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RE: [Public WebGL] Stereoscopic monitors

Thanks for your comments.  I was impressed with the idea that some sort of layer cake API approach like the TCP/IP protocol stack might apply to graphics so that as a developer working at the top layer, my stuff would work out-of–the box with not only any browser, but various hardware such as a stereoscopic monitor, a regular monitor, or perhaps some future 3D-swept display or laser-voxel display, or whatever.  Seems this area is very active and such abstractions do not exist.  Would also be nice if the same api could be used for both 3d and 2d.  I could then draw a room and put 2D applications on the walls for example, and all this would work in any 3D display device.  I could also apply all the baked in physics and lighting stuff to basically 2D interfaces too – ie instead of faking 3D with gradients and fake shadows, have a more realistic 2D interface.  Also an API that could be bare bones and minimalist, but also have stuff built on that to handle many routine tasks to make things efficient for development.  I wouldn’t want to write say a spreadsheet application front-end using OpenGL.  However, with the convergence of 3d and 2d, I do think there is a need for an api that I could use for a spreadsheet as well as, say, 3d graphing or virtual reality.


Andrew Shropshire


AT&T Government Solutions, Inc.




From: Gregg Tavares (wrk) [mailto:gman@google.com]
Sent: Friday, October 14, 2011 1:54 PM
To: Shropshire, Andrew A
Cc: steve@sjbaker.org; public_webgl@khronos.org
Subject: Re: [Public WebGL] Stereoscopic monitors


If you'd like to see stereoscopic support the #1 thing you need to do is get the GPU vendors to provide an API that meets the needs of a browser. All of their APIs to date assume there will be 1 (or very few) 3d areas. In other words they were designed for 1 game that takes over the screen or 1 video that is player. That's not a limitation a browser can live with IMO


I can have multiple browser windows open and they can all have multiple 3d areas


If one of the GPU/3d display vendors provided APIs that were flexible enough I'd certainly consider trying to support it.



On Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 8:59 AM, Shropshire, Andrew A <shropshire@att.com> wrote:

Ok thanks for the information.  Perhaps some non-stereoscopic 3D display
will come along in the future that will be cheap.  If I were designing the
3D apis, I would anticipate this and make the projection part of the
pipeline removable.  Also it might be helpful to have more text handling
routines and font support like SVG, to facilitate drawing of text in 3D so
that mundane work like improving the look of buttons, scrollbars etc in
business applications could be improved.  Maybe this is what Windows 8 will

Andrew Shropshire

AT&T Government Solutions, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Baker [mailto:steve@sjbaker.org]
Sent: Friday, October 14, 2011 11:44 AM
To: Shropshire, Andrew A
Cc: 'public_webgl@khronos.org'
Subject: Re: [Public WebGL] Stereoscopic monitors

No, unless the browser had some kind of special support, WebGL will not
appear any different from normal 2D images.  I doubt such support is
likely anytime soon because it would imply massive changes to at least the
<canvas> subsystem - and likely throughout all of HTML.  Stereo monitors
just aren't popular enough to make the effort that this would entail
remotely worthwhile.

Technically: To use stereoscopic displays, you have to render the entire
scene twice, once from the left-eye perspective, and again from the right
eye.  These two images then have to be overlaid or combined or written
into two separate rendering buffers.  There is support for doing this kind
of thing in OpenGL via various quad-buffer extensions and such.  But none
of that is present in WebGL (AFAICT).  Even if the extensions were
available, the whole concept of how the compositing pipeline would work in
stereo is not considered at all.

Also, IMHO, stereoscopic monitors are a complete waste of money.  Except
in very niche applications, stereoscopic 3D is highly problematic.  Issues
of dynamic depth of focus mean that barring some pretty stunning
technological leaps, these technologies will always cause people to suffer
headaches and other nasty symptoms - just as they do in 3D televisions.
To avoid this, the 3D-ness of the scene and the positioning of the camera
and set/lighting design has to be carefully considered.  It's not just a
matter of displaying the material correctly.

Shropshire, Andrew A wrote:
> If I write WebGl and my website has WebGl content, will it appear in 3D on
> a
> stereoscopic monitor (3D monitor), if I purchase one?  Ie is stereoscopic
> monitor support a benefit of using WebGl?
> Andrew Shropshire
> AT&T Government Solutions, Inc.
> 703-506-5708
> shropshire@att.com

 -- Steve


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