FAQ: How do I setup and use Active stereo display in MIPAV?

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Active Stereo Display in Mipav

This task produced active stereo display in Mipav. Two components were needed: the required hardware and setup of that hardware, and software changes in Mipav to support active stereo. We chose the Nvidia 3D Vision Stereo Glasses for stereo display. They are 'active', which means they shutter the eyes alternately in sync with the display, as opposed to 'passive' techniques like red-green stereo. Mipav uses a standard OpenGL technique called quad-buffered stereo to display the view for the left and right eyes alternately.

System Requirements:

Active stereo display in MIPAV requires a new-generation Quadro professional graphics card, and a monitor, TV or projector that can refresh at 120 Hz.

General requirements from Nvidia are explained on their Nvidia 3D Vision for Quadro page: http://www.nvidia.com/object/quadro_pro_graphics_boards.html

The nVidia GeForce 3D Vision Kit is listed here: http://www.nvidia.com/object/GeForce_3D_Vision_buying_options.html

This monitor, the Samsung Syncmaster 2233RZ 22" 3D Gaming LCD Monitor: http:// www.samsung.com/us/consumer/office/monitors/specialty/LS22CMFKFV/ZA/index.id x?pagetype=prd_detail is the most highly recommended LCD monitor and the one we chose.

We also chose the Nvidia Quadro FX 4800 graphics card: http://www.nvidia.com/object/product_quadro_fx_4800_us.html because it includes the 3-pin DIN connector for syncing the glasses and emitter shuttering with the graphics card, which provides a higher quality display, and because of its 1.5 Gb of texture memory and excellent performance for Mipav volume rendering.

Installation & Setup:

Window Vista and Windows 7:

  1. Start -> Control Panel -> Programs -> Uninstall: Remove any of these that are listed:
    • NVIDIA drivers - Choose 'remove all display drivers'.
    • NVIDIA nView Desktop Manager
    • NVIDIA Performance Drivers
    • NVIDIA Stereoscopic Driver
    • NVIDIA StereoUSB Driver
    Click 'Cancel' or 'Remind me later' if Vista starts the 'Found new hardware wizard' to re-install the 'vga adapter'
  2. Install the software CD from the 3D Vision box. It installs in 2 steps:
    1. Graphics driver, which instructs you to restart when complete.
    2. Double-click the CD after restart, and install the 3D Vision Stereo USB driver, and then follow the instructions. Plug in the emitter when asked, then go through a Wizard to setup the display. The final step display pictures in 3D, which show that the glasses and monitor are working. Follow trouble-shooting instructions here before continuing if there are any problems.
    At this point the computer is able to play full-screen DirectX PC Games in stereo, or watch full-screen movies in stereo. Windowed apps, or OpenGL apps, can't show stereo yet.
  3. Mipav uses OpenGL Quad-buffer stereo. To enable OpenGL Quad-buffered stereo perform these steps:
    1. In the Nvidia Control Panel, in the Stereoscopic 3D section on the left, uncheck Enable Stereoscopic 3D. (this disables DirectX stereo)
    2. Without uninstalling, install the newest Quadro drivers, at Nvidia Driver site: http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us by choosing Product Type: Quadro, the computer's OS and Product: Quadro FX 4800.
    3. Restart if required.
    4. Go to the Nvidia Driver site again, and choose Product type: 3D Vision, the computer's OS and the Product: 3D Vision Driver for Quadro. Install this driver. It should detect and install the emitter.
  4. Change the settings as described in Display Settings on this page: http://www.nvidia.com/object/quadro_pro_graphics_boards.html For the hardware described above, in the Nvidia Control Panel, this means:
    • select “On-board DIN connector (with NVIDIA IR Emitter)” and plug in the 3 pin mini-din to 1/8” stereo cable that came with your 3D Vision glasses kit.
    • Turn on stereo under the Stereo-Enable entry
    • On Windows Vista/Win7 Verify that the 3D Stereoscopic Driver is turned off.

Note: We attempted to just install the Quadro drivers on Vista, without installing from the 3D Vision CD first, and it didn't work. The emitter would not switch on when we ran an OpenGL stereo program.

Note: Windows XP: The CD that comes with the 3D Vision glasses does not work on Windows XP. Simply install the Quadro drivers for Windows XP and 3D Vision for Quadro drivers as above.

Testing QuadBuffered Stereo:

Run the Lattice Wildmagic demo from inside Mipav. Hit the 'i' key to increase the inter-eye distance, and 'o' to decrease it.


Download Stereoscopic Player: http://www.3dtv.at/Downloads/Index_en.aspx (To play sample stereo videos, at that site, you need to install this, too: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/player/11/default.aspx)

Get a stereo jpg from here. The truck works well. http://www.chasm.com/images.htm

Install the Stereoscopic Player, open truck.jpg, and choose side-by-side, left eye first for the image format.

In the View menu, change the stereo view method to OpenGl quad-buffer stereo.

When starting to display stereo, the monitor will briefly go black, the button and light on the front of the emitter should glow bright green, and Windows Vista/7 will display a notification in the lower right, saying 'Color scheme switched to Windows Vista Basic' - it is not able to do Aero theme (blending between windows) with a quad-buffer app running.

Software Changes

Mipav and the Wildmagic Lattice demo were both changed to support quad-buffered stereo display. This involves two changes. First, the GLCanvas is created with a 'stereo' flag. Second, for each frame displayed, the data is rendered twice, with the camera translated left and right by the inter-eye separation distance. The left eye is rendered into the GL_BACK_LEFT buffer, and the right eye into the GL_BACK_RIGHT.

Because the stereo flag is set when the window is created, this means that as soon as the GLCanvas window is displayed by the program, the display will switch to stereo mode, even if stereo is not being rendered yet.

See also:

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