It can render stereoscopic images in the viewport as anaglyphs or - more usefully to me - using active steroscopic displays.
I decided to test it on my laptop (Corei7 8GB RAM nVIDIA GeForce 555M 3GB Win64) with an active nVIDIA 3D VISION display, using the blender-2.75-testbuild1-windows64 version.
Enabling stereoscopic features is pretty straightforward (just check the Views box in the scene properties). By default it uses Anaglyph display, to use my active display I enabled the "Time sequential" display mode in the "Set stereo 3D" item of Blender's "Windows" menu.
It needs to be in full screen mode (Alt-F11) to work, which is handy since it allows to switch stereoscopy on and off with one shortcut.
For the occasionnal stereoscopic video maker that I am, Blender provides a pretty good set of tools and allows to quickly set and visualize stereoscopic parameters such as convergeance and interocular distances (stereoscopic panel of the Camera properties)
I have tested it on my setup with several of my scenes (some counting over 4 milion polygons) display is still relatively fluid and I wasn't able to make it crash with the kind of scenes I use in production.
I tested it in edit mode, trying to model in stereo using the Lock Camera to View switch : I was a bit disappointed since I expected that the stereo display would help see/select vertices more easily, but with the mouse pointer staying 2D that wasn't the case, instead it made things less handy, so staying out of stereo mode for editing is probably a better choice. Same applies to sculpting and painting modes :/
(Maybe having a 3D pointer would be an usage for the legendary 2 mice setup ? :P probably tough to get used to though ..)
However, looking at your models (in object mode) in stereo 3D really helps getting a more precise idea of the model's shape and spot small topology problems.
Many good surprises :
- rendered images in the image editor are displayed in stereo (using the set display mode, in my case "Time sequencial")
- the new "Views format" settings in the output allows to automatically save stereoscopic images in the side by side (or anaglyph) format
- you can use a stereoscopic movie / image sequence as a background image in the 3D viewport, thus allowing CGI / live action integration previsualisation in real time
- the viewer node of the compositor also works in stereo, and a new "Swich view" node allows working on each L/R channel separately
- the video sequence editor image preview window also works in stereo, thus offering a complete stereoscopic video production and post-production pipeline right within Blender !
I can think of one small improvement that would save time in post-production (for pop-out texts and that kind of simple stereo effects) at a probably low development cost : being able to set a different x image offset for each L/R channel of a sequencer strip.
Thanks to Dalai for the comments and tips !
Well, that's about it for today, looking forward to reading your comments below.
As always kudos to the Blender devs for this awesome new feature, you guys rock !
Now off to translate all this in french (some day :P)