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ChromaDepth glasses with prism-like film
A ChromaDepth demonstration image.

Chromadepth is a patented system from the company Chromatek (a subsidiary of American Paper Optics since 2002) that produces a stereoscopic effect based upon differences in the diffraction of color through a special prism-like holographic film fitted into glasses. Chromadepth glasses purposely exacerbate chromatic aberration and give the illusion of colors taking up different positions in space, with red being in front, and blue being in back. This works particularly well with the sky, sea or grass as a background, and redder objects in the foreground.

Technical Details[edit]

Any media piece can be given a 3D effect as long as the color spectrum is put into use with the foreground being in red, and the background in blue. From front to back the scheme follows the visible light spectrum, from red to orange, yellow, green and blue. This means any color is associated in a fixed fashion with a certain depth when viewing. As a result, ChromaDepth works best with artificially produced or enhanced pictures, since the color indicates the depth. Unlike anaglyph images or polarization, creating real-life ChromaDepth pictures without manual enhancement is practically impossible, since cameras cannot portray true depth; most other 3D schemes use the concept of stereopsis. However, this also gives ChromaDepth images a distinct advantage: unlike stereopsis-based schemes that require two images, ChromaDepth contains depth information in one image, which eliminates the ghosting seen in other schemes when one attempts to view them without 3D glasses. Thus, ChromaDepth images can be viewed comfortably and legibly without glasses, even though the 3D effect will not be perceivable without them.

Use Case Examples[edit]

The ChromaDepth system helped bring the haunted attraction industry to new heights when popular attractions such as Netherworld Haunted House in Atlanta, GA began using the technology in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The system was used variously for comic-books, educational books for children, light show displays at such planetariums as the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, amusement park "black light" attractions, and other printed and projected applications. This method was also used for I Love the '80s 3-D and glasses could be bought at Best Buy. Chromadepth has recently been put into use in Crayola's 3D Chalk. This technique was also used by the production company Quirky Motion for the music video promoting New Cassettes 2007 single "recover/retreat" as part of the BBC Electric Proms [1]

One major application of the ChromaDepth system has been the Afterlife haunted house during Halloween Horror Nights at the Universal Orlando Resort. The use of the glasses in combination with UV art and lasers produced a walk-through experience themed after the movie Afterlife. The house has been reviewed as both technically impressive by using the Chromadepth system, but has also been described as disorienting.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ BBC - Glastonbury 2007 - New Cassettes

ChromaDepth images[edit]