January 10, 2011

The Olympics in 3D?

During the last winter Olympic games, the nation was invited to view the Olympics in 3D.

The familiar "3D" catchphrase is used here, but I am uncomfortable with the thought that it is really the same thing we have been discussing in this blog. The key questions are: "Are virtual walkthroughs, tours, or flyovers really 3D or are they merely simplified representations of 3D in a planar image?"  "Is a Google Earth community flyover a true 3D experience?"  "Is a 3D Art Gallery or a virtual open house walkthrough really a 3D or more of a first-person observer point of view?"

So far, I am still in deliberation; I am still trying to wrap my mind around where this particular "3D" concept fits. My preliminary instincts suggests that this is simply a first-person precursor to the stereoscopic 3D we have been discussing in this blog, that it is not really 3D because it doesn't come out of the screen or show strong depth of field. On the other hand, it is not as passive as watching a 3D movie, and may therefore fit our 3D taxonomy somewhere between movies and learning objects. But how do we justify that with a 2D planar image?

More to come on this topic later, but for now, consider exploring the links above.

1 comment:

  1. Online content becomes truly 3D when I engage with and manipulate the content itself, when my brain must actively think in the X, Y, and Z axes. Creating models in software such as Blender, surface charts in Excel, or objects in virtual worlds such as Second Life represent true 3D for me. Anytime that I must consider the effects of geometry, rotation, lighting/shadows, reflection, gravity, etc., I sense that I have crossed the boundary into the third dimension. Otherwise, I feel that I am still in a mainly 2D space that hints at the potential or illusion of 3D...