Blue line code talk

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iondrive
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Blue line code talk

Post by iondrive »

Hi all,

Welcome to "Blue Line Code" talk. I was going to make this a thread about how to test your hardware to see if it's BLC capable but I think we can expand it to general BLC issues.

What is it?
It's an old method of "labeling" left and right frames of an image or video so that hardware can sync your glasses correctly. The bottom line of your image / video / game would be part blue and black. 25% blue (from left to right) means it's meant for your left eye and 75% blue means that image is for your right eye. I initially thought this was very crude but I've come to like it alot.

Is it out of date?
Not quite yet since it can work with some E-Dimensional Hardware and some DLP projectors although they lose one frame so you'll need some way to change the sync of your glasses. It's easy with wired glasses. Unfortunately, the latest version of the iZ3D driver has dropped support for BLC and the same goes for Stereoscopic Player (1.6.5 has it, 1.6.6 doesn't) so you might have to downgrade your software if you really want it. Else email the makers to include it. Ask politely and offer them a donation or more business. Thank goodness sView has it. Goodness = Kirill Gavrilov in this case. Thanks Kirill!!!

How good is it?
It can be great but your hardware has to overpower your software meaning your system has to be able to output more fps than your display or else you get a little flicker as the glasses resync but that's better than a full eye-sync swap. I think full 1080p blu-ray 3d is going to be difficult for many systems. I have to convert to 1024x1536 over/under at 24 fps but I use double-flash to get 96 Hz video. I have BLC embedded in the video and it works for me on my 7800GTX / Athlon 64x2 computer. For gaming, you have to play older games and it can be good with iZ3D's older driver. For images there may be a max res where it stops working right but it should be fine for "normal" res images, not 16 Megapixels. Hmmm, I guess I could be wrong about that since it should depend on how the software handles things. I was just thinking of my mplayer experience with photos.

How to test your hardware for BLC-capability:
You could use mplayer but let's not get into that right now. Let's use an easier method and just use sView. Download and install "sView 2009" (2008 doesn't have BLC support) from:

http://www.sview.ru/en/download

and start the sView Image Viewer. A nice image should appear. Make the menu popup in the top left.

Do not turn on your glasses using any other method. They should come on by themselves after you set output for BLC shutterglasses and go fullscreen stereo. By the way, it does work with winXP even though the website mentions only Vista and 7.

Settings in detail:

Under "Shutter glasses"
"Change device" - "Shutter glasses"
VSync - on
"Quad Buffer type" - "OpenGL Emulated" aggressive or not. (D3D mode did not trigger my glasses)
"Glasses control codes" - "Blue line sync"

Under "View", make it fullscreen and, if needed, set "Stereo Output" to "Stereo".


Now you should have a fullscreen double image and your glasses should be shuttering. If not, then your hardware is not detecting the BLC and that should mean that it is not BLC-capable. There's a small chance this test might give you a false negative but I think it's pretty reliable.

If anyone has other ways to test for BLC-capability, please post. Same goes for any other BLC news like if iZ3D or Stereoscopic Player re-include it. Thanks in advance.


--- iondrive ---
Last edited by iondrive on Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cybereality
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Re: Blue line code talk

Post by cybereality »

I heard that IZ3D and Peter Wimmer removed it due to copyright/licensing issues. Probably doesn't bode well to seeing it re-included.

crash27
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Re: Blue line code talk

Post by crash27 »

arrr matey! shiver me timbers.

sorry had to. its like a problem i have.

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iondrive
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patents

Post by iondrive »

Hi cyber, hi crash27, nice to hear from both of you.

I found the quote regarding Stereoscopic Player you're thinking of, cyber:
if you cannot find the Blue Line Code option in the Stereoscopic Player:
The player doesn't support it anymore because of patent issues.

Peter
I'm no patent attorney but it looks like it's patent # 5,572,250 assigned to the StereoGraphics Corporation filed Oct 20th, 1994 and granted Nov 5, 1996. If so, then when does this patent expire, or how long do patents last? The US Patent and Trademark Office website (http://www.uspto.gov/inventors/patents.jsp#heading-5) says that the answer depends on if the patent was filed before June 8th, 1995 which is true in this case. From the above webpage:
Patents in force on June 8, 1995 and patents issued thereafter on applications filed prior to June 8, 1995 automatically have a term that is the greater of the twenty year term discussed above or seventeen years from the patent grant.
17 years from the grant is Nov 5, 2013.
20 years from the application is Oct 20th, 2014.

The latter should be the correct expiration date and so that's Oct 20th, 2014. Oh well, only 2.7 years to go. BTW, design patents now last 14 years from the date granted but there are also utility and plant patents which last 20 years.


See the patent: (PDF from google-patents recommended for clarity)

http://www.google.com/patents/US5572250.pdf

http://patft.uspto.gov then "Number Search" and 5572250


The patent seems written in a general way so that it may also apply to other coding methods such as White-line code (WLC) and other ways you can imagine, but once again, I'm not a patent attorney and I didn't really study it all that closely.


Thanks goes out to the inventors:
Jeffrey J. Halnon, Lawrence D. Meyer, and Lenny Lipton (creator of "Puff the Magic Dragon" http://lennylipton.com/)


Other patents of interest:
Over-Under mode with sync-doubling - 4523226, expired.
StereoGraphic patents: search http://www.google.com/patents for "Assignee: StereoGraphics"
iZ3D patents: 8044879, 7342721
Google-patents is awesome!


--- iondrive ---

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cybereality
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Re: Blue line code talk

Post by cybereality »

Also, according to DDD the JPS file format is also patented and is why DDD uses their own proprietary image format when saving screenshots from their Ignition driver. Not sure if Nvidia and IZ3D actually licensed this patent, or if this effects viewers also like the Stereoscopic Player. Or DDD could just be full of crap. LOL!

WiredEarp
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Re: Blue line code talk

Post by WiredEarp »

Funny how they can patent such an obvious method as triggering which eye needs to be on, in a line in the output. I had the same idea before I ever heard of blue coding, and putting data in a line of the output is an old old old concept. Thankfully, patents dont last anywhere near a long as copyright...

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iondrive
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patent chatter

Post by iondrive »

interesting, cyber.

Wired, I believe you. While browsing some other patents, some look like things I've thought of, but that BLC patent also includes the electronics to detect the line too so it's not just the idea of a frame/field marker that's in there. In other words, at least they did some actual electronics designing. I still agree with you that the idea seems obvious while one of the criteria for a patent is that the idea be non-obvious.

Do you guys have any patents? It looks like this thread is turning into "patent-talk".

Google-patents is now on my bookmarks list. Does that mean I'm a nerd? Yes... yes it does. :)

Holy ..., I just searched "Assignee: nvidia". They have 1530 patents. On second thought, that's not too surprising. They've been around a while.

Later all,

--- iondrive ---

WiredEarp
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Re: Blue line code talk

Post by WiredEarp »

Yeah, I agree, I actually looked at their patent and saw it had a lot of electronics stuff in it to detect the scanline. Useful stuff (back then) but really the concept is pretty generic/obvious. Perhaps it wasn't back when they patented it however. I do appreciate that at least they had some technical stuff in there.

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Re: Blue line code talk

Post by Likay »

Hi All!
Just a thought. I've never tried but do never iz3d-drivers support any marked shuttermodes at all?
I know that the marked shuttermode can be configured to simulate blue line code.
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WiredEarp
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Re: Blue line code talk

Post by WiredEarp »

I don't believe so Likay, I checked fairly recently due to trying to get my Z800 going in marked mode, and I couldn't find a marked mode at all on the latest IZ3d drivers. Had to download an older version.

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iondrive
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testing for BLC capability

Post by iondrive »

Hi guys,

I don't have iZ3D installed right now but from what I remember, the newer versions are missing the whole category that contained BLC, WLC, simple and marked shutterglass modes. Anyway, let's get back to testing for BLC-detection in your s3d hardware. If you can't use sView for some reason, here are some alternative ways of testing. Can anyone think of any other ways? I guess it's not that important at this point in time. Sorry I couldn't bring this years ago.

old nvidia 3d drivers
old iZ3D drivers
old stereoscopic player video player
mplayer with test image (Linux-friendly method. Note: I see there are a few versions of sView for Linux but there's a chance some people might not be able to use any of them.)
other?

BLC detection: old nvidia 3d drivers
As far as I can tell, this applies to nvidia stereo drivers from 162.50 all the way back to 30.87. Yeah, that's old. You might not have BLC as an option in your drop-down list of stereo outputs but you can edit registry settings to enable it. Search the registry for StereoViewerType and set it to decimal 16. Then in that same section, make a new dword entry called LineCodeColor and set it to 255 decimal. Then try some game in s3d and you should see thin blue lines on the bottom and your hardware should be triggered if it's sensitive to BLC. Don't run the nvidia driver control panel or the nvidia test because it might reset the StereoViewerType, choose a game instead. If you want to check for white-line code sensitivity, change LineCodeColor to 00ffffff. The RGB format for this is 00rrggbb. When you're done, don't forget to change back to your normal 3d output mode. You don't have to delete the LineCodeColor entry that you made.

BLC detection: old iZ3D drivers
If you have old iZ3D drivers that are old enough but not too old, then you can try the blue-line code option under shutterglass outputs. I'm not sure which versions have it but 1.09 should. I'll update this if I ever nail it down. Anyway, once you use it, then you have a limited amount of time before the trial license expires but at least you'll have your BLC test results by then. Each general trial output started a different timer for its expiration so if you never used shutterglass output before, you should be able to try it if you can find drivers that old.

BLC detection: old stereoscopic player
I've mentioned this previously. If you have version 1.6.5, then you can play a 3d video and set the output to BLC and that will be your test.

BLC detection: mplayer with a test image
I'll keep this as simple as possible. If you know about using mplayer, then take the following image and run it with the following command after switching to 1024x768 and turning on v-sync in your video driver. The video lasts for just a few seconds and puts the blue lines in the center of the screen instead of the bottom but it still works to trigger my eDimensional dongle. This works with my 7800GTX and even with my geforce-2 laptop so it stands a good chance of working with other nvidia cards as well. I am unsure about ATI cards since I don't have any.

BLC-test.png
BLC-test.png
*** simple BLC detection test for 1024x768 resolution.
mplayer mf://BLC-test.png -vf il=i,tfields=0,scale=1024,dsize -fs -loop 180
(Change value of scale=1024 for other resolution widths.)

If you want more info on this, see the mplayer thread (search for "BLC detection" on page 3):
http://www.mtbs3d.com/phpBB/viewtopic.p ... 1&start=30

later all,

--- iondrive ---
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gkv311
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Re: Blue line code talk

Post by gkv311 »

I'm shocked while reading this thread...
I should clarify some things - in Russian legislation their no meaning of software / algorithms patents without hardware.
This is good in my opinion because I can not read news about patent wars of USA companies without the hairs on the back of my neck beginning to stand up
and adequate people conclude that (software) patents are evil rather than 'innovation stimulation mechanism' too.

So in context of synchronization codes for shutter glasses controllers in my opinion hardware manufacturers should take into account such patents
but software shouldn't. I don't see any reason why manufacturers will want to forbid software to support their hardware (to take fee from any software??? that a shame!).

However in context of USA with their legislation heritage this may become a problem.
iZ3D/DDD and most commercial software looks on USA as a market and to participate in it they should follow local legislation nevertheless it absurdity.

Within open-source software this is more unclear because I don't sell anything and any user in the world can download it (Internet is open in most countries), use it and even modify it. So I have no idea how should I follow legislation in all countries without actual knowledge of any!
Probably I should prepare different distributions for USA within removed functionality and USA-out in download page? Thats a shame!
Also due to my pure knowledges I can not say is it legal to use software (common distributive) and do not use part of it that forbidden in country (patents and so on).

Anyway in next release I'll remove all 'software emulation' staff because I tired from reported problems with it whilst it is always was just experimental feature.
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ludohavil
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Re: Blue line code talk

Post by ludohavil »

Hi:

nice site. first post from me.

I have a Vuzix iWear 310WS that apparently (and undocumented) have BLC support so I tried with Stere....pic Player and it works in version 1.8.0.
I will check and update after I get home, but I'm pretty sure its 1.8.0.
It was nice to know about sView, google does not shows it in the search results.

any one here knows what other 3d methos support the frist iWear Vuzix?

Thank you all

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