Virtual Reality and Anaglyph Stereoscopic Technology

This lesson focuses on virtual reality technologies. These display technologies are based around artificial stereo images, and provide a view with illusions of 3D depth in virtual environments. Students complete an activity using 3D glasses and 3D images.

  • How VR technologies exploit human depth perception
  • The use of stereo images to provide the illusion of 3D depth
  • Use the scientific method to compare anaglyph technologies

Age Levels: 11-14

Build Materials (For each team)

Required Materials

  • 3D Glasses (1 per team): both green/red and red/cyan
  • To make your own 3D glasses, http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Your-Own-3D-Glasses
  • 3 transparency sheets
  • 2 sheets of white paper
  • Permanent markers in red, green, and cyan (or blue if cyan is not available).
  • Non-permanent black marker
  • Scissors
  • Ruler

Design Challenge

You are a team of engineers given the challenge of completing 4 activities and 1 challenge. You will learn about virtual reality, 3D images and anaglyph technologies. You will have discussions with the class on your findings.

Criteria

  • Complete 4 activities.
  • Complete 1 challenge.
  • Have class discussion.

Constraints

  • Use only the materials provided.
  1. Hand out the Virtual Reality worksheet, as well as some sheets of paper for sketching designs.
  2. Use the links in the “Digging Deeper” Section to explore VR technologies and anaglyph glasses. Share the following:Computer science is a science, and as such, uses scientific outcomes to create technologies. Systematic experimentation before building technology is an essential part of design. Understanding how a natural phenomenon works only occurs when good results are achieved from an experiment. This lesson provides students with a taste of how VR headset designers made choices when designing their technology.Virtual reality head-sets project two different images, one to each eye. Some technologies mix actual background with a 3D rendering technique analogous to ‘anaglyphs’. Students experiment with anaglyph glasses to begin to understand the complexity of the computing involved in rendering a 3D image inside the headset.
  3. Review the Engineering Design Process, Design Challenge, Criteria, Constraints and Materials.
  4. Explain to students they will complete 4 activities and then a challenge. (1 hour recommended for each)
  5. Activity 1: Watch the IEEE Career video with your students.
  6. Activity 2: Distribute 3D glasses and view the website through 3D glasses
  7. Activity 3: Select some 3D sample images by searching online.  Take care that the images you select are appropriate for your classroom and school culture. Have your students experiment and keep notes:
    • Can you see green/red images with red/cyan glasses?
    • Which technology appears to work better?
    • What happens if you put the glasses on upside down? Do they still work?
    • Why is it green/red and red/cyan? Does the order of the color matter?
  8. Activity 4: Divide your students into small teams of 3 or 4 students per team, and have them answer the questions on Student Worksheet 1.Leave sufficient time at the end for one member of each group to give a ‘lightening talk’ of at most 3 minutes summarizing their findings. Leave time for a summary analysis of all the presentations.
  9. Explain to students that they must now complete a Challenge to learn anaglyph techniques. (1 hour recommended). Reinforce that during the first hour they were exploring, and in this hour they are doing formal experiments.
  10. Divide your students into teams (maximum of four students each). Make sure you leave at least 10 minutes at the end of the session to discuss results.
  11. Distribute Worksheet 2, and the materials.
  12. Worksheet 2 asks students to draw a simple image. A sample of red and green are provided below. Share these with your students or create your own samples.
  13. Instruct students to measure and mark the center of the image. Have a brief discussion about what that means.
  14. You can give them a definition, or have them agree to one. Typically you will need to define a ‘center’ of an image. You can create a ‘bounding box’ around the image, locate the midpoints of the horizontal and vertical edges, and place a small discrete point at the intersection of the lines draw from the respective vertical and horizontal edges. (In other words create a four paned window, but only mark the center, not the intersecting lines.)
  15. Instruct students to complete the following steps (outlined on the Student Worksheet):
    ● Place a transparency sheet over the drawing, and using one of the permanent markers, have a member of the team copy the drawing.
    ● Using the paper drawing and the one just created on a transparency, draw two more copies in each of the remaining colors. When you are finished you should have a black image on white paper, and duplicate images on transparencies, one each of red, green and cyan (or blue). Put the black drawing aside.
    ● Place the blank piece of paper on the desk or table. Place two of the three transparency images on top so that they overlap exactly. Look at the image through the 3D glasses with the same colors. For example if you chose the green and red images, then use the green/red glasses.
    ● Gently move the images apart, watching for when the 3D image ‘pops’. In which direction do you have to move them? When the images ‘pop’, measure the distance between the images.
    ● Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the other combinations, so that you have data on ‘green/red’, ‘red/cyan.’ If you have time try combining cyan with green using either set of glasses and record the results. Team members should state the combination that worked best for them. Note how many people could see the 3D effect for each combination. Note the distance at which the image popped for each person.
    ● Record your results on the table your teacher provides so that the entire class can draw conclusions. Be prepared to contribute your conclusions to the final analysis.
  16. While students are working, create a grid on the board (or on a flip chart), where the first column identifies each team. The labels for the remaining columns should be:
    • preferred technology
    • best distance for green/red
    • best distance for red/cyan
    • best distance for cyan/green

    Remind your students to enter their data before they wrap up their work space.

  17. During the wrap up, discuss the results, and also discuss the difference between the exploratory and experimental activities. Ask your students to draw conclusions from their collaborative data collection. Challenge them as to how the industry might proceed based on their results.
  18. For more content on the topic, see the “Digging Deeper” section.

Time Modification

The lesson can be done in as little as 1 class period for older students. However, to help students from feeling rushed and to ensure student success (especially for younger students), split the lesson into two periods giving students more time to brainstorm, test ideas and finalize their design. Conduct the testing and debrief in the next class period.

Divide into teams
Review the challenge and criteria constraints
Brainstorm possible solutions (sketch while you brainstorm!)
Choose best solution and build a prototype
Test then redesign until solution is optimized
Reflect as a team and debrief as a class

Internet Connections

VR Technology

Play with anaglyph glasses:

Videos to view in 3D

Recommended Reading

Writing Activity

Write up your findings on anaglyph technology. This lesson focused on green/red and red/cyan. Which worked better for you and why? These are not the only alternatives for 3D glasses. Research online what other alternatives exist. Make a case for your preferred technology: does it give a better experience, is it cheaper? How does the movie/online video industry play into it?

Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks

Note: All lesson plans in this series are aligned to the Computer Science Teachers Association K-12 Computer Science Standards, the U.S. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, and if applicable also to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, the International Technology Education Association’s Standards for Technological Literacy, and the U.S. National Science Education Standards which were produced by the National Research Council.

National Science Education Standards Grades 5-8 (ages 10-14)

CONTENT STANDARD E: Science and Technology

As a result of activities, all students should develop

  • Understandings about science and technology 

Next Generation Science Standards & Practices Grades 6-8 (ages 11-14)

Practice 2: Generating and Using Models

  • Develop and/or use a model to generate data to test ideas about phenomena in natural or designed systems, including those representing inputs and outputs, and those at unobservable scales.

Practice 5: Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking

  • Use mathematical, computational, and/or algorithmic representations of phenomena or design solutions to describe and/or support claims and/or explanations

Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (all ages)

Representations

  • Use representations to model and interpret physical, social, and mathematical phenomena

Common Core State Practices & Standards for School Mathematics

  • MATH.PRACTICE.MP4 Model with mathematics.

Standards for Technological Literacy – All Ages

         The Nature of Technology

  • Standard 2: Students will develop an understanding of the core concepts of technology.

CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards Grades 3-6 (ages 11-14)

5.1 Level 1: Computer Science and Me (L1)

Community, Global, and Ethical Impacts (CI)

  1. Identify the impact of technology (e.g., social networking, cyber bullying, mobile computing and communication, web technologies, cyber security, and virtualization) on personal life and society.

CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards Grades 6-9 (ages 11-14)

  1. 2 Level 2: Computer Science and Community (L2)
  • Collaboration (CL)
  1. Collaborate with peers, experts, and others using collaborative practices such as pair programming, working in project teams, and participating in group active learning activities.

CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards Grades 9-12 (ages 14-18)

5.3.A   Computer Science in the Modern World (MWJ)

  • Computational Thinking (CT)
  1. Use modeling and simulation to represent and understand natural phenomena.

CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards Grades 9-12 (ages 14-18)

5.3.B   Computer Science Concepts and Practices

  • Computational Thinking (CT)

8. Use models and simulations to help formulate, refine, and test scientific hypotheses.

Student Resource: Summarizing what you learned.

Your teacher showed you some videos and websites about virtual reality technology.  On this page, create your own resource of terminology. Work with your teammates to agree on the answers, or use the Internet to locate information that you don’t remember.

  1. Briefly explain what virtual reality is, and how it works.

 

 

 

  1. Anaglyph Stereoscopic glasses create the illusion of ‘3D’. Why does it work – that is, how does it trick your eyes?

 

 

 

  1. The technology is labeled green/red, red/cyan. The order matters. Why?

 

 

 

  1. This is a try ‘computing’ lesson. What does it have to do with computing?

 

 

Student Worksheet 1:

This worksheet guides you through exploring 3D VR and Anaglyph Technology. Your teacher has organized your class into teams.  Complete this exercise as a team, and be prepared to have a member of your team present your findings.  This activity is an informal exploration.

  1. As a group, complete the resource page. If you don’t know the answer to something, ask people in another group. If no one in the class remembers, go on the Internet and find the answers.  This technique of finding relevant resources is critical to computing. When technologies are so new, and not often well-documented, being able to do background research is critical.
  2. Your next task is to do some informal exploring. Your teacher will provide you with some images either on a computer screen or on paper.  Some are intended as ‘green/red’, some are intended as ‘red/cyan’.  Within your group, answer the following questions, then come up with your own additional questions.
    1. Can everyone in your group actually get the 3D effect? If not why?
    2. Can you see green/red images with red/cyan glasses?
    3. Which technology appears to work better? Why? Do you all agree?
    4. What happens if you put the glasses on upside down? Do they still work? If not, why not?
  3. In the next hour you will do some formal testing with 3D glasses. To prepare, you will need to create a simple 3D image. Within your group, make a decision about what image to use for your experiment. You will need to draw the image in three colors on a transparency.  If you have time you can begin to do the drawings, or simply note here your proposed image. Or sketch the image on the back of the paper. Things to keep in mind:  Keep it simple: you will have to draw the image four times. Think about what kind of images will give the best effect.

 

Student Worksheet 2:

This worksheet guides you through experimenting with 3D glasses. 

Materials:

  • Two pieces of white paper.
  • Three transparency sheets.
  • Three permanent markers, one each of red, green, and cyan.
  • A ruler.
  • A pencil or pen to record results on this page.
  • A non-permanent marker in black for writing on paper, to create the original image.
  • 3D glasses, at least one each of green/red, and red/cyan.

Goals:

  1. To collect data on which technology in preferred, green/red or red/cyan.
  2. To determine the optimal distance for two images. (Your class will have to agree on what ‘distance between two images’ means.

Task:

  1. Have on member of your team draw a very simple image on a piece of paper. (Perhaps you prepared this in the first hour.) Mark the center of the image as discussed by your teacher. Your teacher may provide sample images.
  2. Place a transparency sheet over the drawing, and using one of the permanent markers, have a member of your team copy the drawing.
  3. Using the paper drawing and the one just created on a transparency, draw two more copies in each of the remaining colors. When you are finished you should have a black image on white paper, and duplicate images on transparencies, one each of red, green and cyan (or blue). Put aside the drawing in black.
  4. Place the blank piece of paper on the desk or table. Place two of the three transparency images on top so that they overlap exactly.  Look at the image through the 3D glasses with the same colors. For example if you chose the green and red images, then use the green/red glasses.
  5. Gently move the images apart, watching for when the 3D image ‘pops’. In which direction do you have to move them? When the images ‘pop’, measure the distance between the images.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the other combinations, so that you have data on ‘green/red’, ‘red/cyan.’ If you have time try combining cyan with green using either set of glasses and record the results. Team members should state the combination that worked best for them. Note how many people could see the 3D effect for each combination. Note the distance at which the image popped for each person.

Record your results on the table your teacher provides so that the entire class can draw conclusions. Be prepared to contribute your conclusions to the final analysis.

Lesson Plan Translation[language-switcher]

Downloadable Student Certificate of Completion