Stereoscopic 3D Compatibility Guide

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work in progress

As of Expression error: Unrecognized word "xxxx"., Dolphin now has Exclusive Fullscreen in D3D, allowing it to work natively with 3D display technology. Using 3D monitor technology, Dolphin can produce anaglyph and stereoscopic 3D - systems to convert a flat image on a monitor into something people can perceive as having depth. Depending on the system, setup, and type of 3D, it can be very convincing, or not convincing at all. There are two main types of 3D used in homes today.

Limitations

  • Exclusive Fullscreen, and thus 3D Support, is limited to D3D for the time being, and is not available on OpenGL.
  • RealXFB must be off, or video will only appear in one eye.

Exclusive Fullscreen

To use 3D, you need to use D3D. OpenGL is not possible at this time. And then you need a 3D system. And use fullscreen.

Anaglyph

Anaglyph 3D uses passive glasses with colored lenses to filter out certain colors on one eye and other colors on the other. The game itself renders once for each eye, with things not at screen depth being rendered. Without the glasses, you'll usually see doubling in the glasses colors. This system is cheap, and fairly effective, though some color quality is lost.

Shutter Glasses

These powered glasses flutter at 120 - 240hz in sync with the monitor so that one eye sees one image and the other eye sees another angle. The game itself rendered from a different angle for each eye to see. People viewing the monitor without the glasses will see full color doubling. While this method retains color quality, monitor brightness may need to be raised compared to 3D off due to the fact that the glasses block out nearly 35% of light through the shutters opening and closing.

Polarized Glasses

These glasses filter out certain pixels of the screen to create depth. In this method, the game is rendered twice from slightly different angles and outputted to the screen at the same time, much like anaglyph. The glasses are fairly inexpensive compared to shutter glasses, and do not need to be synchronized with a monitor. They also do not require to be powered.

Dolphin in particular supports Shutter and Anaglyph glasses through NVIDIA 3D Vision and 3D Vision discover. Tri-def's 64bit Beta also works if you rename the Dolphin's EXE into a supported program, but may need further configuration.

NVIDIA 3D Vision Discover

Using 3D Vision Discover and Anaglyph glasses, users with NVIDIA graphics cards can try out 3D in a very inexpensive way.

Advantages

  • Cheap way to try out 3D, no monitor or powered glasses required.
  • Can record in 3D with Shadowplay
  • Works with Dolphin without any extra configuration

Disadvantages

  • Cheap glasses are sometimes uncomfortable
  • Color clarity takes a big hit.
  • Can be strenuous on graphics cards
  • Requires a NVIDIA Graphics Card.

NVIDIA 3D Vision

NVIDIA 3D Vision is one of the earlier shutter stereoscopic solutions for PC. By hooking into games through the NVIDIA drivers, 3D Vision produces good results for compatible setups. For the best 3D experience, you can adjust depth, convergence, and even add a 3D Targeting reticle that works well with third person and first person shooters!

Advantages

  • Mature drivers
  • High image quality, no color loss
  • Easy to setup and use, works with Dolphin without hacks.

Disadvantages

  • Expensive. Glasses may be fairly cheap, but the emitter and monitors add up fast
  • Requires a NVIDIA graphics card
  • Brightness is sacrificed by the shutter technology.

Tri-Def

Tri-Def is a program that can be purchased to convert games and other programs that are 2D into 3D for supported monitors.

Advantages

  • Can work with any graphics card
  • Works with a wide variety of 3D setups.

Disadvantages

  • Only the 64bit Beta works with Dolphin
  • Requires EXE renaming of Dolphin to a supported program or it will not detect it.
  • Requires setup for good 3D

3D Vision

Game Notes Rating Tester
Alien Hominid 2D Game No 3D JMC47
Animal crossing Convergence needs to be set properly for the pause menu to line up. Good JMC47
Batallion Wars Evertyhing 3D works great, but needs a texture hack to remove the reticle. Fair JMC47
Chibi Robo Looks absolutely wonderful in 3D with its huge sense of scale. 30 FPS game means that there can be issues during the few high motion scenes. Excellent JMC47
Crash Bandicoot: Wrath of Cortex Looks very nice in 3D, but the variable framerate can be very jarring. Good JMC47
Crazy Taxi Convergences are way messed up, making it impossible to find a happy balance. Fair JMC47
Dave Mirra Pro BMX 2 This game really has nothing wrong with it at all. Excellent JMC47
Dirt 2 Menus are a huge problem, but the game itself is great in 3D. More problematic here than in F-Zero GX. Good JMC47
Donkey Kong Country Returns Need to set DK's Convergence to near screen depth. Afterwards, works perfectly. Excellent Alo81
F-Zero GX The Menus are messed up a bit with black lines if you have widescreen on (even from the in-game options.) Races are perfect, and that's what matters. Excellent JMC47
F-Zero X Menu is weird, and place indicators have no depth. Looks good, if not a bit sparse. Good JMC47
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Looks surprisingly good for a top down game. The only thing that mars the situation is the 30 fps, which is forgiven due to the lack of high motion scenes. Excellent JMC47
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance 2D Menus and such won't be 3D, but the battles are well worth the wait. Excellent JMC47
Fortune Street Character portraits require a certain depth. Game looks fantastic with vibrant backgrounds full of movement in 3D. Excellent JMC47
Godzilla: Destroy all Monsters Melee There's no noticeable visual flaws playing in 3D. Excellent JMC47
Harvest Moon: Magical Melody Looks perfect except for the fact that the outline given to you when behind an object has negative depth, meaning you can see it when standing in front of objects at the edge of your character. Good JMC47
Kirby Air Ride Top Ride looks great, City Trial and Air Ride modes are marred by 2D indicators. Needs a texture hack before rating can be upgraded. Good JMC47
Kirby Return to Dreamland Furthest Background has a set depth which can be disorienting in very rare cases/certain convergences Excellent Alo81
Kirby's Epic Yarn 2D Game, it seems. No 3D Alo 81
Lego Star Wars Need to move the convergence back first and foremost. Looks really good after that. Excellent JMC47
Luigi's Mansion The shadows are created based on the camera angle, as far as I know, there is no way to counter-act this. Not Recommended JMC47
Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour Old 3D Monitors will suffer from awful ghosting. Game looks good otherwise. Good JMC47
Mario Kart Wii Looks as good as Double Dash, but needs some kind of hack or cheat to remove character names which are at screen depth. Good JMC47
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! No issues at all. Menus can be a bit weird at some convergences, but races look great! Excellent JMC47
Mario Party 4 Fares better than the rest of the series by not having as many minigames with reticles that don't work. Good JMC47
Mario Party 5 Maps look great, minigames will vary. May need a lot of texture hacks. Fair JMC47
Mario Party 6 Maps look great, minigames will vary. May need a lot of texture hacks. Fair JMC47
Mario Party 7 Maps look great, minigames will vary. May need a lot of texture hacks. Fair JMC47
Mario Party 8 Pointer minigames are a pain in 3D. Fair JMC47
Mario Power Tennis If the game wasn't totaled, it'd look great in 3D. Good JMC47
Mario Super Sluggers Unlike it's predecessor, field indicators have depth! Looks fantastic in 3D. Excellent JMC47
Mario Superstar Baseball Works fairly well, but some UI elements need to be hacked out before this game can get a better rating. Fair JMC47
Mega Man Network Transmission Menus have some depth issues due to a background with screen depth and 3D objects with depth. The jacking in animation is absolutely astounding. Excellent JMC47
Mega Man X: Command Mission The game looks absolutely perfect in 3D. No real depth issues to note. Excellent JMC47
Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes It's hard to aim the sniper rifle and Nikita, but doesn't get in the way often. Most guns use 3D sights. Good JMC47
Metroid Prime The convergence needs to be moved into the screen first and foremost. After that, prepare for one of the most visually stunning experiences in Dolphin. Excellent JMC47
Need For Speed: Underground Looks amazing in 3D. Excellent JMC47
New Super Mario Bros. Wii 3D doesn't get detected in Levels unfortunately. Renaming Dolphin to Googleearth.exe works, but unfortunately messes up colors. No 3D JMC47
NHL 2003 Ice has all kinds of ghosting issues. Fair JMC47
Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door This game actually very strong in 3D, but things like tattle can give very strange depths. Transitions are too close to screen. Good JMC47
Pikmin 1 The game's charming art style is stronger when throw pikmin burst up and through the screen. Excellent JMC47
Pikmin 2 Health bars are a constant distraction. Certain items have no depth. Fair JMC47
Pokemon Battle Revolution Looks very strong, but the fake depth of field when focusing on pokemon between attacks can be disorienting Excellent JMC47
Pokemon Colosseum Need to change convergence to fix black ground. Shadows are calculated per eye, no way to fix this. Fair JMC47
Pokemon Snap The reticle is flat, so the game is harder to play. Needs texture hack + 3D reticle. On the other hand... Pokemon Snap in 3D. Seriously. Good JMC47
Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness Looks tremendous in 3D with very few issues. Excellent JMC47
Punchout!! Makes great use of Depth. Unfortunately, requires constant use of convergence changing to keep comfortable due to fighter cards. Good Alo81
Resident Evil 4 Everything works surprisingly well due to the sights having depth on even the rifles. Can be harder to aim at long distances. Good JMC47
Resident Evil REmake 2D backgrounds can't have proper depth, meaning the player character just floats around. Not Recommended JMC47
Skies of Arcadia Legends Some UI elements don't have depth, but it's not a big problem. Skies look great, along with the great cityscapes. Excellent JMC47
Sonic Adventure 2 Battle Desperately needs texture hacks for removing targeting indicators. Looks good in Sonic/Shadow stages, but mech stages are just a mess of depth fighting. Fair JMC47
Sonic Colors Some elements are 2D, such as targeting reticles. Sonic's shadow can flicker on one eye and then the other. 30 FPS game with high motion scenes. Good JMC47
Sonic Riders Racing game with crazy tracks; looks very good in 3D Excellent JMC47
Soul Calibur 2 Convergence needs to be moved back, but looks good once it's setup. Stages can go on forever in the distance. Excellent JMC47
Starfox Adventures Works very well overall. 60 fps means high speed sections still looks smooth. Excellent JMC47
Starfox Assault Game looks absolutely Jaw dropping in 3D. Requires a texture hack to remove screen depth reticle Good JMC47
Super Mario 64 The sky being at a weird depth is not as annoying as you'd think. Snowflakes are actually great in 3D for some reason! Good JMC47, Alo81
Super Mario Galaxy Some reflections do not render correctly in 3D. Game looks absolutely stunning regardless. Excellent JMC47, Alo81
Super Mario Galaxy 2 Some reflections do not render correctly in 3D. Galaxies can go on for eternities into the distance, creating an impressive sense of scale. Excellent JMC47
Super Mario Strikers Desperately needs a hack to remove the player indicators. Once complete, should be very nice. Fair JMC47
Super Mario Sunshine The depth blur is annoying, but upon being disabled the game actually looks really nice in 3D. 30 FPS, unlike its sequels, so it's not quite as smooth of an experience. Good JMC47
Super Monkey Ball The game would be perfect in 3D if not for lens flares on some stages. Good JMC47
Super Monkey Ball 2 Needs convergence adjusted for minigames. Actual levels are amazing in 3D, with the high quality backdrops oozing with visual awe. Excellent JMC47
Super Smash Bros. Brawl Game looks tremendous in 3D with its sometimes huge backdrops. Excellent JMC47, Alo81
Super Smash Bros. Melee It's Melee in 3D. Player indicators have no depth when they do pop out, but it's not really a big deal. Excellent JMC47
Tales of Symphonia Cities and Battles are both fun to see in 3D, but the constantly popping up damage numbers are at screen depth. Good JMC47
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures 2D game. Surprisingly, certain effects have some depth if you toy with it enough. No 3D JMC47
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker It's Wind Waker in 3D. May need a texture hack to remove the red dot during hookshoting. Using the NVIDIA Reticle works great for it. Excellent JMC47
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (GC) Looks pretty good in 3D. More effects are off by a little bit when using 3D Vision, making it not quite as enjoyable as Wind Waker. Texture hacks may help + 3D reticle. Good JMC47
The Simpson's Hit and Run Needs a LOT of fiddling with depth and convergences. It does look good in 3D, but getting it setup is a real chore. Fair JMC47
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 Game looks good overall. Real XFB needs to be disabled for 3D to kick in. Good JMC47
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4 Game looks good overall, some weird UI stuff and convergences to set. Good JMC47
Viewtiful Joe Needs Real XFB off to function. Good JMC47
Viewtiful Joe 2 Needs Real XFB off to function. Good JMC47
Wii Sports EFB Copy Range shows up for one eye and not the other. Impossible to play. Not Recommended. JMC47
Wii Sports Resort Bowling is broken due to the pins having no depth (When not zoomed in.) 100 pin bowling is unaffected. Skydive is broken, Frisbee works, Golf seems to work. Fair JMC47
Worms 3D Works surprisingly well. Excellent JMC47
Xenoblade Chronicles Jawdropping visuals. But 30 fps. Excellent display of 3D overall. Excellent JMC47