2D glasses

My girlfriend and I both get a headache from watching movies in 3D. Unfortunately, a lot of animation (Pixar, Disney) movies are not shown in 2D anymore. When I found really cheap 3D glasses online I ordered a pair to do an ‘optical hack’; I swapped the left glass of one with the right of the other so I’ll be looking at the movie for the right eye, and my girlfriend is looking at the movie for the left eye.


It works! But… I viewed most of the movie in 3D anyhow with the glasses supplied by the cinema. Looking at 2D doesn’t give you the fancy bonus of 3D animation, but stresses the fact that you’re sitting in the cinema wearing sunglasses. The colors aren’t bright enough, and everything is a bit brownish. Also, the filter doesn’t block the other image 100% , so you end up with a faint dropshadow. Probably that also happens with the ‘normal’ 3D cinema glasses, which explains the headache; your brain is constantly processing unclear information. Next time I’ll rent the DVD ;)
One question that remains with me: is a lot of improvement possible in image quality when using better / more expensive glasses? Please comment…

11 thoughts on “2D glasses

  1. Jeremy Cook says:

    Nice one! Simple yet effective.

  2. [...] may have been all the rage in 2009, but it’s 2012 so you may want to get your hands on a pair of 2D glasses. These instructions will tell you how to make glasses to convert a 3D film into 2D if the third [...]

  3. T. Berg says:

    I love your idea !!, however, your method still doesn’t fix the dull image problem (as you mentioned, you’re basically wearing sunglasses in the dark), If you want to go a step further, I think you should consider getting polarised glass, the type you usually find in the science labs in schools, and cutting it to shape, it’s not dark and it’s hard glass ! who knows, maybe it even fixes the faint shadow problems !

    • No One says:

      Any polarized glasses (if they polarize properly) will be 50% tint (or more). Also, standard polarized glasses are incompatible with RealD 3D, which I find to be the most popular style of 3D film around where I am.

      RealD uses circular polarization which removes the problems that occur when you tilt your head. Previously linear polarization was the dominant form used for 3D movies and is the same type of polarization found in normal polarized glasses.

  4. curiosity says:

    Ever thought of using two filters as they’re common in dslr-photography? You would just need to build a frame and mount those filters on it.

    This way you would be able to switch from 2D to 3D whenever you want :)

  5. Lesyriad says:

    Wow I love the idea. I get headaches from the stupid 3d movies also. Why cant we just go back to normal movies? We need a petition to stop 3d movies. I mean how many people actually like them?

  6. dt says:

    You may wanna try this to remove the blurry image: exchange the left filter from the first glass with the right one of the second as you did. However, make sure that the side of the filter pointing to the screen remains orientated like this. (It looks that with your mod you now use the swapped filters in reverse). All this is because these filters actually are composed of two layers: first there is something like a quarter wave plate to rotate the circular polarization back to linear (H or V) and then a linear polarizer to discriminate horizontal or vertical. So using the filter backwards, the polarizer simply projects both incoming circular polarizations to linear and the wave plate rotates it back to circular. Essentially you will only notice a dimming but equally for both pictures. As mentioned before, you could use these DSLR filters. There however the wave plate is behind the polarizer so you would have to use them backwards.

    • admin says:

      Hey dt, I guess I already did this, as you can see in the last picture; both glasses are now blocking each other’s lenses. You were right about having to reverse them, I’m glad I have the explanation now! I guess the poor quality of the glasses (what could I expect for about $2 each?) means they block 90% of the picture for the other eye. Next time I’m going to a 3D movie I’ll close one eye with the cinema glasses and see whether I see a ghost image there too. I have to say we have subtitles in The Netherlands, and the effect was most apparent on those titles; mostly they’re in high contrast to the rest of the image.

  7. Stewart Dean says:

    I’ve been doing this same thing for a while now. Another handy tip, RealD 3D glasses are circularly polarized from one direction, linearly polarized from the other. If you want to watch a IMAX movie in 2D, flip the lenses around.

  8. A-Freak says:

    It is the difference between real and expected focus distance that makes the headache.

    The different viewing angles presented to the eyes simulate that the objects would be anywhere between infinity and only a few centimeters away, but the focus point is fixed at the distance between your face and the TV screen.

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