How to Make a PC Monitor Into a 3D Monitor (3 Steps)

By James T Wood

Red-blue 3D glasses use color filtering to deliver different images to each eye.
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Our eyes perceive a 3D image through what's called parallax view -- each eye sees something that's slightly shifted from the other eye. Our brains interpret that as depth and create a three-dimensional image. Monitors that aren't designed to display two images need a special video driver that can split the video signal into two channels and serve each one to your eyes separately. Without buying new hardware, you can turn a standard PC monitor into an anaglyph 3D monitor -- that is, one that uses red and blue images to show 3D. You will need anaglyph glasses to see the video in 3D.

Step 1

Install the NVIDIA 3D Vision driver if you have a compatible NVIDIA card (see link in Resources). Once the driver is installed, search for the NVIDIA Corporation folder, choose "3D Vision" and "Enable 3D VISION Discover." A wizard appears to walk you through the rest of the setup process. Once done you can view 3D images through anaglyph glasses on your PC monitor.

Step 2

Install the iZ3D driver -- a third-party video driver -- if you want to use 3D on a non-NVIDIA video card or on an NVIDIA card that doesn't support the NVIDIA 3D Vision drivers (see link in Resources). When installing the driver, ensure that "Anaglyph Output" is selected from the list of components to install. Launch the iZ3D program and put on your anaglyph glasses when you want to use your computer in 3D. You can also enable or disable the 3D effect using the iZ3D icon in your computer's task tray.

Step 3

Use the GMax 3D software as an alternative to iZ3D (see link in Resources). GMax is Chinese software and some of the menus have not been translated into English, though there is an English user guide. Install the GMax control panel and launch the application when you're done. Drag shortcuts into the white box on the GMax application to enable them to run in 3D mode. Choose "Anaglyph" from the Output Type drop-down menu. You can adjust the depth of the 3D effect with the Separator slider. Move it to the right to create more depth or to the left to flatten the image. Select the icon for the program you want to run and click the "Run" button to display that application in 3D.