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3D Puzzles are a big hit among toy and puzzle shops across the world. You may have been tempted to try them once or twice before, but never taken the plunge. You might also be an already established fan of the puzzle design and simply wondering what your next puzzling adventure should be.
Either way, we look forward to helping you choose between ten of the best 3D Puzzle options out there today.
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3D Puzzles FAQ
If you are looking to get into 3D puzzles, you probably have a few questions to help figure out if making the switch is right for you (or your loved one). Below, we will answer some of the most common questions associated with 3D Puzzles.
1. What Are 3D Puzzles?
3D Puzzles are a fun alternative to customary puzzle flat puzzle designs. Instead of lying flat and taking up the entire table, a 3D puzzle creates a statue instead of a picture, meaning they need less table space and a more impressive result transpires.
2. What Age Level Is The Best Suited For 3D Puzzle?
As with traditional puzzles, the age ranges vary based on the difficulty of the puzzle. There are some simple designs that are perfect for preschoolers and some which have been known to take an adult several months to complete. Regardless of your puzzling skill ability, there is sure to be a great option on the market to suit you.
3. How Do 3D Puzzle Pieces Lock Together
Again, this is something that will vary. Some stick together using magnets and others will instruct you to use double-sided tape or glue to prevent catastrophe. Of course, if you like to live on the wild side, you can always go without glue and see how steady your hand can be.
With the most pressing questions out of the way, we will move forward to some comparisons we have made between some of the best 3D Puzzles on the market.
How We Reviewed
To choose the best 3D puzzle in this comparison, we reviewed the top ten based on a series of factors. These included price, difficulty, overall design, and customer satisfaction. To determine customer satisfaction, we looked into online reviews for clues about issues or praises concerning each design.
Overall Price Range
3D Puzzles can range from the lower end of $10 all the way up to several hundred each. These are typically limited editions or those that have a lot of detailed pieces. Because we wanted to offer comparable puzzles at an affordable price, we kept the puzzles reviewed here between $20 and $50.
What We Reviewed
61-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle 3D Pokemon Pikachu & Monster Ball
This cute 3D Puzzle features every Pokemon fan’s beloved Pikachu riding a rolling monster ball. It is made of see-through “crystal” plastic pieces and has stickers included for Pikachu’s face.
Suitable for children, this puzzle has overwhelmingly positive reviews with only a little bit of concern about little hands having difficulty holding the pieces together themselves. Fortunately, the pieces do feature a locking system to help relieve this issue.
3D Wooden Puzzle DIY Ferris Wheel Puzzle 3D Jigsaw Model
This adorable pick from our top 10 3D Puzzles features wooden pieces in 4 different color schemes. Reviews seem to imply that children 10 and over will have the best time putting this one together because the number of pieces might be overwhelming to younger kids.
When finished, the Ferris wheel is functional and will roll on its base.
Ravensburger Empire State Building
What’s better than 3D puzzles? 3D Puzzles with lights! This offering from Ravensburger is great for older kids and lights up when finished, creating an exact replica of the Empire State building at night. Lock-together technology ensures pieces stay put.
There is one concern with this model, however: pieces do seem to be brittle and thin in some parts.
Wrebbit 3D - Game Of Thrones Winterfell 3D Jigsaw Puzzle
This complex 3D puzzle is geared for ages 14 and up. It has 910 pieces total and, when complete, will look like the Winterfell Castle from the hit TV Show.
Wrebbit is known for making complex 3D puzzles for older teens and kids and this one is no different. Be ready for a challenge!
Wrebbit 3D Diagon Alley 3D Jigsaw Puzzle
With only 450 pieces, this is an easier option among the Wrebbit 3D puzzles listed but still marketed for ages 14 and up. It’s a good choice, in our opinion, for someone just getting into 3D puzzles. While challenging, it includes clear instructions and produces a beautiful result.
Reviews for this option are mostly positive with a few complaints about missing pieces (which could very well also be attributed to user error).
Wrebbit 3D Hogwarts Express 3D Jigsaw Puzzle
The Hogwarts Express is another of Wrebbit’s Harry Potter 3D Puzzles line. This one has 460 pieces and is also marketed to older kids, but with a few more consumer complaints involved. It seems this one is far more difficult to piece together and some of the pieces have arrived misshapen from the manufacturer.
Wrebbit 3D King Arthur's Camelot 3D Puzzle
If you’re looking for a challenge that produces a beautiful result, this might be the choice for you. With a little over 850 pieces, this puzzle produces a detailed replica of King Arthur’s castle that measures in at about 17″ tall. Reviews are glowing, so this seems to have been a fun choice for other puzzlers.
There is an instruction book included to help if you get stuck, so don’t be afraid to take the leap!
Ravensburger Eiffel Tower - Night Edition
If you fall between the ages of 12 and 99, this puzzle is marketed to you! Using Ravensburger’s patented EasyClick technology, these pieces hold together without glue and come back apart for rebuilding at another time if so desired.
The finished product is a beautiful replica of the Eiffel Tower at night, complete with LED lights.
Ravensburger Children's World Globe 180 Piece 3D Jigsaw Puzzle
If you’re shopping for a younger puzzler, this one is geared to kids ages 7-12. 180 pieces snap together to form a globe with a stand. Once finished, it will actually be a functional globe able to spin on the stand’s spindle. An educational toy becoming another educational toy is about as fun and efficient as you can get!
Wrebbit 3D - harry Potter the Burrow Weasly Family Home 3D Jigsaw Puzzle
This 415 piece Harry Potter offering from Wrebbit doesn’t measure up to the glowing reviews of its counterparts. While it still seems to be a worthwhile option that produces a beautiful result, there were a number of reviews complaining that the pieces snapped together too snuggly, then broke when they needed to be taken apart to correct building issues.
Like the other Wrebbit puzzles on the list, this one produces a large-scale result, so make sure you have plenty of room to work with when you get started.
The Wrebbit 3D King Arthur’s Camelot 3D Puzzle is our top choice for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it produces a beautiful, detailed result that is actually a gorgeous miniature of Camelot. This makes a beautiful decorative piece for any lover of literature.
While it is one of the more expensive puzzles on our top 10 list, it is relatively inexpensive in terms of 3D puzzles on a wider scale. It has an appropriate number of pieces to produce an adequate challenge but also includes instructions to assist if you get stuck in a complicated place.
Finally, user reviews absolutely glowed. Nearly everyone we could find who had tried this puzzle loved every minute of putting it together and loved to show off the finished product. Ending satisfaction is an absolutely vital part of puzzling and the part of the hobby that will keep you looking again and again for your next challenge.
3D Puzzles are a big hit among toy and puzzle shops across the world. You may have been tempted to try them once or twice before, but never taken the plunge. You might also be an already established fan of the puzzle design and simply wondering what your next puzzling adventure should be.
Either way, we look forward to helping you choose between ten of the best 3D Puzzle options out there today.
Featured Image via Pixabay
There are numerous 3D Blu-Ray player brands with their own different products available. In this article you will be able to discover more about 3D Blu-Ray technology and its requirements, features, benefits and drawbacks.
LG Electronics UP970 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray Player
OPPO BDP-103 Universal Disc Player
Sony UBP-X800 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Panasonic DMP-BDT210 Integrated-Wi-Fi 3D Blu-ray
Samsung Electronics UBD-K8500 3Dy
What Is a 3D Blu-Ray Player?
A 3D Blu-Ray player is a device which is used to play 3D Blu-Ray discs. These discs contain encoded image information at a resolution of either 720p or 1080p, and at 24 frames per second which is a method known as frame packing: when two frames are stacked one on top of the other.
When you put a 3D Blu-Ray disc into a 3D Blu-Ray player, the laser component reads the 3D signal and transmits the video information through the remainder of the connection chain. This chain must include a TV or video projector with 3D capabilities.
The TV or video projector then takes the 3D signal and decodes it, which results in the two stacked frames being displayed simultaneously but overlapping.
One of these frames is for the left eye to see and another for the right eye, and when special 3D glasses are worn you are able to see both images merged into a singular 3D image.
To use a 3D Blu-Ray player successfully, you must utilize a HDMI connection of at least ver 1.4 or above in order to transmit a 3D signal.
What Is the History of 3D Blu-Ray Players?
On 17 December 2009, the Blu-Ray Disc Association made an official announcement of required 3D specifications for Blu-Ray discs, which permitted backward compatibility for the current 2D Blu-Ray players which were already on the market.
Sony was one of the first companies to adopt this new technology; allowing 3D compatibility to the Sony PlayStation 3 console on 21 April 2010, and then on the 21 September 2010 it added 3D support for Blu-Ray through a firmware upgrade.
How Do I Use a 3D Blu-Ray Player?
In order to use a 3D Blu-Ray player, you firstly need to ensure that it is connected correctly to your 3D enabled TV or video projector.
Then you need to insert the disc into the player and start playing it, before putting your 3D glasses on, sitting back and enjoying your movie in 3D!
What Accessories Do I Need to Use in Conjunction with a 3D Blu-Ray Player?
To use a 3D Blu-Ray player you will need to have a 3D enabled TV or video projector, a 3D Blu-Ray disc to play, and suitable 3D glasses.
The 3D glasses may be either Passive Polarized or Active Shutter, depending on which model of 3D capable TV you are using. If you are using a video projector then you will need the Active Shutter glasses.
The type of 3D Blu-Ray player or disc has no effect on the kind of 3D glasses that you will require.
How Much Does a 3D Blu-Ray Player Cost?
3D Blu-Ray players range in price quite considerably. At the lower end of the scale, a product will set you back between $100 and $300, and at the upper end you will be looking to pay between $700 and $1000 for a product with more features and better specifications.
What are the Features and Benefits of a 3D Blu-Ray Player?
When using a 3D Blu-Ray player, in conjunction with 3D glasses, a 3D disc and a 3D TV or video projector, you are able to watch all of your favorite films in three dimensional quality.
A 3D Blu-Ray player will also play DVDs, CDs and regular Blu-Ray discs, making it a versatile and multi purpose piece of equipment for your home entertainment setup. It is also possible to connect a 3D Blu-Ray player to a streaming service such as Netflix or Hulu.
Most models of 3D Blu-Ray players come with added features such as USB and SD card compatibility which allows you to view content from external media, although this will not be possible in 3D quality unless your media is already saved in this format.
Another useful feature is multiple disc capacity; this means you are able to watch another disc without having to get up and swap discs in your player. 3D Blu-Ray players can hold up to five different discs, and many models feature a hard drive for extra storage space.
The Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) allows you to access content and media that is stored on other devices in your home. This makes it easy to share photos, videos and music between TVs, computers and smartphones in your home, using a home network.
A Wi-Fi capable 3D Blu-Ray player means your device can connect easily to the internet without the need for an ethernet cable or an additional wifi adaptor which will require the use of a USB port. This allows you the ability to download or stream movies online.
Many 3D Blu-Ray players are capable of adjusting the image output; it may be possible to switch between 4:3 and 16:9 screen aspect ratios, and also to adjust the zoom level, blackness level, and the angle from which you view the scene if this is possible with the disc you choose.
4K upscaling is a feature which allows media in lower resolutions such as 720p or 1080p to be viewed in 4K definition. While this is not quite as effective as viewing a disc that is already in 4K definition, upscaling is a useful feature for improving your viewing experience.
The final feature that may come with your 3D Blu-Ray player is surround sound capability, either multichannel or Digital Theatre Systems format. However it should be noted that to enjoy surround sound to the best extent, you will need to source and purchase a number of external speakers to do this.
What Are the Drawbacks of a 3D Blu-Ray Player?
The main drawback of 3D Blu-Ray players is that TVs with 3D capabilities are becoming few and far between.
3D capability is a feature that isn’t being regularly included on many new TV models, and unfortunately it is a requirement in order to be able to play 3D Blu-Ray discs successfully.
You must ensure that your firmware is updated regularly in order for the player to continue to work correctly and effectively, otherwise you may encounter problems.
It should also be noted that a 3D Blu-Ray player with a ‘Wi-Fi Ready’ label will not connect automatically; it will require an adaptor which you will have to purchase separately.
What Are the Top 5 3D Blu-Ray Player Brands?
With so many different 3D Blu-Ray player brands to choose from, and each with their own unique models available, it can be hard to know the best one to go for when buying a new product for yourself.
Here is some information on a few of the best 3D Blu-Ray player brands with products currently on the market.
LG Electronics UP970 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray Player
LG is a major brand for consumer electronics, and it sells a wide variety of home entertainment products. This brand sells a full range of video player products at a wide selection of price points, so you have a great selection of 3D Blu-Ray players to choose from.
The models by LG feature smart TV capabilities, wireless connectivity, and numerous other innovations to improve your home entertainment experience.
The LG UP970 has topped a 2018 Best Blu-Ray Player list, thanks to its quality level of performance, its ability to read almost all formats of disc, and the effective amount of contrast in the display as a result of the HDR feature.
Some of our recommendations from this brand include:
OPPO BDP-103 Universal Disc Player
Oppo is a smaller technology company, although since launching in China in 2004 its products are now sold throughout the world and are highly ranked by consumers.
Oppo’s 3D Blu-Ray players feature advanced video processing technology as well as 4K upscaling, and all models are universal, meaning they can support all kinds of discs including SACDs and DVD audio music discs.
3D Blu-Ray players by Oppo are Roku-ready, which means they are able to accept a Roku Streaming Stick which can be plugged into the MHL enabled HDMI output.
The first universal disc player with Blu-Ray capability was the BDP-83. The BDP-93, which was released in 2010, featured 3D capability and dual signal HDMI output.
After these came the BDP-95 model, which had identical video performance and function along with improved audio output capabilities.
The following BDP-103 and BDP-105 players came out at the end of 2012, and had dual HDMI signal input as well as dual HDMI signal output. The BDP-103D, released in October 2013 was the first Blu-Ray player to feature Darbee Visual Presence technology.
The end of 2016 saw the introduction of the 203, the first Oppo 4K/UHD Blu-Ray player which is backwards compatible like previous Oppo models. The most recent 3D Blu-Ray player release is the 205, which includes added audiophile features.
Some of our recommendations from this brand include:
Sony UBP-X800 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony is one of the largest global consumer electronics manufacturers, and produces a variety of home entertainment products including 3D Blu-Ray players.
Many of Sony’s models feature full 1080P HD, high resolution audio capabilities, music streaming and multi room listening via Bluetooth, built in Wi-Fi capability, and 4K upscaling models which are compatible with Sony’s UHD TVs.
Some of our recommendations from this brand include:
Panasonic DMP-BDT210 Integrated-Wi-Fi 3D Blu-ray
Another of the big guns in regards to the production and sale of consumer electronic devices, Panasonic is known for producing a smaller selection of Blu-Ray products including 3D Blu-Ray players which are widely available and come at a range of different price points from $120 to $700, depending on the features that you require.
Panasonic 3D Blu-Ray players have numerous desirable features, including unique processing technology and smart network functions for different 4K media, along with 4K upscaling and 4K photo playback capabilities.
Some of our recommendations from this brand include:
Samsung Electronics UBD-K8500 3D Wi-Fi 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
The final one of the major consumer electronics brands that we recommend for 3D Blu-Ray players is Samsung.
This brand is known as an innovative company when it comes to many different categories of product; it was one of the very first brands to feature a Blu-Ray player in a home theatre in a box system.
Samsung was also one of the first companies to offer a Blu-Ray player with 3D capabilities that included 4K upscaling in order to work with UHD TVs.
Many Samsung 3D Blu-Ray player models feature 4K upscaling or 4K UHD capabilities, HDR, smart Blu-Ray, built in Wi-Fi capabilities, 360 degree content playback, video upscaling and multi room compatibility. The different products are sold at a range of price points.
Some of our recommendations from this brand include:
With a range of features and benefits, a 3D Blu-Ray player gives you the opportunity to watch you favorite movies in the most exciting way.
Provided that you have compatible accessories and your chosen product has the correct specifications for your needs, selecting a model from one of the top 5 3D Blu-Ray player brands will ensure a worthy investment for your home entertainment system.
Featured Image via Flickr
Video gaming is a major part of the entertainment industry and adult adventure games are one of the ranges available. Combining video gaming with pornography may seem a strange combination, but these types of game have been developed for some years now.
The Lula series of video games was developed in Germany by Cdv software for Microsoft Windows. The first game was called Lula: The Sexy Empire and was followed by Lula Inside. The third game in the series pushed the boundaries and was titled Wet Attack: The Empire Cums Back.
In 2005, Cdv Software released the fourth installment, called Lula 3D, and marketed the game as having, “Bouncin’ Boobs Technology.”
Lula is a pornographic actress and producer who is planning to make her next adult movie. In this installment of the Lula series, we find her as a middle-aged woman living in a Playboy-style house. The house is full of naked or scantily clad people and there’s plenty of sex going on in many of the rooms.
Production of Lula’s next movie is delayed when she discovers that her female co-stars, who are triplets, have been kidnapped. Lula must rescue her co-stars before the movie can be produced - and so the adventure begins.
Following the abduction of the triplets from Lula’s Beverly Hills mansion, she finds a book of matches from a San Francisco club. Lula puts two and two together and realizes the matches must belong to one of the kidnappers. Lula decides to take matters into her own hands with the help of her sidekick, Dusty the dog.
Lula grabs the keys to her ‘57 Chevy and begins her mission to rescue the missing girls. Lula must visit Las Vegas, New Orleans and San Francisco to rescue her co-stars. The player must guide Lula, using the mouse and keyboard, in order to solve a series of puzzles to progress in the game.
Lula needs to speak to every character she meets in each level and the player must click on every object in the scene to progress. One of the strange things about the game is that every time Lula picks up an object, it ends up in her bra. As the game progresses it’s hard to take this seriously as there are so many items to collect.
Lula often has to perform sex acts to progress on her mission and the game player sometimes has to watch cut scenes from Lula’s movies. These movie clips are fairly poor, with a number of annoying glitches. Watching the scenes is compulsory to carry on; I feel that an opt-out option would have been a good idea here.
Graphics and Game play
Two of the most important points with a 3D video game are the graphics and the quality of the gameplay. We’ll have a closer look at the quality of the graphics and the slickness of gameplay.
Adding the third dimension (depth) to a video game that features people naked and having sex was always going to appeal to some gamers. The technology used to create 3D video games is complex and production costs are higher than when making 2D games. Video gamers want crystal clear images with no loss of definition and in some cases this just cannot be achieved.
The graphics in Lula 3D aren’t great and one of the main problems is that the porn stars all look the same. No effort was made by the game developers to create 3D characters with different appearances. The girls being animated also takes away from the eroticism and appeal.
The graphics used for the erotic scenes are prone to glitches and, at times, the scenes look like two bodies are just sliding around. There are times where a hand will go through a person's body which is totally unrealistic. There are also some flickers, due to the fact the highest setting is 60Hz.
Some of the background 3D graphics are very good and it seems that the developers concentrated more on this than on the characters. Many of the scenes are attractive but still not sharp or crisp enough to be lifelike. The 3D is not the best that’s out there but it does work well at certain points throughout the game.
Overall, considering the game takes up 2GB of space on a computer, the low quality of the 3D graphics is surprising.
Controlling Lula as she goes on her mission can be frustrating and tedious at times. When Lula has to pick up an object, the player has to instruct her to do so, even if there’s no other option. To discard an item, you’ll need to open up the inventory and go through the list to get rid of it.
There are a couple of mini-games within the main game, which require doing some target practice or shooting police and criminals. It’s difficult to see how these mini-games add to the story but they don’t take long to complete. Two or three attempts is all it takes to complete the mini-games before you can continue with the main game.
When controlling the game with a mouse and keyboard, Lula tends to move quite slowly, even in running mode. One niggle is that Lula comes to a sudden halt when she bumps into an object, small or large. She doesn't, however, stop when she bumps into Dusty and at times walks straight through him as if he doesn’t exist.
Gamers have said that it’s difficult to control Lula using the keyboard, which makes the game harder to play. Due to the fact that there’s a lot of movement, it’s easy to see why this puts gamers off.
Some of the puzzles in the game are ridiculously simple and are solved within a few seconds. Others have no logic to them whatsoever and are solved by walking around or bumping into things. It’s easy to understand why the puzzles are there but the game’s creators should have put more thought into them.
The sound is a big problem with this game and the voices of the characters could have been much better. Lula’s voice is easy to understand and she has an English accent which is pleasant. Other characters in the game have pauses when they’re speaking, which is frustrating.
Another problem with Lula 3D is fluidity of movement when trying to control Lula. A number of players have reported that when trying to turn and move at the same time the game has a tendency to crash. In some cases, the whole game will freeze; as load time is slow, this is super annoying.
The game was developed by a German company and some of the speech doesn’t match up with the subtitles on screen. This may just be a translation issue and it doesn’t affect the game. Dusty the dog sounds as though he’s in pain or unhappy as he is constantly whining and yelping, which is off-putting at times.
One odd thing with Lula 3D is that you’re given a strange option at the beginning of the game. The option is not to play the game at all and let the police handle the kidnapping so you can just sit back and watch. This defeats the object of buying the game in the first place and seems a strange option to offer a video gamer.
Is the Game Overly Explicit?
The game is about a pornographic actress and producer so there are some explicit scenes within the game. The game begins with Lula doing a striptease, and if she’s alone she’s prone to masturbation. When you’re playing the game, you’re actually following Lula from behind and therefore spend much of the time looking at her thong-clad bottom.
The game features a variety of sex scenes and it’s difficult to see why some of them need to be there. The game features straight, lesbian and bi-sexual sex, but strangely there are no gay scenes. There are twosomes and threesomes, with some bondage thrown in at certain points.
The game is not 100% pornographic, as the designers have shied away from showing erections and penetration. The sex scenes involving men and women show the man with a flaccid penis pressed against the women. None of the characters reach orgasm in the game, which is strange and unrealistic.
A couple of scenes within the game are censored and a black bar covers the explicit action. It’s difficult to understand why the game’s designers did this when the game is all about porn. It would have been much easier to leave those scenes out, to avoid having to worry about censorship.
Overall, this game cannot be described as hardcore porn, but it is very explicit in places. It’s definitely for adult eyes only, but animated men and women having cartoon sex is not exactly real or erotic. One critic even said that if people get aroused when playing the game, they should consider therapy.
What Did the Critics Say About Lula 3d?
Lula 3D was poorly received by gaming critics and most reviews were bad. Gaming critics slammed Lula 3D for its lowbrow humor which they felt was detrimental to the game. It’s useful to look at what some of the more respected gaming critics said about Lula 3D.
Eurogamer scored the game 2/10 and said that Lula 3D was childish rather than erotic and aimed at teenage boys instead of adults. Eurogamer were not impressed with the translation of the dialogue or sound design. They said that the graphics were mediocre and could have been much better with the technology that’s available.
PC Zone gave Lula 3D a terrible review, scoring it 31%; their main criticism being that the game is unrealistic. PC Zone commented that the developers were ignorant of how real-life sex works. The reviewer particularly slated the “Bouncin’ Boobs Technology,” saying it was not real or lifelike.
The online review site, bit-Gamer, describes Lula 3D as boobs in a box, with no intention of delivering an interesting gaming experience. The reviewer said the game has potential if the story and puzzles were made better. bit-Gamer described the keyboard and mouse controls as cumbersome and unreliable.
Adventure Gamers ranked Lula 3D as poor and said it is badly designed and poorly written. The critic commented that the gratuitous sex was over the top and pointless in many parts of the game. Adventure Gamers said that, overall, Lula 3D was an average adventure game but playing it is tedious, and the content could have been much better.
Rock Paper Shotgun
When Rock Paper Shotgun reviewed Lula 3D, they described the voice actors as struggling to read. The critic said that a lot of the sex was only there for decoration and was weird and empty. Rock Paper Shotgun said Lula 3D was a good example of how bad a sex-themed game could be.
If you’re looking to escape the real world for a while and want to solve some puzzles while looking at naked cartoon characters, you may enjoy this game. Playing it for short periods can be fun, as long as it’s not taken too seriously.
The writing, production, and camera work used to produce this game lack quality - and it shows. The plot is average but there’s no real story and the sex scenes are less-than-average and boring in places.
After looking at the game, it’s clear to see why there aren't more of these adult games on the market. With the click of a mouse anyone who wants to watch porn can do so, without having to load and play games. It’s unclear whether this type of video game will become more popular in the future, but after reviewing Lula 3D, it’s doubtful.
This nature documentary from 2009 is bound to impress. As the name suggests, Under the Sea 3D takes viewers on an adventure under the sea, highlighting the interesting and diverse life beneath the ocean. At the time of release, this movie was screened in IMAX 3D, which provided viewers with an incredible experience. This combination of IMAX and 3D gave the audience the feeling that they were floating around, under the surface among the sea life. This eye-opening and educational film was well received by critics.
While you are too late to catch Under the Sea 3D in the cinema, you can get hold of it on DVD and have a 3D experience in the comfort of your own home. This eye-opening documentary about the world beneath the surface of the sea really has something for everyone. Brought to you by a director with a wide collection of marine documentaries to their name, you know you are in safe hands with this film. Let’s take a closer look at the movie, its creators, how it was filmed and what we thought about this underwater adventure.
What is Under the Sea 3D?
Under the Sea 3D is a nature documentary with a running time of forty minutes. The documentary is aimed at children of elementary age, in order to target the widest possible audience. This informative and educational short film also has a deep-rooted message about climate change and protecting the ocean.
Filmed in the Southern hemisphere, Under the Sea 3D brings viewers face to face with a wide variety of incredible and mysterious sea creatures. The experience is enhanced by the film being released in theatres in IMAX 3D.
Under the Sea 3D was released on February 13th 2009 and grossed $45,939,06 domestically and $19,317,863 internationally. Not a bad earning, considering the movie’s short run time of only 40 minutes.
About the Movie
Released in 2009, Under the Sea 3D provides up-close encounters with some remarkable sea life. This film also aims to educate viewers about the direct impact global warming and climate change is having on the ocean and the life it supports. While this film’s original target audience was elementary-age children, it has captivated viewers of all ages.
The majority of Under the Sea 3D was filmed in the Southern hemisphere. Under the Sea 3D features footage shot in a variety of different locations including Indonesia, Hawaii, The Gulf of Mexico, New Guinea, and Australia as well as other Indo-Pacific regions. However, with so much footage taken, the 40-minute run time seems to be surprisingly short.
Under the Sea 3D was directed by Howard Hall who has two other major ocean documentaries under his belt: Deep Sea 3D which was released in 2006, and Into the Deep which was released in 1994. Howard Hall really was the driving force behind this production and had a great deal of involvement in every stage of the film.
Hall personally filmed over 350 hours of footage in 110 days at sea. Gathering all of the footage required specialized dive teams who took to the water around 1668 times. The dive teams involved in filming also had to use specialist dive equipment to extend the length of their dives. This was to ensure they captured all of the footage needed to provide such a vibrant and interesting final product.
Howard Hall Productions
Howard Hall has a history and passion for making marine documentaries. His own production company, which he founded with his wife, boasts a number of spectacular productions, as well as close work with the National Geographic Channel. They are best known for producing their IMAX films, including Under the Sea 3D. However, their highest grossing IMAX productions are: Into the Deep, which grossed over $70 million at the box office, and Deep Sea 3D, which earned over $96 million.
With seven Emmy awards between them, they are considered to be a power couple of marine documentaries. Take a closer look at their collection of work on the Howard Hall Productions website if you are interested in finding out more about the director and visionary behind Under the Sea 3D. Their website provides access to stock footage and photos they have captured, as well as information about future expeditions in the pipeline.
The website also gives you the chance to see how some of their footage was captured, which is highly informative if you have an interest in underwater photography. Even if you’re just interested in how films like Under the Sea 3D are made, you will find plenty of details. Looking through the list of films and documentaries they have under their belt, you may also find another film or two that you will be interested in watching.
Under the Sea 3D was received well by critics, with the Wall Street Journal stating the documentary is “one of the best of the genre” and “offers marvels in abundance”. It holds a comfortable 7.6 rating on IMDb, and an incredible 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, two of the most popular movie rating websites.
While Under the Sea 3D was well-received for the most part, there have been some critical opinions of the film. The short run time and the over-zealous warnings about the damage to the oceans have been among the most common critiques. However, it would be impossible to please everyone.
The film aims to deliver a clear warning message about global warming and the effects of climate change on the planet's oceans. While this message is clearly delivered, it could be argued that it is delivered rather harshly, and without any hope or suggested solutions. That said, those watching the film and those with an interest in sea life will most likely already be aware of the negative impacts of climate change on the oceans.
While the film does hammer home a strong message about the critical state of the coral reefs around the world and the direct impact that has on our sea life, it could be argued that it is necessary. The oceans are in a serious condition in some areas and a wake-up call is needed. What better way to send a message than through a documentary about the sea? Viewers can hardly be surprised or upset that Hall decided to highlight a few harsh truths.
Another criticism that could be highlighted about Under the Sea 3D is the surprisingly short run time. With such an abundance of sea life to show and so many hours of footage captured, it is surprising that the final cut lasts only forty minutes. That said though, with the movie’s target audience being young children, forty minutes is the perfect amount of time to keep that particular audience captivated.
What We Think of Under the Sea 3D
Under the Sea 3D is a visual delight for the eyes. This eye-opening documentary highlights, with great execution, the wonderful and diverse sea life below the surface. Filmed in a variety of different locations, the audience is exposed to a wonderful array of amazing sea creatures.
We think it's great that the director wanted to have the target audience as younger children, for a number of reasons. Firstly, a junior target audience opens up accessibility to a wider overall audience base. Examples could include: children of all ages, second language English speakers, or adults who may not have much knowledge of life under the sea. Such a target audience definitely guarantees an approachable and friendly delivery.
Another reason why we think it's great that this film is targeted at the younger generation also goes hand in hand with the film’s underlying message. Under the Sea 3D aims to draw attention to the harsh reality of global warming and climate change. The younger generation needs to be educated about this. It is, after all, the world they are inheriting.
Making younger generations aware of the damage that has been, and is still being, done to the planet and the oceans is vital to help make a difference. The next generation are the ones at the most risk of inheriting a damaged and unfixable planet. The harsh truth sent out by this film may also give wake up calls to the parents who have taken their children to watch the film.
While this age group may be too young to fully understand the meaning of the effects global warming is having on the planet, the teachers, parents or guardians who have taken their children to see the film are not. The message will be reaching all generations and for good reason. It’s the older generation that needs to begin to make changes in order to secure the younger generation’s future.
On the note of the target audience being young, we also want to highlight another great thing about Under the Sea 3D. While many nature documentaries tend to feature a great deal of the gore, hunting and killing that goes on in the animal world, Under the Sea 3D does not. The audience is spared from many, if any, killing sprees. While they are a part of nature, they are not always easy to watch and can be very upsetting for young children.
The quality of the footage is outstanding and, when viewed in 3D at an IMAX cinema, provides an incredibly immersive experience. The audience really feels like they are under the sea with the camera crew. This is also highly effective at building more of a connection between the audience and the sea life, helping to drive home the underlying warning messages.
While a cinema experience in IMAX 3D is the ultimate way to watch this film, it has been released on DVD in IMAX 3D as well. This allows the viewer the chance to have the same experience in the comfort of their own home. Of course, it will most likely not be as impressive as the cinema. If you do not have a blu-ray DVD player that supports 3D movies, the film is also available on DVD in 2D.
While watching it in 2D may not be as sensational, the imagery is still outstanding. Under the Sea 3D really captivates the viewers and draws them into a world of sea life that most of us will rarely, if ever, be exposed to in real life. If you are interested in nature or sea life, it is definitely worth a watch.
Overall, Under the Sea 3D is a must-see film. With such a young target audience it is suitable for a the whole family and provides entertainment from start to finish. Exposing the viewers to the weird and wonderful sea creatures that live in our ocean, Under the Sea 3D will leave you wanting more.
The short view time can be seen as a blessing and a curse. While it may be the perfect run time for a younger audience to maintain focus, the high quality footage and editing of Under the Sea 3D leaves you with the feeling that something is missing. Perhaps an extra 15 minutes would have made all the difference.
While this film is no longer showing in theatres, it is available to buy on DVD, in both 2D and IMAX 3D. If you have not seen this documentary yet, it is definitely worth watching, especially if you have a family with young children. The educational message and underlying warnings about global warming are stark and honest. But they are necessary, we think, to highlight the reality of the damage that is happening and has already happened to our sea life.
What are you waiting for? Get your scuba gear on and take the plunge. Under the Sea 3D won't disappoint; we challenge you to make it through this short film without being amazed by the myriad of sea life featured.
Featured image: Video screen capture, Warner Bros., via YouTube.
3D printing was first patented in the 1980s, the first machines were used for industrial purposes and they were very expensive. In recent years, desktop 3D printers have become readily available and they’re more affordable. Creating models, toys and prototypes in the home is now within reach of more people.
Desktop 3D printers are compact and portable unlike the cumbersome machines used for manufacturing.
How do 3D Desktop Printers Work?
Before printing an object, it needs to be designed using computer software and then that design is then sent to the 3D printer. The printer produces very thin layers which are printed one on top of the other. These layers stick together until the 3D object is complete.
The 3D printing process is called fused deposition modeling (FDM). The materials used to produce the print are heated and dispensed from special nozzles. As the layers are produced, the materials cool before setting to make the solid object.
Any molten material that can cool down and set can be used to make 3D prints. Plastics, steel, nylon, resins and polycarbonates are all used by 3D printers to produce various items.
There are some important components that make a 3D desktop printer and it’s useful to look at the components and what they do.
The build area determines the size of the object that is created by a 3D printer. Desktop models will not have a huge build area due to their compact size. The surface of the build area should be flat and this is called the print bed.
Some print beds are heated to prevent objects warping when the print is cooling down. When plastic or other materials cool there is some shrinkage which can cause warping. Some printers do not have a heated print bed and this limits the materials that can be used to print.
The hot end is a vital part of any 3D printer and it’s where the material is heated before it’s extruded. There are various types of hot end for extruding different materials at varying temperatures.
Peek Based Hot End
Peek based hot ends are able to extrude various thermoplastics up to a maximum temperature of 230°C. Peek based hot ends need to be well maintained to prevent them from clogging.
All Metal Hot End
All metal hot ends are needed for extruding nylon and polycarbonates which are heated to high temperatures. All metal hot ends extrude materials up to a maximum temperature of 320°C. All metal hot ends do not require any maintenance and rarely clog.
The filament is the plastic or other material that the 3D printer uses to create the finished product. Filaments come in 2 sizes and are 1.75mm or 3mm depending on the type of printer. The filament is on a spool which is loaded into the printer.
The extruder on a 3D printer is needed to feed the plastic or other material to the hot end. There will either be a direct extruder which is mounted on the hot end for finer control of the filament, or the other type of extruder is call a Bowden and this feeds the hot end from a distance for more accurate 3D prints.
Most 3D printers have one or more cooling fans which reduce the temperature of the print. Having a 3D printer with efficient cooling will produce better prints with a nicer finish.
A 3D printer contains many electrical components as well as the mechanical components used for printing. Printers have a power supply, electric motors, thermostats and a motherboard. The motherboard communicates with the computer and the software to create 3D prints.
Reasons to Use a 3D Desktop
There are a number of good reasons to buy and use a 3D desktop printer in your home. Learning to design and print items is rewarding, educational and fun. Making your own tools, toys and household items saves you money, time and it has environmental benefits.
Save Time And Money
If you are able to make your own tools or spare parts for a broken piece of machinery you’ll save money. After the initial outlay for the 3D printer, many things can be made for a fraction of the price you would have to pay for them. Making unique gifts for family and friends is another way to save your hard earned cash.
You’ll also save time by not having to visit stores or shop online for the things you need. Once you’ve submitted your design to the 3D printer you can sit back and wait for the finished product.
Learning to use a 3D printer and designing prints is a great way to learn new skills and it’s a particularly good way to educate children. Children love to create things and seeing something that they’ve designed come out of the printer is very rewarding. Using a 3D printer teaches children computer skills which is important in today's technological world.
3D printing at home has environmental benefits and you’ll be helping the planet. When goods have to be made in factory it contributes to air pollution, and the items have to be shipped. 3D printing produces less waste than manufacturing which is another environmental benefit.
Shipping items by land, sea and air uses fuel which is damaging to the environment. Making your own things in the home reduces the amount of goods that have to be transported.
How to Choose a 3D Desktop
When choosing a 3D desktop one of the most important things is the bed size of the printer. You’ll need to think about the things you want to print so that the machine can accommodate the finished product.
Layer thickness is another important thing to consider when choosing a 3D desktop. The majority of home printers produce layers starting from 20 microns to 500 microns. The thinner the layers are the better the finished print, but printing thinner layers takes longer.
Before buying a 3D desktop printer it’s useful to check what materials it uses to make prints. Many of the printers are able to use a variety of materials but some may only use plastic. If your printer only uses one material it will limit the type of things you’re able to produce.
Choose a printer that allows you to change the nozzle for different projects. If you want to produce accurate and highly detailed prints you’ll need to use a smaller nozzle. Nozzle sizes for the majority of desktop 3D printers range from 0.25mm to 0.8mm.
If you’re new to the world of 3D printing it’s better to buy a basic printer until you’ve learned how to design and print. Some 3D desktops are aimed at experienced printers and may be too complex for beginners. When you become more experienced you always have the option to upgrade your printer.
What Are The Top 5 3D Desktop Brands?
We’ve selected 5 manufacturers that produce desktop 3D printers that are suitable for home use.
MakerBot Industries is based in the United States with their headquarters in New York City.
MakerBot produce a range of 3D printers including the desktop models the Replicator+ and the Replicator Mini+. The Replicator + is an upgraded version of the original Replicator and new model has a larger build volume that its predecessor. It prints 30% faster than the old model and features a grip surface which prevents prints from warping.
A great feature on this printer is the built-in camera which allows you to monitor your prints from a mobile device.
The Replicator Mini+ is a compact desktop 3D printer making it a great choice for hobbyists. The printer is lightweight and portable whilst remaining robust and durable.
MakerBot printers can be controlled using the control panel, or remotely using the free MakerBot Print software. MakerBot 3D printers are compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems. Files can be sent to the Replicator Mini+ via Wi-Fi or USB and the Replicator+ has an ethernet port.
FormLabs is a technology manufacturer and developer based in massachusetts in the United States.
FormLabs manufacture industrial and desktop 3D printers and their Form 1 was released in 2012. The new Form 2 desktop printer is an upgraded version of the Form 1 and it’s a great choice for a home printer. FormLabs printers produce high quality prints with an excellent finish.
FormLabs printers use laser technology to cure the prints made from liquid photopolymer resin. The resin is contained in cartridges which are quick and easy to change when necessary.
The Form 2 features a touch screen display, a handy peeling mechanism and wireless controls. FormLabs printers are controlled by their PreForm software which can be downloaded for Windows or Mac. Files are sent to FormLabs printers via Wi-FI, USB or the ethernet connection.
Aleph Objects Incorporated
Aleph Objects Incorporated is a US company based in Loveland, Colorado.
Aleph Objects make a range of 3D printers and the Lulzbot Mini, Mini 2 and Taz 6 are compact desktop printers aimed at the enthusiast. In June 2018 Aleph Objects released the LulzBot Mini 2 which is an upgraded version of the original. LulzBot printers produce good quality prints with a clean finish.
LulzBot 3D printers support a variety of printing material making them more versatile than other printers that are available. Nylon, polycarbonate and t-glase, which is a transparent material, can all be used by LulzBot machines.
One of the downsides with LulzBot 3D printers is that they have to be tethered to a laptop or desktop computer whilst printing. The Cura software needed to control the printer is a free download compatible with Windows and Mac.
iMakr is a UK-based company with stores in London and New York.
iMakr make a number of desktop 3D printers including the FlashForge Finder, Creator Pro and the Dreamer. FlashForge printers are a good choice for newcomers to the world of 3D printing as they’re easy to use. The compact printers made by iMakr produce quality prints at an affordable price.
iMakr FlashForge printers can be loaded with a variety of materials to create prints apart from the Finder which only uses polylactic acid. The Dreamer and Creator Pro are capable of printing with metals which makes them a good choice for engineers.
iMakr FlashForge 3D printers are compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems and can be controlled with software including Flashprint and Cura. All of the desktop printers made by iMakr have a display screen and designs are sent via Wi-Fi or USB.
Ultimaker is a dutch company and they have offices and manufacturing facilities in the United States.
Ultimaker manufacture a number of 3D printers for industrial uses and for hobbyists. The Ultimaker 2+ is their desktop model and it’s a good choice for the more experienced designer and printer. Ultimaker 3D printers are not the cheapest but they’re very well made and produce high-quality prints.
Ultimaker 3D printers work with a range of materials including plastics and nylon, making them versatile. The nozzles are interchangeable to allow for different print qualities and varying print speed.
Ultimaker printers are controlled with Ultimakers own Cura software via a USB port and there’s an SD card slot. The printers are compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems.
The fascinating world of 3D printing awaits you and if you’re looking for a well made 3D desktop printer there’s a huge choice. The brands that we’ve looked at in this article are all a good choice when you plan to make a purchase. There are 3D printers suitable for beginners and experts alike, and there are machines to suit all budgets.
While it may not be able to compete with modern-day 3D technology, at the time of its release, 3D Dinosaur Adventure was unlike almost anything else on the market. With a variety of interactive games and information at the player’s fingertips, this game is exciting and informative at the same time. However, the whole game does not feature 3D graphics. The game includes a small number of features that require the use of 3D glasses and provide the player with an exciting 3D experience.
3D Dinosaur Adventure is an educational computer game for children all about dinosaurs, however, it has received mixed reviews. Some praise its educational and informative premise and highlight how beneficial it is for the younger generations. Others have criticized the graphics and somewhat primitive gaming experience it provides. We will take a closer look at the critics later in this article and let you form your own opinion of this classic computer game from the 90s. First, let's take a look at the game itself, the creators, and how the game works.
What is 3D Dinosaur Adventure?
3D Dinosaur Adventure was developed by Knowledge Adventure and released in 1993. Knowledge Adventure, an American based company, are creators of educational software, including titles like My First Encyclopedia.
Being an educational software company, it is no surprise that they released 3D Dinosaur Adventure. The game was released to be compatible with DOS, Macintosh and Windows 3.x and is built around a theme park setting. The aim of the game is to explore the theme park and the different areas which are contained within this setting.
Within the breakdown of the game, players can visit a virtual museum located at the theme park, as well as take part in a variety of quizzes and access an encyclopedia full of dinosaur-related information. While the game is classified as 3D, there are only certain parts of the game that feature 3D graphics.
The game itself comes with two sets of 3D glasses, and in certain parts of the game the players need to wear them in order to experience the full effects of the 3D graphics. The main parts of the game which include 3D graphics are short, informative clips of dinosaurs; these appear to jump out of the screen at the viewer. Players will also need to wear their 3D glasses when they visit the dinosaur museum, but this provides exciting 3D images of various dinosaurs.
It is clear that this game falls firmly in the educational category of games. Within the game there are plenty of opportunities for the user to learn and find out new and interesting facts about dinosaurs. 3D Dinosaur Adventure has also taken into account that a number of age ranges may be interested in this topic and has adapted how the information is delivered.
While older children will be interested in accessing the encyclopedia for information, within the game there are a number of storybooks that are targeted at younger children. Both the encyclopedia and the storybooks are read aloud, with the option to read along, making the game accessible for a variety of ages.
Arguably, one of the most attractive features of the game is the movie theatre in the theme park. Players have access to 30 live-action films in the theatre. The films cover a great number of topics and themes, all related to dinosaurs, of course. The films are different lengths and are both entertaining and humorous.
As previously mentioned, the game is set within a theme park. Obviously, this is a great choice as it is an exciting place for the game to take place, especially in the eyes of the target audience. The theme park setting also allows for the game to be logically set up, and easy for the player to navigate and find their way around.
There are three main areas within the theme park; each of these areas provides a variety of games and activities for the player to get stuck into. Each section of the theme park offers plenty of features, including interesting facts and information. Let's take a closer look at some of the different features within the game and how to make the most of 3D Dinosaur Adventure. To do this, we will break down each section of the theme park and highlight the different activities available in that section.
In the Triassic Tour section, there are a number of exciting features and activities. Players can test their dinosaur knowledge by playing Name-a-Saurus. They can also access a Dinosaur storybook which is read aloud and gives the user the chance to read along too. This feature is really great for players of all ages.
Finally, within the Triassic Tour section of the theme park, players can access the 3D Dinosaur museum.
This is arguably the most exciting feature of this section as it utilizes full use of the provided 3D glasses. As players take their tour of the museum they will see exciting 3D images of a wide variety of different dinosaurs.
This could be considered the most creative section within the game. Jurassic Jungle allows children to explore, discover and create. This section is also easily accessible for younger children, as the activities available are not dependent on knowing a great deal of facts about dinosaurs.
The first activity in the Jurassic Jungle section is called Photo Safari. As the name suggests, players are taken on a safari and get a taste of what life is like as a wildlife photographer.
Only the subject of their photographs are the wildest creatures of all. Players get to search for and discover a variety of different dinosaurs and take photos to look at later.
Another fun and creative activity in this section is called Create-a-Saurus. This is a feature that allows users to let their creativity shine through. Players can design their very own dinosaurs out of everyday materials. This great feature will keep children of all ages entertained as well as letting their creativity blossom.
Finally, within the Jurassic Jungle players can yet again use their 3D glasses. As mentioned previously, there is a great selection of 3D videos all about dinosaurs. All the videos in the theater are informative yet entertaining and cover a wide range of topics.
Within this final section of the theme park are two more captivating activities for any youngster interested in dinosaurs.
First up there is a quiz game called “Who Am I?” In this game, players have to use picture clues to figure out which kind of dinosaur they are looking at. This activity provides a great opportunity for them to consolidate their learning and what they have found out in other areas of the game. However, as this activity requires a bit more knowledge about dinosaurs, it is more accessible for older children.
3D Dinosaur Adventure also provides users with a game within a game. Save the Dinosaurs is a race against the clock to rescue dinosaurs. In order to play, users must use the mouse to navigate through a maze-like setting. The aim of the game is to save all 15 kinds of dinosaur before the time runs out. Players are aiming to try and save them all before they are wiped out by a comet hurtling towards Earth.
What the Critics Think of 3D Dinosaur Adventure
While this game has a multitude of different activities and features to keep children entertained, 3D Dinosaur Adventure has received mixed reviews. That said, most reviews are positive with the only real criticism being related directly to the quality of the graphics. Some praised its innovative technology and use of 3D glasses to enhance images, giving users the experience of dinosaurs appearing to jump out of the screen at them. Others argued that Knowledge Adventure were capable of making better.
Educationally, the game received plenty of praise. The Educational Technology Handbook highlighted that the game and its animation sequences had the ability to not only inform students but help them retain the information they had learned. The game also won Best Overall Education Program in 1994.
PC Mag did praise the game as a good reference tool for young learners but highlighted that the technology and special effects could have been better. That said, it is clear that 3D Dinosaur Adventure is a great resource for any children interested in learning about dinosaurs.
What We Think of 3D Dinosaur Adventure
While this game is obviously not really relevant in today’s market, 3D Dinosaur Adventure was an exciting and informative game that was mainly well-received when released in 1993. However, the one thing that arguably let it down was its primitive graphics and special effects.
That considered, let’s focus on the main point of the game; it is ultimately an informative resource aimed at educating children and students about dinosaurs. The element of 3D graphics is an added exciting factor, but it is not the entire objective of the game.
The game itself only has a limited number of features that allow users to access the 3D imagery. But at the time this limited number was still enough to give the game an edge and add extra levels of excitement and engagement.
The features of the game that do include 3D graphics are well-executed and interactive. They add an exciting element to the learning process and allow the user to feel even more connected to these prehistoric reptiles featured in the game, especially when watching the variety of 3D movie clips.
There are also a great number of different activities and features included within 3D Dinosaur Adventure. This is something that is very important in order to open up the game’s appeal to a wider variety of age ranges and interests. The game is easily accessible to children of all ages and has thoughtfully adapted features to accommodate these different groups.
The availability of a number of different kinds of activities is also great as it allows learners of all abilities and interests to find something that they’re keen on. Not everyone learns in the same way, and this game tries to support that with a number of different, yet interesting and informative, activities.
Overall, we think 3D Dinosaur Adventure is a great piece of kit. It may not stand up well against modern-day technology standards and it may not appeal to the current generation of children. But, at the time of release, this was a wonderful resource.
There are a great deal of different activities available on 3D Dinosaur Adventure to keep children busy for hours. The information is delivered in an instructional yet exciting and interactive way and this is arguably one of the best methods to learn and retain information. With the added feature of quizzes within the game, players are also given the opportunity to consolidate their learning and test what they still need to find out.
While the entire game does not contain 3D graphics, the areas of the game that do are well-executed and interesting. The fact that the game also comes with two pairs of 3D glasses is also a plus; this allows for more than one player to play the game. The second pair can also serve as a spare pair if the others are broken or lost.
We think that the 3D Dinosaur Adventure game is a great educational resource that still appeals to different age ranges. With a wide variety of different games and activities to get stuck into, there really is something for everyone. Why not dig out a copy and have a go if you have an old PC lying around? There is plenty to learn from this game, whatever your age.
Featured Image via Amazon
When Were 3D TVs Introduced?
In 2010, shortly after the release of the 3D Hollywood blockbuster Avatar, Korean company, Samsung, released the first 3D TV. Many of the leading tech companies at the time believed 3D viewing in the home was the future of television. This, however, was not to be, and a few years later in 2017 the manufacture of 3D TVs ceased.
Most of the major TV manufacturers are now concentrating on 4k and HDR technology. Virtual reality is growing in popularity and Samsung have even made TV pilots for VR headsets.
For those still wanting the full 3D cinema experience at home there are still a number of reputable online retailers that can supply new and used 3D TVs. You’re now able to buy a high specification 3D TV for a fraction of the original retail price.
Why Did 3D TV Fail?
Many things contributed to the demise of 3D TV and here are 5 of the main reasons the technology died out.
One of the reasons that in home 3D viewing didn’t take off was the need to wear a pair of special glasses. In order to see a 3D picture on the screen you have to use them or the picture is blurry and not 3D.
Most 3D TVs are supplied with one pair of viewing glasses so that you can watch the TV as soon as it arrives. However, a family of four would need to buy three extra pairs of glasses to share the 3D experience. Furthermore, if you already wear prescription eyeglasses when watching TV, using the 3D glasses can be tricky and uncomfortable.
The additional kit required to get the best viewing experience was another reason that 3D TVs were not a success. To view movies in 3D, consumers needed to buy a Blu-ray DVD player that supports 3D. To get 5.1 surround sound, a home cinema system was needed for the true cinema effect.
All of these extra items needed to create a 3D home cinema are costly and not an option for many consumers.
The angle of viewing makes watching 3D TV more difficult than watching 2D images on a screen. To get the best experience viewers have to keep their head upright so that the image is not distorted. Laying on the sofa whilst watching your movies is not an option with 3D TV.
Lack of Content
Another reason that 3D TV was not as successful as the manufacturers had hoped was a lack of content. To make a TV show or movie in 3D requires more equipment and a lot more work, which costs production companies more money. If the movie or TV show is expensive to make, then the costs of filming are going to be passed on to consumers.
Viewing 3D images on a screen can cause dizziness, nausea and motion sickness and this may be another reason why 3D TV failed. Clinical studies have been carried out that concluded viewing in 3D caused motion sickness. Some viewers also complained of headaches after watching a 3D TV for a period of time.
How Does 3D TV Work?
3D TVs produce display 2 different images and one gets sent to the right eye and one to the left. One image is polarized horizontally and the other is polarized vertically.
In the early days of 3D viewing, getting the images to the eyes meant wearing a pair of glasses with one red lens and one cayan lens. Red light passes through the red lens and blue and green passes through the cayan lens. The 2 images then combine to form the 3D picture.
As technology improved the 3D TV manufacturers developed active glasses which are battery powered and connected to the TV via Bluetooth. These glasses have high speed shutters which control what the viewer sees in either eye. This technology is known as alternate-frame sequencing and it delivers a high quality 3D image.
How to Choose a 3D TV
3D TVs are not cheap and when you’re spending a substantial amount of money on one it’s important to make the correct purchase. The first thing to look at is the size of the screen. 3D TVs are available in various sizes and some of them are huge.
Choose a TV that’s going to be large enough to view but one that doesn’t dominate the room. An 85 inch TV in a tiny apartment is going to take over and not give the viewing experience you’re looking for.
You need to make sure you have got enough room to watch 3D TV and distance from the screen is important. For a 50 inch screen you need to be at least 8 feet away for the best viewing results. For larger screens you’ll need to be further away and taking some measurements before buying a TV is useful.
Check the features on the TV so that it’s going to do all the things you need it to. If you need to plug devices into the TV, ensure there are adequate USB and HDMI ports. If you plan to use the TV for gaming then it’s useful to check that the TV has a gaming mode before buying.
Before buying a 3D TV check what accessories are included in the purchase price. Some of the TVs are supplied with 3D glasses and the cables needed to connect everything. If the TV you plan to buy does not include glasses and cables, you’ll have to factor the price of these into your overall budget.
You should also check your cable or satellite box for compatibility with your potential purchase. You may have to upgrade your receiver if you plan to receive 3D content. Your service provider will be able to advise you on which receiver to use with your Samsung 3D TV.
The Top 3 Samsung 3D TVs
To determine which Samsung 3D TV is the best we’ve looked at three of the top selling models and looked at some of the features and the picture quality.
The Samsung JS900 is available in 55 and 65 inch sizes and the screen is curved. This 4k SUHD smart LED TV has 3D capability and it converts 2D to near 3D quality. The TV surround is brushed silver with a matching base.
The JS9500 comes with Samsung’s One Connect box which enables users to plug devices such as Blu-ray DVD players into it. This means only one cable runs to the TV which keeps things neat and tidy. The TV is supplied with a single pair of Samsung Active 3D glasses and a remote control unit.
The remote control is not the usual type with rows of buttons and instead uses an on screen navigation similar to a computer mouse. The remote is also equipped with a built-in microphone and can be voice activated. Turning off the voice command feature however, is tricky, and some serious searching within the menus is required.
The JS9500 has 4 HDMI ports, 3 USB 2.0 ports and built-in Wi-Fi. Using Samsung’s Smart View 2.0 you can also share content wirelessly with devices including tablets and smartphones.
Picture quality on the curved screen of the JS9500 is good and the black levels are excellent. Colors are clear and sharp and the curved screen is effective in reflecting ambient light. The screen performs well in the brightest of rooms.
The TV has excellent 3D capabilities and the picture remains sharp and realistic. There’s minimal lag or judder in game mode making the JS9500 a good choice for gamers. The Samsung Active glasses supplied perform well and they’re not cumbersome or bulky to wear.
The Samsung JU7100 is a flat screen TV available in 40, 50, 55, 60 and 75 inch screen sizes. The 4K ultra HD smart TV has 3D capability as well as displaying standard 2D pictures. The slimline frame that surrounds the screen and the pedestal style stand are brushed silver.
The JU7100 is supplied with the Samsung One Connect Mini box which is equipped with 3 USB 2.0 and 4 HDMI ports. 3D glasses will have to be purchased separately as there are none supplied with this model. The TV is supplied with a remote control unit which like the JS9500 remote has voice command.
The remote is used to navigate a menu on the screen which is fairly easy to operate. A great feature with this TV is that you can customize some of the menu layouts to suit your preferences. One minor criticism is that the remote does not have backlit keys unlike other Samsung remote control units.
The TV has built-in Wi-Fi and supports Samsung’s Anynet+ which enables the TV to communicate with other Samsung devices. Users can take advantage of Smart View 2.0 for quick and easy streaming.
The JU7100 features precision black technology making the black levels on this TV good. The picture is crystal clear with vivid colors thanks to Samsung’s color enhancement feature. It’s worth noting that when viewing this TV from some angles there is a loss of color saturation.
The JU7100 produces a good 3D image with accurate colors and good contrast. The 3D picture quality is good when converting 2D images with no loss of definition. The TV is a good choice for gamers and there is no noticeable lag when in gaming mode.
The Samsung HU8550 is available in 50, 55, 60, 65, 75 and 85 inch screen sizes. The screen is flat and the 4K ultra HD TV is capable of showing 3D images as well as converting 2D pictures. The TV has brushed metal surround and an attractive low-profile base.
One of the great things about the HU8550 is that it comes with 4 pairs of Samsung Active 3D glasses. The extra 3 pairs make this model a good choice for families that want the 3D viewing experience. The TV comes with 2 remote control units and there’s a standard remote and a touchpad alternative.
The standard remote control is easy to operate which is useful for viewers that prefer a traditionals style remote. The touchpad remote is used to navigate the various menus on the TV screen. There is also a built-in microphone on the touchpad remote allowing for voice activation.
The HU8550 is supplied with the Samsung One Connect Mini box which connects to the TV with a 6 foot cable. The One Connect Mini box feature 4 HDMI ports and 2 USB 2.0 ports. The TV supports Samsung Anynet+ and the back of the TV features a USB 3.0 port and an ethernet port for internet connectivity.
The Samsung HU8550 delivers excellent picture quality and the black levels are good. Color accuracy is excellent and the colors are clear, natural and uniform across the screen. The high quality picture remains sharp even in a brightly lit room.
The 3D mode delivers a good image whilst keeping accurate color and contrast. The Samsung Active 3D glasses are lightweight and comfortable and suitable for watching long movies. There is no lag or picture judder in 3D mode unlike some other models on the market.
Price & Rating
1632 x 961 x 230 mm
66.5" x 38.2" x 2.5"
57.1 x 11.6 x 34.4 in
If you’re a fan of 3D viewing or gaming then choosing one the Samsung 3D TVs is a good choice. They’re well built, include a host of useful features and they can now be found at affordable prices.
It’s not clear whether 3D will make a return in the future and now may be the best time to pick up a 3D TV. You’re still able to watch regular 2D movies and TV shows but having the 3D option is useful.
Featured Image via Amazon
Have you ever eaten a pizza printed by a robot? How about shared a handshake with someone on the opposite side of the world? Neither have I. But these are all experiences that are possible with 3D technology.
Oh! Yes! You recognize the term, 3D. You've probably seen it on a movie poster. Heck, you've probably seen movies in 3D yourself.
But I bet you didn't know that 3D technology could be used to build a house without lifting a finger. Or that you can trick your mind into seeing a 3D image by simply crossing your eyes. Have you ever gotten lost in a virtual reality environment so vivid, you momentarily forgot it wasn't real?
So let's talk about everything 3D. We'll talk about its origins, how it helps us now, and what possibilities the future holds for 3D technology. But first things first…
What is 3D?
In the most fundamental terms, 3-D, or three-dimensional space, refers to the three values needed to determine the position of a point. So, while 2-D space might only require you to work within the bounds of length and width, the third dimension adds an element of height.
The simple addition of this third axis opens up an entire world impossible to imagine in 2D. Essentially, 3D is to 2D what a cube is to a square; endlessly more complex.
For example, while a normal, 2D movie appears flat on a screen, including a third dimension makes it feel as though the environment of the film extends further back or jumps right out at you.
In physics terms, 3D refers to the three dimensions of space we occupy. Similarly to the mathematical interpretation, these dimensions refer to the three axes representing forward-back, side-to-side, and up-down directions.
This concept might not seem new to you, but innovators are taking advantage of this extra dimension every day and in increasingly complex ways.
What is 3D Technology?
For most of us non-mathematicians, 3D or 3D technology refers to an innovative quality that imbues a flat image or item into space with a sense of depth. The use of this concept in technology has recently seen an unprecedented increase as communication technology continues to improve at an alarming rate.
The advent of 3D printers, televisions, and medical imaging technology only shows the potential of how this technology will continue to improve human lives in many fields, and 3D technologies are only becoming more accessible to the average consumer.
But understanding exactly how it works might be a different story. Let's start by learning how 3D works in the natural world.
Close one eye. Now try walking around (not too fast). If you feel a little disoriented, don't worry, it's just a natural effect of how our eyes operate.
Humans perceive the world visually through binocular vision—not to be confused with, well, binoculars. Each eye, about 3 inches apart from the other, receives an image from a slightly different perspective, which the supercomputer in your head (your brain) then synthesizes.
The brain calculates the two separate but overlapping images and is able to reinterpret the data as a gauge of depth and distance.
We take binocular vision for granted, but the simple innovation of having two eyes allows us to comprehend the three spatial dimensions in which we exist.
For another fun exercise to better understand the slight differences in each eye, hold both hands out in front of you and overlap them to create a small triangular space between your thumbs and index fingers. Now pick a spot on the wall (clock, picture, etc.) and close one eye. Now close the other. Weird, right?
That slight distance between your eyes helps you do everything from hitting a target to picking up a cup on the table without knocking it over. Science!
3-D movies work similarly by using a technique called stereopsis, which explains why it looks so blurry when you take your 3-D glasses off. In a 3-D movie, the projector displays two versions of the same frame, just slightly offset.
Each lens of your glasses blocks one of the images through circular polarization, effectively simulating the way you perceive the real world with each eye. In a frame with more depth, the two images are proportionally more offset, while frames that require less simulation of depth lessen the space between the two images.
You can even use stereopsis to trick your brain without any glasses.
Relax and cross your eyes until you see three images. The center image includes a surprise!
Now that we understand our natural relationship with the three spatial dimensions and the origins of our understanding, let's talk about 3D in industry.
History in 3D! (but in 2D)
While it might feel like the concept of 3D is a fairly recent trend, it actually got its start way back near the invention of photography.
In 1838, less than 20 years after Nicéphore Niépse invented the first photographic process, an English scientist named Sir Charles Wheatstone developed the first Stereoscope. Like the previous GIF, this invention utilized stereopsis to manipulate visual perception.
A stereoscopic photo of Queen Victoria was taken at the Great Exhibition in 1951 and immediately gained fame, introducing the technology to the world. From there, the stereoscope saw common usage through the mid-20th century, when the distinctively red View-Master was introduced to the market.
The first 3D films were developed in the 1920s, with The Power of Love credited as the first confirmed 3D film shown to the public. Audiences, however, showed little interest in stereoscopic films until 1952, when new 3D technology reignited a faltering box office.
For the next year, studios produced 3D film after 3D film, only to see a decline in interest by 1954. The major reason for this was the difficulty in projecting two strips of film at once—a fragile process requiring two projectionists, which, if projecting incorrectly, made the film virtually impossible to watch.
In the decades that followed, 3D films saw some minor success, but as the technology stagnated, it remained more of a novelty experience than the preferred movie-viewing format.
This all changed in 1985 when IMAX began producing non-fiction films with enhanced technology that focused on more accurately simulating the perception of 3 dimensions, which effectively eliminated the eye strain caused by faulty projection.
The Walt Disney Company joined in on the action, innovating further to bring 3D attractions to its parks. During this time, 3D film technology found a comfortable niche, adding even another dimension (you guessed it: 4) by adding tactile and olfactory elements to the experience.
In the 21st century, as film and 3D technologies continued its steady course of innovation, mainstream films again begin testing out the format. With the 2004 release of The Polar Express, animated films began seeing a profitable market in the 3D realm.
This all came to a head in 2009, when 7 major studio films were released in 3D, including perhaps the single most famous 3D film in history, Avatar, which ignited the current explosion of 3D film and technology.
4D films have also seen some mainstream success, with films like Gravity providing an added experience with hydraulically powered seats.
3D in the Home
Simply put, 3D is cool. The idea of images popping out past the bounds of the frame is just fun, and can be applied to countless exciting forms of entertainment. As technology in other fields continue to improve exponentially, so does the prospect of merging these with 3D capabilities.
3D films have always existed in some capacity, but there has been a recent rise in availability of 3D technologies in the home. These can be enjoyed through your TV, phone and tablets, gaming systems, and more.
Now, you can take the wonder of 3D films back to your own living room. What previously meant paying extra for a single feature now gives you total control to enjoy 3D entertainment in your home, at your own leisure.
Smart TVs, in particular, allow you not only to enjoy 3D Blu-Ray discs, but let you access online video content through applications like Vudu and Vimeo, which provides you an endless bevy 3D content to enjoy, whether you're a fan of adventure sports, computer-generated animation, or anything in between.
A slightly different kind of 3D technology concerns the design of animation in a simulated 3D style. While the images don't necessarily pop out the same way 3D films do, the advances in 3D modeling have allowed for the impossible to come alive right in front of our eyes.
3D modeling utilizes the three-vector concept. Like the cube: square analogy, 3D modeling is essentially the science and art of drafting within three axes, as though your drawing paper was cubic instead of a flat sheet. Computers allow the artist or engineer to build objects virtually, then move and rotate them within the 3-vector space.
Of course, that's not all. The user can then place these objects into a scene and control how this object interacts with its environment and other objects spatially. Finally, the graphics artist will manipulate the way the object interacts with light, which provides an added feeling of depth.
Video games have come a long way since Pong. 3D concepts have been a vital aspect of game development since Wolfenstein 3D first introduced 3D graphics to the industry.
Now, the 3D modeling in games have become so realistic, that you can watch individual blades of grass move in the virtual wind, interacting with the artificial source of light to appear as though the wind is swirling around it.
It seems like just yesterday that Super Mario went from moving left and right to jumping around in every conceivable direction. Now, you can throw on an Oculus Rift and enjoy a fully immersive gaming experience in hyperrealistic 3D.
The best example of 3D technology used in gaming comes from Nintendo's handheld console. Since the time of the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Nintendo and SEGA have developed various stereoscopic headsets to complement their mainstream consoles. The 3DS, however, opted to get rid of the glasses/headset altogether by using a parallax barrier.
The parallax barrier is an effective technique to show stereoscopic images, but with an added screen layer on top build with specially spaced slits. This internally projects a different set of images to each eyeball, thus manipulating the mind to perceive depth without the need for additional equipment.
Other Uses for the Parallax Barrier
The 3DS is not the only way the parallax barrier is used. Some smartphone models, like the HTC EVO 3D and the LG Optimus 3D phones, employ the same technique to allow its users to experience 3D in the palm of their hand.
You've probably seen videos of big, futuristic boxes with equally futuristic robotic arms skimming back and forth to create an object out of nothing. Maybe you've seen them in person. Regardless, 3D printing seems to be everywhere right now, and with good reason.
Just like with 3D graphics modeling, 3D printers work like regular printers, but with the added third axis. In fact, 3D printing requires a computer-aided design (CAD) to direct the printing process, merging two 3D technologies to create all kinds of materials.
The potential for 3D printing is unbounded. Aside from its obvious uses in engineering, these printers have been used to create clothing items, entire homes, and even food.
Major clothing brands like Nike and Reebok have begun 3D printing shoe parts. By using 3D printers, these companies can lower manufacturing costs, manufacturing time, and increase design options.
Here, Bill McGuinness, head of Reebok Future, discusses the advantages of using 3D printers.
The most important aspect of 3D printing lies in the materials compatible with the machines. Typically, a binder fluid is used, which solidifies and maintains form when printed, but as the technology progresses, leading companies like Ultimaker are recognizing the importance of providing more options to clients.
Currently, about 70,000 materials are available as printing material. The implications of this technology are promising for future engineering.
3D (and 4D) Ultrasounds
Ultrasounds are vital in monitoring the growth of a baby in utero. Historically, ultrasounds have used the same echo locative technique employed by dolphins and bats, bouncing sound waves within the womb to convert to visual image.
Doppler ultrasounds work similarly, but instead of creating sound waves, it uses the sound of the baby's heartbeat to process an image.
These methods certainly work, and will continue to be used for routine checkups. 3D and 4D ultrasounds, however, provide a more complete image of the baby within the womb.
3D ultrasounds compile multiple two-dimensional photographs to create a 3-dimensional rendering of the baby. This allows doctors to more easily locate suspected anomalies in the fetus, like cleft lips and spinal deformations.
Now you may be wondering what a 4D ultrasound looks like. Is it like Disneyland? Not quite. Not at all, really. The 4 in 4D refers to the fourth physical dimension, time. Essentially, a 4D ultrasound is a video ultrasound that can record movement within the womb.
The safety of 3D and 4D ultrasound technology is still being heavily researched since the long-term effects are as yet unknown. As research progresses, doctors will greatly improve the ability to safely monitor a baby with more accuracy, saving countless potential lives.
The Importance of 3D Modeling
We've spoken heavily about 3D imagery and some cool applications. You may have noticed that most of the scientific advancements utilizing 3D share one thing in common: 3D modeling.
Industries are becoming more reliant on computing and the virtual space every day. This also requires an increase in 3D modeling capability. 3D modeling not only helps industries like animation, film, and gaming, but they can help realize architectural designs more clearly and accurately, and can even help forensic scientists conduct facial reconstruction models from skeletons.
Compared to 2D modeling, the advantages of 3D modeling become undeniable. 3D modeling allows you to visualize any concept in a practical manner.
Imagine you're asked to draw the entire exterior of the Empire State Building as accurately as you can. It would be pretty difficult to do in one drawing. No matter how perfectly you can draw the two-dimensional image, you're missing at least one side.
Even if you get clever and draw the opposite walls on the other side of the paper, your brain is required to reinterpret what you're looking at. 3D modeling allows you to see it, move it, and manipulate how you want in real time.
3D modeling is also mathematically incomparable to 2D modeling. The pure act of inputting calculations into a computer greatly decreases the need for estimating and imagining. Instead, you can control relevant factors to know exactly what you'll get.
One example of cutting edge 3D modeling comes from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Their Tangible Media Group has taken 3D modeling and imagery a step further by bringing it back into physical space.
In this video, they demonstrate the new Dynamic Shape Display called inFORM, which can record physical movement with multiple cameras, upload the information, synthesize the footage into a 3D model, and download the information to be recreated physically—all in real time.
The applications for this alone are innumerable. Now, designs built through 3D modeling can be presented physically, adding an extra layer to the advantages of turning ideas and concepts into reality.
Every industry mentioned above—civil engineering, medicine, gaming, etc.—can all benefit from this technology, as well as every industry that requires any type of conceptual design. Even graphing data can now be visualized more clearly.
By now, you can probably begin to imagine all the possibilities of 3D technology. 3D modeling was first introduced 40 years ago, and already we are able to create food and shelter from raw materials in a fraction of the time it used to take. Complex, lightweight prosthetics with startling mobility can be created with startling ease.
In a few short years, improved 3D ultrasound technology, combined with an improved design of the inFORM, could allow doctors to interact with physical, 3D models of a fetus with unprecedented clarity. Imagine if a CT scan could create such an intricate model of a patient that they could perform a full physical checkup without ever being in the same room.
In the operating room, complex and risky procedures can be virtually conducted on these models beforehand, and once the data is uploaded, it can be improved upon and recreated with 100% accuracy for the real thing by robotic arms, potentially lowering the margin of human error to near zero.
The Dynamic Shape Display also suggests exciting possibilities for the virtual reality and gaming industries. What if you could put on a suit made from the same sensors used in the inFORM every time you entered a virtual reality environment? With the help of 3D modeling, you could physically interact with objects that never existed in the real world.
As the specificity of the inFORM improves, these suits could not just provide entertainment, but can help with physical therapy and the learning of new skills. Sports can be enjoyed physically and with peers without having to leave the home.
3D Printing and Factories
Factories are an essential tool for industry; each moving piece working harmoniously with countless others to create a product greater than the sum of their parts. The ability to reprogram, however, poses a problem that has yet to be solved on a large scale.
Factories are not flexible. In the past, this posed less of a problem. A design might change here and there, forcing a machine to be retooled, or a necessitating different training for employees, but manufacturing has never before experienced the constantly changing demands of the modern consumer at this rate.
Enter 3D printing. Like we saw in the offices of Reebok Future, 3D printing allows for a level of versatility that can match the fast-paced demands. In the future, every single shoe could be customized to the exact specifications of an individual's foot without disrupting the manufacturing process.
In just five years, 3D printing has evolved from the (now) crude plastic prototypes that created fun shapes, to multi-million dollar heavy machines that use electron beams to fuse metal parts together.
3D For You Now
The possible future of 3D technology is exciting, but you don't have to wait to get in on the action.
If you're interested in 3D printing, you can purchase an affordable 3D printer for less than $1,000. The least expensive 3D printer costs a whopping $15 online.
If you'd rather sit back and enjoy 3D entertainment, you can purchase Ultra 4K smart TVs with 3D capabilities from trusted brands like Sony, Samsung, and Sharp.
If you prefer to interact with your 3D technology, try the Google Cardboard. Just as it sounds, the simple product is made from foldable cardboard, but allows you to use your phone to experience 3D video for less than $30.
Hopefully, this article broadened your understanding of 3D technology, its origins, its uses, and the unlimited potential of the concept. Whether you're an engineer, filmmaker, gamer, designer, or none of those things, 3D technology can help improve your experiences.
If you want to continue your journey into the 3D technology, we've provided some resources for you to expand your knowledge and spark some ideas that could further innovation in the 3D sphere.
This website will provide you with all the information you need to get started with your own 3D printer.
If video games are more your thing, check out this awesome forum where users share and discuss everything related to 3D modeling in video games.