Introduction to Autostereoscopic Displays

Introduction to Autostereoscopic Displays

Armin Grasnick (Sunny Ocean Studios Pte. Ltd., Singapore)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-326-3.ch018
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This chapter is an introduction to the principles of operation in autostereoscopic displays. It explains the most important autostereoscopic technologies and their principles, the image representation, and the resulting strengths and weaknesses. Beside the general principles, all necessary steps for a successful 3D display design are illustrated. This includes the fundamental dimensions, the generation of the screen images, as well as the creation of the 3D optics. To characterize and classify a certain 3D display, a display metric for autostereoscopic displays is proposed. Even though all parameters are explained for a static 3D system, the basic principles are also applicable for dynamic systems (i.e. 3D displays with head or eye tracking). In such cases, the described geometrics are only correct for a singular point in time.
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General Principle

As per definition, an autostereoscopic 3D impression is based on binocular disparity. The stereopsis is the determining principle, but all other monocular or binocular depth cues can be used to improve the 3D quality.

An autostereoscopic display has to contain at least two elements: A display device to represent the specific image data (screen image) and an optical modulator to separate parts of the screen image(s) into different parts of the viewing area.

A common display device will show the images as raster image, in which each pixel position can be described with two coordinates. The raster image is a combination of certain number of raster images, representing different perspective views. The combination rule for the screen image can be completely specified in a two dimensional matrix (Figure 1).

Figure 1.

Screen image matrix



  • i, j position indices

  • i0 first horizontal index

  • in last horizontal index

  • j0 first vertical index

  • jm last vertical index

  • V perspective view number at position i, j

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