Visual Fatigue and Discomfort in Stereoscopic Video

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Birna Run Olafsdottir
4. term, Medialogy, Master (Master Programme)
Stereoscopic cinema is a recently resurrected trend in the film industry. While most audiences enjoy the vivid effect stereoscopic cinema creates, negative side effects, such as visual fatigue, has been cited as a significant issue. Some people report that viewing a stereoscopic film causes severe discomfort and visual fatigue. An experimental study designed to investigate the contributing factors would reveal whether those negative components could be eliminated via the image content.
In the thesis it was hypothesised that one element only, moving in the depth of field would cause less visual fatigue and discomfort than multiple elements.
Two experiments were carried out in order to find evidence in support of the hypothesis, if any. Each experiment consisted of two versions of stereoscopic video, one containing a single element and the other multiple elements. The first experiment contained fully stereoscopic stimuli, and the second experiment contained only partially stereoscopic stimuli meaning not all elements were stereoscopic.
The experiments were conducted with repeated measures where each participant watched videos that contained single and multiple elements and rated his or her discomfort and fatigue on a five point rating scale.
The results did not support the hypothesis. It was evident that any differences between experiment stimuli did not affect the perceived discomfort.
Numerous speculations regarding the hypothesis are considered. The experimental stimuli were very short and the display method was not optimal, both factors deemed likely to have affected the result from the experiment. With that said it could be concluded that visual fatigue and discomfort are more physiological issues and that image content is most likely not a significant factor.
Publication date28 May 2010
Number of pages61
Publishing institutionAalborg University Copenhagen
ID: 31987185