Glasses convert headache-inducing 3D movies into glorious 2D


July 4, 2011

De-3D glasses convert 3D movies into 2D, for viewers who find the 3D viewing experience uncomfortable (Image: ThinkGeek)

De-3D glasses convert 3D movies into 2D, for viewers who find the 3D viewing experience uncomfortable (Image: ThinkGeek)

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Despite the current proliferation of 3D movies, cameras, televisions and mobile devices, there are those of us who still question whether 3D is here to stay, or if it's just a marketing gimmick that will eventually peter out. One thing's for sure: with current technology, the viewing of 3D movies gives some people headaches, or makes them feel dizzy. If you're one of those people, but you don't want to be left out when your friends go off to see My 3D Dinner With Andre, this might be just what you need - De-3D glasses.

In a typical 3D movie, there are two overlapping images on the screen. Wearing 3D glasses allows one of those images to be seen by each eye, instead of both images being seen by both eyes, creating a stereoscopic three-dimensional effect.

The De-3D glasses work by taking the image intended for the right eye, and delivering it to both eyes. The system is said to work in any cinema that uses Real 3D technology.

You can purchase the glasses online from ThinkGeek, for US$8.99. Now, if only they could find a way of converting surround sound into mono ...

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

I used two pairs of the color filter \"glasses\" to filter the images for watching old fashion 3D.


3d in its current form is like AOL.. It will likely lead to something very different and infinity better.

Michael Mantion

The sad thing is that anyone could simply make a pair of these themselves by simply putting two left or two right lenses into a pair of the glasses. I don\'t know about other countries but until recently we got the 3D glasses for free, and now pay about $1 a pair, so we have about 20 lying around the house.


The lenses are typically not symmetrical, though, and you can\'t simply reverse the left eye lens and put it in the right eye lens, because the glasses likely use circular polarizers. At least they do at the theater I go to. I\'m not sure why, because linear polarizers would do just fine and would be cheaper.

The local theaters, by the way, have had enough complaints about 3-D movies that they generally now show 2-D versions of movies with a 3-D release. I, personally, don\'t have an issue with 3-D unless it was filmed in 2-D and then converted to 3-D. When they do that, there are always artifacts. Those artifacts ruin the movie for me. Marketing those as 3-D is, in my mind, false advertising.


I well recall seeing the original 3D pictures back in the 50s. At the time, I thought \"what\'s the big deal?\" It soon petered out. Now having seen several films with the latest 3D tech, my thought is \"what\'s the big deal\". If a film is good quality with a real story, it doesn\'t need 3D. And if it isn\'t, 3D doesn\'t help.


They use circular polarization so you can watch the movie without having to keep your head perfectly vertical. If they used linear polarization, the image would get dimmer and eventually black out completely as you tip your head to either side. People getting up to go to the restroom or snackbar without taking the glasses off might be momentarily unable to see and could trip and fall, so using circular polarization is also a safety feature.

So if you have several pairs of the glasses, get some other cheap frames and try cutting the left or right lens from two pairs down to fit, or try flipping the left or right lens over.

One thing circular polarized glasses are useless for is making light effects with a laser beam. Lasers go right through with no visible effects. A laser through a single linear polarized filter makes diffraction lines. Cross two linear filters and a laser makes diffraction dot patterns. I learned that from a late 1970\'s or early 1980\'s issue of Scientific American that had an article on DIY laser light show equipment, including how to build a mercury vapor laser tube from scratch.

Gregg Eshelman

I agree with TheRogue1000. 3D didn\'t last the first time and it won\'t last this time. Once the novelty wears out for this generation, it will die as it did before.

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