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Watch 3D Movies without 3D TV …

Watch 3D Movies without 3D TV …
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To watch a 3D Movie, you’d need a 3D TV or a computer with 3D capable video-card and/or 3D capable monitor, and not everybody has one of those.

With a few simple tricks however, modern 3D movies can be viewed on a regular TV or computer sans 3D capable display.
To maintain the 3D effect, or better said the depth perception, the good old red/blue glasses will be used (Anaglyph).

This trick works for Windows, MacOS X and Linux.




3D Movie to Anaglyph

The trick we’re going to use is displaying a 3D Movie (SBS 3D) as an Anaglyph movie.
Obviously not a colorful as the real deal, but with the proper 3D glasses still pretty cool to watch.

This trick will work for Windows, MacOS X and Linux.

What you need to watch 3D movies without 3D TV

  • 3D Movie in SBS (Side-by-Side) format
  • Anaglyph Red and Blue 3D Glasses
  • VideoLAN Media Player
  • Connect your PC to your TV (optional)

We will of course need a 3D movie, and these can be found all over the web, including YouTube. For YouTube videos to work, you’ll need to download them first with a tool like “YouTube Options” (an extension for Google Chrome).

Keep in mind though: This trick only works with SBS (Side-by-Side) 3D Movies (see also: How 3D Movies work).
So you’ll have to make sure the movie is of this format, recognizable by showing two similar pictures next to each other – see illustration below.

For testing purpose we have made a demo 3D movie available at Tweaking4All – it’s not a super big download and it will give you a quick demo.

20th Century Fox - Small Side by Side 3D Demo

20th Century Fox – Small Side by Side 3D Demo

DOWNLOAD - 20th Century Fox 3d Demo 

Filename: 20th_century_fox_3d_demo.mp4.zip
Size: 11.4 MiB
Date: October 30, 2013
 Download Now 

To be able to get depth perception, you’ll also need the good old red and blue 3D Glasses (a.k.a. Anaglyph 3D Glasses), which you might have laying around or you can buy them for really cheap, for example these 3D Sunglasses Red/blue from Amazon.

Old School 3D Glasses

Old School 3D Glasses

And finally, the free application that is going to display all this: VideoLAN Media Player a.k.a. VLC.
VLC is available on multiple platforms but we’re focussing only on the Windows, MacOS X and Linux versions (2.1.0 or newer!) and is capable of playing a SBS 3D movie as an Anaglyph movie. The amount of colors will be reduced of course and the movie looks a little darker,… but it’s still watchable.

VLC - VideoLAN Media Player

VideoLAN Media Player

All this will get you to the point of viewing the 3D Movie on any computer connected to any kind of display.
If you want to see this on your TV then please read also the How to connect your PC to your TV article.
For this method you will not need a 3D Capable TV.

Watch 3D Movies without a 3D TV

Open your video file with VLC. The file format (MP4, AVI, MKV, etc.) is irrelevant, but as said before, the movie must in in SBS 3D format.

p.s. full screen playback works best …

Windows

Note : You should use at least VLC version 2.1.0!

Open the SBS 3D Movie in VLC

Open the SBS 3D Movie in VLC

Select from the menu “Tools” the option “Effects and Filters” (or press CTRL+E).

Go to the "Effects and Filters" menu

Go to the “Effects and Filters” menu

Choose the tab “Video Effects“, then the “Advanced” tab, check the option “Anaglyph 3D” and click “Close“.

Set VLC to Anaglyph video display

Set VLC to Anaglyph video display

Put on your 3D Glasses and watch the movie in 3D …

VLC in Anaglyph mode

VLC in Anaglyph mode

MacOS X

Note : Use at least VLC version 2.1.0!

20th Century Fox - Small Side by Side 3D Demo

Open the SBS 3D Movie in VLC

From the menu “Windows” select “Video Effects…” (or press COMMAND+E).

Select the Video Effect from the Windows Menu

Select the Video Effect from the Windows Menu

Select the “Miscellaneous” tab, check “Anaglyph” and close the window.

Set VLC to Anaglyph

Set VLC to Anaglyph

Your movie will now be shown in Anaglyph mode, so start using those 3D Glasses.

VLC in Anaglyph mode

VLC in Anaglyph mode

Linux

Note : For Linux you’ll need at least VLC version 2.1.0 as well, which can be surprisingly complicated for the average user.

Ubuntu for example lags a few version behind in their repository, so if your Ubuntu version does not have 2.1.0 or newer installed, you might have to resort to the following command line statements to get the latest version – which is not necessarily a stable version:


1
2
3
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:videolan/master-daily
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install vlc
Open the SBS 3D Movie in VLC

Open the SBS 3D Movie in VLC

From the “Tools” menu choose “Effects and Filters” (or press CTRL+E).

Go to the "Effects and Filters" menu

Go to the “Effects and Filters” menu

From the “Video Effects” tab, select the “Advanced” tab, check “Anaglyph 3D” and click “Close“.

Set VLC to Anaglyph video display

Set VLC to Anaglyph video display

Your movie will now be shown in Anaglyph mode, so start using those 3D Glasses.

VLC in Anaglyph mode

VLC in Anaglyph mode

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Comments


There are 59 comments. You can read them below.
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  • Jul 22, 2014 - 1:50 PM - rocky Comment Link

    hey team i tried above options,,, i this dimensions of that picture is having far distance between pixels… 

    Reply

    rocky

  • Jul 22, 2014 - 1:53 PM - rocky Comment Link

    plz help me i do have 3D red cyan glasses i am eager to watch my movies in 3d …

    Reply

    rocky

    • Jul 22, 2014 - 4:21 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Rocky,

      I’m not sure I understand what problem you’re running into.
      Please explain, and I’ll try to help. 

      Hans

      Reply

      hans

      • Sep 7, 2014 - 4:02 PM - rocky Comment Link

        thank you so much for ur response now i followed all instruction using VLC player as you’ve mentioned above but i dont know why its not showing as you given above images kindly give your e mail id so that i can sent u screenshot of that anaglyph format how i am getting…..

        Reply

        rocky

      • Sep 8, 2014 - 5:20 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

        Hi Rocky,

        to post images, you could start a topic in the forum.
        I know it’s not as “friendly” as just sending an email and I apologize for that, but I’d prefer to not share my email address too much and whatever solution we might find, could be very useful for others as well and that’s what the forum is for 

        Once tip when it comes to Anaglyp and VLC:
        Start by using the exact same version number I’ve used in this article. I’ve noticed for example with the Mac version, that one version earlier this functionality was not even available.

        Reply

        hans

        • Sep 16, 2014 - 3:48 PM - rocky Comment Link

          hi bro thank you once again :)

           I’ve downloaded exact version of vlc as you’ve mentioned above and i am facing same issue :( 

          Reply

          rocky

        • Sep 17, 2014 - 7:05 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

          That’s very strange … if you’d like you can start a topic in the forum and post screenshots?

          Reply

          hans

    • Oct 25, 2014 - 12:02 AM - mike_my Comment Link
    • Apr 24, 2015 - 1:09 AM - noname Comment Link

      Use 3D Red-Blue glasses, not red and cyan. :)

      Reply

      noname

      • Dec 9, 2015 - 12:40 AM - ben Comment Link

        u can adjust in hue….to get proper 3d..

        Reply

        ben

  • Jul 29, 2014 - 3:18 AM - Bal Comment Link

    Hey,

    when i select the option and plays video i get blank screen… :(

    please help

    Reply

    Bal

    • Jul 29, 2014 - 8:41 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Bal,

      Which option? Can you be more specific?
      If it’s the “Anaglyph 3D” option, then please see if
      – The video plays without this option (if not: Possible codec issue)
      – You have the most recent version of VLC (possibly reinstall it)

      Reply

      hans

  • Oct 25, 2014 - 12:56 AM - Kida Comment Link

    I don’t know if you know how hard it was to search for a software option to convert a dual image feed into old fashioned 3d but it’s maddening. I spent forever searching because I know two images can be converted this way. I’ve seen it work in games, but virtually EVERY LINK google provides is regarding 3d TELEVISION SETS. Maybe they don’t want people to know it’s really easy to watch modern 3d movies without an expensive and largely useless 3d tv.

    Reply

    Kida

    • Oct 25, 2014 - 3:05 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      I haven’t tried converting, but with the proper words Google should be able to provide some good links …

      From Anaglyph to SideBySide: Google (Some seemingly good links: 3DTVat [slow], Longer guide, Discussion).
      To me it seems that converting Anaglyph to SBS will have it’s issues because of the way the glasses work, which might reduce the usable colors.

      Or from SideBySide to Anaglyph: Google (Some seemingly good links: Using AviSynth, Using Microsoft Expression Encoder 4).
      This direction of conversion should be very doable, but might be time consuming.

      Hope this helps getting you started … 

      Reply

      hans

  • Dec 31, 2014 - 4:08 AM - franklin Comment Link

    Can you please specify why should movie in SBS format. 

    Reply

    franklin

  • Jun 13, 2015 - 10:29 AM - niran Comment Link

    I have tried with sbs movie in anaglyph mode. But audio is ok but video is blank. please help me out.

    Reply

    niran

    • Jun 14, 2015 - 5:19 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Niran,

      how are you watching the movie? On TV, laptop, or computer screen?
      Do you have more than one screen?
      Does a regular movie play just fine?
      Which VLC version? Mac, Windows or Linux?

      Sorry about all these questions, but I would need a little bit more info.

      Reply

      hans

      • Jun 14, 2015 - 5:45 AM - niran Comment Link

        hi 

        Thank you for your reply.

        I have tried in my laptop (Hp G62 i3 4gb ram ). I have watched your demo movie clip it plays fine and works as u said. But i have download one movie with sbs and tried to play it. Unfortunately it does not play. Sound plays smoothly in  movie but video comes blank.

        vlc version 2.2 on windows 8

        Reply

        niran

      • Jun 15, 2015 - 2:32 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

        Hi Niran,…

        I wish I could test the movie you’re referring to myself, just to actually see what’s going on,… it’s very difficult to troubleshoot without actually seeing what is going wrong.

        A few things I’d check:

        – Test another 3D SBS movie or clip (not just the clip you downloaded from here)
        – Try an older VLC version (or newer if it exists)

        It’s really hard to even begin guessing what the issue might be.

        Reply

        hans

  • Jul 11, 2015 - 12:33 PM - SAHIL HAIDER Comment Link

    HEY ADMIN

    IT WORKED FOR ME.

    JUST PLZ TELL ME 20th_century_fox_3d_demo.mp4. THIS VIDEO YOU HAVE CONVERTED USING WHICH 3D CONVERTER AND BY HOW MUCH DEPTH!

    Reply

    SAHIL HAIDER

    • Jul 12, 2015 - 3:18 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Sahil,

      I did not use a 3D Converter – I found the file in this SBS format online.
      You’d have to try Google and see what apps are available.

      My understanding is that none of the 2D to 3D converters will do a “great” job though.

      Reply

      hans

  • Jul 13, 2015 - 4:34 AM - SAHIL HAIDER Comment Link

    PLZ TELL ME THE SITE WHERE YOU GOT THIS SBS VIDEO

    AND WHERE TO DOWNLOAD 3D SBS MOVIES

    Reply

    SAHIL HAIDER

    • Jul 13, 2015 - 6:18 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Sahil,

      please do not write in all Caps … it’s considered screaming  (and I assume that’s not your intend)

      Demo 3D movies can be found at Demo-World.eu … as for full length movies you’d need to use Google, Torrents and/or Usenet sources. For example at Yifi.

      Reply

      hans

  • Jul 13, 2015 - 6:22 AM - SAHIL HAIDER Comment Link

    sorry , i do not know that.

    and thanks for your help

    Reply

    SAHIL HAIDER

  • Nov 3, 2015 - 12:52 AM - sandeepbaliga Comment Link

    Hi Guys , 

    Can any one help me how to watch SBS (Side-by-Side) 3D Movies in Apple ipad vlc Player , Can’t find Anaglyph setting in VLC player that i installed in pad . 

    Please don’t tell me use 3rd Party converter use when file is 12 GB in size .

    Have a wonderful day friends 

    Sandeep 

    Reply

    sandeepbaliga

    • Nov 3, 2015 - 3:07 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      As far as I know, VLC for iOS does not support anaglyph conversion on the fly.

      One option would be using a Google Cardboard – it’s a cardboard “viewer” that you place on your iPhone, not sure if there are iPad sized models though. There are plenty “clones” and they are cheap.

      I have read somewhere that CineXPlayer is supposed to be able to handle 3D, but I have not tested this.

      I did find another application, called 3DTube, which claims to play YouTube and your own videos that way. Again, untested.

      Reply

      hans

      • Nov 3, 2015 - 5:12 AM - sandeepbaliga Comment Link

        Hi Hans 

        Thanks again !

        Do check this out application which i felt just brilliant ! Eassee 3D   which  i am using it in my Ipad and Iphone both for last few months  !

        1. By default it will convert any saved video into 3D with its own inbuilt player to show the result and also by default search 3d videos in youtube with inside application .
        2. Your clip will automatically be recognized. If it is a 3D side by side mp4 clip it will be displayed in 3D.
        3. If it is a 2D clip it will be converted to virtual 3D. 
        4. At the bottom display view, left side you find the NEW 2D/3D switch for changing the mode 2D/3D – 3D.
        5. The four arrows at the right side let extend your enjoyment to full screen.
        6. With the upper left symbol you return to the main screen.
        7. Online clips
        8. In the second section, named YouTube, you can excess directly to YouTube while being connected to internet and enjoy 3D clips. The pre-setting in the search line is “yt3d”.
        9. Type in your favorite search string like “2 California” and you find plenty of content. With the 2D/3D function you can convert the selected clip automatically in virtual 3D.

         Eassee 3D® perhaps the best application i found so far after  installing and  uninstalling  8 applications 

        you can read more here :  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/eassee-3d/id565449374?mt=8

        have good day 

        Sandy 

        @sandeepbaliga 

        Reply

        sandeepbaliga

      • Nov 4, 2015 - 2:52 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

        Thank you Sandeepbaliga for posting you findings!
        It is very much appreciated.

        I’m sure others will enjoy this info! Well done and great find! 

        Reply

        hans

  • Dec 10, 2015 - 3:35 AM - jignesh b agravat Comment Link

    i know everything abt it..but i also tride and all was good but while playing a 3d mod vlc his hang like not work smoothly

    plplz tell me wht to doo

    Reply

    jignesh b agravat

    • Dec 10, 2015 - 8:30 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Jignesh!

      I’m not sure what you mean? My sincere apologies …. Could you please elaborate?
      Is your VLC not running smoothly when playing a 3D movie like described above?

      Reply

      hans

  • Dec 30, 2015 - 1:22 PM - Travelinrob Comment Link

    Is there a way to use the movie theater polarized lense glasses (of which we have a handful) instead of the blue/red using vlc?

    Reply

    Travelinrob

    • Dec 31, 2015 - 9:00 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Travelinrob,

      Unfortunately, no … 

      As far as I know, your screen needs to be fitted with polarized “filters” as well, which a normal screen has not. These are the passive glasses.

      On the other hand, I can imagine that active glasses might work, since it very rapidly “closes” each lens of the glasses one at a time. So it might be that toggling the screen might work as well for those glasses. This comes with other problems though; the glasses need to be timed perfectly with the screen and again, your regular screen will not support this. As far as I recall, some nVidia video cards might support this, but then again, I am not fully aware of the technical requirements of your screen.

      Long story short: VLC and a regular screen will only be able to work with the blue/red glasses … 

      Reply

      hans

  • Apr 25, 2016 - 1:30 AM - Vandana Comment Link

    Hey, VLC is not playing the SBS video smoothly after selecting the anaglyph mode.

    Reply

    Vandana

    • Apr 25, 2016 - 4:32 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hello Vandana,

      First question is of course: which Operating System are you running, and which VLC version did you try?
      I can imagine that low-powered computers might not be able to keep up with converting video realtime.

      Reply

      hans

      • Apr 25, 2016 - 8:22 AM - Vandana Comment Link

        Running Windows 8.1 and VLC media player version is 2.2.1 Terry Pratchett(Weatherwax)

        Reply

        Vandana

      • Apr 25, 2016 - 8:54 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

        The only reasons I can come up with why VLC would not play SBS smoothly as anaglyph is that your computer can’t keep up.
        This can be because it’s not a really fast computer (ie. running on a Celeron, Atom, or cheap AMD CPU).
        It can also be that it’s a full 1080p (x2) SBS file, which takes even more calculating power.
        Or the video is in a poor format like WMV? Or an intense format like x265?
        Maybe your computer is set to power safe mode (ie.CPU running at a low speed)?
        I did find some trick here to improve VLC performance for Windows.

        As you can see; there can be many reasons why playback isn’t smooth.
        Does the file, without using anaglyph, playback OK?

        Can you test this on another computer?

        Reply

        hans

        • Apr 25, 2016 - 12:36 PM - Vandana Comment Link

          Yeah it’s not just VLC,video is lagging in other players as well. I guess I’ll always have to pay to watch 3D movies.

          Reply

          Vandana

          • Apr 25, 2016 - 5:35 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

            Bummer – this suggest your PC cannot keep up.
            Not sure if it will help, but you could try and see what happens when you bring the resolution of your screen down to a lower setting.

            hans

        • Apr 25, 2016 - 12:41 PM - Vandana Comment Link

          Anyways thanks for your time.

          Reply

          Vandana

          • Apr 25, 2016 - 5:40 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

            You’re welcome! 

            Would be nice to get it to work anyway … do you know some of the specifications of your computer (processor, memory, video) or maybe the model?

            hans

          • Apr 26, 2016 - 3:30 AM - Vandana Comment Link

            Processor: Intel Core i3-2328M CPU @2.20GHz RAM: 2.00 GBSystem type: 64 bit operating system, x64 based processorDisplay adapters: Intel HD Graphics 3000

            Vandana

          • Apr 26, 2016 - 7:52 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

            Hmm, I did some reading up on video performance with such a configuration.
            It should be able to play video properly, which makes me thing that 2Gb of memory might be the bottle neck, or maybe the harddisk is too slow.

            If your PC has USB 3.0 (often a blue USB connector on your computer, de black USB connectors are typically USB 1.1 or 2.0), then you could try with a USB 3.0 USB Stick and see if that works better.

            Another thing to look for is to close pretty much any application that is running – especially those sitting in the Systray (the little icons, in the lower right corner of your screen, next to the clock).

            One thing that comes to mind as well; if the video is using h265 as a video codec – then your computer simply cannot keep up.
            If it’s h264, then it might.
            To identify the codec, open the video with VLC, click in the menu bar: “Window” -> “Media Information”. In the window that opens click “Codec Details”, which will list a number of “Streams”, open one at a time, the one that says “Type:  Video” should show something behing “codec”. For example “H264 – MPEG-4 AVC (part 10) (avc1)” … 

            If it says “H265” or “X265” then you now that your computer will not pull this off. If so, then converting it to another format might fix this issue.

            If is says “DiVX”, “XVID”, “H264” then your computer might having a bottle neck somewhere, slowing it down.

            hans

          • Apr 26, 2016 - 11:12 AM - Vandana Comment Link

            hey, it’s playing smoothly now.  I don’t know how. codec say H264 only.  I think the problem is with the hard disk. Anyways, Thanks a lot. you helped me through it. 

            Vandana

          • Apr 26, 2016 - 1:58 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

            Awesome – glad to hear that! 

            (I assume you tried using a USB drive?)

            hans

          • Apr 26, 2016 - 11:51 PM - Vandana Comment Link

            nope, changed the battery setting of my laptop from power saver to energy star qualified. just that nothing else. 

            Vandana

          • Apr 27, 2016 - 4:21 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

            Haha, well that was a simple fix!

            Thanks for posting the solution – enjoy your movies 

            hans

  • Aug 22, 2016 - 1:28 AM - 1212313132 Comment Link

    need to convert anaglyph to side-by-side, not vise versa!

    Reply

    1212313132

    • Aug 22, 2016 - 4:01 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      I don’t think there is a way to convert anaglyph back to Side-by-Side.
      Unlike most 3D formats, anaglyph only has one frame per frame available.
      ie. Side-by-side has two frames in one …
      So for anaglyph this would mean that some very smart software would be able to undo the merging of the 2 frames, which seems nearly impossible to me.

      Reply

      hans

    • Aug 22, 2016 - 4:16 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      I did a little searching with Mr. Google and found a few related websites that might help.
      Note that if even possible, since anaglyph is missing some information, the result will probably not be good. Then again; I have never tried this and for all I know I’ll be learning something new 

      Dump those silly colored 3D glasses
      DVDInfo forum post
      3DTV – DeAnaglyph

      Maybe DVDFab (commercial) can be helpful as well: Convert Anaglyph to 2D and then 2D to 3D (I haven’t tried this).

      Hope this helps …
      Please let us know if any of these work, so other can benefit from it as well, or we can maybe even dedicate an article to it.

      Reply

      hans

  • Jun 6, 2017 - 1:36 PM - Mike Jones Comment Link

    Will red and cyan glasses work?

    Reply

    Mike Jones

    • Jun 7, 2017 - 8:57 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Mike,

      if you’re using a non-3D TV, then that would be the only way to get it to work.
      I’m not sure if that is what you’re asking though. 

      Reply

      hans

  • Jul 8, 2017 - 12:30 PM - anirban ghosh Comment Link

    hi,

    i am running vlc on ubuntu and i tried your advice on turning on the 3d anaglyph but it still shows two videos side by side and not one video. kindly help.

    thanks

    Reply

    anirban ghosh

    • Jul 8, 2017 - 1:31 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Anirban,

      I’m not sure which steps you did or did not execute, or could not execute.
      You also did not mention the VLV version you’re using …
      Did you get the latest version of VLC?
      Per the VLC Wiki this should work on any VLC v2.1.x and newer (source).
      You could try getting the latest version from the VideoLAN.org download page

      Reply

      hans



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