QA standards may hold back stereoscopic game dev

QA standards may hold back stereoscopic game dev
Will Freeman

By Will Freeman

February 4th 2010 at 4:07PM

Games not suited to the 'grammar of 3D', claims expert

Speaking at a workshop dedicated to stereoscopic 3D at today's Imagina conference, Philippe Gerard of 3DLized has suggested that proposed quality control standards may be a problem for the development of stereoscopic games.

As the public become increasingly enamored with stereoscopic 3D in games, films and websites, more must be done to consider the techniques effect on viewers says Gerard, who's company specialises in converting 2D imagery to 3D and creating original stereoscopic works for clients.

If handled incorrectly, stereoscopic 3D can in rare cases cause viewers to suffer eye pain, nausea and headaches, as a result of bad realisation of what Gerard calls the grammar of 3D. The grammar of 3D refers to the use of framing, object movement, speed on-screen, effect potency and so on within the context of the stereoscopic image.

A typical example of where 3D grammar is relevant would be the way stereoscopic illusions can distort near the edge of a screen, or the the fact that fast movements in stereoscopic games and films can disorientate, or even not register at with the viewer's brain. Similarly 2D text on a 3D display can interfere with the image and cause viewer discomfort.

As a result of such effects on people's enjoyment of 3D, a 'quality level' is to be proposed as an industry standard, that will see broadcasters of stereoscopic content held responsible for outputting imagery that meets a certain level of comfort.

"This will assure that stereoscopic 3D remains of a certain quality, which is important for the industry's future" said Gerard through a translator.

"However, it is difficult for games to respect the grammar of 3D," he added. "Developers will have to guarantee that their 3D is not uncomfortable or damaging throughout an entire game, and that the grammar of 3D is constantly in place, even with the player in control of framing and movement on-screen. That will be very difficult".

Gerard also revealed that an automated tool is to be proposed as the yardstick for quality control in 3D creations. The tech would analise stereoscopic works to see if they are of publishable quality.