered expressions.

    I mean, people were doing production TV shows with Amiga's and Video Toasters a decade ago.. and that hardware couldn't hold a candle to today's machinery. It's not strictly hardware. I think 3d animation will only become more realistic once we've gotten better at figuring out how lighting works, how creatures move, and all the subtleties involved.
  • Im sure it would give advertisers a better chance to piss you off. Especially if everythings physically real like in the holodeck - "please register this program, the override and safety protocols have been locked out, note the walls are closing in on you. To pay, simply scream as loud as possible, and your voice print will be taken as id for the credit transfer. You now have 30 seconds to pay."

    Bring on the realistic shooting innocent people in the street simulations and natalie portman pr0n models!!!!!!
  • IMAX is the best example for showing that 3D is not what consumers really want. IMAX in both Australia and New Zealand is in big financial problem. Even if we have the technology, it means nothing unless there's an application for it. Entertainment has to be entertaining. And spinning lots of 3D objects around is not. Unless they have contents for such, virtual reality DVD and TV are just going to go the way of IMAX.
  • When everything is 3D it makes it hard to start a small (free) game project. I can make a game look about as good as a super nintendo if I take the time, but anything beyond that is out of reach for a single developer who can't spend all of his time on side projects.

    I hope that people will think "oh, i get it, it's retro," but I'm afraid people instead just frown at the low res and 2D.

    Also, SDL is great to work with, but I always run into performance issues with it.

    • The first point is mainly because there are no
      good free tools for content creation.

      SDL doesn't really *do* very much ( in terms of computation), and it has no glaring design flaws.
      I imagine the performance problems are of your own creation.
    • I'm hitting the same brick wall with a small free game project. If it ain't 3D, people don't want to see it.

      Which is a crying shame, cause every 3D game there is now has to be put together by a commitee of people - which means no common vision. Always. That is why games suck nowadays.
  • Macromedia released Director 8.5 with 3D support. It has a tool for creating interactive 3D using Lingo (the Director language). Most of the stuff that's being produced is kinda crappy, but you should check out the Lego site for an awesome example [lego.com] of a game. More to come, you can be sure...
    • NaN, the Dutch company behind Blender, released a browser plugin last week so that you can run real 3D apps (created with Blender) right in the browser. Blender isn't authorware with 3D tacked on (like Director), it's the real deal, even having its own built-in game engine. At $299, the Blender Player Tools will cost a fraction of what people can expect to shell out for Director.
  • It takes a computer days to produce what a polaroid can do in minutes.

    Seriously, the more I see about photo realism the more I wonder how much more effective it would be to just edit real photographs taken by a decent photographer.

    I'm all for photo realism in animation, but for stills it seems like a waste of perfectly good film. I'm not a neo-luddite, but most of this eye candy could have been done with photoshop and a real photo in a fraction of the time.
    • It takes a computer days to produce what a polaroid can do in minutes.

      I suppose the same could be said of a painter.

      Seriously, the more I see about photo realism the more I wonder how much more effective it would be to just edit real photographs taken by a decent photographer.

      Effective for what purpose? I'm a photographer, but I realize the merits of other art forms. Often, editing an existing photograph won't give you the results you want to achieve. 3D modeling gives you the opportunity to create your own worlds, independent of what you're able to capture with any kind of camera.

      3D modeling and other forms of computer art are just other media artists can use to create. And in the world of art, having more media available never hurt anyone.

      I'm all for photo realism in animation, but for stills it seems like a waste of perfectly good film.

      I'm not sure what this means. Do you have a better cause that this perfectly good film could be used for? I suppose it could be given to "decent photographers" to shoot images to be subsequently photoshopped to make "photo-realistic" stills. Which would be great, because then you'd have computer artists having to work their ideas around the images they're given from the photographer (whom they probably don't even talk to) rather than being allowed to create images from scratch if they want.

      Not that photoshopped photographs are necessarily bad, by any means. But to say that all computer-rendered stills should have been done as some collaboration between a decent photographer and a photoshop artist is simply naive, from an artist's perspective.

      Oh, and by the way, I must agree with the posts that named this among the most pointless of articles slashdot has ever linked to.

    • Except, you know, actually finding the perfect layout of streams, trees, people, spaceships, alien beings, exploding stars, translucent men, dissolving animals, liquid metal Terminators, or Infernal Machines Powered By The Dead, and then setting up the camera and lighting so that you get the shot you're after, which can be tough if you're shooting inside a trash can, or doing a zoom out which starts inside an office and ends near the orbit of the moon... In any of these cases, your Drug Store Polaroid won't really do the trick.
    • Tell you what...the day you can change the camera angle, lighting, or other aspect of an image on a whim, the quest for photorealistic 3D has some real value.
  • I'm suprising some people at CMU with this idea...
    Easy way to do this:
    Picture the 3d space as its imagination.
    And using a camera, it takes pictures of RL and represents it in its imagination.
    Suddenly we have context... lots of good stuff goes with it... just a ton of work.

    http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~sager/
  • nVidia's GeForce4 is going to be the first consumer marketed 4-D accelerator with full screen anti-aliasing (you've never seen a prettier kline bottle).

    Aside from the occasional driver hiccup that causes the card to fold in on itself and become a singularity on the space-time continuum, the future of 4-D gaming looks very promising!

    • *looks perplexed*

      ...four-dee gaming?
      4D.
      Okay.
      I must admit, I never paid much attention in physics class, but wouldn't the 4th dimension be just a tad unimportant thing to emulate on a video card? I mean, the program doesn't really care about time except the time it takes to execute and how long it should take to do this and that...?

      /eeeeevil [mailto]
  • Architecture is moving into 3d, but not in the traditional sense. CAD files, instead of simply being digital versions of paper files, are acctually becoming database related. When you draw a wall, you don't simply draw lines, you enter data about the wall, material, type, height, special notes, etc. All of which ties into a database. From this database one can generate a materials list and based on current market values, a price for materials.

    If you add a door in plan, it updates in sectiton and perspective. The next release of Autocad and Microstation should both support this in full (according to what I've heard).

    Currently, at the firm I work for (RTKL - 1500 world wide), they do things by standard CAD drawings. They spend hours updating drawings with minor changes. The wonder of 3d chat or real time 3d interaction isn't the most exciting thing here. The most exciting thing to me is revolutionizing the workflow of traditional media types, especially in architecture, interior design, and industrial design.

  • This article is a prime example of why God gave us web designers. White text on light blue background? Yeah, right.
  • This web site was so horribly researched, so shallow on actual content, and so terribly written, that I expect it was probably done by Slashdot.

    :) :)
  • from the article: "and Pamela Anderson's breasts won't be appearing in anyone's Java applet for some time yet either"

    Too bad... I'd really love to see my Konq with some 3d embedded Anderson boobies and browse my ass off ;-)

    But he's right... by the time the technology is that advanced, you don't want those anymore... they will be hanging UNDER your monitor (or whatever device is displaying them)... ;-)
  • Why are we being pointed at this? This is essentially a cheesy sunday suppliment article with a few screenshots and a bit of badly (if at all-) researched commentary on the bleedin (obvious) edge of 3D gfx.
    I'd be genuinely interested to read something NEW on this subject, some new insights, some well researched comparisons of TS, TS2 and FF in terms of polygons/second on screen etc... That would be interesting, I'd regurgitate that in the pub, but this!
    Anyone got some decent articles to point us at??
  • From the site -
    Howdy guys! I'm happy to report I've been Slashdotted!
    LoL! That must be one of the few guys in this world who'd be happy on a fancy DoS attack ;-)

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