Game Development Reference
For all the work we've done to make programs' graphics more realistic, the best we can
do is project our realistic simulations onto a two-dimensional screen. Although graphics
libraries such as Microsoft DirectX and OpenGL can provide photorealistic renderings
in real time, they still lack the ability to truly immerse the user in the works you have
so carefully created. Three-dimensional display is something that the entertainment
industry has attempted to make standard for some time. In reality, almost all “three-
dimensional” display technologies are what are technically called stereoscopic displays.
These displays use the way in which your eyes perceive depth to trick your brain into
thinking it is seeing a three-dimensional image while the display remains two-
dimensional. In contrast, displays that actually involve creating a rendering in three
dimensions are called volumetric displays. We'll cover these later as part of our effort to
discuss emerging technologies.
The trick to displaying objects so that they appear to be three-dimensional depends on
the method by which the human brain perceives the world around it. Indeed, animals
that have two eyes engage in what is called binocular vision . Because each eye is in a
slightly different position relative to the objects it is viewing, the left and right eye provide
an image that is distinct to the brain. This is called binocular disparity . There are three
possible results when the brain encounters these two different images: suppression,
fusion, or summation. Suppression is when the brain ignores one of the images, sum‐
mation is when the brain tries to perceive both images at the same time (double vision),
and finally fusion is mixing the two images to create a depth of field. The process of
binocular fusion is something our brain learns to do when we are first born.