Introduction: Anti-3D Glasses

Picture of Anti-3D Glasses

So you want to go see the latest blockbuster with in-your-face 3D effects...but your significant other doesn't share your enthusiasm. In fact, many people find that 3D movies causes nausea and headaches.  What to do?  Leave them at home? See 2D instead? Nonsense!  Those aren't solutions.  Instead, build a pair of Anti-3D glasses for them!

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

2 pairs of Polarized 3D glasses. 
      (Mine were "Master Image"  by far the easiest ones to work with)

Small flathead screwdriver

Razor blade/Scissors

Step 2: How Passive 3D Works

Picture of How Passive 3D Works

Most of the theaters these day are using "Passive 3D" technology.  The glasses have radially polarized lens, one clockwise, one counter-clockwise.  The image on the screen is projected through two polarized lenses, again, one clockwise, one counter-clockwise.  The glasses allow the light from only one projector to reach each eye, therefore each eye sees a slightly different picture creating the 3D effect.

To see this in action, put a pair of 3D glasses on and hold another pair facing you. Close one eye and slowly turn the pair of glasses you are holding.  You'll see one lens turn almost completely dark.  Switch eyes and the other lens will be dark.  Our Anti-3D glasses will be modified so that each eye receives the same image.

Step 3: Disassemble the Glasses

Picture of Disassemble the Glasses
  1. Insert the screwdriver and carefully pop off the arms.
  2. Using the screwdriver carefully pop off the lens retainer piece.
  3. Be sure to leave the lenses where they are. You don't want to mix them up!
  4. Repeat on second pair.

Step 4: Swap and Trim Lenses

Picture of Swap and Trim Lenses

Exchange the two lenses as shown in the photo.  Due to how the lenses are made, we have to keep them facing the same direction as they originally were in the glasses.  Using the retainer piece as a template, trim the edge of the lens off so it will fit into the frame.

Step 5: Reassemble

Picture of Reassemble

Snap the retainer piece and arms back on, and you're done!  There will be a small gap at the inside corner of the lens that was trimmed.  It's far enough in the corner that it shouldn't effect your viewing, but if it does you can cover it with a small piece of electrical tape.
Now hit the theater and enjoy the glorious flatness of 2D!

Step 6: RealD Brand Glasses

Picture of RealD Brand Glasses

The Real D brand of glasses are becoming much more popular these days so you might not be able to find the Master Image ones that I used. You can still follow the same procedure on Real D glasses, but it will be a bit more complicated as you will have to carefully snap apart a glued seam, and then re-glue it upon assembly.


AliceA4 (author)2015-08-30

Thanks for the info. Not that 3D animation works well with
my children, I need to know more about the tech and ways to enjoy more and

zelback1 (author)2012-10-01

You must get really frustrated when there aren't any ESHI's for some production films while they are in the theater... . My cousin is deaf, and while he's probably the most awesome person I know, he won't come to the movie theater with me cuz its no fun sitting there trying to read the actors lips. For a while I have been trying to figure out how to solve that problem for him. I'll let you know if I come up with anything that actually works. (So far, 4 prototypes, all a bit bulky, and all unable to keep up with the movie itself. I might try to incorporate the SIRI software that they have on phones, but right now, I have been stuck dealing with "Dragon Naturally Speaking" and "Nuance". ) I am still waiting for the guys up in Hollywood to stop being lazy and fix the problem for me, but its a faint hope at best.

Zaphod Beetlebrox (author)2012-06-16

If you take one set of lenses and put them back in the completely wrong way you get a pair of really psychelic glasses.

REA (author)2012-06-02

Thanks for this instructable. I have a hard time seeing 3D and sometimes get headaches, so this is perfect!

GenAap (author)2012-05-03

They really should have some way to provides subtitles. Maybe a handheld you get for free and turn back in when the movie is over? Any way, if this is going to be solved in movie theaters, it needs to go to someone in the movie making business, but I know that wont stop instructables from trying!

GenAap (author)2011-12-21

You could call them 2D glasses ;)

davebijoux (author)GenAap2012-05-03

That's exactly what I thought they WERE called!

blodefood (author)2011-11-11

Suggest you label them so that they don't get mixed up with unmodified 3D glasses.

kaptaink_cg (author)blodefood2011-11-11

You can tell by the corner of the one eye being clipped out..... but I did wrap a little red electrical tape around one arm for quicker identification.

AlternateLives (author)2011-10-03

Very clever. I wouldn't have thought of that.

However, if Hollywood knew how to budget time properly, the nausea wouldn't even be a factor. What causes the nausea is when the depth of field (at least, I think it's depth of field) gets screwed up momentarily, the left eye sees a completely different image than the right eye, and the brain goes "WTF?!" leaving the viewer with headaches and nausea.

The technology is still too new to get this right, though, so I guess I can't be too hard on Hollywood.

Quote: "The technology is still too new to get this right,"
Experiments with this 'technology' date back even 'till 1838.. ( just to put things into perspective :)

My guess is that '3d' viewing will never become a nausea- and headache-less experience because of a simple reason: The two separate images that are offered to your eyes are taken by two camera's, placed on a rig. The distance between the focal point tries to mimick the distance between the two eyes of the AVERAGE viewer.

In daily life your eyes percieve two different images too, but your brain knows the EXACT distance between your eyes, so it's programmed to combine the two images in a painless an nausia-free manner. However, when you look at a '3d' film, the images that are fed to your eyes aren't aligned as your brain expects them to be, so combining them will take a lot of effort from your brain (causing headache) and even your synchronisation between perception of balance (via your inner-ear) and visual reference can be disturbed by it (causing nausea).

So; force-feeding images like this to your eyes leaves your brain thinking your eyes are misplaced temporarily. It can cope with this, keeping the illusion of depth intact, but the brain compensating for this anomaly just isn't painless..

boaslad (author)jobvannuenen2011-10-19

Great point. I hadn't thought of it quite like that. I've always had a different reason in mind for the headaches. "Eye strain".

3D movies trick the eye into seeing a three dimensional image by taking advantage of our binocular vision. However, the binocular effect is only half of the equation. In a natural 3D environment (a.k.a the real world) our eyes are constantly adjusting their focal length in order to create as sharp of an image as possible. This adjustment is read by the brain, and combined with the binocular data, helps the mind to create fully 3D image. This is why people, like my uncle, who have lost an eye still have some depth of field, although severely limited by the loss of the binocular data.

Another interesting feature in this is the way our mind records data. From the first moment we learn to focus our eyes our brain starts recording the information it's given. Call it muscle memory, or just subconscious control, our mind knows that an object with a binocular coefficient of X requires a focal length of Y. This is why people in REM sleep still adjust both their binocular focus as well as the focal length of their eyes. The two bits of data are inherently interrelated.

In an artificial 3D environment however there is only one focal length available: the distance between you and the screen. While the image may fool your binocular vision, it can't fool your depth of field. The eye tries to adjust it's focal length to the appropriate setting only to realize that, "oops. That's wrong.." So it overrides the known program and tries to find a solution, by refocussing on the image. This is happening thousands (if not millions) of times a second. The result is an eye strain headache. Also the conflicting binocular and focal data may be what induces the nausea.

This, of course, is only my theory. Yours has merit too. Perhaps, it's even a combination of the two. There may be other theories that apply as well.

For me personally, the solution to all of this is to just stop going to 3D movies. It saves me a lot of unnecessary pain and discomfort, and also sends a message to Hollywood that I'm not going to spend money on something that I simply can't enjoy. Perhaps more people should adopt this approach.

Well, sure, there was 3D in the 1950's, but that was just for simple effects (the monster jumps out at the screen to scare you) whereas today, 3D is used to add the illusion of depth to a scene. 3D used in this manner is going to hurt, versus the small doses of it used in the 1950s and previous.

My prediction is that yes, we will not get it so that the nausea ends completely, but it will improve to the point that a trip to the theater is not a painful, dread-filled experience (meaning that you could sit through Avatar (as an example) and not get sick), but I wouldn't suggest watching the extended versions of The Lord of the Rings back to back in 3D.

I have done some research before on 3D (not to mention I'm a film/video major), and nothing that I have read said anything that was said in these comment responses. I have learned something!

bac512 (author)AlternateLives2011-10-07

ya know, reading these responses, maybe my previous post was wrong. I've not watched A FULL MOVIE, or even watched 3D demos for more than 10 15 minutes, but I could feel the difference in my eyes between the LCD screened glasses and the polarized ones, but maybe that's not the only problem (as suggested in this thread) so the question is, is it all 3D movies (with one type of glasses) that makes people sick? or just certain ones? do different movie production companies 'space' the cameras differently (what the 'perceive' as the proper distance between the eyes.) does it make any difference if you sit in the center of the viewing area versus off to the side, closer or further? do these glasses interfere with the focus of people who wear glasses/contacts?

In addition to what you mentioned, there are actually a few more things going on that cause the brain problems. The 3d scenes are filmed through two different lenses to represent the image each eye would see. But unless your eyes match the ratio exactly of lens/lens and distance to object, then it will never be a truly accurate representation. Factor in that everyone is psychically different, and then the many different seating locations in a theater, it's amazing 3D works at all. Also, when I'm at a movie, I like to look around on the screen, taking in the background and different details. But if you do this during a 3D movie it'll really mess you up because you are looking at an image at a different angle than what is being projected to each eye. I'm not sure if that explanation makes sense? Think of it this way.. the image is projected straight, you are supposed to be looking straight focusing on the main object on the screen, but instead you are looking off to an angle. (-headache!-) Personally, I don't think they will ever be able to truly fix these issues until they introduce 3D holographic images. Although, 3D TVs, with active 3d glasses, seem to produce a much cleaner effect than you get at the movie theater.

jobvannuenen (author)kaptaink_cg2011-10-06

ah.. should have read on, before jumping the keys. My thoughts exactly!

amberella1964 (author)2011-10-15

You Rock!!! I am going to give this a whirl...I can't go see 3D movies. I have monocular vision. Basically I see everything separately so when I go to a 3D movie (Avatar at the Cinemax was hell) I have to sit very very still and not move my eyes at all. It makes for a very uncomfortable movie. I have had to opt out of hanging out with friends on occasion due to so many movies showing in 3D.
So....anti 3D....what a concept!!!!
ps have you ever tried taking those 3D goggles off in the movie...its nasty. lol
Thank you sooo much.

andysuth (author)2011-10-09

Love this concept, but does it leave all the faces mis-shaped from the so-called "Upscaling" on the poor quality films that try to make more money by selling as "3D"?

Along lines of previous comments about changing from Stereo into Mono Sound, perhaps you could add a slow moving fan in front too so you could watch the film at a slower frame rate as well as mono (from finger in ear) and black and white?


5Volt (author)andysuth2011-10-14

The fan would be a great addiction. How about turning volume off and hiring a piano player?

maovi (author)2011-10-13

very cool

swoodward (author)2011-10-09

OMG Thank you so much for this! The article showed up just before I was invited to see a 3D movie and I'm one of those people who get a headache from 3D. I don't know what brand the glasses were - possibly the same ones you used, but it was really easy to pop the lenses out and I brought some painter's tape to do a quick ghetto version of the anti-3D glasses before the movie started. I didn't care about having ghetto glasses. At least I didn't get a headache! Wonderful!

ThatEmilyPerson (author)2011-10-09

Just made a pair of Real D brand into 2D. Now I'm just waiting for the Three Musketeers to come out so I can test them out. Thanks for a great 'ible!

spark master (author)2011-10-06

I love this as I would get car sick if it is over done but it makes me wonder what's next,

glorious mono music

hey folks get rid of all those extra speakers and play it louder!

New Improved Louder MONO SOUND!!!!

serioously I like this one

jaydees (author)spark master2011-10-07

Flippant comments are no substitute for real solutions to real problems.

The anti-3D glasses are a good solution for the few people who can't see 3D films 'correctly'. I'm one of these people - no great problems in real life but cinema or TV 3D glasses just don't work well. My particular solution for 3D is to use the standard glasses but with a pirate's patch over my bad eye, these anti-3D glasses would be better (and they provide a solution for a wider range of problems).

spark master (author)jaydees2011-10-07

I said I thought this was great idea, have a cup of coffee and relax.

I went to see some movie in 3 d and almost lost my cookies. Some 3 d is ok for me the other kind makes me barf.

And I am not a Luddite but sometimes I think we over do technology and make it harder for people to be in a real world. I love my Ipod I really do, but some enhancements are really bad for society. This is a minor one.

My kids were amazed that, SCI FI Dad, would not go see Avatar (the blue peopled one, I did see the one with the kid with the blue arrow on his head and loved it), simply because it WAS 3D.

relax, levity is good, our times are tough and a good belly laugh is hard to come by so small chuckles are sometimes all we get. Better a small bottle of water, than a bucket of wee wee to a man in the desert.

capt.tagon (author)spark master2011-10-08

Things like phones that just ring and are just phones.
Heh, loved the mono comment, after all there is the Stereo Vinyl movement.

I'm one of those unfortunates that has "fast vision". Just love the new fluorescent electronic ballasts, the old mags always leave me with a flicker in my peripheral vision. 3D leaves me with a spewfest as do certain video games. It isn't the frame rate, if the motion jerks in a certain way, I'm quickly looking for a waste basket.

So anything that makes it go away is fine by me.

Thanks for the dry humor, even though it goes over most peoples heads, I like it.

SkinnE (author)spark master2011-10-08

Well it made me laugh anyway :-D

jaydees (author)spark master2011-10-07

Apologies, I misunderstood your post, my mistake.

wobbler (author)spark master2011-10-07

Or you could just stick a finger in one ear.

Treknology (author)spark master2011-10-06

We could go a step further and get rid of color as well. :P

KaptinScarlet (author)2011-10-06

One of the best 3D films has got to be Avatar. Anyway, that said, reading the comments makes me feel like I have gone back 180 years and am hearing people describe the dangers of train travel and the fact that the human body just wasn't capable of going at such speeds and either the passengers wouldn't be able to breath or (get this) that the passengers' eyes would be damaged due to the motion!).

Honestly...?!* The same ridiculous comments were made about sound in films. Less than 100 years ago, HM Warner (Warner bros) is famous for having said, "Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?"

Sure 3D might not be absolutely perfect yet and some films have got it totally wrong, but come on, it's early days and you're an inventive community, surely anyone can see that 3D is progress towards a greater and more immersive entertainment reality and if you didn't think that that is a good idea then you wouldn't be going to see a movie in the first place? Because the stories are all made up and filled to the brim with so many special FX that you can't be sure that even the picture you are watching are real or not anyway.

follow this link and learn:

Having said that, nice, ironic instructable!

So, those of us who get violently ill are... what? Just silly whiners?

Really. You need to understand that some people really do have legitimate reasons for 'complaining.'

(And as to the easy solution of "only go to 2D movies..." That's all well and good until your movie theatre ONLY shows particular films in 3D.)

NateHoy (author)acarroll white2011-10-08

I've missed three movies so far because they were only offered in 3D and I'd rather not pay the premium for it.

And, honestly, I've become OK with it. I rarely went to the movies anyway, but now we've just stopped going entirely. I can wait 6 months to a year for almost everything and just watch it at home on DVD when it comes out.

I can pop my own popcorn for 1/100 the cost of what the theater makes, and it doesn't have to be saturated with nasty fakey butter. And I can buy a bottle of half-decent wine with what I'm saving and really enjoy the movie.

Bye-bye expensive movie theater! Thanks for the incentive to stop!

Well Done!! ! I agree with you!

Aristarco (author)KaptinScarlet2011-10-06

I thought "Instructables" was a site where freedom of speech was one of the ingredients. You are pro 3D (as I am. Go 3D!), but calling the comments "ridiculous" is a bit too much. People with 3D sickness exist. If there's a solution for them, good! I won't be using these glasses, I love 3D. But, will I make a pair for my mom who nauseates when he goes to 3D movies with us? Yes, of course. So, thanks instructables. If I don't like the instructable presented, I go to another page. Period.

chrissysno (author)Aristarco2011-10-06

I so agree with you! I'm so sick of the negative "Know it alls" who have to criticize every instructable. Like you said , if you don't like it or don't agree, move on. negative is Not cool.

KaptinScarlet (author)Aristarco2011-10-06

Hey, hey hey... I like the instructable, good job and clearly needed for some.

I love its ironic edge, and yes, I agree, there is work to do on the 3D technology and YES there are some shocking excuses for films that aim to pimp themselves up with the use of badly done 3D which makes some punters puke.

But then I'm sure the first trains made some people sick and put smuts in their eyes, but to write off the whole idea of mass transport because of a few technical teething troubles would have been, in short... ridiculous. I suppose I was just having a little chortle at the tone of the naysayers and their apparently luddite-esk comments which sounded almost hysterical.

Deeply sorry if I offended.

lamerc (author)2011-10-07

Actually, don't forget those of us with unusual vision issues. A quick Google suggests current reports seem to linger at somewhere about 10% of the population (depending on who's been surveyed and where in the world) either physically cannot see the 3D effect at all, or suffer from dizziness, nausea, etc., caused by the non-standard way their eyes/vision works.

Sadly, no polishing of the tech you're talking about is going to help that. :(

Until then, people like me [and Johnny Depp, apparently? :] are going to wince at the new passion for everything 3D and either sit through with one eye closed (leaving everything slightly out-of-focus and usually giving some eyestrain headache by the end of a full-length movie), feel guilty for trying to drag out 3D-enabled friends to 2D showings (where even available), or make do with glasses like this.

It's not a luddite rejection or fear of tech, nor is it (entirely) a technical issue. Some people's eyes are different. We just tend to not see (hah :) what the big deal is about, and worry that we'll have fewer and fewer 2D options in the future.

So of course we hope it's just a trend *shrug*: What everyone else keeps crowing about is just one big useless PITA for us:

---*cool looking movie trailer plays*
---...ooooh!... ;)
---"...In Amazing 3D!!!!"
---...oh, d*mn! That means I can't go see it.. :(

Naturally it's annoying: But tricks like these glasses (the minute I saw the equivalent ones on Thinkgeek I ordered them!) mean we can at least go along with the group of friends that (naturally) want to see the fancy version--without putting ourselves through h*ll.

(For those who have no problem with seeing 3D, think of this the equivalent of little wheelchair access ramps for our eyes. Most people don't need them, but when you do, it can make all the difference in being able to hang out with your friends and do simple things.)

tl;dr:  Which is all a long way of saying "Thank you!" to kaptaink_cg for your instructable--it's a much appreciated acknowledgement of a very real problem some of us have and a nice, helpful step towards making 3D-blind folk like myself are able to enjoy going out to see a lot of the newer films.

Laurpud (author)lamerc2011-10-08

Thank you for explaining for me. I don't see in 3D either & hate going to see the 3D movies with my kids (but can't say no to a free movie) I DO feel fortunate in that they don't make me nauseous!)

dmccumber (author)2011-10-07

3D will remain little more than a gimmick until such time as it becomes seamless. When a film like "My Dinner With Andre" can be released in 3D and the 3D will longer distract from the viewing experience...THAT is when we will know that 3D is here to stay. Until then, it's stuff like Piranha 3D, Avatar and Michael Bay flicks alone that will gain anything from it.

tpapaleo (author)2011-10-06

I am blind in one eye. I have avoided 3D movies because there was no way to see them with my friends. Same with 3d TV. Looking forward to "seeing" how this works, and by the way, these type of glasses should be readily available -- probably woudl capture some lost business.

BigShotUK (author)tpapaleo2011-10-06

If you're blind in one eye, you should naturally see the movie the way these modified glasses make fully sighted people see it.

Normally the double image projected onto the screen is split, one for each eye by the glasses.
This modification filters one image out completely and allows the other image through to both eyes thus making it 2D.
If you're blind in one eye, the regular 3D glasses will filter out one of the two images, your good eye will receive one and the other will fall on your blind eye and be lost (if you're not totally blind in that eye, duck tape over that lens or an eye patch would have the same effect).

Personally I'm in the "3D is a huge con which detracts from films and needs to go away" camp. The thought that these glasses could get people who don't want 3D to buy the 3D TV sets because now they have a way of making it 2D when you can just buy a 2D TV for much less... is kinda crazy though. :o)

kaptaink_cg (author)BigShotUK2011-10-06

Just to clarify a bit: These will not work on 3DTVs, only the theater. 3DTVs employ "active 3D glasses" They don't work using polarization, but instead have electronic glasses with LCD shutter lenses. The TV displays the left eye image, and the glasses completely black out the right eye. Then the right image is displayed as the left lens is blacked out. Due to "persistence of vision" our brain doesn't register the blackened out lenses. (same concept as how normal movie film projection works) If you view the TV without glasses on, the images appear superimposed, although technically they are not. As far as I know, all 3D TVs have an option to turn it off at any time. Sony just came out with a 3D TV that has an interesting capability. If you are using it to play a 2 player PS3 game, it will split the image so that each player gets to see a full screen of their action alone. It's the same concept as my Anti-3D glasses. Player 1 only gets to see the "right" image and player 2 only sees the "left" image. Genius!

josephlebold (author)kaptaink_cg2011-10-06

Just to clarify a bit: These will not work on 3DTVs, only the theater. 3DTVs employ "active 3D glasses" They don't work using polarization, but instead have electronic glasses with LCD shutter lenses.

Just to clarify a bit more: These will work on some 3DTVs, not only the theater. Some 3DTVs employ the polarization method. They do not use expensive "active 3D glasses". I have seen a demo at a trade show. The infamous "Walmart" also has a demo on display in some stores. Go see it dudez!!!! :)

bac512 (author)josephlebold2011-10-07

I've seen the 3D tv's that DO NOT use the expensive glasses, they use these polarized lenses, actually, I watched them at one of the big box stores (other than Walmart, so it's not just a Walmart thing.) and in my opinion they're BETTER, they don't give you the headaches or nausea, because your eyes aren't constantly refocusing/dilating (which is what they're trying to do, even though your brain doesn't register the change, when the lens goes black, your iris starts to open to adjust for the light, the eye starts to refocus on the much closer image, then when it flips back to clear, the eye has to reverse...)

xenobiologista (author)2011-10-07

I need to make a pair of these for my husband. He was born cross-eyed and didn't get them fixed till he was 2 years old so he literally cannot see stereo even though both his eyes work fine independently. My previous boyfriend was blind in one eye so that's a slight upgrade...but I still have to find other dates for 3D movies!!! Until now. Thanks a lot, this is a brilliant idea.

(Look up the famous kitten experiments if you want to know more about why not being able to see properly as an infant affects people later even if they get their eyes fixed..

wobbler (author)2011-10-07

My auntie will love these. Do they work on the real world as well?

bbartók (author)2011-10-06

Well, if this is true, then you should reach the same result by flipping the original lens.

benya82 (author)bbartók2011-10-07

nope, if you do that is the same 'cause you flip both lenses, you get the same efect but inverted, and its looks kinda weird.

kaptaink_cg (author)bbartók2011-10-06

That was my original thought as well but it doesn't work. Even though they are radially polarized, it's not in an exact circle. It follows more of an oval pattern. So flipping the lens just messes it up. You can test this by flipping the lens, putting the pair on, then looking at another pair of glasses. Close one eye, then the other, and you will see it's not filtering the light the same.

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