Stereoscopic 3D Setup

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Dolphin provides a number of mechanisms to support rendering to 3D displays. 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.

Dolphin Setting

Go to Options > Graphics Settings > Enhancements > Stereoscopic 3D Mode and choose the appropriate mode for your setup.


  • As of 4.0-2286, Dolphin supports Exclusive Fullscreen in D3D, allowing it to work natively with 3D display technology. NVIDIA 3D Vision is only supported by D3D for the time being, as OpenGL does not support the required Exclusive Fullscreen mode. Other 3D output mechanisms work without issue, and this wrapper may enabled support with OpenGL.
  • RealXFB must be off, or video will only appear in one eye.
  • Titles must provide appropriate Z depth info for all rendered elements for 3D output to work. Since titles only expected to use 2d output, there are numerous incompatible titles.

3D Glass Method Terminology


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.

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.


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


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

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 reticule that works well with third person and first person shooters!


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


  • Requires a NVIDIA graphics card
  • Expensive. Not only for the price of glasses, the emitter and monitors add up fast
  • Brightness is sacrificed by the shutter technology.

Setting Up Dolphin – Best Practices

NVIDIA will attempt to run Dolphin in 3D along with Dolphin's own stereoscopic 3D, thus essentially a "double activation" of 3D Vision mode. It will tax computer performance more and the camera will appear moving to left, how far it goes depending on 3D depth in NVIDIA 3D setting, see issue 8127. A user on forum made a workaround for this problem as found here. It's a preset profile for Dolphin, import it with NVIDIA Inspector. It will tell NVIDIA to only activate shutter 3D glasses and monitor but let Dolphin handle the stereoscopic 3D.

TriDef 3D

TriDef 3D is a paid software that can convert games and other programs that output 2D into stereoscopic 3D for supported monitors.


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


  • Requires renaming of Dolphin executable file to pretend a supported program or it will not detect it.
  • Requires setup for good 3D