Time-Multiplexed Color Autostereoscopic Display

John R. Moore, Neil A. Dodgson, Adrian R. L. Travis*, Stewart R. Lang

Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge, Pembroke Street, Cambridge, UK, CB2 3QG

* Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, UK, CB2 1PZ

Presented at SPIE Symposium on Stereoscopic Displays and Applications VII, San Jose, California, Jan 28-Feb 2, 1996. Proc. SPIE vol 2653 pp.10-19.


A practical color autostereoscopic display has been developed at Cambridge, and has been in operation since 1994. It provides six view directions at half VGA resolution (320 x 240 pixels) of 24-bit color at a luminance of 100 cd/m2. Each individual view direction is refreshed at standard television rates, so the display is capable of full motion animation or live 3D video. Versions with both 10 and 25 inch screen diagonal have been built. This paper describes the principles of the display, its development from an earlier monochrome version, the results of this development work, and ideas for future research.

The original monochrome display, developed at Cambridge, has been in use since late 1991. It provides eight views at full VGA resolution or sixteen views at half VGA resolution. A series of views of a scene are displayed sequentially and an optical directional modulator, constructed from a liquid crystal shuttering element, is synchronised with the image repetition rate to direct each image to a different zone in front of the display. The viewer's eyes thus see two different images and the head can be moved from side to side to look around objects, giving an autostereoscopic display with correct movement parallax. The use of a CRT makes for a flexible system where resolution and number of views can be easily varied.

Development of the color display from the monochrome version was achieved by a color sequential system using a liquid crystal color shutter. As each view direction had to be displayed three times for the three primary colors, the maximum number of view directions was decreased to six. Full color (24-bit) images have been displayed on these six view autostereoscopic displays from a number of sources: computer generated images, digitised photographs, and live color video from a multiplexed camera also designed at Cambridge.