3D at home?
January 16, 2010 11:13 PM   Subscribe

So after seeing Avatar I still have the 3D glasses. Is there anything I can do with them?

Of course I'm talking of the new type that just look like sunglasses--not the blue and red lensed glasses of yore. I'm guessing I need a special TV/monitor to see anything 3D, rather than just my iMac...or would I? Are the glasses useless outside the movie house?
posted by zardoz to Computers & Internet (30 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Do the glasses work on this blog post? If so you could read that.
posted by acidic at 11:18 PM on January 16, 2010 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: acidic--no, that seems to be for the red/blue type. If it helps they say "read D 3D" on the side.
posted by zardoz at 11:26 PM on January 16, 2010

Best answer: Unless you have an incredibly expensive circular polarised filter on your Digital Light Projector, nope.
posted by smoke at 11:33 PM on January 16, 2010

Decorate them and/or use them for a Halloween costume?
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:38 PM on January 16, 2010

Did you forget to turn them in at the end of the movie? How about returning them to the theater?
posted by sharkfu at 11:41 PM on January 16, 2010 [5 favorites]

Pretend to be Elvis Costello.
posted by so_gracefully at 11:45 PM on January 16, 2010

My friend (with normal glasses) likes to comically double-take something, reach into his pocket and place the 3D glasses over his regular ones, and declare "This needs further examination... in FOUR DEE!"
Let's not talk about the time when he walked around with two pairs of 3D glasses in his pockets.
posted by Mizu at 12:08 AM on January 17, 2010

Put them on and look at your eyes in a mirror. Go do it right now. Report back what you see. It's freaky.

So far, that's all I've found that's remotely interesting about them (outside of the theater).
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 12:14 AM on January 17, 2010

Seconding spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints. It's pretty neat!
posted by brundlefly at 12:19 AM on January 17, 2010

Response by poster: That is, "real D 3D". Thanks for the answers, seems like these aren't gonna do me anything. And as for taking them back to the theater, I wasn't told to return them in the first place; when I bought the ticket they gave me the brand-new pair (in a plastic sleeve), and when I left the theater there was a box to voluntarily put them in. But I paid for the damn things, no one ever told me it was a rental.
posted by zardoz at 12:26 AM on January 17, 2010

I met a girl who pushed out the lenses and wore them at the bar: gd hipster! ;)
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 2:45 AM on January 17, 2010

Get another pair and follow Mark Kermode's advice.
posted by hnnrs at 3:14 AM on January 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you have two pairs of Real D 3D glasses, you could make a cheap pair of sunglasses by removing the lenses from one pair and sticking them on the opposing lenses of the other pair.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:15 AM on January 17, 2010

Did you forget to turn them in at the end of the movie? How about returning them to the theater?

It is not necessary to return Real D 3D glasses, you are free to keep them or toss them in the recycling bin (or as liquorice noted above reuse them next time for a discount in some markets).

Only the more expensive IMAX 3D glasses need to be returned so that the theatre can clean and reuse them.
posted by fairmettle at 3:30 AM on January 17, 2010

It was not a rental, they're your glasses. I kept my pair as well. I wanted to have a pair of polarized lenses at my disposal. For what? I don't know yet. Probably until the next time I clean off my dresser.
posted by plinth at 3:37 AM on January 17, 2010

Best answer: You can use them as a polarising filter for photography.
3d Glasses
Household transparent plastic items (plastic jars, cups, spoons, etc).

Set up you laptop so that as much of the screen as possible is solid white.
Turn out all the other lights, so that the laptop is the only source of light.
Place the plastic objects between the laptop and camera.
Place a lens from the 3d glasses in front of the camera lens
Rotate the 3d lens until the laptop screen goes black in the camera's LCD screen.
Take a photo.

The plastic item will be a bright rainbow of colours in the darkness, the colours corresponding to stresses within its structure. You are photographing something that cannot ordinarily be seen.

The laptop screen emits very polarised light, which means the filter can filter it out entirely. This means the only source of light the camera can see is the light that has been warped out of the pole alignment by passage through plastic item.
posted by -harlequin- at 5:10 AM on January 17, 2010 [23 favorites]

There is all kinds of geeky fun you can have with a pair of polarized lenses. The example -harlequin- gives is just the tip of the ice berg.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:41 AM on January 17, 2010

Are the glasses really recycled?
A nasty pair of moviegoers could Kermodify their glasses and then recycle them.
posted by hexatron at 7:13 AM on January 17, 2010

-harlequin- for the win.

To make the solid white screen, just go into Powerpoint, make a new presentation (any old one will do as well), then right click on the presentation and select 'White Screen' (I think hitting 'W' on the keyboard does the same thing).
posted by chrisinseoul at 7:24 AM on January 17, 2010

-harlequin-, RealD glasses are circularly polarized, while laptop light is horizontally or vertically polarized. I don't know for certain, but I have a feeling that what you suggest won't work. It's free to try, though, and I'd love to know for sure. Can someone give it a shot and report back?
posted by tss at 9:59 AM on January 17, 2010

The Kermode idea is amusing - except that you have to be a little perverse to do this when a 2D version of the same film is also on general release.
posted by Phanx at 10:35 AM on January 17, 2010

You can make a polarimeter.
posted by Dmenet at 11:11 AM on January 17, 2010

Buy some 3D chalk and go to town?
posted by peagood at 11:56 AM on January 17, 2010

Dmenet, that will not work. I promise you all that RealD glasses are circularly polarized [more info][cite]. Many of the fun science demonstrations that we all associate with polarized filters rely on the filters being linearly polarized, or, as the wikipedia polarimeter article puts it, "plane-polarized". There is no way to, as -harlequin- advises, "rotate the 3d lens until the laptop screen goes black in the camera's LCD screen." This won't happen with any orientation.

Unfortunately, I can't think of a fun use for your glasses, but perhaps with some experimentation you can find some home science trick that circularly polarized are good for. If so, please let us know!
posted by tss at 12:48 PM on January 17, 2010

circularly polarized glasses are good for
posted by tss at 12:49 PM on January 17, 2010

Stupid hipsters. Everything old is new again.

PS: Great idea for Halloween in 2015
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:57 PM on January 17, 2010

The 3d glasses I have are very old (cardboard frames, from a 3d theatre in a science museum). So there are 3d projector systems that use linearly polarized lenses, but I assume tss is correct in suggesting that the current breed is using a different system. :-(
posted by -harlequin- at 5:01 PM on January 17, 2010

Watch fireworks with them - it's awesome!!

I kept mine, too. I don't think it will help, though, if you see another 3-D movie - they'll charge you the surcharge whether you have the glasses or not I've been told.
posted by ourroute at 7:13 PM on January 17, 2010

There is a seldom-used printing process called StereoJet that prints polarized images on both sides of a transparent sheet using an inkjet printer and special inks. This can be mounted to a lightbox, or adhesed to reflective paper and displayed just like a normal photo. The 3D effect can then be viewed with polarized glasses. It's pretty impressive, actually. I heard that they are no longer in production but you might still be able to find StereoJet prints somewhere. It was a pretty expensive process, as I understand.

I know it works with linearly polarized lenses. I'm not sure if it works with circularly polarized lenses.
posted by ironicsans at 8:14 AM on January 18, 2010

You could use them to communicate with mantis shrimp.
posted by aigeek at 9:47 PM on January 20, 2010

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