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Movies in 3D


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#1 of 105 OFFLINE   Abby_B

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Posted December 08 2008 - 06:49 AM

I've noticed that there a bunch of 3D movies coming out soon - Bolt was just released in 3D, there's James Cameron's Avatar, Pixar is releasing its first 3D movie next year, Disney has a whole slate coming out in the next few years. One interesting one I saw is G-Force, which is a mix of live action and CGI - it's been awhile since that's been done, and in 3D no less. It's an action movie produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. Visually, should be interesting to watch!

What does everyone think of this move into 3D?

#2 of 105 OFFLINE   Michael Elliott

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Posted December 08 2008 - 07:01 AM

I personally don't think 3D is very good as to me it usually comes off ugly. I haven't seen any of the recent movies in 3D but stuff like FREDDY'S DEAD and CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON never looked too good to my eyes. I know MY BLOODY VALENTINE is going to be 3D next month so I'll probably check this one out but overall I don't care too much for the format.

It's funny but I was at Youtube watching some old Siskel and Ebert reviews and they were complaining about how bad those 80s films looked in 3D. I'm not sure if it's true but they claimed the ending of JAWS 3-D was "messed up" as the shark coming through the glass didn't even work right.

#3 of 105 OFFLINE   Brian D H

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Posted December 08 2008 - 07:10 AM

Modern 3-D is leaps and bounds better. I couldn't stand to watch the 80s movies in 3-D, but I willingly saw Superman Returns twice just for the 3-D portions.
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#4 of 105 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted December 08 2008 - 08:53 AM

Yeah, the 1980s stuff where they were exclusively using red-and-blue glasses was pretty rough, but the technology for the current digital 3-D is arguably the one place where digital projection outshines film.

I'm still not sure how many people really have a handle on how to use it well, though - Robert Zemeckis certainly does, for instance, and I'm eagerly anticipating Cameron's Avatar after seeing his documentary work - but not many directors and cinematographers really seem to have figured out how to compose for 3-D rather than having something jump out on occasion.
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#5 of 105 OFFLINE   Zack Gibbs

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Posted December 08 2008 - 10:00 AM

All the modern 3D I've seen, including Imax 3D and Real3D, have a loss in the standard picture quality that is unacceptable to me. The colors aren't accurate, and there's a perceptible blur from the overlapping images even when wearing the polarized lens. I'd rather look at a perfect 2D image than a less than great 3D one.

There are some big 3D releases coming up like Avatar, that I'll just HAVE to experience in 3D, but I plan to see them in traditional theaters first.
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#6 of 105 OFFLINE   Abby_B

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Posted December 09 2008 - 07:52 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian D H
Modern 3-D is leaps and bounds better. I couldn't stand to watch the 80s movies in 3-D, but I willingly saw Superman Returns twice just for the 3-D portions.

I agree that 3D is on the up & up, especially in animation. I saw a few (most recently Bolt) and thought the quality was amazing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Seaver
I'm still not sure how many people really have a handle on how to use it well, though - Robert Zemeckis certainly does, for instance, and I'm eagerly anticipating Cameron's Avatar after seeing his documentary work - but not many directors and cinematographers really seem to have figured out how to compose for 3-D rather than having something jump out on occasion.

Jerry Bruckheimer is trying his hand at 3D as well with G-FORCE (mentioned in my original post). I'm really interested in watching it to see how he handles the whole 3D thing as well since this is his first one.

#7 of 105 ONLINE   SilverWook

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Posted December 09 2008 - 01:56 PM

I'd like to see them bring back some classic 3-D movies in the new format.

Disney paired a vintage 3-D Chip and Dale cartoon with "Meet the Robinsons" last year, and that was neat to see.

#8 of 105 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted December 10 2008 - 07:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abby_B
What does everyone think of this move into 3D?
Personally, I think all movies should be filmed stereoscopically. Not just the big special effects epics, but the little dramas and character-driven films as well. We see with two eyes, so our photography and cinematography should be executed through the equivalent two lenses. It's the natural way to see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Elliott
I personally don't think 3D is very good as to me it usually comes off ugly. I haven't seen any of the recent movies in 3D but stuff like FREDDY'S DEAD and CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON never looked too good to my eyes ... but overall I don't care too much for the format.
Which format are you referring to? The two-camera / two-projector format, or the single camera-twin lens / single projector format? Polarized, anaglyph, or field sequential? Creature From the Black Lagoon and Friday the 13th 3 in 3-D were filmed 30 years apart in different formats and with different technologies. They were also projected in different technologies.

Creature From the Black Lagoon is generally regarded by stereoscopic specialists as one of the perfect stereoscopic films. It does all the tricks of putting objects into the audience space so that you feel as if you can reach out and touch them, but mostly it is just good, deep depth. It was shot with two cameras and projected in double-interlock. I've seen it projected in double-interlock a number of times, and each time it is as perfect a stereoscopic experience as one could hope for in monochrome. The director, Jack Arnold, his dp and stereoscopic consultant, were very meticulous. They made certain that every shot was photographically correct for depth and that every transition was smooth. I've sat in packed theaters with a discriminating crowd of 3-D purists in which nobody had cause to complain about how the film was shot and projected.

I understand that Creature From the Black Lagoon has been converted into the anaglyph system for broadcast and home video viewing. Anaglyph is a pseudo 3-D process that puts a red lens over one eye and a blue lens over the other eye. This distorts the color of a color film and the contrasts values of a monochrome film. Eventually the brain begins to reject the artificial discoloration, and perception of depth breaks up. Anaglyph causes eyestrain for many people. Tragically, more people today have probably seen Creature From the Black Lagoon in anaglyph than in the authentic polarized process that was intended. No stereoscopic film should be watched in anaglyph. Over the years Anaglyph conversions have created a bad impression of stereoscopic films and led to no end of confusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Elliott
It's funny but I was at Youtube watching some old Siskel and Ebert reviews and they were complaining about how bad those 80s films looked in 3D. I'm not sure if it's true but they claimed the ending of JAWS 3-D was "messed up" as the shark coming through the glass didn't even work right.

I'm a fan of Roger Ebert, but he is notorious among stereoscopic specialists for making the outrageous statement that he sat in theaters in the 1950s watching 3-D movies through red and blue glasses. Truth is, he never did. He sat in theater watching 3-D movies through polarized glasses. He may be remembering some bad anaglyph experience like the grade-Z The Mask (1961) which was one of the very few red-and-blue glasses films. The great stereoscopic films of the 1950s were made for polarized glasses, and not very dark polarized glasses, either. The polarized lenses were of a lighter density than your average sunglasses. Because of the slightly cooling effect polarized lenses have on color, the studios compensated by warming up the color saturation of the prints.

The 1980s films were problematic for many reasons. All the films were shot in different processes and projected in different systems. All the studios were competing to get their own patented systems running, and none of them were really perfected. Too, most directors didn't take the time to learn how the process works or how to get the most out of it. Instead they made the usual mistakes that cause eyestrain and break up. A stereoscopic film that is properly shot and projected does not cause eyestrain. A stereoscopic film that causes eyestrain is either improperly shot, improperly projected, or both, but it should be understood that 3-D itself is not an eyestrain inducer.

You mentioned Jaws 3. I've seen a very good print of this, with very good depth, and some very successful effects, including the money-shot you mentioned of the shark pushing through the glass. It works. I'm told by people who were involved in the filming that the 3-D process was about to be abandoned until Paramount contracted with StereoVision International. StereoVision's single camera - twin lens taking system and single projector system basically saved that film. There were reshoots, and everything that didn't work was made to work with the StereoVision lenses. It remains a viable process today, easy to use and cost-effective, but damn near impossible to obtain.

It is very hard to control projection of 3-D movies because they require more attention from the theater owners who are not skilled in the process and who resist taking the time to learn it. A lot of good quality stereoscopic work was accomplished in the 1980s, but bad projection gave a misleading impression on the viability of 3-D.

Jack Theaxton is more knowledgeable than I am about this period. Perhaps he will chime in here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Seaver
Yeah, the 1980s stuff where they were exclusively using red-and-blue glasses was pretty rough, but the technology for the current digital 3-D is arguably the one place where digital projection outshines film.
Forgive me, but red-and-blue glasses were not exclusively used for the 1980s 3-D films. This mis-information has been going around for a long time, and it's just not true. The 1980s films (Metalstorm the Destruction of Jared Sin, Jaws 3 3-D, Friday the 13th 3 3-D, Amityville 3 3-D, Spacehunter Adventures in the Forbidden Zone, and imports like Coming at ya! and Treasure of the Four Crowns among others) were all made for polarized projection. Audiences watched them through polarized lenses. The Anaglyph versions came later.

Digital technology is a whole new set of rules for stereoscopic filming and projection. Digital is definitely the future, but it will be many years, perhaps decades, before digital 3-D surpasses the resolution of photochemical film. If you have the chance to see a classic 3-D film properly projected in double-interlock for polarized glasses, you may come away with a greater appreciation for this abandoned system. I've seen it convert the doubting thomases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Seaver
I'm still not sure how many people really have a handle on how to use it well, though - Robert Zemeckis certainly does, for instance, and I'm eagerly anticipating Cameron's Avatar after seeing his documentary work - but not many directors and cinematographers really seem to have figured out how to compose for 3-D rather than having something jump out on occasion.
This is a valid point, and I'm glad you made it. Stereoscopic cinematography is not just a gimmick or a trick, it's a visual language. Depth is a visual language that pulls many disciplines together and contributes some new ones. Directors and camera operators need to shoot tests and learn the rudiments of stereoscopic photography before undertaking a 3-D film, and producers need to provide for that in schedule and budgeting. Some of the early photographers in the days of the American Civil War learned that lesson early on better than some of today's film makers. In the 1800s, every home had a stereoscopic viewer and a collection of stereoviews. People expected to see photography in 3-D. So it should be with movies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zack Gibbs
All the modern 3D I've seen, including Imax 3D and Real3D, have a loss in the standard picture quality that is unacceptable to me. The colors aren't accurate, and there's a perceptible blur from the overlapping images even when wearing the polarized lens. I'd rather look at a perfect 2D image than a less than great 3D one.
A lot of the problems film makers and stereoscopic specialists solved back in the 1950s for 35mm film need to be sorted out all over again for digital 3-D. Again there are competitive systems that are still being perfected even as the films are being shot and projected (RealD's very impressive Journey to the Center of the Earth for example). Digital 3-D looks softer and dimmer than 35mm film because it's softer and dimmer. It doesn't have the resolution of 35mm film nor does it take advantage of aluminized screens with a brighter, sharper luminosity than mat screens. But it's off to a great start and there's no place to go but up.

But I don't understand your viewing experience, as I've seen some exceptional digital 3-D films in which the color is fine and there is no blur. Cameron's documentaries and Rodriguez's films are among the most disappointing in recent years in terms of 3-D lensmanship.

A small percentage of the population has trouble perceiving depth, and many people need more time than others to get acclimated to the stereoscopic experience. First impressions are always the most important. if your first 3-D movie is anaglyph or mis-aligned or under-lit, then your next 3-D film will have a lot to prove.

Imax consistently delivers a high-quality 3-D experience. They don't use the syntax of 3-D storytelling in their documentaries, but the depth and lensmanship is state-of-the-art. I refer to their own 3-D short films, not to their conversions of 2-d features. I caught up with the Imax edition of The Dark Knight which had some sequences filmed with Imax's 70mm 3-D camera, and it was astonishing, especially the skyscraper jump.

I hope everybody who loves movies will make a point of seeing as many 3-D films in the theater as possible, the live-action films as well the animated films and documentary shorts.

#9 of 105 OFFLINE   Abby_B

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Posted February 06 2009 - 07:48 AM

Richard - wow, you've made so many good points!

Watching movies in 3D just adds to any movie-watching experience - it can literally take you into any scene, which I just find is so cool. Disney is definitely rolling out a bunch of 3D movies this year, with concert movies, UP and G-Force. All should give a different kind of experience - and G-Force combines both live-action & CGI. I don't think I've seen that too often in movies, let alone in 3D so definitely curious to see how that one plays out.

#10 of 105 OFFLINE   Brian Kidd

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Posted February 06 2009 - 11:21 AM

Richard, whilst I enjoyed and agreed with your post on the whole, to my knowledge THE DARK KNIGHT was not filmed with an Imax 3D camera. They used standard and portable Imax cameras. Imax 3D is incredibly cumbersome and rarely used.

I agree that the recent spate of digital 3D films have been fantastic, as far as the technology goes. Like you said, the success of the process depends on the skill of the filmmaker. JOURNEY was a terrible film with incredibly-effective 3D effects. BOLT didn't impress me. I missed MY BLOODY VALENTINE, but plan on seeing CORALINE this weekend. From the reviews I've read, the 3D is top notch.
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#11 of 105 OFFLINE   Walter Przybylowski

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Posted February 06 2009 - 07:26 PM

Just caught My Bloody Valentine the other night. The movie was ehh. The 3-D effects were interesting at first, yet there is a curious flatness in the dimensions, I have no idea how the process works but the images have a depth that appears to be tempered with a flat quality, that makes say shrubbery look fake. Anyone ever play those old Tex Murphy video games? It kinda looks like that. So far the animated stuff seems to hold together better for me. The trailer for Coraline played in 3-D before this, and the otherworldly nature of the movie seemed better served by the process.

#12 of 105 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted February 06 2009 - 07:29 PM

Here's an interesting article about home 3D. They say practical glassesless 3D is only about ten years away.

3-D is coming to a living room near you - Page1 -  MSN Tech & Gadgets - Products

#13 of 105 OFFLINE   Andre Bijelic

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Posted February 18 2009 - 07:25 AM

Quote:
All the modern 3D I've seen, including Imax 3D and Real3D, have a loss in the standard picture quality that is unacceptable to me. The colors aren't accurate, and there's a perceptible blur from the overlapping images even when wearing the polarized lens. I'd rather look at a perfect 2D image than a less than great 3D one.

I just saw "Coraline" in 3D and agree with this statement 100%.

It's been a long time, and I know memory can be a tricky thing, but it didn't seem appreciably better to me than the 3D films I saw in the 80s.

I still think it's a fad - albeit one that keeps coming back every 25 years.
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#14 of 105 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted February 18 2009 - 09:47 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre Bijelic
I just saw "Coraline" in 3D and agree with this statement 100%.

It's been a long time, and I know memory can be a tricky thing, but it didn't seem appreciably better to me than the 3D films I saw in the 80s.

I still think it's a fad - albeit one that keeps coming back every 25 years.
Perhaps you had bad projection? I was surprised that Coraline 3D had no bleedthrough in the stereoscopic channels. That is, I saw no faint ghosting of the left eye picture in my right eye nor vice versa; there was no blurriness. I was amazed and specifically watched for it, but it was essentially flawless. But perhaps you're much more sensitive to these problems than I and others are.

And while with Red-Blue anaglyph I need about 10 minutes to "get" the 3D, it's immediate with the polarized glasses.

I'm thoroughly impressed with the few 3D movies I've seen in recent years. I'm convinced we're past "fad" and into the emerging new standard for movies.

I also think Hollywood and theaters see this as a way to make theaters a premium experience again and combat (real or preceived) piracy and also viewership loss from HD & large screen home viewing.

#15 of 105 ONLINE   SilverWook

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Posted February 18 2009 - 09:51 AM

I saw several 80's 3-D flicks and not one was projected properly, nor failed to give me headaches and eyestrain from the process used. In other words, they sucked!

I suspect some people just don't perceive 3-D effects the same as others do, no matter how good the technology. It's not their fault of course. I'm not seeing these color problems or blur at my local theater. Maybe others aren't tweaking their setups properly?

Talkies, color, stereophonic sound, and widescreen were all once once considered fads too. Posted Image

#16 of 105 OFFLINE   essstjames

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Posted June 09 2009 - 01:38 PM

I lived through the 3-D experiences from the 50's to present, including the Sawyer/ViewMaster double lense camera and projector with polarized glasses. Maybe it is a false memory, but some projected images were incredible for depth and "in-your-face" actions. Several were not, resulting in a fad-ending.

In recent years, one of the better amazing 3-D presentations I recalled were "Captain EO" at WDW. A little flitting creature came out and flew above the audience (not animatronic, I feel), resulting in gasps and people reaching up. Then it flew back into the screen. Another was Friday the 13-3D, which apparently was projected with one widescreen image projected above a second (I took my polarized glasses off to guess what was improved over the years).

Recently saw Journey to Center of the Earth, in digital RealD, whatever. The little flitting, luminous bird creature attempted to come out into the audience and then back, all the while distorting into two distinct images my cross-eyes could not adjust. Not a skilled knock-off from Captain EO, I thought. The yo-yo and travel down the tube were similar botched effects that did nothing for me. The magnetic rock bridge was, however, depth queezy for a while. The digital projected image did not fill the giant screen, but looked similar to my home projection unit--no masking or magic frame from which image could protrude.

I have no idea what IMAX 3D looks like, but if it is similar to RealD/3D--Then something better needs to be done, before I pay extra $2.00 for the privilege of getting polarized glasses I throw in the theatre recycle? bin.

If RealD 3D is a double projector interlocking image, the projectionist needed training. If it is a single projectionist friendly projector affair, it needs improvement. Regardles, to me, it is not yet a system that matches the best of past, properly projected 3D experiences. It is not breathtaking. It does not eliminate double images, digital glitches and sudden computer artifacts that cause eyestrain. It, however, created concerns that I paid more to experience it (sucked in by all supperior 3D critical hype) than if I went to the clear 2D screen to experience the movie in the same cineplex or waited to rent it cheaper for a lark. This is a marketing fad in the making, unless done better in the future. Expect $13-$15, (not 50 cents as in 1954) from me for the experience, then astonish me and give me more than popcorn, or I'll stay away and view it at home in my private theatre.

#17 of 105 OFFLINE   Chris Atkins

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Posted June 10 2009 - 03:13 AM

So far, my experience has been that RealD adds very nice depth to a film without saturating the colors. I haven't yet seen any films that really push the RealD envelope.

#18 of 105 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted June 10 2009 - 05:33 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Atkins
I haven't yet seen any films that really push the RealD envelope.
I saw My Bloody Valentine and that has some good "OHHH!!! Look at this!!!"-type of effects (a shotgun being pointed right into the lense, a pick ax flying into the frame, etc). While MBV is not too serious of a movie and they're just trying to have fun with the 3-D, I think that a movie that takes itself more seriously (like Up and presumably Toy Story 3) should just use the 3-D more sparingly rather than trying to show off every few minutes with something flying at the camera.

#19 of 105 OFFLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted June 10 2009 - 07:16 AM

I saw "Monsters vs. Aliens" in RealD and thought it was amazing! Everything was crystal clear, the colors were bright, and the 3D effects were very realistic, to the point I actually moved in my seat to "avoid" things that were coming toward me from the screen. Posted Image

The movie itself wasn't that great, but the 3D technology was impressive.
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#20 of 105 OFFLINE   Jose Martinez

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Posted May 20 2011 - 10:50 AM

That's it!  No more 3D for me.  Even if it was shot natively.  After seeing Pirates 4 in IMAX 3D, I've had enough of it.  Not only did I not see the benefit of paying extra for 3D but because of technical issues the theater had for the first ten minutes of the movie.  There was a black spot in the left eye of the 3D glasses.  When the glasses were removed, the black spot wasn't there.  It wasn't just me as other people in the audience were experiencing it.  I had enough and missed the first 2 -3 minutes while storming out to complain.  Finally after making adjustments in the projection room the black spot disappeared.   It was enough for me not to enjoy the rest of the movie (it was boring anyway compared to the 1st three movies)


So no more 3D movies for me.


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