Information-dependent (active) polarization encoding can be used to simultaneously present two image-resolvable elements [elements of left and right views of a three-dimensional (3D) scene] in a single display pixel. Polarization decoding, with the help of passive polarization filters, makes it possible to separate elements of left and right views and to observe them independently by left and right eyes. In this paper the basic theory of such 3D displays is developed. The relevant solutions of the general equation of light elliptical polarization are obtained in all important cases: cases of controlled birefringence and/or optical activity as three basic controlled polarization encoders. The obtained formulas are essentially the forms of signals that should control the values of birefringence and optical activity to realize the required polarization encoding. Optical schemes of flat-panel direct-view stereoscopic and autostereoscopic displays with the use of liquid crystal polarization encoding matrices are considered.
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