Stereoscopic in the 21st Century.
Is Stereoscopic the future of cinema or a passing hype?
A dissertation by Leonardo Costa
National Film and Television School
Cinema since was created in 1895, has been three-dimensional. Not the technology to view the film but the depth cues that filmmakers developed throughout the years to give the audience the impression of perspective, relative size, and texture. They learned how to control the 3D effect using light, focal lens, moving a camera, adding fog or mist to the background and other techniques.
3D is the natural form of vision for predators. Animals lower on the food chain tend to have a wide-angle vision to look for danger. This could explain why watching a 3D film give us a felling of completeness that was lacking in 2D films, despite the efforts of the filmmakers using depth cues to create dimension. It is important to recognize that cinema has always been three-dimensional because the new 3D cinema is not a revolution – rather it is part of an evolutionary process.
In the late 20th century 3D was falsely associated with cheap and red and blue glasses. However, even in the 1950s, 3D used sunglass-like, neutral gray filter that provided a full-color, highly comfortable viewing experience. The days when audiences had to wear fragile spectacles fitted with colored filters to create the illusion of objects flying out of the screen – and risk losing the effect if they moved their head – are long gone. Today, cinemagoers pay extra for state-of-the-art Ray ban-style glasses, fitted with polarising filters that superimpose the twin images projected on to the screen to create the 3D effect.
Nowadays 3D is making its way into mainstream cinema the way color and sound did in the past. Before we see this happening, 3D cinema faces challenges. The recognition of the huge profits that films like the Polar Express can make quickly turned the studio onto 3D ever since 2005 but, beyond the money, the major attraction for Disney is that it’s an experience that you just can’t pirate.
“Ninety per cent [of piracy] is due to someone taking a camera into a movie theatre,” Jeffery Katzenberg, president of DreamWorks Animation told CNN. “You can’t camcorder 3D. So the by-product of this is that it will have some serious implications about that.” 1
That may be true for now while the hardware manufacturers and broadcasters struggle to find a standard to which they can all conform but what happens when they find a way? What happens know that 3D TV has come to our homes in Blu-ray and 3D channels?
In the past the problems in align the 35mm projectors caused nausea and headache in the audience but nowadays with the advent of the digital projection, the projector can easily screen exact the same frame on the left and right eye, solving one of the main problems of the golden era of the 3D in 1950.
There will be no 3D cinema without these two elements: stories really benefiting from 3D and fully developed 3D cinematography. If the genre can transcend the gimmick and really use this new dimension of depth to actually enhance the art of story telling rather than just make the audience jump every now and then, then it will probably be here to stay and companies will find a way of making it work in the home. Once that’s in place, then at least for now, Hollywood still has its cash cow with their money coming from Blu-ray sales or pay-per-views and audiences once again having no need for trips to the cinema. And once the studios are happy with that, then there’ll be no real reason for them to worry about the cinema, leaving movie houses potentially out in the cold come the next big winter.
After all, does 3D add an extra dimension to the film-going experience, or is it just a trick to get punters to part with more money?
In order to obtain more insight into this matter, we need to think about the good, the bad, and the future of cinema.
A brief history of Stereoscopic
Stereoscopic works because it is able to recreate the illusion of depth. Human eyes are set about two-and-a-half inches apart, so each eye sees an image slightly differently. 3D Cinema creates the illusion of volume by projecting two pictures, left and right eye and with the help of special glasses; the images are filtered and isolated one picture per eye, and with the help of the brain form the image.
How 3D Cinema works
Above: The New 3D Cinema experience2
While the popularity of stereoscopic 3D film production is resurging in Hollywood, it’s certainly not a new phenomenon. The stereoscopic era of motion pictures began in the late 1890s when a British film pioneer filed a patent for a 3D movie, The Power of Love, process using two projectors. Although many experiments were conducted over the next two decades, it wasn’t until 27 September 1922 that the first confirmed 3D movie, The Power of Love, was shown to a paying audience at the Ambassador Theater in Los Angeles; however, the experience was disappointing due to glare.
The basics of how the stereopticon (and all other stereo viewing devices) work was first lay out as far back as ancient Greece when Euclid explained the principles of binocular vision. He demonstrated that the right and left eyes see a slightly different version of the same scene and that it is the merging of these two images that produces the perception of depth. Most of all, however, 3D is an entirely new tool for storytelling. Like light and sound, it can alter a mood or highlight a moment—once you learn how to use it.
The 1920’s: early adventures in 3D
The idea of making 3D movies began with the earliest days of cinema. The groundbreaking feature The Power of Love, first ever-commercial release of a 3D film, used the so-called ‘anaglyph’ process to create its 3D images. This works by shooting two reels of film side-by-side, corresponding to the left and right eyes of the viewer. The two film reels were then printed in two different colors – green and red – and shown using a complicated dual-projector system.
To ensure that their left and right eyes saw the appropriate images, viewers of anaglyph movies had to wear special spectacles with one red and one green (later, cyan) lens to watch the 3D films. Even so, audiences were hooked.
Later refinements meant that the two colored images could be combined onto one strip of film, and the anaglyph process became the standard for making 3D movies for the next quarter-century.
The 1950s: ‘Golden Era’ of 3D
The ‘Golden Era’ of 3D began in 1952 when a gruesome low-budget film, Bwana Devil, became an overnight sensation, with audiences queuing round the block to see man-eating lions feasting in 3D. It was the beginning of the first 3D craze. Hollywood had its hopes on the third dimension with studio chiefs desperate to win audiences back from television. The TV sets were popping up in living rooms, so they tricked out a run of B pictures—Bwana Devil, It Came from Outer Space, Vincent Price’s House of Wax.
Above: Poster of Bwana Devil and House of Wax 3
The earlier anaglyphic system, which used red and green glasses, made it impossible to produce 3D films in the full color that audiences demanded. The solution came with the invention of a polarising 3D system. This used transparent, polarising filters for its 3D glasses, which filtered out light that was polarised into either the horizontal or vertical plane, ensuring that only the correct image reached each eye. This was the system that lay behind Bwana Devil‘s success. Full-colour 3D was born. These were double-system projections, using two 35mm projectors side-by-side. The resolution of 35mm film, plus the bright images thrown by the two projectors, produced bright, clear 3D impressions that were arguably better than can be achieved by today’s single digital 3D projectors—but at a cost. At this stage, 3D required extreme caution in the projection booth to prevent the experience to become a painful experience. The two projectors had to be maintained in synchronization to at least within two frames, or the images were unwatchable. This out of sync would confuse the brain in the process to form the image, causing nauseas. It worked for a while but the 1950s craze proved short-lived. Technical difficulties in production led to poor 3D quality and the novelty faded because the analog technology behind it sent the audience home with aching heads. Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M For Murder, originally filmed in 3D, was only released in 2D.
The renaissance of 3D – 2005
Analog camera systems can easily get out of synch, so can analog projection systems. In order to show 3-D properly, theaters had to switch to digital projection systems—an overhaul they long resisted. Finally, after years of arguing, the studios had agreed to shoulder most of the cost.
Digital technology has eliminated 3-D’s most agonizing side effects—the nausea, the headaches, the irresistible impulse to flee the room. But one problem still remains: those glasses. The basic technology that would do away with them was patented in Sweden in 1908, but no one has yet figured out how to make it work—and by most accounts, it will be years before they do.
Now, Hollywood is once again up against new media—videogames, home theatre systems illegal Internet file sharing—and struggling to dazzle a movie going public accustomed to multi-million dollar computer generated effects. But this time, the move to 3D is being driven by a handful of blockbuster directors, Robert Zemeckis and James Cameron chief among them.
The push began years ago, when Cameron, flush with profits from Titanic and bored with conventional moviemaking, began developing a stereoscopic camera system to shoot undersea documentaries in 3D for Imax. Then, when Zemeckis was making an Imax 3D version of The Polar Express, Peter Jackson stopped by his facility in Santa Barbara and was wowed by the way it sucked you into the picture. Zemeckis’ friend Steven Spielberg became a convert the same way. Now, Spielberg and Jackson are releasing a 3D trilogy based on the Belgian comic book series The Adventures of Tintin; Zemeckis directed a 3D performance-capture version of A Christmas Carol, with Jim Carrey as Scrooge; and Cameron released Avatar, which was the most eagerly anticipated 3-D movie of all.
AVATAR utilized a new technique to merge recorded and synthetic images, allowing James Cameron to alter and edit a blend of the two in real-time. Cameron used performance capture, and used a combination of robotics and animation, in order to bring action and emotion to the creatures.
They started in 2000 with 2 HD cameras shooting side-by-side, then changed to a parallel system and later on used beam split system, which permits total control when setting up interocular distance between the 2 lenses. A new camera system was built to allow the audience to feel depth and perception, and enable the use of convergence to position the focus where they wanted. A high frame rate was used to keep away stroboscopic and flickering in the images.
The CG and live-action epic adventure in stereoscopic 3D uses visionary new filmmaking techniques. The film includes more than 3,000 visual effects shots. Entire virtual worlds had to be created—from every blade of grass to every creature, spacecraft, floating mountain, and background. In addition, the crew had to undergo the time-consuming process of shooting actors in front of a green screen and subsequently meshing their actions seamlessly into the 3D virtual worlds. To bring the characters to life, Cameron used a new type of performance capture process. Actors wore special bodysuits with head rigs equipped with cameras that captured constant images of their faces. That data was then transmitted to another system that created a real-time image of the live actors appearing as their CG avatars. This process allowed him to hold a “virtual” camera, point it at the actors, and see them as their CG characters in real-time and make sure he got the right shots.
Besides the virtual camera filming technique, a completely new language was invented and taught to actors. Movement coaches allowed alien characters to move naturally in non-human patterns. Cameron’s new filming technique works something like a video game. In traditional CGI scenes, motion capture is used on actors, and the images are blended into synthetic environments in post-production. In AVATAR, Cameron uses a virtual camera to explore how characters look in the environment as they are being filmed. In other words, the director can see and manipulate the final product while he is still shooting the movie. This allowed Cameron to find the most realistic camera angles, the most intense movements, and the right flow between recorded and artificial.
Hollywood has been making the slow transition to green screens, CGI, and digital animation. Audiences only accept this transition when they can believe the reality of what they see on screen. Though there have been some stumbles, the trend is continuing towards completely digitalized entertainment that is as life-like as classically recorded film. AVATAR is likely to be another great step into the next stage of movie-evolution. Not only will it have an incredible alien world for audiences to experience, it will forever change how directors use digital animation. By giving directors another tool to help create more realistic digital scenes, James Cameron has edged us closer to science fiction that seems completely real.
Above: Poster of The Polar Express and Avatar 5
Cons of 3D Cinema
Some people who do not have normal depth perception cannot see in 3D at all. People with eye muscle problems, in which the eyes are not pointed at the same object, have trouble processing 3D images. Headaches and nausea were the chief reasons 3D technology never took off.
More than three million people in the UK have eye conditions that impair “stereoscopic vision” – normal, two-eyed depth perception – making it difficult, or even impossible, for them to experience 3D.
Conditions known to inhibit the effect include strabismus, a squint or “wandering” eye, and amblyopia, more commonly known as “lazy eye”, in which one eye has impaired vision. This is often caused by uncorrected childhood astigmatism, an easily treatable imperfection in the curvature of the eye that inhibits its ability to sharpen an image and affects depth perception.
The technology used to create the illusion of 3D can also cause more extreme physical reactions. Walter Murch, film editor and sound designer, wrote a letter explaining why 3D does not work and never will:
The biggest problem with 3D, though, is the convergence/focus issue. A couple of the other issues — darkness and smallness – are at least theoretically solvable. But the deeper problem is that the audience must focus their eyes at the plane of the screen — say it is 80 feet away. This is constant no matter what.
But their eyes must converge at perhaps 10 feet away, then 60 feet, then 120 feet, and so on, depending on what the illusion is. So 3D films require us to focus at one distance and converge at another. And 600 million years of evolution has never presented this problem before. All living things with eyes have always focused and converged at the same point.
If we look at the saltshaker on the table, close to us, we focus at six feet and our eyeballs converge (tilt in) at six feet. Imagine the base of a triangle between your eyes and the apex of the triangle resting on the thing you are looking at. But then look out the window and you focus at sixty feet and converge also at sixty feet. That imaginary triangle has now “opened up” so that your lines of sight are almost – almost – parallel to each other. 6
We can do this. 3D films would not work if we couldn’t. But it is like tapping your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time, difficult. So the “CPU” of our perceptual brain has to work extra hard, which is why after 20 minutes or so many people get headaches. They are doing something that 600 million years of evolution never prepared them for. This is a deep problem, which no amount of technical tweaking can fix. Nothing will fix it short of producing true “holographic” images.
Consequently, the editing of 3D films cannot be as rapid as for 2D films, because of this shifting of convergence: it takes a number of milliseconds for the brain/eye to “get” what the space of each shot is and adjust.
The new era of 3D is not only in cinemas. The growing popularity of three-dimensional movies such as James Cameron’s Avatar has inspired a crop of 3D TV sets. All the big television manufactures have been developing 3D TV’s and investing in different kinds of technology, however, it could take longer than expect for the 3D TV take off:
1. Some People Simply Hate 3D
There are a sizable number of people who don’t care for 3D and there is a small percentage of people – estimates vary somewhere between two-five percent – who either can’t see it or get physically ill when they watch it. This is not a huge hurdle – the numbers are small and may be shrinking – but it is still a factor.
2. The Price
Most 3D televisions are priced significantly higher than comparably sized flat-screen HD panels. This, too, is not a huge hurdle and prices will eventually drop but it is also one reason widespread adoption is slow to start.
3. The Technology
There are too many competing technologies and very few, if any, are compatible with other products. Until this changes, widespread 3D in the home will remain on hold.
4. The Glasses
One of the reports out of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show is that several manufacturers are offering televisions that work with passive glasses rather than more expensive active shutter glasses. This solves part of the cost problem and could also address one of the compatibility issues if the same glasses can be worn in most movie theatres and most homes. But that also assumes the technology is robust; demos are one thing, bringing a product to market is another.
5. The Lack of Standards
Manufacturers love to introduce proprietary technology because, if they win, it’s a home run. More often than not, however, the average consumer wants the promise of long-term stability before making an expensive purchase and that means standards. Without a viable set of accepted standards 3D for the home is not likely to go anywhere.
6. Human nature
People are show to embrace new technology on a broad scale. This is related to the fact that many people still don’t like or don’t get 3D but it represents a much bigger market segment. In recent years a very large number of people invested in wide-screen flat panel HD televisions. In the past, consumers typically held onto their new televisions for an average of thirteen years. This pattern could well change but it seems unlikely to be reduced by too many years unless something dramatic happens to fuel customer demand.
7. The Cost of Production
That raises the issue of the challenges the creative community currently faces regarding stereoscopic 3D. Generally stereoscopic 3D productions cost anywhere from 20-50 percent more than comparable 2D productions. While the promised payback on 3D films in theatres has been significant there have also been 3D movies that did not fare so well. Making movies is a high-risk endeavor; making 3D movies raises those stakes even higher. That won’t change anytime soon.
8. The Production Challenges
The creative community is only just beginning to understand how to shoot and light 3D. Actors are just starting to understand the nuances of performing in a scene that is being presented in 3D. More than a few major directors have voiced concern about working in 3D and a few have all but said they refuse to consider it. Despite this, filmmakers, especially younger filmmakers, are excited about the possibilities and are embracing 3D and all it has to offer. More 3D content is coming to market but there’s an enormous vacuum to fill.
9. The Post-Production Challenges
If anything, the challenges of editing 3D are even more daunting than shooting 3D. The greatest opportunities for 3D and the current biggest hurdles are in the post-production process. Here, too, great progress is being made but only a small number of post houses have serious expertise working with stereoscopic footage. That will change but, again, it takes time to learn something this complex and this new.
All of which leads to the fact that there is still relatively little good 3D content available for the home. And content is king. A 3D movie might well break all box office records but it could be awful in terms of narrative, character development and emotional impact.
This lack of content is changing and more is coming to market but very few people are likely to invest two thousand dollars or more on a new TV just to watch Avatar, Up and a handful of other movies. Stereoscopic 3D presents one of the greatest creative opportunities the motion picture industry has ever known. Until a steady stream of quality recorded and live 3D content is available, the public is likely to opt to spend a few dollars in order to see the next 3D movie at the Cineplex but not to spend thousands of dollars on a television for the home.
Those unlucky enough to experience side-effects from 3D films may soon find choosing which film to see on a Friday night at the cinema a far leaner experience. According to the UK Film Council, there are now 400 3D screens in Britain, with around 10 opening every week. Studios are also producing more films in 3D than ever before. George Lucas is working on remastering the Star Wars series in 3D, the next Shrek film will use the technology, as will the forthcoming sequels to Happy Feet and Friday the 13th.
The future of entertainment may be three-dimensional – but, for a significant number of viewers, it will be anything but a pleasurable experience.
Pros of 3D cinema
The profit advantages brought to studios in developing 3D stereoscopy in cinema are multifold. The technology brings with it a wide acceptance of digital projection technology in theaters a feat only brought on by the novelty of 3D. 3D screens attract 3 times more customers than 2D. The cinema releases of Avatar and Alice in Wonderland set new records for 3D box office and removed any doubts about the audience appeal of 3D.
On a more prosaic note, stereoscopic cinema is also largely inoculated from the threat of piracy, that perennial Hollywood bugbear. You can’t pirate a 3D image by smuggling a camcorder into your local multiplex.
Perhaps the biggest advantage 3D movies have right now is that they are still a novelty. Yes, this year has seen an influx of them, but they do have a long way to go before they outnumber 2D movies. For now, 3D movies do seem to be high on studio’s agendas, and they are being used to breathe new life into otherwise forgotten or badly reviewed movie franchises. Only time will tell as to how successful this will be.
Another string to the 3D bow is that there is the potential to take audiences into the reality on the screen. A 3D horror movie and people could make people jump in their seats and grab in the air. 3D undoubtedly makes what we are seeing more vivid and, therefore, real. We can almost touch the world the characters exist in, and there have been a few rare moments where you have the impression that you are at the same table as the characters. But ‘rare’ is the key word here; it isn’t always that easy to blur the boundary between our worlds and the worlds on the cinema screen, which leads nicely onto the downside of 3D movies.
2. 100% digital DLP Cinema chip for an amazing 3D picture
DLP Cinema technology was the world’s first digital 3D single projector solution for movie theaters and commercial use. By using just one projector to produce a 3D image, technical problems of past like cross talk and ghosting, are virtually eliminated. What moviegoers experience are precise, lifelike images in vibrant colors delivered through the millions of microscopic mirrors on the DLP Cinema chip. The chip acts as a light modulator or reflector, and not as a generator of light, resulting in an amazing 3D picture.
3. Experience 3D Movie Vision
There are two ways to view a digital 3D film: through active or passive glasses. Passive glasses are the most common type of eyewear used in today’s digital 3D movie experience. These lightweight glasses are based on a polarization modulator and can be thrown away after watching the movie. The most widely used passive glasses for cinemas are provided by RealD; however, DLP Cinema 3D technology powers MasterImages and Dolby’s 3D passive glasses.
Today there are more than 700 theaters in the country that offer the digital 3D experience powered by DLP Cinema technology. There are more theaters opening every day and more movies being made with the digital 3D experience in mind.
3D Eyewear: Close up
Active eyewear devices are wireless battery-powered glasses with liquid crystal shutters that are run in synchrony with the video field rate. Synchronization information is communicated to the glasses by means of an infrared (IR) emitter. When the emitter recognizes the vertical blanking synchronization pulse through the computer’s video signal, it broadcasts coded IR pulses to signify when the left eye and right eye images are being displayed. The glasses incorporate an IR detection diode that detects the emitter’s signal and tells the shutters when to close and transmit. Although viewing a 3D movie with active glasses virtually eliminates ghosting, the glasses are expensive and need to be cleaned after every use.
An alternative to active glasses is the passive approach or ZScreen, which is a special kind of liquid crystal polarization modulator and requires theatres to install a silver screen. The ZScreen is placed in front of the DLP Cinema projector lens(es) like a sheet-polarizing filter. The device changes the characteristic of polarized light and switches between left- and right-handed circularly polarized light at field rate. The advantage of circular polarized light is that audience members may move their heads a lot more before the stereoscopic effect is lost. Passive glasses are made of either cardboard or plastic that cannot be sanitized and therefore are for one time use.
4. 3D immersion experience
Immersion can describe a situation by where you are engrossed in a particular task that your awareness of stimuli outside the boundaries of the task becomes diminished. When we watch TV, we are less likely to notice sounds and movements outside and even though a window may be within the field of vision, we will not focus as much attention to it. This is because our brain has slimmed down the number of tasks in order to allow greater concentration and absorption of information. By reducing the effort involved in the suspension of disbelief, we significantly increase the immersion experience.
3d is the natural way of seeing it brings a feeling of realism to the audience. With 3d we no longer have to rebuild the volume of objects in the scene we are looking at, because we get them directly from our visual system. When we are ‘immersed’ in the media, despite you may want to believe, the medium in which you are immersed does not exist. Immersion is the process of creating a fictional scene or series of events in a way that our brain believes it to be real, but we can only be ‘fully’ immersed when the stimuli are believable.
5. The effect of 3d on the box offices
One of the most important factors in deciding whether to make a film, or any content, in 3D is, other than creative reasons, the effect of that decision on the potential revenue and profitability of the film. We are all-aware of the spectacular revenue generated by Avatar, but is that a one-time event? Is there any correlation between the decision to make a film in 3D and its eventual revenue?
The 3D effect on the box office is simple: on the opening weekend, it generates three-times the revenue per screen of flat cinema or 2D. Furthermore, 3D movies tend to hold audiences after their first weeks on screen much better than 2D movies do.
1. 3D movies have a much higher chance of achieving a big box office than 2D movies: 52% for 3D versus 5% for a 2D movie.
2. 3D movies are easier to attract distribution and financing.
3. 3D movies are almost certain to make money, an unheard-of claim for 2D movies.
In response to the audience’s demand, 3D releases have increased for the past year. Hollywood released 24 3D titles, almost doubling the volume of 2009. Total domestic 3D screens rose from 3,349 to 7,441 as of Oct. 25, 2010, which is a 122% jump in just one year.
Traditionally, the gross revenue measures box office performance. The following chart breaks down the top twenty grossing films domestically into 2D and 3D categories:
Above: Chart break for top twenty grossing films 2D and 3D 10
The gross for the 3D films includes the gross for both 2D as well as 3D versions of the film. Only about 25% of domestic screens are 3D capable, the most probable reason a person when to a 2D version of a film is because a 3D showing was not available in their theater or at a time convenient to them.
The data is dramatic: more than 50% of all 3D films released in 2010 made the top 20.
There are two possible explanations for this huge difference:
3D films are simply more attractive to the audience, or 3D films are more widely promoted by distribution.
3D movies have a much higher chance of getting a big box office than 2D movies:
Here is a full list of the top 20 grossing films of 2010, traditionally measured according to domestic gross revenue numbers, as of January 2, 2011.
Above: Chart of Top Grossing Films of 2010 11
Despite the traditional rhythms of successes and failures that characterize the movie industry, it remains that 50 to 70% of box office revenues are generated by 3D and that 3D has helped the entire industry to increase its revenue despite a declining number of tickets sold.
A new way of filmmaking. That’s the only way 3D cinema should be. It’s a different path of traditional cinema and new rules should be applied. Once directors realize that narrow depth of field is a cheesy photography trick (making films look more artsy) that shouldn’t apply in 3D cinema. Kubrick’s films would have been perfect for 3D because he loved unifocus and detached (no pop-off visuals) filming styles.
The new 3D era was possible due to the new digital cameras that make possible aligning the image in a way impossible to achieve with the 35mm cameras. Now the image manipulation takes a big step in the process. Some films would never work in 3D, however, action, thriller and animation proved to show all the benefits of 3D.
3D is coming from being a gimmick to be a tool for storytelling. It will never supersede that; a movie is good as the story is told. But as far the experience, it’s potentially the future for medium media. It’s has been a steady and slow progress. It’s getting to a point you can do whenever you want to do for a film. Human accurate photo real emotionally correct motion performance captures. 3D undoubtedly makes what we are seeing more vivid and real. We can almost touch the world the characters exist in.
3D glasses could be ditched soon, however for a big theatrical exhibition, you should still need to wear glasses, but for small devices such laptops and even for home screens, they will use auto stereoscopic system, where you don’t need to use the glasses.
The profit advantages brought to studios in developing 3D stereoscopy in cinema are multifold. The technology brings with it a wide acceptance of digital projection technology in theaters a feat only brought on by the novelty of 3D. 3D screens attract 3 times more customers than 2D.
3D cinema could open new perspectives of how to shoot the story, but not only a solution to raise tickets price and get more profit out of the public.
Acceptance of digital projection technologies eliminates the cost of manufacturing 35mm film prints and introduces a cost savings of digital delivery of movies directly to the cinema. This is a cost saving delivered directly to the studios producing the content. With digital 3D technology utilizing 4k cinema projectors capable of projecting 3D content with either one or two projector models the quality of the image is not diminished over film but rather the experience is enhanced by the advent of a new medium. As well the issue of piracy is diminished. It was a unique selling point acknowledged by Avatar director Cameron who observed: “You can pirate a 3D movie but you can’t pirate it in 3D, so you can’t bottle that 3D experience.” 12
Filmmakers must acknowledge the limitations of presentation. An effort must be made to give the audience more than a carnival ride of special effects, explosions and whirly things coming out of the screen. 3D stereoscopy must work well as another tool in the filmmakers’ arsenal of techniques rather than a tiring series of visual bang and clangs. Inevitably the effect will grow tiring and will not be able to save a bad script.
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1 Quote: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7976385.stm
2 Image: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7976385.stm
3 Image: http://perspectives.3ds.com/wp-content/uploads/anaglyph-glasses1.jpg
4 Image: http://www.3dmoviesblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/real-d-glasses.jpg
5 Images: http://www.impawards.com/2004/posters/polar_express.jpg http://imgs.abduzeedo.com/files/articles/Avatar/4155453222_fe2ec6cdbf_o.jpg
6 Quote: http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2011/01/post_4.html
7 Images: http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2011/01/post_4.html
8 Image: http://www.samsung.com/us/system/consumer/accessory/ss/g3/10/ssg3100gbza/battery-type-3_4.jpg
9 Image: http://3dtvscdn.3dtvs.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/RealD-polarized-3d-glasses.jpg
10 Statistics: www.the-numbers.com
11 Statistics: www.the-numbers.com
12 Quote: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/3d-cinematic-revolution-or-just-a-trick-of-the-light-1925400.html