View Full Version : 3D Modeling'Animating Related Illness?

03-08-2007, 08:54 AM
I'm posting this in the Mac forum because it deals with using the software on the Mac platform.

This probably sounds like an odd question, but does anyone, or has anyone, had what they consider an illness caused as a side effect to using 3D modeling or animation software? I'm not talking about the high blood presssure that is a result of a computer crashing on an unsaved file. I'm talking about an incapacitating headache or nausea that happens only after a session of 3D modeling or animating. It doesn't seem to happen after a similar amount of time spent using something like PhotoShop, and it doesn't always happen after modeling or animation, but the connection seems to be just happening after modeling or animating. This is happening to one student in a classroom of students using v9 on the Mac G5's (PPC) that are connected to NEC LCD monitors. The class runs for 2 hrs 45 minutes, but as I stated before, the same thing doesn't seem to happen when using "2D" graphics software like PhotoShop.

If this has happened to anyone else how did you deal with it? What did you change? What suggestions do you have? Any thought would be appreciated.



03-08-2007, 09:07 AM

I used to have a client who was building a software/hardware combo for human vision study. There is a definitive link between viewing objects less than 20 feet away and vision problems (especially myopia). So yeah, I can see that happening.

Specifically, this is the same thing that plagues some users (especially those with a good sense of distance) when they play 3D video games. The 'sense' of depth fools what is referred to in archery as your distance eye (typically the non-dominant one), into constantly focusing in and out, trying to determine the exact distance.

I recommend occasional outside breaks, and telling them to at least get their eyes off the screen every few minutes. It's best if you can have them near a window, or somewhere that they can focus on an object over that 20' threshold.

(who knows way more about this than you probably want to know)

03-08-2007, 01:03 PM
The first time I played Mario 64 (my first 3d video game) I experienced the same problems. Over time they went away.

03-08-2007, 01:17 PM
It took me the longest time to realize the nausea I was experiencing at the end of the workday was caused by the after-hours UnReal bouts.

03-13-2007, 07:33 PM
If you are using a CRT monitor in a room lit by florescent bulbs (the long ones or even the small "lite bulb" like versions) you may be subject to headaches and nausea.

Frequent breaks would be good, getting a LCD monitor is a good solution, or even turning the light off while working.


03-15-2007, 07:46 PM
Hey, thanks to everyone for your responses. Breaks are always a good idea. Does it sound like a possibility that the refresh rate and screen resolution might add to the problem? We're adjusting and calibrating the monitor to see if that might be a problem too?

03-15-2007, 07:51 PM

Yes, refresh rate can be a huge factor in screen related vision problems.


03-15-2007, 08:10 PM
...or even turning the light off while working.

That has the big disadvantage of increasing the contrast of your surroundings to what you see on screen, which strains the eyes a lot.
No direct sunlight of course, but you ought to have decent ambient lighting (some workplace rules/standards even state no black monitor bezels).

Refresh rate isn't really a problem with LCDs.


03-16-2007, 09:23 AM
also, breaks themselves can help get blood flowing to the rest of your body. RSI's can contribute to headaches and nausea. Not all RSIs occur in your wrists (ala : carpal tunnel syndrome). if your holding your head the wrong way for 8.5 hours at a stretch, 5 days a week, then you might as well put your head in a vice and slowly increase the pressure every minute or so. you're kinking your nerves and they will let you know that they aren't happy.

excercise, changing your workstation around, and paying attention to the ergonomics of your rig, all help this problem.

I myself have an LCD and its on a vesa arm which allows me to move it around. if I feel like I've been looking up too much i lower it, if I'm craning to see something I pull the monitor closer. I've noticed much less eye strain with LCDs and less muscle tension with the arm.

John the Geek
03-16-2007, 08:46 PM
It's possible for people with even mild cases of vertigo to be affected by a rotating 3D environment, depending on the extreme I suppose. It sometimes gets the best of me, but I've largely gotten used to it. When I first started using 3D software around 9 months ago (on rather large screens) there were times after navigating too much or two fast that I would put my head down and the world would seem to just keep spinning around me. It felt awful, like a bad thrill ride, but stopped bothering me after a few weeks.

I thought it was just me, but maybe there is a bit more to it.