Anti-3D Glasses




About: We spend our youth trying desperately to fit in, and then the rest of our adult life doing whatever we can to stand out in the crowd.

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!

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Step 1: 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

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

  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

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

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

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.

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    91 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    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


    7 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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


    7 years ago on Introduction

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


    7 years ago on Introduction

    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!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    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.

    6 replies

    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..


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    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.


    8 years ago on Step 2

    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?


    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 2

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