Excerpts from a Virtual Reality Researcher

The Black Art of Projectors

img_1351Projectors that accompany immersive display systems often times are not the easiest pieces of machinery to operate.  Sure, turning them on and obtaining an image is simple, but at least for the projectors we have, some features and settings are definitely not obvious in terms of what they do or how to properly set them.  Furthermore there’s the constant problem of maintaining nice color calibration between projectors.  This ends up being a function of the projector’s bulb life span, the physical location of the projection surface relative to any lighting in the area, light reflected between adjacent projectors, etc. etc.  Auto-calibration procedures for this are few and far between, and those that do exist are complex.

A concept of such projectors that took a while to understand, is a projectors ability to natively provide active stereo support, regardless of whether it’s enabled at the operating system (nVidia control panel level).  That’s right, the projectors we have in our CAVE and Dev Lab can basically over-ride this and still provide various forms of stereo support.  This helped us alleviate a particularly problem we were seeing in Windows 8+ operating systems, where enabling stereo at the operating system level would max your stereo frame rate to half of the operating system refresh rate.  By disabling stereo at the OS level, we were still able to obtain active stereo via the projector by still enabling stereo in the Win32 Windows creation in an OpenGL application.