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Old 11-04-2010, 09:21   #1
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[Feature] A New Decade, A New Dimension

Comments attached to the Feature 'A New Decade, A New Dimension' on Movies @ The Digital Fix

Roger Keen asks the big question: after Avatar and Alice has 3-D finally come of age?

Click here to read!
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:21   #2
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Brilliant article, very enjoyable read.
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:56   #3
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Well, I shall start...by disagreeing wildly with your review.

Did we watch the same AVATAR movie? I was wondering because I have only ever seen the 3D version and all I saw was the the aforementioned Oscar winner rip-off, albeit beautifully shot, incorperating some very well done 3D.

Despite the fact that I admire your visionary viewpoint, I cannot disagree with it more strongly, as I think that you are over selling 3D cinema to an, let's say, overly enthusiastic degree. I really feel that by the mid Tenies, 3D will have disappeared again. And for the same main reason that it always disappears. As much as I would love 3D to succeed I still think that it will fail, even with this new push, for the very same reason it has always failed in the past.

THE GLASSES. Plain and simple. Oh it is alright for one 2 hour film, it is all a part of the event. But for this to take off and really become a thing, it has to go mainstream and move out of the fringe/fad area. And that means shooting a whole lote more things than average, certainly more than there is now in the works, and for most if not all of them to be very successful, and the averages are plain and simply against that happening.

It, as always is going to boil down to the money. Are studious going to put out a lot of very expensive movies and risk a return, or a lot of even more horrendously expensive 3D movies and risk a greater loss? I doubt it. And, you now studious these days do factor in the domestic home viewing market too, they do look at the DVD/Blu sales now, right at the start, as a part of the possible profit curve. This will get factored in to the equation and to be honest, it does not look promising. Home 3D is the key to success of the format as a whole and I think that the CE companies have already dropped the ball.

Examine the two situations. In an ideal world, a person will go to the cinema, see a film in glorious 3D, then a few months later he will want to replicate this in his home. In theory, that is no problem. In reality, it is a nightmare!

When you go to the cinema and watch a 3D movie, it is a totlaly self contained event, it is all provided for you, it is all done for you, you don't need to worry about the screen, you don't have to worry about the projection/display system, they even hand you the glasses as you file on by. They point you at the seat and away you go. That's that.

Now in the back of every 3D fan's mind is the desire to recreate that event in-house. To the dedicated fan this might not be a problem. To interested but average, ordinary person, to whom this 3D thing is quite nice, when they get to see the truth of it, they will quickly be put off. As you might realistically expect and understand.

Such an everyday, person-on-the-street buyer (because let's not mince words here, that's exactly who we are speaking about), who might consider themselves a little ahead of the curve by already having an HDTV - 1080p, none of this 1080i HD-READY rubbish - and real HD from the family friendly PS3 wants to see his fave movie in 3D in his shiny new telly, but...to experience this in his home he has to what...replace his already very expensive HDTV and very expensive Bluray player for new ones, but even then that would not be enough because he would need to buy very expensive glasses too, several pairs, for his family.

That is just not going to happen en mass. It just wont. Everybody knows hese people are just out ot make money but this is now just taking the ******.

As to why I think that the companies have droped the ball, either accidentally or accidentally-on-purpose?

If this new push on 3D was a real one, ie one that all the CE companies wanted to succeed, then the domestic 3D system that everyone would be behind would be LG's glasses-free 3DTV system and NOT any system that requires you to place a pair of glasses over you eyes. Yes it does still need to be developed and perfected and you would need to replace the TV you have for one of these, but the just-put-it-in-and-watch approach would be a reality.

If you can sit a person down infront of either his cinema screen or his TV screen and he can watch a film, a let's say AVATAR 3 (gawdhelpus!), and he can happily just put it into his player, and him not having to bother with silly glasses AND STILL gets a full 3D effect...that is when it will really take off and not one minute before.

So, as to the CE companies dropping the ball, accidentally...or not so.

Are the Cinematic versions of 3D being used at the moment all compatible with each other? Are they in turn compatible with the 3D TVs that are already here/on the way? You know the TVs I mean, the ones where you need to wear the stupid ****** glasses! Are they compatible with the new Bluray players we are all expected to trade up for? Well what a coincidence that is.

Are they compatible with the no-glasses 3DTVs (like the LG) also in development? Are the Blurays compatible with the no-glasses TVs? If the answer is "Yes they are" then I hold my hands up and admit to my error.

The last part of my argument would infer that the CE companies are holding back better domestic tech than we know to be available here and now, and this can never happen ...can it?

Anybody remember the SKYvsBSB battle? SKY was all analogue (picture and stereo sound) and BSB was all digital (picture and NICAM digital sound) and yet SKY won, and so satalite TV stayed all analogue, at least until saturation point hit and SKY DIGITAL was launched.

Does everyone have the internet now? Probably, and if not directly in your home, then there is free access at local libraries. Well I was around as a consumer before there was the internet as we know it today, I was there at the roll out if the internet in the UK and when the telecoms companies had the choice of new regular analogue cabling, or the option of fibre optic cables (which could carry much more information) and which did the telecoms companies opt for? Yep, the very one they knew that they could charge you extra for, a few years down the line. The same one now being installed in place of the they chose 15 years ago.

Short sighted, or good business practice? You decide.

Impossible? It happen everyday of the week.
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:48   #4
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It's probably not my place to say as I saw it in 2D, but I've heard that the 3D in Alice in Wonderland was terrible so was quite surprised to hear you sing it's praises, not to mention praising the film itself which was a lifelessly dull experience with little drive to keep anyone interested beyond some pretty visuals (the CGI looked shoddy at that).

Sorry, but I had to rant a little - I really didn't go for Alice at all. The article itself was great though, most interesting even though I side with LightStorm at times.
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Old 11-04-2010, 17:15   #5
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Thanks for your comments. I hoped this might get a lively debate going.

As for Alice, I know it’s had some lukewarm coverage but it really worked for me. Mind you I’m a fan of Caroll and ‘hallucinatory’ literature and films generally, AND the 3-D was an integral part of the experience. You should neither judge a 3-D film by what it’s like in 2-D, nor go on someone else’s opinion, since the 3-D effect is a very subjective thing.

As for the future of 3-D, well the technology is there now and can only improve. 3-D animation is definitely here to stay, since the stereoscopy can be introduced from the beginning without it being a big deal. Stereoscopic live-action shooting is still hugely expensive, but Avatar proves the maths can work. And glasses-free 3-D systems are in development. We shall see what happens.
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Old 11-04-2010, 23:19   #6
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Excellent article. I'm somewhat on the fence when it comes to 3D. I've seen 3 uses of it that I liked - Avatar, of course, UP, in which it adds a subtle extra dimension to an already beautifully charming film, and My Bloody Valentine 3D - which existed purely for the visceral thrill of seeing a spade chop someone's head in half, all in gruesome 3D.

Examining these films closely tho, and whilst I loved Avatar, it was clichéd storytelling with some clever sci-fi trappings - and the 3D has clearly not inured the film from this criticism. UP was equally as beautiful a watch on bluray - the glorious colours that Pixar used are much more visible in the 2D version, That leaves My Bloody Valentine - perhaps the film out of the three that gained the most from being conceived in 3D for it's gratuitious, literally IN YOUR FACE use of 3D. It had the lot - 3D nudity, inventive deaths, objects reaching out into the audience, but, frankly, another 5 horror films following the same gimmicky template and we would all likely be groaning. The old-fashioned, anaglyph 3D release of My Bloody Valentine really doesn't do a good job at all, but the film is equally as unsatisfactory when watched in 2D.

Where does that leave us? Well, for the time being it leaves us exactly where Hollywood wants us to be - putting bums on seats for a cinematic experience that cannot yet be replicated at home (one minor technological advance you passed over in your article was that of the move in the 50's to widescreen ratios - which was brought in, not for art's sake, but to give the audience something it had to go to the cinema to see - the small, 4:3 television sets were having an effect on cinema attendances and this was the result. 3D is intended to do the same.

Whether it is ever satisfactorily recreated at home remains to be seen, I personally have my doubts. But I will still continue to watch 3D films at the cinema - my son loves them, but I shall also keep paying heed to reviews so that I am only watching 3D films in which the artistic intent was always to shoot that way.



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Old 11-04-2010, 23:22   #7
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*I should clarify that I mean the anaglyph red/green version of My Bloody Valentine that was released on bluray/DVD - obviously the cinema release was Real-D.
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:17   #8
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My question, not having seen any of these new brand of 3D films, is how do they work for people with slight vision problems?

For example I have a lazy left eye. This means that while both eyes together resolve images perfectly, using my left eye alone makes everything extremely blurred since my brain cannot process the data from that eye properly. The old style of 3D (with different coloured lens glasses) was therefore no good for me.

I've avoided the new 3D films for this reason (perhaps wrongly) and I'm hoping that all films don't go down that route.
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:15   #9
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I dont think home 3D will take off the way the manufacturers think...its simply too expensive. Not to mention the fact of what you are actually going to watch on it if you did buy everything necessary to justify that cost!

Perhaps a few years down the line when no glasses are needed but not this or next year I think.
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:20   #10
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daflj, it unfortunately still works in a similar way - each eye receives a slightly different image which causes the two to produce the 3D effect when resolved into one image by your brain. Albeit, with Real-D it uses polarized light and lenses to produce the effect rather than the red/green glasses - but it's an improved version of the same thing really.

That probably leaves you in the same position I'm afraid - I suppose at least whilst cinemas are providing 2D showings you aren't entirely cut off but I'm not sure how satisfactory you will find that.

I do agree with you that it would be awful if every film ends up being produced in 3D - traditional cinematography can be a breathtaking thing of artistic beauty.
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Old 12-04-2010, 11:10   #11
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Very good article and it helps shed a light on some of the history and issues.

Quote:
It has been quickly grasped by the industry that people are flocking to cinemas purely for the buzz, the fix of 3-D, and in a world where home entertainment has impacted upon cinema attendance, that’s a really important factor.
The worrying thing about this is the industry's potential for dialing down the intelligence level of main stream films even further, now that it seems to them that all they have to do is include lots of wow-factor 3D effects for a film to be successful. Could it be possible that films can become even dumber than Transformers 2?
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Old 12-04-2010, 12:32   #12
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Thanks Gizmo
you're quite right - it probably means that I'd be stuck in the same position as with the red/green glasses.

Still at least I don't have to pay the extra for seats for a 3D performance :)

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Old 12-04-2010, 14:55   #13
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daflj, I too have the same problem with my eyes and this whole 3D thing will never work for me. My children have seen Avatar in 3D and said how good it looks but to me I am never going to benefit from anything shot in 3D and do hope that in the long run people like ourselves will not be cut out of the bigger picture and will never have to miss out on watching a movie because of this.
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Old 14-04-2010, 01:41   #14
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If you do find your cinema only has a 3D performance and you are dragged along by family commitments, for example - there is a way to still be able to watch even if you cannot see the 3D image due to eye problems.

1) Take 2 pairs of Real-D glasses.

2) Pop out the left lens in pair 1.

3) Pop out the right lens in pair 2.

4) Put the left lens from pair 1 > into the right lens space on pair 2.

5) Do the reverse to the other pair.

6) Voila - both eyes receive the same image.

Again, not exactly satisfactory but a work around.
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Old 14-04-2010, 08:17   #15
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Excellent article and I learnt something. I thought that Alice had been retrofitted entirely for 3D? Why would they shoot the CGI in 3D and not the live action? Would explain why the live action looked so awful in 3D though compared with the rest.

Superb read.
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Old 14-04-2010, 08:27   #16
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Thanks Gizmo for the work around, I will certainly give it a go as I got nothing to lose anyway so thanks again really appreciate the advice
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Old 14-04-2010, 09:25   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by *******
Excellent article and I learnt something. I thought that Alice had been retrofitted entirely for 3D? Why would they shoot the CGI in 3D and not the live action? Would explain why the live action looked so awful in 3D though compared with the rest. Superb read.

Thanks *******, glad you enjoyed it.

Burton considered shooting in full 3-D, with stereoscopic cameras as Avatar was done, but the bulkiness of the cameras, plus the additional time and expense involved put him off. He only had 12 days, in the UK around Plymouth for the bookends, and 40 days for the greenscreen; also he wanted to keep the greenscreen time down, because of the sick-making effect of the environment. So he shot the live action in 2-D and converted. As for the animated elements they could be rendered in 3-D from the outset in the digital domain, so they looked much better than, say, the CGI in Clash of Titans, which wasn’t so rendered.

Basically there’s a lot more to 3-D than the two extremes of complete 3-D and complete retrofit. Also some retrofits are better that others and it’s easier with animation, as the refits of Toy Story 1 & 2 show.
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Old 14-04-2010, 16:58   #18
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Now here's an interesting development:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2010/...in-scorsese-3d

Looks as though the next Scorsese is going to be filmed in 3D, whilst the article also notes that Herzog is about to do a doc in the format too.
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Old 15-04-2010, 06:17   #19
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I have similar eyesight problems to Daflj and Yid219 which means that I don't normally have binocular vision. (Result of a convergent squint corrected at age 3 which has turned into a divergent squint.) However, I have experienced 3D - one of the most notable examples was a showing of Friday the 13th Part 3 at the NFT several years ago. Polarised glasses work for me - as long as my eyes aren't tired going in! Coloured anaglyph glasses are hopeless.

I'm agnostic as to whether 3D is the future of cinema. For that to be the case, we'd have to get to the point where we don't notice that a film is 3D, much as we don't usually notice that a film is in colour these days. And 3D won't be appropriate for anything that's meant to look "documentary" or "period" - an extreme example would be a film like Paranormal Activity, which is meant to look like home camcorder footage.

On another thought, if we can now convert a 2D film to 3D, why not use this technology to restore some older 3D films which currently only survive "flat", e.g. Top Banana (1954)?



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Old 29-06-2010, 09:48   #20
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I want to ask something here, since we are talking about 3D. Since many movies will come in 3D & are some films that went to IMAX, isn't that logically to asume that all movies that went in IMAX will come in 3D BD? If I'm not mistaken, beauty & the beast, llion king & star wars episode II:attack of the clones were some of them? It will be cool to make s spot in this site to put all these films there, so to know what to expect from studios.
I don't know about you but personally I don't want to buy let's say the upcomming beasty & the beast BD & after some time disney release a 3D BD. To me only those movies that make it in IMAX in past or even a plain 3D is worth to buy, I will not buy gladiator in 3D becouse it was never made for it as an example.
So what you guys say? Make a list with all the movies ever go to 3D or IMAX?
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