Culture and Society

Why do you need to wear special glasses to watch a 3-D movie?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. During a 3-D movie, the movie screen shows you two different pictures. Essentially, you need the glasses to decipher these images and merge them into a 3-D picture. There are different ways to achieve this, but two methods are most common. The first is polarization, which requires two projectors. Each projector has a different polarization and can display different images onto the screen. The glasses you get match each projector's polarization, which allows each lens to capture the image intended for it. Our eyes merge them. The great benefit of polarization 3-D is that it allows color viewing.

    The other common method is Red/Green (sometimes called Red/Blue), which uses two images in two different colors, one in red and the other in green or blue. There are filters on your 3-D glasses that only allow one of the colored images to pass through that lens. So you have one lens for each color image. Ironically, this system does not allow for color viewing and doesn't provide as clean a picture as polarization.

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