3D Another Look at Dolby Glasses Free Display (February 2014)

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
    Owner

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    46,407
    Likes Received:
    4,357
    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    [​IMG]
    Another Look At
    Dolby Glasses-Free Display
    by Ronald Epstein
    February 2014


    I am suddenly coming to the realization that purists like myself don't have the ability to alter the future and stop movie makers and display manufacturers from ruining the future of 3D. And perhaps, with that being said, maybe we purists have been looking at this whole 3D technology from the wrong perspective.
    After all, what popularized 3D in the 1950s and decades later in theme parks, was the ability for images to seemingly pop off the screen, coming mere inches from the faces of viewers. Those were the moments which caused audible gasps from audiences, and remained burned in their memories long after leaving the theater.
    Lately, it seems that most 3D filmmakers shy away from such gimmickry, even cautious to use it sparingly. Many argue that the use of pop-out lends to taking the viewer out of the film experience entirely. Such an argument certainly helps manufacturers like Dolby and Philips who have teamed up on creating Glasses-Free display technology for the home.
    I had the opportunity to first see this new autostereoscopic technology in person two years ago, while visiting Dolby Labs with other HTF members, during our 2012 California Meet. I had initially reported that I was mildly impressed with what I had seen, and even expressed resentment towards Dolby for downplaying the fact that their new technology was unable to provide any forward projection whatsoever.

    [​IMG]

    What's rather odd, is that now two years later, Dolby is still using the above graphic to illustrate the benefits of their Glasses-Free display. You see a turtle and other assorted sea life emerging forward from the display. Fact of the matter is, none of the exaggerated imagery depicted in that illustration is even possible on their display without the use of 3D eyewear. I am not quite certain why Dolby still insists on using that graphic to advertise what their display can (or rather can't) do.
    Having the opportunity to see this 55-inch display again this very week, I don't see any major improvements upon what I originally saw two years prior. Showing a repeated loop of clips from 3D films like Avatar, Frozen, Life of Pi and Avatar, the display essentially showed what appeared to be a slight level of depth and separation between background and forward objects. I would compare it to being the same effect you would see when looking at the lenticular cover of a 3D Blu-ray title. No surprise, as its actually a lenticular screen that has been attached to the display. In all, the effect is far more subtle than what you would see with current passive/active-shutter technology requiring eyewear.
    It was a little difficult getting to the "sweet spot" when viewing the display. I and other reporters found that sitting down directly in front of it gave the most optimal effect of separation. While Dolby claims their display has 28 different viewing zones, those that were standing forward or viewing from side, seemed to experience more subtle effects than those sitting directly forward.

    [​IMG]
    And then there's this guy....
    It was interesting that, within this demo presentation, was a segment featuring Avatar Director James Cameron, essentially endorsing this new technology that Dolby and Philips were developing. His endorsement certainly adds worth to this venture, and that is what got me thinking about how I should perhaps be looking at this technology from a different perspective....
    "Isn't this technology a step-down from current 3D that offers pop-out when wearing eyewear?," was the question I asked to the Dolby representative. "Yes, we initially felt that it might be" came the response of the rep, but he went on to explain that filmmakers are using pop-out less and less and concentrating more on providing depth.
    While that is true, for me, it sort of felt like a lame excuse to gloss over the limitations of the technology.
    But the Dolby representative added that people still complain about wearing glasses in order to watch 3D. He explained further that having a glasses-free viewing environment allows the viewer to be able to sit on their couch with a laptop or book and be able to quickly have their eyes switch between that content and their display. Here was the opportunity to watch television, in 3D, completely unbound, as you normally would. Why complain?
    And you know, as I talked with other reporters there -- mostly older than myself -- I heard voiced complaints about 3D television and the discomfort of having to wear eyewear and the strain of having to focus on the content without feeling nauseous. So, obviously, I am finding myself falling further and further into the minority when it comes to being a 3D purist.
    But for those that want a basic level of 3D without the eyewear and the side-effects that some experience with it, this could be the perfect solution. It's just not nearly as elaborate as Dolby makes it out to be in their turtle ad above.
    [​IMG]
    So at this point, the question becomes...will Dolby's technology ever come to fruition given the exorbitant cost of such a display and potentially limited panel sizes? And if such technology will one day become affordable in a multitude of display configurations, will it dominate and kill off current passive/active shutter technology or will both be able to co-exist together? Let's just hope that our beloved current 3D technology will co-exist rather than being completely dumbed down.
     
    FoxyMulder likes this.
  2. Brian Dobbs

    Brian Dobbs Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2001
    Messages:
    998
    Likes Received:
    151
    Location:
    Maryland
    Real Name:
    Brian Dobbs
    I'm a supporter of the natively shot stereoscopic films like Avatar and Prometheus, and stay clear away from post-conversions.

    But there's something that still irritates me.

    Ron, when I was really young, Captain EO popped off the screen and I literally raised my hands out to try and grab what was coming off the screen.

    Years later, I saw Beowulf in "3D" and nothing came off the screen. It was as if the effect was into the screen, like you describe here with the glasses free. I liked the effect, but it wasn't the same. I imagined how far I would have to throw a football to each character, depending on their placement in the image.

    Meaning to say, I don't think the "3D" we're getting in theaters now (even with glasses) produces the effect we once had with Captain EO.

    They keep marketing 3D as if it's coming off the screen, but It's not the same as it once was. That is, unless I'm remembering incorrectly.
     
  3. SFMike

    SFMike Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2013
    Messages:
    291
    Likes Received:
    216
    Real Name:
    Michael
    Brian, your memory is correct and I also feel that out of screen effects are part of what makes 3D fun. However, these days those kind of "in your face" moments are considered tacky and most direstor shy away from them. It's to bad because I also feel that these kind of moments add to the enjoyment of the 3D experience. I also feel that one of the reasons 3D showings have cooled off in the states is that without more creatively handled pop-out experiences in a picture many audience members feel they aren't "really" seeing 3D and feel cheated. Why wear the hated glasses if eveything with depth is behind the screen plain, so people feel it's not worth it.

    Also, if you enjoy 3D I would suggent you might want to check out some of the latest 3D conversions. They get better all the time and some are, in my opinion, as good as many tastefully flat natively filmed features. The Avengers and the last Star Trek film were both great conversions and look better on my home setup than they did at the theater.
     
  4. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
    Owner

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    46,407
    Likes Received:
    4,357
    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    I believe it does.

    There is a 3D Blu-ray disc called Under The Sea. I use it as my demo reference.

    Put it in, go to chapter 3 where you find yourself atop the ocean waves. It then
    goes underwater, showing colorful coral. A minute later a codfish appears. Watch
    as it comes out of the screen, inches away from the face.

    So, the extreme pop-out that reaches out and grabs you can be done. It's just
    that nobody seems to want to do it anymore.
     
    FoxyMulder likes this.
  5. Brian Dobbs

    Brian Dobbs Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2001
    Messages:
    998
    Likes Received:
    151
    Location:
    Maryland
    Real Name:
    Brian Dobbs
    Thanks Ron. I'll keep that in mind. I currently don't have a 3D setup at home. I'm strictly comparing the theatrical presentations.

    Ultimately 3D will be a part of my home theater.
     
  6. Brian Dobbs

    Brian Dobbs Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2001
    Messages:
    998
    Likes Received:
    151
    Location:
    Maryland
    Real Name:
    Brian Dobbs
    Thanks. I thought it was a matter of the technology being different that limited it to 3D behind the screen.

    I appreciate the fact that they've gotten better with the post-converted presentations, but I think my perspective is that I'd rather experience it the way the director intended.

    Is the same reason I don't use Dolby PL II for stereo CDs. I'd rather just listen to native multichannel mixes. Not exactly the same, but you get what I mean.
     
  7. Chuck Anstey

    Chuck Anstey Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 1998
    Messages:
    1,624
    Likes Received:
    102
    Real Name:
    Chuck Anstey
    It appears that 3D is definitely going the way of color in movies, i.e. only use a small fraction of it otherwise it is a "gimmick". I mean when was the last time they made a major movie in full even semi-realistic color? It seems like at least 10 years or more.

    I also like how the movie makers and display makers have answered the 3D purists question about why there are no pop out effects. We don't need to make displays that pop out because no one makes movies that have pop out effects. We don't need to make movies with pop out effects because no one makes displays that can display pop out effects. Beautiful.

    I guess they are also using that argument for colorspace in displays and movies but haven't been so open about it.
     
    FoxyMulder likes this.
  8. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Messages:
    5,236
    Likes Received:
    1,613
    Location:
    Scotland
    Real Name:
    Malcolm
    No pop out = no sale. ( for me )
     
    Reed Grele likes this.
  9. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    3,374
    Likes Received:
    751
    Location:
    Cromwell, CT
    Real Name:
    Roland Lataille
    With Vizio dropping out of the 3D market, ESPN dropping their 3D channel, the networks not doing any 3D broadcasting (had occasional sporting events and the Olympics in the past in 3D) and 3D movie titles not taking in as much money as the 2D version (they use to be more), I don't think Dolby or any other manufacturer will make any money selling these glasses free 3D sets.
     
    JasenP likes this.
  10. aPhil

    aPhil Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2011
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    134
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Real Name:
    Phil Smoot
    I don't think Ron Epstein is in the minority; it's just that moviegoers do not know what they are missing. If they saw what they could be seeing, I think 3D would be requested rather than condemned.

    I saw the Potato Codfish poking out at me at the HHGregg store a couple years ago (while watching a polarized HDTV demonstrating the product). It shocked me to think that maybe polarized 3D HDTV's offered the pop-out effect that my Panasonic Active Vision Plasma did not —

    So, I went to Best Buy and found the "Under the Sea" Blu-ray and immediately took it home. Sure enough, there was this amazing pop-out that is still the best single moment that I have seen from any 3D Blu-ray!

    Yes, my active-vision 3D Plasma did it as well as the passive polarized 3D HDTV that I saw in the store.

    So, what is the problem out there?
    I have no eyestrain from the Potato Codfish, and I have freeze framed it, slow motioned it, step framed it, had friends look at it, etc etc, and it works for everyone and no one has any eyestrain or fatigue.

    I remember my most enthralling experience being several years ago at the Imax theater in Chattanooga, Tennessee — My son (very young at the time) and I had images in our lap (much like the lion image from the poster for "Bwana Devil". I had to keep grabbing him as he would stand up and reach out for things that were coming forth from the screen. To me, that's 3D!

    It's not a gimmick to put something moving outward toward the audience anymore that motion pictures themselves are a gimmick.

    The producers of 3D motion picture content need to get the message.
     
    Brian Dobbs and FoxyMulder like this.
  11. StephenDH

    StephenDH Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    Messages:
    481
    Likes Received:
    243
    Location:
    UK
    Real Name:
    Stephen
    Maybe it's because many of today's directors are ignorant as far as 3D is concerned and are more than happy to hand their movie over to a conversion company and let them get on with it rather than shoot in 3D.
    50s directors shot far more successfully in 3D with massive cameras, no video assist, no CGI and no post production conversion facility to get them out of trouble. Even so, their movies were far better than many of today's offerings
     
    FoxyMulder likes this.
  12. Todd J Moore

    Todd J Moore Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    315
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Real Name:
    Todd Moore
    So if this TV doesn't offer great pop-out, what would happen if you watch a movie with pop-out effects on it? For instance, if I tossed in Dial M For Murder on a TV like this, are you suggesting that Grace Kelly won't be reaching out of the screen like she's supposed. Because if that's the case, they can keep their TV.
     
  13. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Messages:
    5,236
    Likes Received:
    1,613
    Location:
    Scotland
    Real Name:
    Malcolm
    You will get the depth of the movie but no pop out.

    What they should do with these televisions is have the glasses free part but also make them work with glasses so that those who want the pop out and depth get it, unless James Cameron gives us some good pop out on Avatar 2 then it's a lost cause with live action flicks, the funny thing is that the director of Journey To The Centre Of The Earth used the same camera system as Avatar and did a better job with the 3D, that film had lots of depth and far better pop out ( than Avatar ) and was fun because of it.

    Animated films from Dreamworks have impressed me greatly with pop out and depth ( not all but some ) but i am disappointed with the safe approach that is taken with many films, conversions can have pop out if they choose, mostly they choose not to do that, they heard it on the grapevine that pop out is a gimmick and somewhere along the line started believing that rubbish and now 3D fans suffer average to sometimes good 3D when the technology today is capable of great 3D.

    I'd really like to see more films shot in native 3D and less conversions.
     
  14. Paul Hillenbrand

    Paul Hillenbrand Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 1998
    Messages:
    1,508
    Likes Received:
    255
    Real Name:
    Paul Hillenbrand
    When Ron announced he was going to see the latest Dolby Glasses-Free Display, I kept on thinking about what I have read on AVS about how it is inferior to Ultra-D UHD Glasses-Free TV that is also coming out this year. Wish there was a review on that technology.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UYZwaW2I90
     
  15. bryan4999

    bryan4999 Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    Messages:
    554
    Likes Received:
    195
    Real Name:
    Bryan Forbes
    Captain EO was amazing. I've never forgotten it. I would be more enthusiastic about 3D these days if it was more aggressive. For example, in Gravity, I wanted Sandra Bullock to fly way out over my head and there were a few tantalizing instances of some debris seeming to pop out slightly, but the debris field could have been much more harrowing with aggressive pop out, IMO. I did enjoy Avatar in 3D, even though there wasn't aggressive pop-out; that movie really created the environment well, I thought, but I want more than a sense of depth if I'm going to go to the trouble and expense of adopting 3D or even paying the higher ticket price at the theater. This Dolby system really doesn't interest me at all and the pop out advertising is a plain old lie.
     
    FoxyMulder likes this.
  16. Paul Hillenbrand

    Paul Hillenbrand Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 1998
    Messages:
    1,508
    Likes Received:
    255
    Real Name:
    Paul Hillenbrand
    Remembering a similar experience at an IMAX in Sacramento. Clowns were on tall ladders painting a backdrop and several paint cans were accidentally thrown out into the audience creating colorful paint spills that you could reach out for and touch.
     
  17. Paul Hillenbrand

    Paul Hillenbrand Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 1998
    Messages:
    1,508
    Likes Received:
    255
    Real Name:
    Paul Hillenbrand
    Per the Ultra-D UHD Glasses-Free TV CEO Walther Roelen, in the video from post #14 above:
     
    Brian Dobbs likes this.
  18. StephenDH

    StephenDH Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    Messages:
    481
    Likes Received:
    243
    Location:
    UK
    Real Name:
    Stephen
    Arch Oboler's "The Bubble" has one of the best out of screen moments ever, in which a tray of drinks lifts off from the top of a bar and floats out into the cinema. If that's still the case when it comes to 3D tv, I for one, will be impressed.
     
  19. Panman40

    Panman40 Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    548
    Likes Received:
    176
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Real Name:
    Martin Campbell
    I am a huge 3D fan but if this glasses free flat as a pancake glasses free becomes the norm I'm out. Anyone who says pop out is a gimmick is wrong, pop out and depth are so important for 3D. As foxy has said Dreamworks animation has some great 3D films, I wish Disney would follow suit. I feel sure pop out could be enhanced with conversions more than it is, its no wonder 3D is dying and people are saying its just like watching cardboard cut outs.
     
  20. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Messages:
    5,236
    Likes Received:
    1,613
    Location:
    Scotland
    Real Name:
    Malcolm
    Yes but does that slider cause exaggeration of the effect rather than normal 3D, by that i mean have they built it to have pop out on movies where there is none or do you get pop out on the normal type of 3D, so where there is pop out it comes out normally and not looking poor, is the quality great, is there crosstalk, are there any other issues, i'd love to know.
     
    Paul Hillenbrand likes this.

Share This Page