Why do I see several 3D glasses that have different color combinations?
Complementary color anaglyphs employ one of a pair of complementary color filters for each eye. The most common color filters used at American Paper Optics are our specialized red and cyan. Employing tristimulus theory, the eye is sensitive to three primary colors, red, green, and blue. The red filter admits only red, while the cyan filter blocks red, passing blue and green (the combination of blue and green is perceived as cyan). If a paper viewer containing red and cyan filters is folded so that light passes through both, the image will appear black. Another recently introduced form employs blue and yellow filters. (Yellow is the color perceived when both red and green light passes through the filter.)
Anaglyph images have seen a recent resurgence because of the presentation of images on the Internet as well as the 3D movie craze. Where traditionally, this has been a largely black & white format, recent digital camera and processing advances have brought very acceptable color images to the internet and DVD field. With the online availability of low cost paper glasses with improved red-cyan filters, and plastic framed glasses of increasing quality, the field of 3D imaging is growing quickly. Scientific images where depth perception is useful include, for instance, the presentation of complex multi-dimensional data sets and stereographic images of the surface of Mars. With the recent release of 3D DVDs, they are more commonly being used for entertainment. Anaglyph images are much easier to view than either parallel sighting or crossed eye stereograms, although these types do offer more bright and accurate color rendering, most particularly in the red component, which is commonly muted or desaturated with even the best color anaglyphs. A compensating technique, commonly known as Anachrome, uses a slightly more transparent cyan filter in the patented glasses associated with the technique. Processing reconfigures the typical anaglyph image to have less parallax to obtain a more useful image when viewed without filters.